Re: Brand new Ludwig Kit...do my heads really suck?
I will agree with what everyone else is saying here. I have a set of Classic Maples and I think you can rest assured, the problems you're experiencing are primarily the heads. Change them to one of the combos suggested here and you'll be much happier.
As to why Ludwig uses these, I can't say, but the Ludwig heads are not preferred by very many people. They apparently use a different type of plastic for their film, and as mentioned, their medium is equivalent to a Remo Diplomat in thickness. The last time I really loved a Ludwig head was in the 70's and 80's when we used Silver Dots on our marching snare drums. It's too bad, because I really like their collar and hoop design.
Another poster mentioned that the Classic Maples will sound much different than your Yamahas, and this is absolutely true, as well. It may take a period of adjustment. The Ludwigs have a distinctive sound of their own, but it ain't like a Yamaha.
Good luck. Hope you end up liking your kit as much as I like mine!