New kit - when to compromise?

Hop

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... So, what's the move - get something for essentially half the price and checks all the boxes? Or wait for that perfect white whale to come along?
So the kit doesn't really check all the boxes... I think you have your answer in that your more motivated by a deal or the one of the other 'natural' kits that you mentioned were your preference.

Have you checked out this kit... not a bad price either: https://www.drumforum.org/threads/ludwig-legacy-classic-exotic-birdseye-maple-13-16-24.175323/
 

lrod1707

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Hey folks, the time has come to buy a brand new kit. I've bought used and vintage for years and havent had a new, out-the-box kit in over a decade. I found something online that checks all my boxes - brand, make, sizes, stain and not a wrap, huge discount from list price, free shipping and everything else...except the finish. It looks good but it doesnt give me that "oh, hell yeah" feeling when I see my favorite finishes. So, what's the move - get something for essentially half the price and checks all the boxes? Or wait for that perfect white whale to come along?

Thanks for any insight the group wishes to share.
You probably already know this but just in case: Most of the items in the Ludwig Factory outlet have "Make Offer". So if you are going by price you might be able to get another kit in another color there that costs more but you can offer less. It might get you down to the price that you want to be in. That's what I did with my Classic Maple's and I got a couple hundred off of the asking price which was already ridiculously low to begin with.
 

CC Cirillo

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Me? I’ve got a lot of other financial responsibilities and I’d get those if they’re a better deal.

Also I have the psychological bent where once I spend quality time with the instrument, have some memories playing it, practice time, gig time, studio time, load ins and outs, the music and memories get blended into the looks. So ultimately it’s the memories rather than the looks. Some odd looking items become cherished.

I like that finish. It’s uncommon and, I bet would look nice under stage lights. I don’t look at it and say Bonham green sparkle or Buddy WMP or Tony yellow. I’d say—oh, Shakedown has a kit in that finish.

But you want a blonde, and that’s some Jessica Rabbit right there.

This is a good problem to have, a dilemma of choice, my friend. An exciting decision.
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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Oddly, I'm in a similar situation as you, looking to buy a new kit (been about 10 years since my last one). I'm kinda in the mood to have a kit with my exact specs. I love my vintage gear, it's just a different thing.

I've been torn between Ludwig Classic Oak and a Gretsch USA Custom/Broadcaster (USA toms, Broadcaster bass and snare). In the end, I'll probably get both, but which one first. Every demo I hear of the Classic Oak's (Keystones), sound amazing...I'm super impressed with that shell, plus, it's something different. These two demos stick out. I've also had a chance to try one out, and wow.



As far as the finish goes, for me, Gretsch=Satin Walnut (looks timeless), and Ludwig=I don't know...seriously having a hard time deciding. I think you should go after exactly what you want. If you're on the fence about that finish - don't, imo. You don't want to be looking down at it thinking "meh". I look forward to seeing what you end up with.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Wait for something that really floats your boat. I’ve found when I compromise, I always end up not satisfied. Just sayin....
+1 - I agree 100% - if you pick everything on your kit rather than just buying something that is available you will keep it longer .
 

Dumpy

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I compromise on a kit when it is going to be a player kit that is getting schlepped all over the place. Snares are different and I always tended to take 3-4 with me tuned for different songs. But as far as something I am taking from venue to venue, risking theft, beer spillage and the occasional drunk patron attempting to play it, I get a very serviceable kit in a common color for easy piece replacement or addition that didn’t cost a ton and I won’t shed a tear if God forbid something happens to it. My DW and vintage Rogers kits are irreplaceable; a mid line Tama or Mapex isn’t, but will sound great and get compliments from the crowd and sound tech.
 

Jazzcrimes

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But as far as something I am taking from venue to venue, risking theft, beer spillage and the occasional drunk patron attempting to play it, . . .
I don’t think you have truly lived the gigging musician experience until you walk away during a set break and suddenly hear a drunk patron who has snuck behind your kit bashing away. . . It actually takes a minute to realize what’s occurring - much less how you respond to it.
 

JDA

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Odds are also (at your age OP) It won't be your last kit..No way : )
It'll be the first of your last kits.
If the price is right (it is) and they look nice and juicy to ya Buy em. Color never never made the drum Colors cosmetics. At least they're honest woodgrain no one can take that away from them, So heavy on the acoustics and damn the shades
 
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Dumpy

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I don’t think you have truly lived the gigging musician experience until you walk away during a set break and suddenly hear a drunk patron who has snuck behind your kit bashing away. . . It actually takes a minute to realize what’s occurring - much less how you respond to it.
It happened once. And I play a left hand set up! I heard a clanging on my rap-tuned cheapy snare. The bouncer’s reaction may have been over the top. It was one of the few gigs this band I was in had fun doing. We laughed our butts off. Thinking back, that was the beginning of the end of that band.
 

UptownShakedown

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Oddly, I'm in a similar situation as you, looking to buy a new kit (been about 10 years since my last one). I'm kinda in the mood to have a kit with my exact specs. I love my vintage gear, it's just a different thing.

I've been torn between Ludwig Classic Oak and a Gretsch USA Custom/Broadcaster (USA toms, Broadcaster bass and snare). In the end, I'll probably get both, but which one first. Every demo I hear of the Classic Oak's (Keystones), sound amazing...I'm super impressed with that shell, plus, it's something different. These two demos stick out. I've also had a chance to try one out, and wow.



As far as the finish goes, for me, Gretsch=Satin Walnut (looks timeless), and Ludwig=I don't know...seriously having a hard time deciding. I think you should go after exactly what you want. If you're on the fence about that finish - don't, imo. You don't want to be looking down at it thinking "meh". I look forward to seeing what you end up with.
Yeah man we're in the same boat and these are the same clips I'm clicking on - they're killer to me. They are pretty much the exact specs I want, maybe toms could ideally be 10x7 and 12x8, instead of 10x8 and 12x9 but I could go either way on that. As far as I've learned though, Ludwig Classic Oak and Keystone X are the same just with a re-branding, right? Same shells and hardware? That Tennessee Whiskey finish looks great but I'd rather get something from Keystone X line to save $$ if they're the same.

I love Gretsch and was looking at USA Custom/Broadkaster but decided that although they are beautiful sounding and looking drums the Gretsch thing wasnt the choice for me. Pricepoint is fairly high in the sector, I'm not a big fan of the hoops on either and the sound wasnt exactly what I was going for. Also, sometimes with Gretsch my perception is clouded by all the history and an affinity for Tony, Elvin, Blakey and the other jazz giants.

Ludwig Classic Oaks have the sound I want, maple core for tone with the oak attack and I love the classic Ludwig hardware/look. Since most of the non-wrap finishes for the LCO/KX are stains where you really see the woodgrain it even moreso makes me want something that looks classic and timeless, hence my dilemma - good problems to have though!
 
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Trilock_Gurtu

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Yeah man we're in the same boat and these are the same clips I'm clicking on - they're killer to me. They are pretty much the exact specs I want, maybe toms could ideally be 10x7 and 12x8, instead of 10x8 and 12x9 but I could go either way. on that. As far as I've learned though, Ludwig Classic Oak and Keystone X are the same just with a re-branding, right? Same shells and hardware? That Tennessee Whiskey finish looks great but I'd rather get something from Keystone X line to save $$ if they're the same.

I love Gretsch and was looking at USA Custom/Broadkaster but decided that although they are beautiful sounding and looking drums the Gretsch thing wasnt the choice for me. Pricepoint is fairly high in the sector, I'm not a big fan of the hoops on either and the sound wasnt exactly what I was going for. Also, sometimes with Gretsch my perception is clouded by all the history and an affinity for Tony, Elvin, Blakey and the other jazz giants.

Ludwig Classic Oaks have the sound I want, maple core for tone with the oak attack and I love the classic Ludwig hardware/look. Since most of the non-wrap finishes for the LCO/KX are stains where you really see the woodgrain it even moreso makes me want something look classic and timeless, hence my dilemna - good problems to have though!
As far as I know, they're the same shell, just re-branded. Yeah, if you can find a Keystone kit with a finish you like, you'll save money. Nothing wrong with that, but, if not, use the Ludwig Outfitter and get exactly what you want. As I mentioned, I tried a Classic Oak in-person, and those demos nailed the vibe.
 

UptownShakedown

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As far as I know, they're the same shell, just re-branded. Yeah, if you can find a Keystone kit with a finish you like, you'll save money. Nothing wrong with that, but, if not, use the Ludwig Outfitter and get exactly what you want. As I mentioned, I tried a Classic Oak in-person, and those demos nailed the vibe.
Would love to try in person if anywhere was open!
 

Bri6366

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I got a good deal on a Pearl MMX kit in Black Mist. It was not one of my preferred finishes, but it's grown on me. You can special order a kit, get everything exactly as you want and it could be a 3-5 month wait. But the dealer could have the same series in stock. It might have a 12x8 instead of the 12x9 and maybe it's in natural maple and not the ultimate finish you want, but the dealer is also willing to move quite a bit on the price for a kit in inventory vs a special order kit.
 
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troutstudio

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I once decided to buy my first brand new kit in 25 years; so I saved for two years and sold three kits to get it. Took 9 months to arrive. So glad I chose it. I was way less concerned about the finish, than the build and the sound. I can't see the drum kit, when I'm playing it. But I can hear it and feel it. Slightly OT - those textured wood drum finishes remind me of pseudo Spanish resturant decor. Give me gloss wood please.
 

UptownShakedown

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I once decided to buy my first brand new kit in 25 years; so I saved for two years and sold three kits to get it. Took 9 months to arrive. So glad I chose it. I was way less concerned about the finish, than the build and the sound. I can't see the drum kit, when I'm playing it. But I can hear it and feel it. Slightly OT - those textured wood drum finishes remind me of pseudo Spanish resturant decor. Give me gloss wood please.
Haha, yes - a little too caliente for me. Someone grabbed it though so of course I want it now. What was the kit you waited for?
 

felis

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If it's not exactly what you want, it might bother you every time you look at it, because 'the one' will still be in the back of your mind.

Oops - just took a peek and it's gone. Did I miss something?
 


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