Bizarre experience with Ludwig...

deadletteroffice

Junior Member
I started this thread about a Ludwig Classic Maple kit I bought about 8 weeks ago or something now.

https://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=164794

Ludwig sent me 2 different replacement bass drums, and both (the original included for a total of 3) had the same issue.

What resulted was I finally sent back the entire kit for a different wrap in the hopes that this issue was isolated to the Red Sparkle. The new kit is Vintage Blue Oyster. No issue with the wrap. Some of a the lug screws were very bent though. I swapped those out for good screws from the shells I was returning. As a bonus, the new kit came with a "free" 5x14 snare. Nice! As this was unexpected, and I had planned to buy a snare anyways, I went ahead and ordered a matching 6.5x14 as well so I would have the pair, 5x14 and 6.5x14, all matching.

When the 6.5x14 arrived I started removing the factory snare wire and the bottom head in order to put good heads on it. As I'm situating the rim and the new head I'm scooting the head around trying to get it evenly seated. It won't. I think, "this head must be warped". I grab a tape measure and measure it each way. Nope. Head is fine. Maybe I'm insane, repeat. Same thing. So then I measure the drum. It's 14 inches left to right, 13.5 top to bottom. The freaking brand new shell is warped like an egg.

I email Sweetwater and alert them. This after 3 kick drum failures and a complete replacement kit. They have another of the same snare in stock. I ask them to get that out to me ASAP as I have a session coming up fast.

They respond back "I inspected the other one we have in stock and it is also warped. We'll have to order another from Ludwig".

What a bonkers experience. Bad wraps. Warped snare shells. Bent lug screws. WTH?

I love the history of Lugwig. But all of this is making me very uneasy about the entire kit at this point.
 

thunderstruck

Silver Member
I feel for you. I personally know of someone who ordered a Ludwig Classic Maple, from Sweetwater, and needed to return the entire kit due to issues with the finish. I hope Sweetwater / Ludwig makes things right for you.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I will tell you that Ludwig did have some QC issues maybe 4-5 years ago, but since then they've really clamped down to make sure everything is up to spec in every way when it leaves the factory. Competition demands it, and their reputation and continued growth depend on it.

Beyond that, I don't know what to say. Ludwig is my brand of choice and I hate to hear when there's a problem, even as infrequent as that is lately. But 3 bass drums? Yow! It's hard to imagine that Ludwig is having such repeated problems, but I don't know that it would be Sweetwater's problem.

I personally thank you for your patience, I know you'll love the drums once they're right. FWIW, I guarantee that both Sweetwater and Ludwig aren't enjoying this mess either, and I hope they're making your replacement gear a top priority. The factory can make a kit pretty fast when they need to. Sweetwater is an important client for Ludwig, and Sweetwater's customers are important to them.

Bermuda
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
I'll go out on a limb and speculate that it's a short-term, transient issue. From my own experience, it takes a bit of time to rectify the problem once identified. In this case for example, there's clearly a QA issue. I'm sure that was identified fairly quick, but beyond that, tracing the cause can take time. (Which employee or perhaps supervisor dropped the ball) Also even once rectified, there is still stock in transit and in other ways beyond inspection.
 

deadletteroffice

Junior Member
I will tell you that Ludwig did have some QC issues maybe 4-5 years ago, but since then they've really clamped down to make sure everything is up to spec in every way when it leaves the factory. Competition demands it, and their reputation and continued growth depend on it.

Beyond that, I don't know what to say. Ludwig is my brand of choice and I hate to hear when there's a problem, even as infrequent as that is lately. But 3 bass drums? Yow! It's hard to imagine that Ludwig is having such repeated problems, but I don't know that it would be Sweetwater's problem.

I personally thank you for your patience, I know you'll love the drums once they're right. FWIW, I guarantee that both Sweetwater and Ludwig aren't enjoying this mess either, and I hope they're making your replacement gear a top priority. The factory can make a kit pretty fast when they need to. Sweetwater is an important client for Ludwig, and Sweetwater's customers are important to them.

Bermuda
Sweetwater has been very apologetic and helpful along the way for the most part. In the old days issues of this sort would be dealt with first hand by your sales rep. Now they have a department they hand you off to which can be a bit formal, but when it gets too by the book I just reach back out to my guy and things get back on track. After all the insanity with the first kit, when this new snare arrived warped I couldn't believe it. My email to my sales rep started with something like..."you're never going to believe this..."

The interesting thing was that both of the replacement bass drums came from Ludwig direct to my door. Knowing it was to settle an issue one would think they would inspect the ones going out. Nope. Sent me 2 more bad ones. Appears to be a gapping hole in their QC. Kind of a bummer for arguably the most famous brand in the history of drums.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
When the 6.5x14 arrived I started removing the factory snare wire and the bottom head in order to put good heads on it. As I'm situating the rim and the new head I'm scooting the head around trying to get it evenly seated. It won't. I think, "this head must be warped". I grab a tape measure and measure it each way. Nope. Head is fine. Maybe I'm insane, repeat. Same thing. So then I measure the drum. It's 14 inches left to right, 13.5 top to bottom. The freaking brand new shell is warped like an egg.
I just want to be sure about something....

When you measured, you had BOTH heads removed, right?
 

KEEF

Senior Member
My local drum shop recently proudly advertised a Black Beauty 14x8 snare just arrived - I pointed out that the badge was on crooked and for a little over £1000 ,it perhaps shouldn't be? They responded " oh that's Ludwig for you"
Granted not a massive issue, but that's their flagship drum and that kind of basic sloppiness makes me wonder what else might not be done right and is enough to put me off buying anything of theirs.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I have a 100th Anniversary " Ringo " set , the wrap is breaking up around the lugs. When i bought them they were in unused condition.. Contacted a Ludwig distributor and was told that as i'm not the original purchaser nothing can be done. Suck it up! i guess. another Flagship line. The cloudy area around the lug is the top layer cracking and breaking away.
 

Attachments

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Sorry to hear that you are having so many problems with your Ludwigs. I have a 2016 Ludwig Classic Maple that is in flawless condition and it sounds fantastic. I also have a newish Black Beauty, a newish Classic Maple snare, and a newish Ludwig Bronze snare. None of them have any issues.

So, I do think your issue is most likely not all that common. It doesn't help you, but hopefully they get it fixed soon.
 

TMe

Senior Member
...I pointed out that the badge was on crooked...
If it was an olive and blue badge, and one corner was nipped off, and there was no serial number, I think it was a "B-stock" drum and should have been discounted accordingly.

Anyone else know more about that?
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
You would hope, and think that Ludwig would inspect the drums CLOSELY enough to see such a problem BEFORE it even left the building it was manufactured in. I think a lot of companies rely on the customers ignorance, hoping to just, "get by" with these problems. And, if by chance someone actually notices a problem, then they'll take care of it. Ludwig is just another company making money. 100% perfection in production is rare I would guess anyway.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
100% perfection in production is rare I would guess anyway.
I would say that's the case for pretty much any product from any company. Wherever there's a human element involved, there's potential for some detail being missed. In the drum world, I don't think any company or product is immune to occasional problems. That goes for heads, sticks, hardware, shell integrity, finishes, cymbals, etc. from legacy companies like Ludwig, Gretsch, and Zildjian, to newer companies like DW and boutique craftsmen.

One thing is for sure, in the internet age where experiences and opinions (and the photos to back them up!) are shared immediately to a world-wide audience, companies bend over backwards to make sure problems are handled to each customer's satisfaction. Mistakes are obviously an issue, but just as important is how those mistakes are subsequently resolved.

No company is perfect, and Ludwig tries very hard to retain their position in drummers' hearts (and ears) especially after some issues a few years ago. I know they'll make this right.

Bermuda
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I just want to be sure about something....

When you measured, you had BOTH heads removed, right?
I was thinking the same thing. I've measured with one head not knowing that a drum can measure differently on the headed vs. non headed side due to just head tension.
 

TMe

Senior Member
Since we're talking Ludwig, I have a question about the B-stock drums.

If I'm buying a drum where the serial number has been cut from the badge to mark it as B-stock because of slight defects, how do I know the drum isn't actually stolen, and the serial number removed after the theft?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Since we're talking Ludwig, I have a question about the B-stock drums.

If I'm buying a drum where the serial number has been cut from the badge to mark it as B-stock because of slight defects, how do I know the drum isn't actually stolen, and the serial number removed after the theft?
As a seller, I maintain the original receipts for inspection during resale.

Otherwise, you don't know, outside the obvious beverly-shear marks on the edge of the badge.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Since we're talking Ludwig, I have a question about the B-stock drums.

If I'm buying a drum where the serial number has been cut from the badge to mark it as B-stock because of slight defects, how do I know the drum isn't actually stolen, and the serial number removed after the theft?
Ludwig only cuts the blue/olive badge on the 5" deep snares (because it won't fit above the bead otherwise) but on deeper snares they use uncut numberless badges.

If there is no sign of the badge being cut while ON the drum and there is no sign of the badge having been removed and replaced (like an odd or loose grommet) I'd go with the notion the drum is a legitimate B-stock drum.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I would say that's the case for pretty much any product from any company. Wherever there's a human element involved, there's potential for some detail being missed. In the drum world, I don't think any company or product is immune to occasional problems. That goes for heads, sticks, hardware, shell integrity, finishes, cymbals, etc. from legacy companies like Ludwig, Gretsch, and Zildjian, to newer companies like DW and boutique craftsmen.

One thing is for sure, in the internet age where experiences and opinions (and the photos to back them up!) are shared immediately to a world-wide audience, companies bend over backwards to make sure problems are handled to each customer's satisfaction. Mistakes are obviously an issue, but just as important is how those mistakes are subsequently resolved.

No company is perfect, and Ludwig tries very hard to retain their position in drummers' hearts (and ears) especially after some issues a few years ago. I know they'll make this right.

Bermuda
I totally agree. As I said, perfection is rare. But ONE customer continuing to deal with problems like these. . .it's not Karma.
 
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