Re: Ludwig Lug Splay Solution
You actually got me thinking about something, Les. The difference between perfection and tolerance.
What I mean is that a kit could be as near to perfect as possible in implementation and still come up short either in design or aesthetics. Or perhaps the design is near perfect and the implementation sucks. Or the kit just "looks" terrible.
Now I think we can toss out aesthetics because it won't affect the sound of the drum. May not look great but for me sound is paramount. So then we are left with implementation and design.
If the design is bad then arguably implementation is a moot issue since the design will yield a negative result no matter what. If the design is sound, then implementation is fairly critical to the success of the design in its intended application. I say "fairly" because some items are more critical than others as far as drums go.
The bearing edge is the foundation for the whole thing. Muck that up and it's over. Same would go for shell integrity (ply separation, etc). After that, it's a game of degrees. How much a given flaw will affect the sound of the drum and the durability of the hardware.
I think lug splay would be near the bottom of significant flaws on both counts. Yea, it's awkward looking but apparently harmless.
I see what you're saying regarding QC and I totally agree. If there was another kit that offered THAT sound with Yamaha-style QC then that would be the obvious choice. And perhaps I could pay more from a boutique and get perfection. But then, I'd be paying significantly more money to avoid what is essentially an aesthetic concern.
$2000 is alot of money to plunk down on a kit...but ya know it's not even close to the top end of what you could pay for a drum kit. Now, if we were talking 8-10k for a Crav, then yes it needs to be perfect...no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But that's a whole other consideration. The guys who can afford Cravs AND don't mind parting with that much cash for a drum kit are gonna be the same guys that demand perfection in nearly everything they want. That's just my observation. The rest of us working poor have to balance out the pros and cons on a lesser kit :-)
Ludwig does need to address the lug splay issue because at the end of the day it does reflect on their QC as a whole. But at the same time, people are still buying those kits. I wonder how many were returned because of lug splay? Probably not enough to get Ludwig's attention. And that speaks volumes about it's significance to most drummers in my eyes.