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  #1  
Old 01-23-2014, 07:32 PM
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Default Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

There’s already been a lot of speculation and opinion and misinformation about these, based entirely on a cursory press-release, and the handful of kits that GC has displayed over the last few weeks. Hopefully I can help clarify what these drums are - and aren’t - with more complete info, and my observations having played and been hands-on with them for the last three days.

First off, the “105” in the name is not how many loose parts come in the box... it stands for the 105th anniversary of Ludwig. However, I doubt there’ll be a Signet 106, Signet 107 etc in subsequent years. :)

The shells are made in Ludwig’s Monroe factory, alongside the Classic Maple, Legacy and Keystone drums. It’s a 6-ply maple shell, with the 7th “ply” being the finish. It’s not applied as a wrap though, it’s a ply, and there’s no obvious seam. The edge is a dual 45, like the Keystones, and the three finishes are Indian Teak, Alpine Blue, and Macassar Ebony, which is my favorite. (see pics below, sorry about the flare on the teak bass drum...)

Assembly is painless and fast, they say 30 minutes for a full kit, although it would certainly go faster for most people, 20 minutes maybe? Lugs ‘snap’ into existing holes, and the legs and mounts are tightened into place with a drum key – no other tools needed. (see pic below) And you need only do it once, nobody is expected to regularly disasemble and reassemble them. A lot of people will buy them right off the dealer’s floor, so they’ve already done the work for you.

The drums are supplied with Monroe-made clear Ludwig heads, so they have some attack, but not in a cheap, bangy way. There’s obvious full tone and good decay, and I’m sure that your favorite heads will yield an excellent sound. I’m thinking a coated head would sound best, even on the kick. Don’t forget, these have a Classic Maple and Keystone pedigree, they’re not engineered to sound cheap. They sound like more expensive drums, go figure!

The lugs are lightweight, with a hint of the old Standard lug design and the familiar 3 lines Ludwig has used for decades. Tom and floor tom leg mounts are the triad Suspension Mount, an ATLAS-like mount that also serves as a replacement or upgrade to the Keystone mount (same hole spacing.) It’s a lower profile than the ATLAS, the T-screw is more on the side of the mount so it doesn’t stick out. It’s designed for a larger post, but easily grips 9.5mm (3/8”) classic “antler” holders. The kick spurs are a very simple, fold-down, one-position design. There is no height adjustment, and the front of the drum is angled up at a comfortable level, possibly a little high for some though. But they’re sufficiently sturdy. And if a drummer expects to be able to thrash on these, he’s barking up the wrong kit in the first place. They’re not designed for abuse.

Head changes are as normal, with one small detail... the lugs may rotate slightly out of alignment after the tension rod is removed. They won’t fall out, but they can skew a little. It’s a simple matter of turning the lug back into the right direction when screwing the rod back in. It’s not really a big deal, unless you’re constantly changing heads.

I was amazed at was the lightness of the drums, particularly the kick. The lighter spurs, lugs and claws make a huge difference, and that’s nice for everyone who carries their own drums... which is everyone. :)

There are two configurations. The GigaBeat: 8.5x12, 14x14, 15x20”, and the TeraBeat: 8x10, 8.5x12, 16x16, 16x22. MAP on the GigaBeat is $950, and the TeraBeat is $1100. I don’t know if there are plans to expand the line, I suppose that depends on how well sales do.





Go check these out!

Bermuda

Last edited by bermuda; 01-30-2014 at 04:18 AM. Reason: Fixed price transposition, corrected sizes listed
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Thank you very much Bermuda! I'm going to give an ebony terabeat a home soon.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Thanks for the review. Any new Ludwig line is exciting. Interesting design I must say. Kind of out of left field for Ludwig. Little odd bass drum sizes. I assume dealers will sell for less than those prices. I hope they do well. Can't wait to try them out!
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh....Don't tell Gretsch but I really like that ebony model. The price seems good considering what Jon showed was MAP. Will have to go look at them. Maybe for 50 bucks I will lend myself out for assembly and tuning.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ludwi...et?icid=205052 They are already up on musicians friend. Didn't take them long.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:32 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

A little off topic here, but Ludwig may not be the only ones doing the assemble it yourself thing:
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/20...synth-classic/
Korg has a synthesizer kit at NAMM that really requires some assembly - no soldering though.

About the Ludwig stuff - I'm looking forward to actually seeing them in person, but even much more so - to put some sticks to them.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by drummerjims View Post
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ludwi...et?icid=205052 They are already up on musicians friend. Didn't take them long.
I notice they have the specs wrong on the 3 pc kit and none are in stock yet. At least they're coming, though!
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Great pictures Jon, & they give a better impression of quality, which especially at that price point, seems very good. I notice you make mention of weight. That's a big benefit as far as I'm concerned, & not just for carrying purposes. Less hardware mass = more low dynamic resonance response. It wouldn't surprise me if these found real favour with the small gig & lighter players, especially if the size range was expanded to cover more jazz/bop orientated sizes.

Overall - good call Ludwig! :)
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

The Signa Gigabeat are 800.00 at MF. The Terabeat is 949.00 They should sell well. Any clue on the lead time Jon.?

The only con for me is the 8 lug bass drum
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
I notice they have the specs wrong on the 3 pc kit and none are in stock yet. At least they're coming, though!
Good point. I would not, repeat NOT, pay for these in advance and play the waiting game. It could be months until they arrive. I know from personal experience w/MF.

I like how the description assumes the buyer will find the assembly process "rewarding".

Who writes that?
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post

The only con for me is the 8 lug bass drum
Wait a cotton picking min here; You are a die hard Gretsch fan and you have a problem with 8 lug bass drums.
Gretsch had 8 lug bass drums in their line for decades.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Thanks for the heads up about these kits. Really liking the Ebony finish. I'm pretty sure that I'll be giving an Ebony Gigabeat a home in the future...
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

I like the idea, but I have two concerns.

The first is that I would imagine that after a few years of playing (with all of the micro vibrations from the hitting the drum) that the lugs would "wear" against the wood, causing the hole to slightly enlarge. I can see head changes becoming "oops, that lug fell out...now that one did too!".

The second is...those are the ugliest finishes I've ever seen.

Some people may like them, but I have to pass on these for now. (It's not like I have the money to get a set right now anyway!)
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

They are selling these kits at ikea :)
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 01-25-2014 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Wait a cotton picking min here; You are a die hard Gretsch fan and you have a problem with 8 lug bass drums.
Gretsch had 8 lug bass drums in their line for decades.
And my Gretsch Renown has 10
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

I have to agree, Brad. What is the draw to this kit? You have to build the thing yourself, your drums have huge holes cut in to them for these lugs to go in, the lugs are held in only by the tension of the head so any head changes will result in a mess of lugs falling all over the floor, the colors are horrendous, and for all that you get to pay $1000 for a basic 4 piece shell pack.

Who would buy this kit?

Pick up a Gretsch Renown 4 piece (see link) for the same price and have a kit that is of far nicer quality, IMO.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Gretsch-...item5af6f189b1
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
And my Gretsch Renown has 10
The truth is that the amount of lugs really isn't as great a factor as it is cranked up to be.
Personally I don't care for these new Ludwig offerings. That doesn't mean that they are bad drums though. I see no reason why they wouldn't perform really well.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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The truth is that the amount of lugs really isn't as great a factor as it is cranked up to be.
Absolutely agreed. 8 lugs is not any kind of disadvantage. My custom kit has 8 lugs on the kick. No big deal

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I have to agree, Brad. What is the draw to this kit? You have to build the thing yourself, your drums have huge holes cut in to them for these lugs to go in, the lugs are held in only by the tension of the head so any head changes will result in a mess of lugs falling all over the floor, the colors are horrendous, and for all that you get to pay $1000 for a basic 4 piece shell pack.
They're... not held in by head tension alone, though.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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They're... not held in by head tension alone, though.
Upon second look, they are held in place ever so slightly by the inner lip of the lug coming through the shell. The had tension pulls the lug tightly against the shell. However without a head its a bit precarious if you ask me.

I still don't get what you are getting with this kit though. It looks like Ludwig make the kit intentionally inexpensively, they make you assemble the thing, and they charge quite a premium for it.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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I still don't get what you are getting with this kit though. It looks like Ludwig make the kit intentionally inexpensively, they make you assemble the thing, and they charge quite a premium for it.
Because if they built a kit in America... with North American Maple shells... with regular lugs already assembled by American workers... you'd have a Classic Maple kit and you'd be paying upwards of $2500.

It's a way to get an intermediate kit that's American-built, with American maple shells for a third of the price. When was the last time you saw a USA maple kit advertised for $8-900 like the Signets are?
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by drumhedd View Post
Because if they built a kit in America... with North American Maple shells... with regular lugs already assembled by American workers... you'd have a Classic Maple kit and you'd be paying upwards of $2500.

It's a way to get an intermediate kit that's American-built, with American maple shells for a third of the price. When was the last time you saw a USA maple kit advertised for $8-900 like the Signets are?
See, I get that. But , at the same time, it's not a Ludwig kit, not really anyway. As a purely outsiders perspective, a ludwig kit has a pedigree...these do not.

On another note, why not regular lugs? Rocket science they are not.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

I think the drums have a charming, unique and humble aesthetic that's all their own. In fact, they almost harken back to the days of Ludwig's rope-tension or single-tension lug drums in the way they simplify the hardware used to hold the heads in place. I almost feel like they won't be given a fair chance by some simply because they're a departure from the traditional "sparkle/keystone/blue&olive/classic lug" camp.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Sorry on the price transposition, numbers are fixed now. :)

Bermuda
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Nicer shot of the Indian Teak finish:

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Old 01-24-2014, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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I think the drums have a charming, unique and humble aesthetic that's all their own.
That's a great word for how I'd describe these: humble. They aren't glossy, there aren't huge chrome appointments all over, they just look nice and simple.

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Nicer shot of the Indian Teak finish:

Gosh, they all look great. The Teak accentuates the "honesty" and looks even more humble, while the Ebony just looks... good. I am into these drums!
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Funny enough I saw one of these kits at my local guitar center today
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
The Signa Gigabeat are 800.00 at MF. The Terabeat is 949.00 They should sell well. Any clue on the lead time Jon.?
I don't know, but GC definitely has a bunch they'll be selling. And we've seen that some stores have already put them on the floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradGunnerSGT View Post
I like the idea, but I have two concerns.

The first is that I would imagine that after a few years of playing (with all of the micro vibrations from the hitting the drum) that the lugs would "wear" against the wood, causing the hole to slightly enlarge. I can see head changes becoming "oops, that lug fell out...now that one did too!".

The second is...those are the ugliest finishes I've ever seen.
There's little danger of the lugs falling out, they're pretty snug from the start. As for the hole enlarging or wearing, does that happen to wood from with standard lugs that go through the shell and tension is applied? I've never seen that.

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Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
I have to agree, Brad. What is the draw to this kit? You have to build the thing yourself, your drums have huge holes cut in to them for these lugs to go in, the lugs are held in only by the tension of the head so any head changes will result in a mess of lugs falling all over the floor, the colors are horrendous, and for all that you get to pay $1000 for a basic 4 piece shell pack.
The holes are not huge, the lugs are not kept in place by tension - they will not fall out. I think a 4-piece American-made kit for $1000 is a pretty great deal. These are essentially Classic Maple shells. If you want a genuine Classic Maple kit with traditional lugs, completely assembled, I promise you will pay a lot more than $1000! If you can find another brand new, US-made shell 4-piece for that money, please let me know.

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Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
I still don't get what you are getting with this kit though. It looks like Ludwig make the kit intentionally inexpensively, they make you assemble the thing, and they charge quite a premium for it.
On the contrary, you are saving the premium price for having the folks in Monroe assemble it. The kit was designed so that it could be simply assembled, but with aspects that don't sacrifice sound. Again, these are basically Classic Maple shells - 6 plies of North American (Maine, if you must know) maple, with the 7th ply being the finish. They come with Ludwig's US heads, real hoops, newly designed isolation mounts. pretty nifty and again, a great price for US shell drums.

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Originally Posted by jofizzm View Post
...it's not a Ludwig kit, not really anyway. As a purely outsiders perspective, a ludwig kit has a pedigree...these do not.

On another note, why not regular lugs? Rocket science they are not.
It is a Ludwig kit - they make the shell and heads in their Monroe facility. Only the hardware and mounting is different. Regular lugs involve far more assembly, and asking the customer to do all of that would really be nervy if you ask me.

As for the Ludwig pedigree - whatever that means with all of the changes they've gone through in just the last 50 years - no, they're not the familiar classic lug design. There's a new badge, new colors, and a new concept in making a quality sounding kit more affordable. I don't blame Ludwig for moving forward, and it's not like they're not abandoning their familiar lines and designs. For those who want the classic or traditional look, there are other lines available, or simply go vintage. There's a contingent of purists who can't get past the "clear maple" era, and I certainly understand the love for those drums. Not only are the Signets not for them, I doubt Ludwig could ever make anything to satisfy them. So, those overly-concerned with pedigree really aren't potential Ludwig customers anyway.

Me, I just want drums to sound great, and I find that the Signets do. But a lot of people just won't allow themselves to find out. Best I can do is present facts and my findings, and hope that people get a better understanding of the new line.

Thank you, long day, good night!

Bermuda
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

I wonder if they'll be adding any additional sizes?

Bermuda, will they be adding anything new to the Keystone line? Say different colors?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by jofizzm View Post
See, I get that. But , at the same time, it's not a Ludwig kit, not really anyway. As a purely outsiders perspective, a ludwig kit has a pedigree...these do not.

On another note, why not regular lugs? Rocket science they are not.
I have to disagree here. Ludwig are stuck between a rock & a hard place when it comes to moving forward. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. It's the same conundrum faced by any legacy brand of any aspirational product. As for "pedigree", which era of pedigree do you refer to. The early years, or the 80's when Ludwig churned out poor quality rubbish in large numbers?

In terms of construction, this kit line is no different to their existing "conservative" offerings. Shells made on site combined with shell hardware made in Asia. Same model as used by many companies. At least they're making their own shells locally FWIW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
no, they're not the familiar classic lug design. There's a new badge, new colors, and a new concept in making a quality sounding kit more affordable. I don't blame Ludwig for moving forward, and it's not like they're not abandoning their familiar lines and designs.

Bermuda
I think it's important to state this. The signet is another line of drums that branches out into an area not currently covered by their existing lines. The existing lines remain, & are there to satisfy the requirements of those requiring those features & that vibe.

There's a lot of negative comment about the lugs. Of course, lug appearance is a personal like/dislike thing, as is the whole aesthetic, but many here seem to be missing a trick. These new lugs are considerably lower mass than existing offerings, & that has quite an affect on sound. I haven't tried a set, but I'm fairly sure that the reduction in hardware mass will have a beneficial affect on the drum's ability to open up at lower dynamics. In other words, it's perfectly possible that these drums perform "better" than their more expensive stablemates in some respects.

As for the overall aesthetic, (wrap/finish ply/insert preferred term here) aside, I think these are the best looking kits from Ludwig I've seen in decades (there, I said it!). The reduced hardware real estate offers a clean & simplistic look that I personally find very attractive. Ludwig should be applauded for striking out, whether the new product appeals to you or not. I think the self assembly savings aspect is perhaps a little overstated. I mean, if I'm being very generous: if it took one worker 1 hour to assemble a standard drum construction, & that workshop time was costed at $50 (includes overhead recovery contribution), after all sales, marketing, distribution, & retail margin stackups, that makes a difference on the retail shop floor of about $200. Still nowhere close to their existing range offerings.

I wish them luck with this kit line. It's bold, it's modern, it's a good looking instrument, & has the ingredients to sound great too. Well played Ludwig!
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

When I first of the idea I thought it was a really bad one. My thinking was that the price point will compete with medium range kits and lose on that aspect alone. I realize now that I was completely wrong. im not 100% sold on the finish ( silver sparkle wrap for me these days) but the idea of cost savings for a top line kit like this has never been done before. it appears very simple to assemble. if it takes off and they offer more sizes this wil be a game changer in the industry and Ludwig did it first. as far as change, I wonder how many people freaked out in the days before internet forums about the B/O badges change etc. I would buy one if I was in the market for a kit.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

I would assume that Ludwig has done enough testing that they didn't blindly pack these up and move them to the NAMM show where the pickiest crowd in the world would be looking at them with a fine toothed comb. And based on the idea what a great concept for all companies to now offer the DIY kit option for all kits. One box shipping with all of the drums in one box, a box sitting in the middle of the shells with all of the hardware, and maybe a 200.00 price reduction so that you could put them together. One box would cut their shipping costs in half or more, less cause for damage with no lugs bouncing around and hitting another drum packed in the same box. We have all seen that. I would wait and see if this truly is more of a convenience and money saver for the customer, or just a money saver for Ludwig and their crew. I tought about holes expanding etc, but if the drum is tuned and has any tension on the heads at all the lugs are not moving. 60 years old drums don't have widening holes so I would not fear these. Right on Ludwig.

Edit..I just spoke with MF and the drums, both models, ship in one box. Very cool.
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Last edited by GRUNTERSDAD; 01-24-2014 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I would assume that Ludwig has done enough testing that they didn't blindly pack these up and move them to the NAMM show where the pickiest crowd in the world would be looking at them with a fine toothed comb.
Exactly, and I am personally making sure the kits are kept tuned nicely throughout the day, so there's never a time when they don't sound their best.

After tomorrow's NAMM meet-up, some other members can chime in on them.

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Old 01-24-2014, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

I think they look really good, and I like all the finishes. Very interesting concept.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

I don't get how the assembly is a selling point and I hate the finishes.

I also don't get the 10, 12, 16 configuration, I think a 14 needs to squeeze in there.

I cried and poo'd my pants.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Really like the finishes..If I were in the audience a distance from the set I would easily mistaken the darker striped set for a Sonor SQ2 with Ebony finish.. real nice!!

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=32150
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

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When I first of the idea I thought it was a really bad one. My thinking was that the price point will compete with medium range kits and lose on that aspect alone. I realize now that I was completely wrong. im not 100% sold on the finish ( silver sparkle wrap for me these days) but the idea of cost savings for a top line kit like this has never been done before. it appears very simple to assemble. if it takes off and they offer more sizes this wil be a game changer in the industry and Ludwig did it first. as far as change, I wonder how many people freaked out in the days before internet forums about the B/O badges change etc. I would buy one if I was in the market for a kit.
I can only agree. An American Ludwig for the price of a Chinese mid range kit= no brainer. Love the finishes too- the ebony reminds me of the Sonorlite in Grant's Music in Glasgow in 1983 that I coveted!
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

I really like the finishes. That natural teak version is for me.

You can't always believe the Guitar Center "find in a store near me" functionality, but if it's working today, it shows a couple of kits near me. I may make a lunchtime trip to see them. If I do, I'll take pics and report back.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Well it's a good thing we can have differences of opinion then!
I'm all for progress, but if you stray too far from your norm, it's a risk. I hope it works for them.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Sauder furniture compnay has made a mint on KD furniture for folks that don't want to pay 1000.00 for a stereo center,or computer desk, and almost amything we buy today has a "some assembly required" sticker on it. I also think this is not much different than buying Keller shells, staining them, putting on the hardware and saying we built a custom drum. Time will tell
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

Man, the Maccassar Ebony is beautiful...........I already have a snare with that finish...................so, I think I've found my next shell kit.
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