Ludwig Signet vs Gretsch Catalina Maple

Which of these kits would YOU prefer?

  • Ludwig

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Gretsch

    Votes: 1 100.0%

  • Total voters
    1
  • Poll closed .

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
The Ludwig Neusonics are basically the Signets with actual lugs installed. I had the same concerns with the Signets and the loose-fitting lugs, but after three years, I haven't heard about anybody's Signets giving them problems. So the jury is still out on those.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I am not sold on the Signets. They're made in America (which is great) but that means they have an invisible "USA tax" added to the price because the cost of labor and doing business here is so much higher than it is in Asia. That means that the kit costs roughly $100-300 more than it would if it were manufactured in Asia.
I'm perfectly fine paying an extra $100-$300 if it means a company in the USA stays open and people keep their jobs, especially here in NC. I live about 2 hours away from Monroe.


While I'm not a big fan of the lugs, from what I can tell, no one has had any problems with them (or there are no common problems with them, or they would have popped up all over the forums). I think they've been out for 5 years or so (I think), and while they aren't the coolest kid in school, I don't think those lugs have caused many issues as far as I can tell.
 

moldmaker

Member
The owner told me that this particular kit was new in 2015. It was gigged and not sitting around with no tension on the lugs. I will remove one and take a look at the fit of the lugs to the holes. I will also switch heads over to the Cats and see how they sound.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Yeah I don't want anything "snap-on" if I'm playing gig and need everything to work all of the time. Just something I don't want to risk.
 

moldmaker

Member
I took the advice and swapped out the Studio-X heads with the heads from my CB kit. Not sure why I didn't think of that myself, but thanks to those that suggested it.
IPad video in the basement. That's all I have. This is the 12" toms. Ludwig is coated emperor. Gretsch is coated ambassador.

14" toms. Ludwig is coated emperor. Gretsch is coated pinstripe.

I tried to tune them as close as I could to the same pitch, reso heads too. Though, tuning isn't one of my strengths. The Cats sound MUCH better than they did before. It seems to me that they are warmer than the Signets and don't have as much attack. I don't think that's better or worse, but I still like the sound of the Ludwig kit as a whole. I'll see if I can another video later.

I took a real close look at all the batter-side bearing edges on both kits. The Cats look pretty beat up. It's hard to tell if they were made that way or a previous owner inflicted some damage.

What do you think?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I liked the sound of the Catalinas better on both videos.

The 12" Signet is slightly dampened by the claws on the snare basket. That's not necessarily bad if you like the decay how it is. If you want more sustain, you can try loosening the stand around the drum slightly, or putting small pieces of foam underneath each claw.

As for the Catalina's bearing edges, if they still sound good and tune up good, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I have a first generation Catalina, I think your standard coated over clear Ambassadors get the most out of them. I didn't like it with the Evans heads that came with it. Didn't have the mids and warmth.

It was a budget based choice so that I could spend more money on other parts of the kit.

I knew was going Gretsch when I upgraded anyway I actually prefer the sound of my Catalina to other budget kits. It's not a quality thing, it's a character thing.

I've been lucky as the only hardware issue I've had was that the threads on the tom stand's memory lock stripped out. That happened the day I got it, but no other issues in the 8 years I've had it.

It's a personal taste choice, but I'll agree that it's not a fair comparison with those heads on it.

If you want a more modern sound, then yes, Stage Customs are probably a better choice.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I took the advice and swapped out the Studio-X heads with the heads from my CB kit. Not sure why I didn't think of that myself, but thanks to those that suggested it.

I tried to tune them as close as I could to the same pitch, reso heads too. Though, tuning isn't one of my strengths. The Cats sound MUCH better than they did before. It seems to me that they are warmer than the Signets and don't have as much attack. I don't think that's better or worse, but I still like the sound of the Ludwig kit as a whole. I'll see if I can another video later.

What do you think?
There ya go.

I'll go Catalina in most situations, also in this one. I just like the basic timbre and response much better, but yes, propper tuning goes a long way. Clean edges and a new head will refine things even further.

Poor edges on an inexpensive kit can be helped with a bit of wax. Just use a candle.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Do the edges look dinged and dented, or do they look like they have all sorts of pits and tear out in them? My Catalina's had all kinds of pits and tear out in them so I cut new edges.

Here are photos of what my edges liked like:


Had to do quite a bit of ply gap filling as well. In the end they tuned up and sounded great, but they did need work to get them there.
 
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moldmaker

Member
Do the edges look dinged and dented, or do they look like they have all sorts of pits and tear out in them? My Catalina's had all kinds of pits and tear out in them so I cut new edges.

Here are photos of what my edges liked like:


Had to do quite a bit of ply gap filling as well. In the end they tuned up and sounded great, but they did need work to get them there.
Mine do not look like yours. There's no wood missing, just dented. That is some awesome work you did!
 
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