Just had to share my latest drum experience. I’m a gigging drummer in the Boston area with gigs almost every weekend year ’round. For the past couple of years I’ve been gigging mostly with a mid ’80s Yamaha Recording Custom (22, 12, 15). My snare is typically a ’60s Ludwig Supraphonic.
I recently ordered a brand new set of Ludwig Classic Maples from Drum Center of Portsmouth and they arrived just a few days ago. I went to pick them up the day before a gig. They are 22×14, 13×9, 16×16 and Ludwig threw in a free 14×6.5 snare (an offer I was told had just ended just after I placed my order). The drums feature Ludwig’s Atlas mounting system including the Atlas rail mount.
I played these drums for the first time live at my gig the following day and the difference in sound between these and any other drums I’ve played is night and day.
Big. Warm. Resonant. Dynamic.
When you strike the kick drum, not only do you get a nice thuddy attack, the tone that quickly follows consumes both ear drums like a vacuum so that you barely hear anything else for about a second. You also feel it in your chest as most of your inner organs vibrate. There’s nothing like being aware of where exactly your lungs are located in your chest every time you lean on that pedal. Wow.
The 13×9 tom is very dynamic. Hit it softly and she reacts gently with mellow tones. Start to lean on it a little more and she opens up even more. Give it all you got and she explodes with attack and tone all day long.
The 16×16 floor is a beast all on its own. A perfect combination of attack and tone. Deep tone. It’s like an ocean swell during a tropical storm. She surges and swells and you know there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on under the surface that you’ll never understand but love how it sounds from above.
When I placed my order, Ludwig had offered a free snare of choice (14×5 or 14×6.5) and I opted for the 6.5″ depth. This is not just a cheap freebie they throw in for incentive purposes either. This is a legit drum on its own. As with the rest of the kit, it’s a 7 ply maple shell that has that nice crack as well as a warm tone that cuts through everything without being too harsh on the ears. It blends well with the rest of the kit as well as the rest of the band musically.
I’m very particular about finishes and color. I love seeing the wood grain but also love some wraps (not all). In fact, I regard drum finishes like tattoos. Whatever I decide, I better damn love it 10 or even 20 years from now. So choose wisely. I went with Ludwig’s vintage white marine pearl and I couldn’t be more blown away. Not only does it look great in a vintage, throw-back, drum history kinda way, but it has a very chameleon quality to it. It changes color depending on it’s environment. I’m not kidding. I mean, it’s not like going from blue to green, but it does seem to absorb/reflect the colors of the room it’s in and as a result it can go from having a greenish hue to a bluish tint or sometimes it looks amber. In some photos it looks pure white as well. Every time I look at it from a different angle, it’s like seeing it for the first time.
The kit as a whole is harmonious. All 4 drums sound like one instrument. It’s an animal. It’s an absolute joy to play. Most drums I hit AT with sticks. The Ludwig Maple Classic I hit IN TO. It’s a different thing altogether. I don’t have to work as hard to get the sound I want out of them.
If you are in the market for a new kit and not sure what to get, check out the Ludwig Classic Maples along with every other brand out there. Don’t ignore these drums.