There hasn't been enough Ludwig porn as of late, so I figured this thread needs a punt! :-)
Since this is the "Ludwig Fan Club", I figured I'd throw in my $0.02 on Ludwig's new Retro Element SE line, now that I finally have the kit tuned and tweaked to my liking. The shells are made out of cherry and gumwood. Sort of a rounded over bearing edge. They're made overseas with a mid-range price point. On par with the Centennials, with the same hardware as far as I can tell. I just got the bass and three toms as a broken up "2 up, 2 down" kit. The toms have coated Emperors over coated Ambassadors and the bass drum has a Fiberskyn PS3 on the batter, and for the reso I got a smooth Ludwig heavy Weathermaster to replace the stock coated power collar head.
As I have it set up, these drums have a fantastic warm sound. I've been having more fun playing these than my classic maples lately. Sort of the "newness" thing, but also it's just such a pleasant, mellow sound.
They're really worth checking out. Ludwig is definitely back in a big way.