Ludwig Drums are celebrating 110 years in 2019. When many people think of a Ludwig USA Drum Set they think of the Classic Maple line, or perhaps the Legacy Maple line. Not many people are aware that Ludwig manufactures 5 distinct, high-end lines right here in the USA.
Our latest in-depth video shootout features all 5 Ludwig USA drum set lines head to head in order to help you find YOUR ideal Ludwig sound! For the most informative comparison possible, we ordered each kit in the same configuration and even the same Black Oyster Pearl finish! 10x8, 12x9, 14x14, 16x6, 22x14 and 14x6.5 snare drum. The only variations in size were in the rack toms for the Club Date (an inch shallower), and the kick drum depth for the Keystone X (2 inches deeper).
The Ludwig Club Date features full-bodied tone, soft attack, and amplified presence. Its thin, maple/poplar shell sports rounded bearing edges that gives you more tone from the shell itself. The light-weight design offers a more budget accessible Vintage-Classic option. This series is re-imagined with the highly sought after flat imperial lug.
We love the bang you get for your buck with this line. Tons of vibe, plenty of tone, and the bass drum has SERIOUS thump.
Preferred by professionals for its tonal versatility, Classic Maple drums are the ideal choice for pretty much any application. Its high sensitivity, wide dynamic tuning range, and sharp attack make it the ideal choice for live performance. The 7-ply maple shells and 45 degree edges yield plenty of high and mid-range frequencies, with just enough low end thud.
This is Ludwig's bread and butter line of USA made drums, and the most highly recommended from us at Drum Center of Portsmouth.
The Keystone X is all about fusing Classic Maple tone with added projection for modern rock applications. To achieve this, Ludwig added American Red Oak to its maple shell and gave it dual 45 degree edges. Keystone Series is made under the same strict quality and structural standards as all Classic Maple and Legacy drums. A perfect balance between high-volume cut and subtle articulation is achieved for the live music drummer, putting a modern twist on a century of custom American drum making.
The most affordable Ludwig USA Drum Set line in our comparison, it's hard to argue with the value of the Keystone X.
That sound from the 1970's! The Legacy Maple is Ludwig's flagship professional drum line. Vintage drums from Ludwig's Golden Era are treasured for tonal purity in recording environments. Legacy Maple is a decidedly modern twist on that vintage shell formula. The thin Maple/Poplar/Maple shell construction with maple re-rings have rounded 30 degree edges. This allows for maximum contact with the drum head. The result is gorgeous, buttery maple tone with a more balanced delivery.
The Ludwig USA Legacy Maple line proved to be a winner for a few of us here at Drum Center of Portsmouth. Not as much volume or tuning range as the Classic Maples, but when they are dialed in the tone is to die for!
Ludwig's newest offering is also their most classic. The most sought afterdrum tone returns, and an American Legend is reborn. The Ludwig Legacy Mahogany series is a return of the shell that was the core of Ludwig drums for over 50 years. Handcrafted in Monroe, NC, the 3-ply Mahogany/Poplar/Mahogany shell with solid 1" thick maple reinforcement rings utilizes a process refined through a century of drum manufacturing. The result is a tone with rich sonic warmth that only Ludwig can produce. Ludwig Legacy Mahogany is the quietest of the group, but also packs the most dark, low end rumble.
This was by far our most rewarding comparison of high-end drums to date. Each Ludwig line has its own completely unique voice. Want versatility? Grab yourself some Classic Maples. If you want vintage tone without the unpredictability that comes with vintage drums check out Legacy Mahogany or Legacy Maple. Need to project clean volume? Keystone X is the ideal modern rock sound. Club Date is a solid choice for the gigging drummer looking for optimal vintage tone without breaking the bank.
Ludwig Drums is the number one brand at Drum Center of Portsmouth. We carry more Ludwig Drum Sets and Snare Drums than anyone. If you are looking for your dream Ludwig USA drum set, talk to the Ludwig pros at Drum Center of Portsmouth!