Yamaha MCA or Ludwig Classic Maple??

elosarma

Junior Member
Hey all, I was looking to get some opinions on both kits - more so, if anyone has played both.

I am planning on buying brand new, thing is the MCAs are like double the price! and thats b/c you get what you pay for. Ive played the new MCAs in smaller jazz sizes, 18' bass etc..and they sound great!, the tom mounts are great as well..

BUT - for me to get a 5 piece shell pack im looking at like 5 Genos..Ludwig classics are literally half that. I've read up on them, looks like Ludwig has done a turnaround, shells are American made in North Carolina.

I know the deciding factor should be what sounds and feels good..I just wanted to get some opinions on my circumstance. No music store in my area has the ludwig maples so its hard to hear....any thoughts???

Im looking to go: 20x16 bass - 10x8, 12x8, 14x12 - 14x6 snare
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
I own Yamaha MCAN's and haven't played the Ludwig Classics.

Here's a comparison/discussion about Ludwig Classics vs. DW Collectors Maple on a recording forum.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/drums/373711-ludwig-classic-maple-vs-dw-collectors-maple-studio-review.html

My gut feel is that the Yamaha would have a bit clearer sound. The Ludwigs would have a ...well...more classic sound. As one post says, a bit rounder perhaps. Warmer might be also a description but as you can see by the discussion above, warmer can in some cases mean muddy.

However, this is speculation and not from experience. My only experience with Ludwig kits is way back in high school days (horse and buggy times) when I had an original Ludwig kit (12, 16, 22, 14). I don't remember how it sounded besides 'good'.

Somebody else might know this for sure but I think the Yamahas have a double 45 degree edge which might have something to do with the clarity of sound.

Frankly, if money is an issue, I'd have no reservations about buying the Ludwig. Unless you are recording, you are probably splitting hairs. I love Yamaha's hardware but if you wanted that instead of Ludwig, order a shell kit and outfit it with Yamaha hardware.

HTH

JIm
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I'd say, if you're really interested in Ludwig, and on the fence about Yamaha vs. Ludwig, then you need to drive "out of your area" and play a Ludwig kit. Even if it takes up a whole day. Plenty of my days have been taken up with "drum stuff".​
More info ... what "style" do you play? What "sound" are you looking for? What do you play now? Do they sound good to you? What drums have you played? Have you listened to sound bites of Luddies and Yamaha's (there's plenty out there)? Any star players come to mind, that play Yamaha or Ludwig, that moves you to make a choice?​
 

elosarma

Junior Member
Thanks shedboyxx, that little comparison gave a good review of the Ludwigs - pretty much the same kinda things ive been reading around about them. And yes, Yamaha's hardware is by far the gold standard IMO, i think your suggestion would be best; getting the shells and hardware separate if I do go Ludwig.

Harryconway, you're right about having to go check out a set somewhere, especially since this is a somewhat 'big' purchase..well its the kit im going to have for the next while..
About me: I play a Yamaha Birch stage custom right now..punchy, and can get that warmth when tuned correct..however I wanna get into maples for the tone, warmth and overall quality in my next kit.

The band I play with is more ambient stuff, comparable to bands say like: Grizzly Bear but can get as heavy as say 'Foals' or 'Tera Melos' - not exactly punk, messy playing..
So I would say Im looking to get more tone, warmth - where the drums speak, instead of make 'punchy' noise as my Birch Stage Custom does. dont get me wrong, my stage custom is great, im just looking to get more tone.

Ive heard sound bites of both (memphisdrumshop.com); the Luddies do sound great however you can only hear so much from a recording..you do need to be there. I've just been seeing alot of indie bands playing on Conan O'Brien - as well as other talk shows lol - and seeing the Ludwig name across the bass head, along with some killer finishes..I know thats not a deciding factor...but having seen them around more often, Im lead to believe that alot of other signed drummers see the quality and enjoy the sounds they get. OR they were sponsored lol....im not interested in that Chinese maple, which is why I've narrowed it down to these two.
just price is the concern..do I get what I pay for, and pay for what I want to get?(yamaha) or can I go half way with a drum company that supposedly fabricates a really good kit, made in the USA w. non-china maple?

I dont know what to do! I do alot of gigging so they are being brought around everywhere- cases are a must with whatever kit I end up getting..
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I own Yamaha MCAN's and haven't played the Ludwig Classics.

Here's a comparison/discussion about Ludwig Classics vs. DW Collectors Maple on a recording forum.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/drums/373711-ludwig-classic-maple-vs-dw-collectors-maple-studio-review.html

My gut feel is that the Yamaha would have a bit clearer sound. The Ludwigs would have a ...well...more classic sound. As one post says, a bit rounder perhaps. Warmer might be also a description but as you can see by the discussion above, warmer can in some cases mean muddy.

However, this is speculation and not from experience. My only experience with Ludwig kits is way back in high school days (horse and buggy times) when I had an original Ludwig kit (12, 16, 22, 14). I don't remember how it sounded besides 'good'.

Somebody else might know this for sure but I think the Yamahas have a double 45 degree edge which might have something to do with the clarity of sound.

Frankly, if money is an issue, I'd have no reservations about buying the Ludwig. Unless you are recording, you are probably splitting hairs. I love Yamaha's hardware but if you wanted that instead of Ludwig, order a shell kit and outfit it with Yamaha hardware.

HTH

JIm
I wrote that comparison, so if I can answer any questions for you, please let me know. By the way, I loved that DW rock sound, but I felt like the kit was too much of a one-trick pony, so I sold it. I bought a couple of C&C kits, as well as a Ludwig Legacy kit, so I can speak to those kits if you are interested.

Cheers-
Paul
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Classic Maples are outstanding drums at a fraction of the price. I love mine, I just didn't love the struggle to get some made with any sort of quality control. I would never order again, direct from Ludwig.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I didn't have any problems with Ludwig on either my Classic Maple kit or on my Legacy kit. I did have huge problems with my Gretsch USA Custom kit and with my C&C kit. Doesn't mean the drums don't sound great, it just means sh*t happens.
 

Elsuperbeasto

Junior Member
Not to discount your experiences with Ludwig, Zambizzi, but I just received this new Ludwig Legacy Classic kit directly from Ludwig last week and it's perfect. It was definitely worth the wait.
 

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KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I have 3 Ludwig Classic Maple kits, and use I them for different settings. They always sound great. LOTS of compliments.

I've had no QC problems at all (since '90), but sometimes things happen (all for one person it seems.. :-( ).

I've been able to use a ton of different heads, and different tunings and have gotten any sound I wanted pretty easily with the CM's.
I'd say they have a pretty wide tuning range. Definitely NOT a one trick pony shell.

I use DW hardware these days, but Yamaha hardware is great too.
I used to have a ton of it (7000 and 9000, so probably literally a ton haha!).

I have a friend that has a MCA, and they do sound nice, but I'd still rather have my Ludwig's.
He bought a CM kit a year or 2 ago, and it's basically the only kit he plays now, even though he also has 2 Yamaha kits...

Have fun when you get the new drums!
 

elosarma

Junior Member
Not to discount your experiences with Ludwig, Zambizzi, but I just received this new Ludwig Legacy Classic kit directly from Ludwig last week and it's perfect. It was definitely worth the wait.
How long did it take to have them made, and how were they delivered to you?

Chunkaway & Karlcrafton- what sizes are your CC kits? I want to know if any of you have played a 20' bass drum - does it have the same punch that a 22' would have?
I ask b/c I feel that I want to play a 20', I currently am playing a 22' birch stage custom..but perhaps the 20' will have the warmth, but punch that I may need at times?

and did you guys get the in bass drum tom mount, how do the toms on the Ludwig CCs mount?? I see Elsuperbeasto has no sort of attached mounts to the shells - is why I ask..

you guys have been great btw :)
 

Elsuperbeasto

Junior Member
How long did it take to have them made, and how were they delivered to you?

Chunkaway & Karlcrafton- what sizes are your CC kits? I want to know if any of you have played a 20' bass drum - does it have the same punch that a 22' would have?
I ask b/c I feel that I want to play a 20', I currently am playing a 22' birch stage custom..but perhaps the 20' will have the warmth, but punch that I may need at times?

and did you guys get the in bass drum tom mount, how do the toms on the Ludwig CCs mount?? I see Elsuperbeasto has no sort of attached mounts to the shells - is why I ask..

you guys have been great btw :)
They took 9 weeks from order to delivery. They were direct shipped via UPS Ground.

Here is Memphis Drum Shop's Ludwig page so you can get an idea of the mounts. Most have standard mounts, but the Sky Blue Pearl kit has a vintage rail mount. (I have no affiliation with MDS, just sharing my favorite site for Ludwig p0rn)

http://memphisdrumshop.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_74
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
I have 3 Ludwig Classic Maple kits, and use I them for different settings. They always sound great. LOTS of compliments.

I've had no QC problems at all (since '90), but sometimes things happen (all for one person it seems.. :-( ).

I've been able to use a ton of different heads, and different tunings and have gotten any sound I wanted pretty easily with the CM's.
I'd say they have a pretty wide tuning range. Definitely NOT a one trick pony shell.

I use DW hardware these days, but Yamaha hardware is great too.
I used to have a ton of it (7000 and 9000, so probably literally a ton haha!).

I have a friend that has a MCA, and they do sound nice, but I'd still rather have my Ludwig's.
He bought a CM kit a year or 2 ago, and it's basically the only kit he plays now, even though he also has 2 Yamaha kits...

Have fun when you get the new drums!
I will add that there is something impressive about Ludwig CM bass drums. They sound so open and natural, not dark and deep like some other kits. To me, it is a really identifiable, natural sound.

Although I do still worry about QC at Ludwig. A dealer friend of mine just told me that Gretsch New Classics may have better QC on the whole compared to some Ludwigs. A la Zambizzi experience, my friend's shop just got a Keystone kit in, ordered by a customer, and they noticed a lug casing was stripped along with a few other flaws. Eek!

I know all builders can have bad days, but one would hope that QC would be good enough to prevent such glaring errors as stripped lug casings or the like. Still, I wouldn't mind getting a CM kit--I'd just want a dealer to inspect that bad-boy with a toothbrush to make sure it's fine.
 

scorch whammin

Gold Member
Both kits are very good..however for me nothing compares overall to Yamaha..from hardware to shell construction to fit/finish...yamaha are IMO second to none...
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Regarding that "Recording Comparison".. Why are they comparing two different shell designs.. ?? If you are aiming for lowest note (for whatever reason).., then compare the Ludwig Legacy to the dw.

Regarding Ludwig CM to Yamaha MCA.., they will both sound great.. but what is important to you ??? The Yamaha's have nicer quality metal/chrome components.. and maybe an advantage in shell quality IMO.. Although I like the Ludwigs just fine.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I love my Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute drums. I actually picked them from the examples of most other high end kits and they're probably the last kit I would ever sell. As someone said way back when, " they would have to pry them from my cold dead hands", lol. Having said that, I'm too looking at both the Ludwig Classic Maple and Legacy lines but more for a nostalgic reason than anything else, but they have to be in "white marine pearl".





Dennis
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Regarding that "Recording Comparison".. Why are they comparing two different shell designs.. ?? If you are aiming for lowest note (for whatever reason).., then compare the Ludwig Legacy to the dw.

Regarding Ludwig CM to Yamaha MCA.., they will both sound great.. but what is important to you ??? The Yamaha's have nicer quality metal/chrome components.. and maybe an advantage in shell quality IMO.. Although I like the Ludwigs just fine.
I wrote the comparison, but I'm not sure what you are asking. Those were the two drum kits I had for the recording. The band was an alt.country/rock band, so some of the tunes were mellow and some rocked, thus we went for some different sounds- I also used 3 different snares.

The engineer and I did not aim for the lowest note, rather we tuned the drums to the place where they sounded the best. For the DW drums this was at a lower pitch than the Ludwigs. We weren't "trying or aiming" for anything, we were just going with what sounded the best with each drum. When we tried to tune the DW drums to a higher pitch they choked out and sounded boxy. By the way, the engineer worked with Wilco, among others, so he does know what he is doing. Me, on the other hand.... :)
 
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