Talk me off the ledge - have a Ludwig. thinking Gretsch Broadkaster...what is the difference to you.

charlesm

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A bit of an aside from the main topic but, having skimmed through a bunch of posts, I have to make this point, since we're talking high-dollar drums here and buyers have expectations:

USA Custom Gretsch drums (toms) *with the modern, 30-degree edge* are NOT the classic '60s-era round-badge sound. Not exactly, at least. The modern edge is a more open sound, more sustain, a little less mid-focused. Still a "Gretsch" sound all the way, though.

For the true 6-ply quintessentially classic Gretsch tone, you'd need the 6p maple/gum shell with the classic reverse-roundover edge. I THINK that can be spec'd on USAC drums by request, but it's not standard.

But that's where that sound is...it's that edge difference. It's not USAC by default and it's not Jasper vs. Keller. If you took a Keller 6p maple/gum shell and put the reverse edge on it, you'd have that true '60s RB sound.

I only say this because there are elements out there who have consistently said that current USAC is the continuation of the same Gretsch sound going back to the '60s, and that's NOT the truth. The difference is in the modern edge vs. the reverse edge.

I have both a '60s-era kit and a USAC kit here, both 20-12-14. They're both fantastic. And they're VERY different...mainly because of that edge difference.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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A bit of an aside from the main topic but, having skimmed through a bunch of posts, I have to make this point, since we're talking high-dollar drums here and buyers have expectations:

USA Custom Gretsch drums (toms) *with the modern, 30-degree edge* are NOT the classic '60s-era round-badge sound. Not exactly, at least. The modern edge is a more open sound, more sustain, a little less mid-focused. Still a "Gretsch" sound all the way, though.

For the true 6-ply quintessentially classic Gretsch tone, you'd need the 6p maple/gum shell with the classic reverse-roundover edge. I THINK that can be spec'd on USAC drums by request, but it's not standard.

But that's where that sound is...it's that edge difference. It's not USAC by default and it's not Jasper vs. Keller. If you took a Keller 6p maple/gum shell and put the reverse edge on it, you'd have that true '60s RB sound.

I only say this because there are elements out there who have consistently said that current USAC is the continuation of the same Gretsch sound going back to the '60s, and that's NOT the truth. The difference is in the modern edge vs. the reverse edge.

I have both a '60s-era kit and a USAC kit here, both 20-12-14. They're both fantastic. And they're VERY different...mainly because of that edge difference.
don’t forget the no air vents on the round badge. Also part of that old sound.
 

bigbonzo

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Alright, fellow drummer here chasing a sound in his head - I have a beautiful Classic Maple with all roundover edges. It is a killer kit. No complaints....but I have really be enthralled by Gretsch as of late. My first real kit was a Gretsch Renown. I got complements on its sound almost everywhere I played.

Now, I love "vibe" of the Broadkaster. It comes across as vintage kit with lots of character but in modern build form.

The Classic Maple is Sable Black so it's classy and has that Ludwig sound with a bit of added warmth due to the edges.

The sound I have in my head is a warm tone, small drums but with a big sound. When I listed to many Broadkaster videos, there is a funny rumble I hear at the end of the sustain of the toms. Is that just me? But when I hear it in a mix...damn the kits sound killer.

I have fallen in love with the kit particularly from guys like Terence Clark and Mark Guiliana. Another good example is The Black Pumas live video (I recognize he has RootsEQs on the drums).

So...talk me off the ledge. Should I sell the Luddy and get the Broadkaster? I have 20/12/14 and would get the same sizes.

What is the different in "that great Gretsch sound" and that "classic Ludwig sound" to you?
So, has anyone talked you off the ledge yet?
 

Slingwig26

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Alright, fellow drummer here chasing a sound in his head - I have a beautiful Classic Maple with all roundover edges. It is a killer kit. No complaints....but I have really be enthralled by Gretsch as of late. My first real kit was a Gretsch Renown. I got complements on its sound almost everywhere I played.

Now, I love "vibe" of the Broadkaster. It comes across as vintage kit with lots of character but in modern build form.

The Classic Maple is Sable Black so it's classy and has that Ludwig sound with a bit of added warmth due to the edges.

The sound I have in my head is a warm tone, small drums but with a big sound. When I listed to many Broadkaster videos, there is a funny rumble I hear at the end of the sustain of the toms. Is that just me? But when I hear it in a mix...damn the kits sound killer.

I have fallen in love with the kit particularly from guys like Terence Clark and Mark Guiliana. Another good example is The Black Pumas live video (I recognize he has RootsEQs on the drums).

So...talk me off the ledge. Should I sell the Luddy and get the Broadkaster? I have 20/12/14 and would get the same sizes.

What is the different in "that great Gretsch sound" and that "classic Ludwig sound" to you?
Hi,
I am a Ludwig guy and I find my Classic Maple is always the best sounding kit I have when listening to a playback whether live or studio.
As much as I want other brands , and try them , and buy them(Slingerland, Rogers , Yamaha, Tama, Pearl, DW, REMO) the Ludwig always sounds better. (to my ears, your results may vary).
I too, love the “idea” of getting a Gretsch Broadkaster kit. I got a new Broadkaster 9x12 tom and an 8x12 USA tom. I found I don’t like the Broadkaster at all and the USA is ok, but not “great”. I actually liked the Gretsch Brooklyn better than the other 2.
See if you can play in person before you buy one, or , buy one drum and see if you like it before you buy the whole kit.
Good Luck.
 
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Slingwig26

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...



Copper Mist. Still available.
What were the cymbals he used at the time?
 

pedro navahas

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A bit of an aside from the main topic but, having skimmed through a bunch of posts, I have to make this point, since we're talking high-dollar drums here and buyers have expectations:

USA Custom Gretsch drums (toms) *with the modern, 30-degree edge* are NOT the classic '60s-era round-badge sound. Not exactly, at least. The modern edge is a more open sound, more sustain, a little less mid-focused. Still a "Gretsch" sound all the way, though.

For the true 6-ply quintessentially classic Gretsch tone, you'd need the 6p maple/gum shell with the classic reverse-roundover edge. I THINK that can be spec'd on USAC drums by request, but it's not standard.

But that's where that sound is...it's that edge difference. It's not USAC by default and it's not Jasper vs. Keller. If you took a Keller 6p maple/gum shell and put the reverse edge on it, you'd have that true '60s RB sound.

I only say this because there are elements out there who have consistently said that current USAC is the continuation of the same Gretsch sound going back to the '60s, and that's NOT the truth. The difference is in the modern edge vs. the reverse edge.

I have both a '60s-era kit and a USAC kit here, both 20-12-14. They're both fantastic. And they're VERY different...mainly because of that edge difference.
This is a great point.
I got the Broadkaster because it had the same edge as my Round Badge kit!
 

codydee12

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So, has anyone talked you off the ledge yet?
Living in the edge still! Going to try some Broadkasters out soon. I’ll have a decision shortly. At this point, I think I have watched every video comparing the Gretsch tonality to my own recordings and read enough thoughts that there is nothing left but to sit behind a kit (which I knew that to begin with but thought it would be fun to discuss with everyone on here).
 

codydee12

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Hi,
I am a Ludwig guy and I find my Classic Maple is always the best sounding kit I have when listening to a playback whether live or studio.
As much as I want other brands , and try them , and buy them(Slingerland, Rogers , Yamaha, Tama, Pearl, DW, REMO) the Ludwig always sounds better. (to my ears, your results may vary).
I too, love the “idea” of getting a Gretsch Broadkaster kit. I got a new Broadkaster 9x12 tom and an 8x12 USA tom. I found I don’t like the Broadkaster at all and the USA is ok, but not “great”. I actually liked the Gretsch Brooklyn better than the other 2.
See if you can play in person before you buy one, or , buy one drum and see if you like it before you buy the whole kit.
Good Luck.
I haven’t thought about buying one or toms just to try. That makes lot of sense though. Probably easier to find a floor tom to the sell if I decide I don’t like it.
I have played ludwigs for years so I am wondering if I am use to the versatility and longer sustain making the Gretsch thing will remain, similarly to you, a cool idea/desire but not really fitting to what I want to own.
regardless, I am pumped to have the opportunityto compare my CM to a broad soon!
 

Ox Han

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I haven’t thought about buying one or toms just to try. That makes lot of sense though. Probably easier to find a floor tom to the sell if I decide I don’t like it.
I have played ludwigs for years so I am wondering if I am use to the versatility and longer sustain making the Gretsch thing will remain, similarly to you, a cool idea/desire but not really fitting to what I want to own.
regardless, I am pumped to have the opportunityto compare my CM to a broad soon!
Where are you located?
 

codydee12

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Well, if this tells y'all anything.......

Here are my thoughts after having the opportunity to play the Broadkasters next to the Classic Maples...and a Sonor SQ1 and a vintage Premier (thank you @jsp210):

  • To begin, I do think that both kits are such great drums. If someone else is on the ledge, I would argue that you are kind of comparing apples to oranges. The conclusion I came to was that if I am only to keep one or the other, I am leaning into the "mojo" and my instinct (and probably some influence of marketing that I am not consciously aware of).
  • The Broadkasters -
    • Very warm kit with a great feel.
    • I really think the roundover edge on any drum creates a better experience in hitting a drum.
    • Focused tone with a strong fundamental note.
    • Shorter sustain than the Ludwig.
    • The kick was an 18" but dang it was low, warm and had a great punch.
    • This probably will sound funny but it just sounds great behind the kit, in front of the kit and mic'd up.
    • There is something to be said when a kit is inspiring sitting behind the drums because of how they feel and sound. I think there are plenty of kits that sound wonderful out front/mic'd up but do not always have the shared experience as the player at the kit. The Gretsch really delivered on this front.
    • I remember as I sat across from JSP210 thinking that I could feel confident setting this kit up knowing that it sounds fantastic outront! As he played it made me excited to bring the BKs to a stage having a bit of pride of how badass the kit sounds.
  • The Classic Maple -
    • Very pronounced with a sharp attack and big sustain.
    • It's a ludwig so you are going to get the warmth in the lower tuning.
    • The kick is tuned with some Keith Carlock inspiration and it really delivers (out front).
    • The feel is great with it having roundovers.
    • The tone of the drum is sharper with it being a 6ply maple. There is a good bit of bite from the toms.
    • If you are looking for a kit that will cut through a mix, this certainly will deliver...which honestly the concept of cutting is something i hear people talk about and don't fully understand. I guess I get it if you are not mic'd or if you are referring to a time when there is one mic for a the whole band... but it just seems like PAs and mic'ing in general have come so far that as long as your sound guy doesn't suck, they should be able to take the tone/character of your drum and let it translate through the mix regardless of how large the venue is. But this is coming from someone who has never played larger crowd than 10k people. I will leave that to the pros to give the verdict of why cutting matters.
    • The kit sounds great with even just 3 mics in a glen johns method and close mic'd. It sound really great out front. I struggle with the sound sitting behind the kit. It lacks depth and warmth just behind the kit. But those characteristics are well translated out front. It records very well!
  • So my conclusion is that I want the Broadkaster. I love the vibe..the mojo...the character of the kit. Things that have less to do with sound alone but also with how I feel inspired behind the kit. I am sure this will change in the future but for now, the Gretsch delivers the joy that I want in a kit.
    • I love the warmth behind the BK kit.
    • I love the feel of the BKs.
    • I think that I can tune the BKs in a wider range than the Luddies while still keeping the BK's true character.
    • It makes me excited to feel confident about the great sound the kit would have for all those around it.
    • Someone said it earlier....I was on the fence which meant that I pretty much already had my mind made up.
 

jsp210

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Well, if this tells y'all anything.......

Here are my thoughts after having the opportunity to play the Broadkasters next to the Classic Maples...and a Sonor SQ1 and a vintage Premier (thank you @jsp210):

  • To begin, I do think that both kits are such great drums. If someone else is on the ledge, I would argue that you are kind of comparing apples to oranges. The conclusion I came to was that if I am only to keep one or the other, I am leaning into the "mojo" and my instinct (and probably some influence of marketing that I am not consciously aware of).
  • The Broadkasters -
    • Very warm kit with a great feel.
    • I really think the roundover edge on any drum creates a better experience in hitting a drum.
    • Focused tone with a strong fundamental note.
    • Shorter sustain than the Ludwig.
    • The kick was an 18" but dang it was low, warm and had a great punch.
    • This probably will sound funny but it just sounds great behind the kit, in front of the kit and mic'd up.
    • There is something to be said when a kit is inspiring sitting behind the drums because of how they feel and sound. I think there are plenty of kits that sound wonderful out front/mic'd up but do not always have the shared experience as the player at the kit. The Gretsch really delivered on this front.
    • I remember as I sat across from JSP210 thinking that I could feel confident setting this kit up knowing that it sounds fantastic outront! As he played it made me excited to bring the BKs to a stage having a bit of pride of how badass the kit sounds.
  • The Classic Maple -
    • Very pronounced with a sharp attack and big sustain.
    • It's a ludwig so you are going to get the warmth in the lower tuning.
    • The kick is tuned with some Keith Carlock inspiration and it really delivers (out front).
    • The feel is great with it having roundovers.
    • The tone of the drum is sharper with it being a 6ply maple. There is a good bit of bite from the toms.
    • If you are looking for a kit that will cut through a mix, this certainly will deliver...which honestly the concept of cutting is something i hear people talk about and don't fully understand. I guess I get it if you are not mic'd or if you are referring to a time when there is one mic for a the whole band... but it just seems like PAs and mic'ing in general have come so far that as long as your sound guy doesn't suck, they should be able to take the tone/character of your drum and let it translate through the mix regardless of how large the venue is. But this is coming from someone who has never played larger crowd than 10k people. I will leave that to the pros to give the verdict of why cutting matters.
    • The kit sounds great with even just 3 mics in a glen johns method and close mic'd. It sound really great out front. I struggle with the sound sitting behind the kit. It lacks depth and warmth just behind the kit. But those characteristics are well translated out front. It records very well!
  • So my conclusion is that I want the Broadkaster. I love the vibe..the mojo...the character of the kit. Things that have less to do with sound alone but also with how I feel inspired behind the kit. I am sure this will change in the future but for now, the Gretsch delivers the joy that I want in a kit.
    • I love the warmth behind the BK kit.
    • I love the feel of the BKs.
    • I think that I can tune the BKs in a wider range than the Luddies while still keeping the BK's true character.
    • It makes me excited to feel confident about the great sound the kit would have for all those around it.
    • Someone said it earlier....I was on the fence which meant that I pretty much already had my mind made up.
It was my pleasure hosting you and getting to hear how my stuff sounds in those spaces from another vantage point with a fine player like yourself at the helm. Glad you share my enthusiasm for what those drums bring to the table.

How ‘bout those Premiers though!
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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Way to go man! Talk about putting your money where your mouth is... Welcome to the dark side ;-)

You hit it on the nail pretty good with your descriptions of the kits. In the mean time, to keep you drooling while you wait for your new kit, if you haven't already, you can browse Ash Soan's YT and social media for some BK porn. The guy does everything from pristine hi-fi recordings to hyper processed drum-machine sounding extravaganza with his BK's... Highly educational and entertaining...

Good luck with the sale of the Ludwigs. Can't wait to see the new pics
 

jsp210

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By the way, I had a chance to both hear and play the Ludwig drums the original poster now has up for sale and they are phenomenal and will make the next owner very happy. Sounds like what I hear in all those spectacular Carter McLean demos and look amazing.
 

charlesm

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don’t forget the no air vents on the round badge. Also part of that old sound.
Not nearly as much a factor as the edges...if at all. My vintage kit is RB kick and early SSB toms, all with vents, and it is still the classic RB tone all the way. It's all about that reverse edge. Any Gretsch kit with that edge, air vents or not, is going to have that mid-present quality.
 

DanRH

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Oh my!!!!! :love4: Love these How could you ever sell??!!!??? You’re breaking my heart! :(
A buddy of mine got these and oh when I played them I was “in love”……..the sound!
Insanity….
 


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