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  #1  
Old 01-19-2014, 07:10 PM
pcastag pcastag is offline
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Default How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Just wondering, it seems as if their USA made custom maples are about 1000 cheaper than a similar gretsch, DW even C and C. how do they do it? I know the legacy's are a bit pricier, I'm assuming the extra work installing the solid wood re-rings has somethind to do with that, but I'm really impressed at their price points for a USA made all maple drum.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2014, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

You mean Classic Maples. :)

There are a number of factors that make up any product's pricing. Sometimes it's simply because a company has marketed themselves in an elite bracket.

For Ludwig, while they make their shells as do DW and C&C (not Gretsch...) they don't finish the shells quite to the degree that DW in particular does. ludwig's gloss finishes are pretty nice, but they're not that glassy finish that DW gets. Lots of extra labor and expense there. I would also venture to say the DW's drum hardware (lugs, mounts, etc) costs more than Ludwig's, and multiply that by the number of pieces attached to all the drums in a kit. Even a few $ per lug adds maybe $150, which has to be doubled for DW to make money, then doubled again for suggested retail price - that's a $600 difference right there.

In regard to the cache that a name possesses, DW and Gretsch seem to charge more just because they can... because drummers expect the prices to be higher... because DW and Gretsch have positioned themselves that way.

Bermuda
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
You mean Classic Maples. :)

In regard to the cache that a name possesses, DW and Gretsch seem to charge more just because they can... because drummers expect the prices to be higher... because DW and Gretsch have positioned themselves that way.
I'll admit that when I was younger I was like alot of people and blinded by the price. If BMW automobiles cost that much, they must be great, right? But in terms of drums, I like the playability of my Ludwigs (I'm on my fifth Ludwig kit - or sixth, I think) and I never worry about them on a gig. Whereas when I owned DW (never really owned a Gretsch) I'd just worry about them whenever I took them out. I can't live like that ;)
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I'll admit that when I was younger I was like alot of people and blinded by the price. If BMW automobiles cost that much, they must be great, right? But in terms of drums, I like the playability of my Ludwigs (I'm on my fifth Ludwig kit - or sixth, I think) and I never worry about them on a gig. Whereas when I owned DW (never really owned a Gretsch) I'd just worry about them whenever I took them out. I can't live like that ;)
Bo, could you elaborate on your last statement about the DW's? Did you worry about them because of fears they would get nicked up or stolen, or were you worried they wouldn't hold up during a gig? I'm curious because I've been looking at a Performance kit and want to know if there are any issues where they might not be as road worthy as a set of Ludwigs. Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2014, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Jon is correct to sight hardware costs as being a deal breaker. The cost of hardware on a ply kit, way eclipses the shell cost. The only exception to that being labour intensive finishes. Next to labour & general overheads, it's almost always the biggest cost component, but the actual cost per item for Asian sourced lugs may well surprise you. It's reasonable to compare brand specific lugs to general lugs of similar design from the same source in terms of price, because the quantities are there or thereabouts. A number of well used suppliers are more than happy to make lugs to pretty much any design you like, so long as it's within their manufacturing capability. As an example, if I wanted to have 1,000 (a fairly small number) tube lugs made to my own design, they would cost me, landed, around $3.75 each. Up that to 10,000 (about 200 3 piece shell sets), & the landed cost after transport & duty would be under $3.00 each, so $150 for a kit. Pot metal body lugs, almost irrespective of size & design, are cheaper still.

Lugs & stuff aside, applicable mainly to the volume manufacturers, the end user price is more down to general company overheads than the actual cost of the components. Large marketing budgets & artist programs jack the unit sales price up hugely. I suspect Ludwig's ability to compete aggressively on price is down to savings across all areas of their business. Tight control of distribution costs/margins, as well as retail margins, add to this ability.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Ludwig is also an older company, working in a factory they have owned for a long, long time, with at least some machines they have owned since before DW existed. And they are in North Carolina, as opposed to California. Ludwig is also owned by a larger company, which is owned by even a larger company. Certain upper level management duties are mostly like shared (like, who does the taxes) resulting in lower costs to Ludwig itself.

Quite simply, they have lower overhead than DW, which is a relatively small business.

Although that doesn't explain why Gretsch drums are so darn expensive, given how much they outsource, and how little of the company is even owned or operated by the Gretsch family anymore.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

The USA made Ludwig drums are definitely a good deal. I have a feeling that making their own shells has a lot to do with the pricing ability. As does the finishing as Bermuda pointed out.
Basically, Ludwig moved into a furniture making factory and converted it to suit their needs.
I am impressed with their R&D into hardware as of late too.
Ludwig is a viable contender in the Big Drum Company world.
They deal in high volume sales which also helps to keep the cost down. Andy pointed that out very nicely.
Gretsch has moved along a similar path to Ludwig but Gretsch doesn't have the shell making ability and the hardware innovating ability that Ludwig has.
C&C is Just an amazing company that really stays on their toes to keep their products current and their sales flowing.
dw is also an innovator that took the art of drum making into the 21 Century. They make all manufacturers stay awake at night.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Although that doesn't explain why Gretsch drums are so darn expensive, given how much they outsource, and how little of the company is even owned or operated by the Gretsch family anymore.
Ian, I'd just like to pick up on your point, & make a general/personal observation. I know I'll get flamed for this, but I'll say it anyhow - drums are cheap. I mean almost all drums are cheap. Not just the budget & midrange stuff either. The high end stuff is great value for money too, especially compared to other instruments requiring similar crafting time & skill. Drummers get a huge deal.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Ian, I'd just like to pick up on your point, & make a general/personal observation. I know I'll get flamed for this, but I'll say it anyhow - drums are cheap. I mean almost all drums are cheap. Not just the budget & midrange stuff either. The high end stuff is great value for money too, especially compared to other instruments requiring similar crafting time & skill. Drummers get a huge deal.
+1^ This.Gretsch charges more,because they can.They're paying less money than you or I,or anybody buying Keller shells,because they buy thousands of them.

In fairness to Gretsch,on the other hand,they're staining and lacquering process is done by hand,and labor intensive.But I'm not convinced,that justifies the premium prices they charge for USA custom drums.

The Catalina line is what keeps the doors open,and the lights on.I don't know about the front office,buy the Ridgeland SC factory only has 5-6 people there.Yes...5 or 6.

Steve B
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by charliedrummer View Post
Bo, could you elaborate on your last statement about the DW's? Did you worry about them because of fears they would get nicked up or stolen, or were you worried they wouldn't hold up during a gig? I'm curious because I've been looking at a Performance kit and want to know if there are any issues where they might not be as road worthy as a set of Ludwigs. Thanks.
No, the DW's are more than capable of doing whatever you need them to do. I don't want to give the impression that they're not capable. This is more of a "It's not you, it's me" thing. For the amount of money I spent on them, they were so pretty and beautiful, I was naturally afraid something would happen, all the time. Drums for me, believe it or not, are tools, and I don't want to have to worry about them. Ludwigs do that for me, especially considering some of the older ones I've owned. And my brand new ones feel broken in and I'm not worried should some show choir kid bump into them while they're dancing around. Maybe it's just that I've seen Ludwigs being repaired numerous times over my lifetime and feel comfortable knowing that whatever happens, it's fixable. When I see those spectacular DW gloss finishes, heck, even their FinishPly drums, I fear a good ding would not allow itself to be repaired. I just consider Ludwigs more solid for me - I don't subject them to abuse, but I don't worry so much about them getting abused!
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
In fairness to Gretsch,on the other hand,they're staining and lacquering process is done by hand,and labor intensive.But I'm not convinced,that justifies the premium prices they charge for USA custom drums.

The Catalina line is what keeps the doors open,and the lights on.I don't know about the front office,buy the Ridgeland SC factory only has 5-6 people there.Yes...5 or 6.

Steve B
Steve, my point is more towards the USA customs probably better reflecting a true value compared to other instrument prices with similar production costs, & the rest of the range being wholly reliant on volume to turn a modest operating profit. Like many manufacturing companies (cars, etc), the operating profit is centred around their midrange offerings. Many make very little, or even a modest loss on their high end stuff, & their entry level stuff is a brand fishing net.

Gretsch not making their own shells is a good way of reducing fixed overheads, & keeping overall production costs predictable. A most viable business model if you want to run an operation with few people. The weird thing is, if they were positioned as a so called "custom" drum company, they'd be labeled as "hardware hangers" by some less than complementary drum gear critics. Lucky for them, a long & successful trading history in the brand spares them from such (ill informed) critique.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

I also wanted to point out too that Ludwig and Gretsch, are basically like Harley-Davidson and Ford. They are almost ubiquitous to American pop culture and if you're talking vintage stylings or classic looks, those would be the two companies one would consider. Like Fender and Gibson guitars too, Ludwig and Gretsch hold court on classic drums that the entire world knows about. Of course, economics dictates they don't charge too much, but like those other iconic American companies, they know they're in a comfortable spot regardless of how hard the economic times are.

One could argue how much better other companies are with their products, heck, people who ride motorcycles everyday probably like their consistent and unwavering Yamaha or Honda bike, but does that make as big a statement as that big, oil-leaking Harley-Davidson hog does when you roll in to Sturgis? No. Everytime I see a guitar player playing a Strat-like or Les Paul-like guitar, I expect to see the name "Fender" or "Gibson" on that headstock, just because that's how it is. Photographers are often swayed by the name "Leica" or "Hasselblad" instead of "Nikon" or "Canon". So I think it's just human nature.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Ian, I'd just like to pick up on your point, & make a general/personal observation. I know I'll get flamed for this, but I'll say it anyhow - drums are cheap. I mean almost all drums are cheap. Not just the budget & midrange stuff either. The high end stuff is great value for money too, especially compared to other instruments requiring similar crafting time & skill. Drummers get a huge deal.
I want to disagree with you.

But I can't.

Look at high end solid wood furniture. High end maple/oak/mahogany furniture can run thousands of dollars, without worrying about shells being in round, bearing edges, or the same degree or precision. A 1/16 of an inch difference in a drum shell is poor quality control, in a hand made armoire, that's "character." And never mind the difference in the amount of hardware.

Although furniture does contain much more raw wood. But not the detail in cuts.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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+1^ This.Gretsch charges more,because they can.They're paying less money than you or I,or anybody buying Keller shells,because they buy thousands of them.

In fairness to Gretsch,on the other hand,they're staining and lacquering process is done by hand,and labor intensive.But I'm not convinced,that justifies the premium prices they charge for USA custom drums.

The Catalina line is what keeps the doors open,and the lights on.I don't know about the front office,buy the Ridgeland SC factory only has 5-6 people there.Yes...5 or 6.

Steve B
Everything outside of those 5 or 6 people handled by KMS (Kaman Music Supply), the largest music instrument distribution company in America, who also owns LP, Toca, Gibraltar hardware, and well as numerous guitar and amp companies.

KMS is then entirely owned by Fender Guitars.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Everything outside of those 5 or 6 people handled by KMS (Kaman Music Supply), the largest music instrument distribution company in America, who also owns LP, Toca, Gibraltar hardware, and well as numerous guitar and amp companies.

KMS is then entirely owned by Fender Guitars.
Whom I believe is mostly owned by these suckers :

http://www.westonpresidio.com/OurTea...5/Default.aspx
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:36 AM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
No, the DW's are more than capable of doing whatever you need them to do. I don't want to give the impression that they're not capable. This is more of a "It's not you, it's me" thing. For the amount of money I spent on them, they were so pretty and beautiful, I was naturally afraid something would happen, all the time. Drums for me, believe it or not, are tools, and I don't want to have to worry about them. Ludwigs do that for me, especially considering some of the older ones I've owned. And my brand new ones feel broken in and I'm not worried should some show choir kid bump into them while they're dancing around. Maybe it's just that I've seen Ludwigs being repaired numerous times over my lifetime and feel comfortable knowing that whatever happens, it's fixable. When I see those spectacular DW gloss finishes, heck, even their FinishPly drums, I fear a good ding would not allow itself to be repaired. I just consider Ludwigs more solid for me - I don't subject them to abuse, but I don't worry so much about them getting abused!
I have two wrapped DW sets that I haul around all the time with no cases or covers. I just carefully put them in the back of the car and off I go. I'm not worried about them at all. Both sets look presentable after hundreds, and in the case of the Ultra Oyster White set, perhaps a thousand or more gigs. I have never been a Ludwig fan, to be honest. I always found old Ludwigs to be very harsh sounding drums, and they got pretty bad in the late
60's and into the early 70's insofar as quality, back when Ludwig was churning them out night and day to meet demand.
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

How does Ludwig keep the prices down?
Simple; Ludwig rips off the other guy and passes the savings onto you! :)
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Ha ha - you guys really have money to burn.

I bought two new 5 piece shell packs for less than this one Ludwig bass drum costs:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ludwig-L...50-i1452848.gc

So, I wonder more often why Ludwig's are so expensive.

Partly kidding here. I know Ludwig has a full range of prices, from minimal to fairly expensive. And also that their top range kits cost less than some other brands.

Also, I'm a hobbyist/enthusiast. I don't have income from playing drums.
If I did, I'd probably be running with higher spec gear. And if it was a very high income, I might lose perspective on where most of the rest of the people in the world are at.

So - just a bit of an alternate viewpoint. Don't get your undies in a bunch over it guys. LOL
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
In fairness to Gretsch on the other hand, their staining and lacquering process is done by hand and labor intensive. But I'm not convinced that justifies the premium prices they charge for USA custom drums.
Premium prices? What are you talking about? Their prices are WAY more reasonable than top of the line Sonor or Yamaha PHX (and they sound better too). If you price out their satin finishes (least expensive finish for their USA Custom line) you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

I bought my CM Red Sparkles new,3 years ago. Prices have gone up quite a bit since then.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by BobC View Post
I have two wrapped DW sets that I haul around all the time with no cases or covers. I just carefully put them in the back of the car and off I go. I'm not worried about them at all. Both sets look presentable after hundreds, and in the case of the Ultra Oyster White set, perhaps a thousand or more gigs. I have never been a Ludwig fan, to be honest. I always found old Ludwigs to be very harsh sounding drums, and they got pretty bad in the late
60's and into the early 70's insofar as quality, back when Ludwig was churning them out night and day to meet demand.
Fair enough. It took me two DW kits to figure out I'm not a big DW fan - they sound great when other people play them. They just don't sound that great to me, considering their price. Although I will admit to having played an early DW kit from the late 70s/early 80s when their shells were made by Keller or Jasper, those sounded great. This was that time when their hardware was meant for working musicians too, not rock stars with roadies.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artstar View Post
Whom I believe is mostly owned by these suckers :

http://www.westonpresidio.com/OurTea...5/Default.aspx
Very interesting, they are invested in both Fender AND Guitar Center. Furthering the story of how in bed the two companies are.

On on that note:
http://intermediaries.wordpress.com/...xt-for-fender/
Quote:
Weston Presidio, an investment firm actually owns nearly half of the company,
http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/...ulled-its-ipo/
Quote:
Weston Presidio paid $57.8 million for its stake in Fender back in December 2001.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Although that doesn't explain why Gretsch drums are so darn expensive, given how much they outsource, and how little of the company is even owned or operated by the Gretsch family anymore.


Read further my friend :



FRED W. GRETSCH - 1985
Determined to return the company to family ownership, it was in 1985, when Fred W. Gretsch, the great-grandson of the company founder, made good on his promise. The Gretsch Company was once again in capable family hands.

Operations moved to Savannah, where the revitalized company began to offer new, vintage styled, Gretsch guitars and classic Gretsch drums. The success of the new products was immediate and Gretsch instruments were quickly back in demand.

Today there is much to celebrate as the Gretsch Company has truly come full circle now spanning over 120 years and four generations!

Dinah and Fred Gretsch with their 11 grandchildren
Dinah and Fred Gretsch with their 11 grandchildren!
DINAH GRETSCH
A career in banking, computer software design and ownership of her own credit bureau prepared Dinah for her far reaching responsibilities at Gretsch. Dinah is Executive Vice President for Fred Gretsch Enterprises and handles all computer and accounting functions of the company as well as artist relations.



What a difference two years makes!
A GRETSCH FAMILY TRADITION - 2002
July 2002; The Gretsch family recently celebrated Fred's Birthday and another year continuing the tradition of "That Great Gretsch Sound!" Here, Fred and Dinah are joined by their eleven grand children for the annual celebration. Wow, what a difference 2 years makes!

RICHARD GRETSCH, SR. CELEBRATES 92ND BIRTHDAY!
Richard Gretsch, Sr., grandson of Friedrich Gretsch, the founder of the Gretsch Musical Instrument Company, recently celebrated his 92nd birthday. Although Richard never worked in the family business with his 2 brothers and father, he has always been a great supporter of their efforts and success.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Although that doesn't explain why Gretsch drums are so darn expensive, given how much they outsource, and how little of the company is even owned or operated by the Gretsch family anymore.


Read further my friend :



FRED W. GRETSCH - 1985
Determined to return the company to family ownership, it was in 1985, when Fred W. Gretsch, the great-grandson of the company founder, made good on his promise. The Gretsch Company was once again in capable family hands.

Operations moved to Savannah, where the revitalized company began to offer new, vintage styled, Gretsch guitars and classic Gretsch drums. The success of the new products was immediate and Gretsch instruments were quickly back in demand.

Today there is much to celebrate as the Gretsch Company has truly come full circle now spanning over 120 years and four generations!

Dinah and Fred Gretsch with their 11 grandchildren
Dinah and Fred Gretsch with their 11 grandchildren!
DINAH GRETSCH
A career in banking, computer software design and ownership of her own credit bureau prepared Dinah for her far reaching responsibilities at Gretsch. Dinah is Executive Vice President for Fred Gretsch Enterprises and handles all computer and accounting functions of the company as well as artist relations.



What a difference two years makes!
A GRETSCH FAMILY TRADITION - 2002
July 2002; The Gretsch family recently celebrated Fred's Birthday and another year continuing the tradition of "That Great Gretsch Sound!" Here, Fred and Dinah are joined by their eleven grand children for the annual celebration. Wow, what a difference 2 years makes!

RICHARD GRETSCH, SR. CELEBRATES 92ND BIRTHDAY!
Richard Gretsch, Sr., grandson of Friedrich Gretsch, the founder of the Gretsch Musical Instrument Company, recently celebrated his 92nd birthday. Although Richard never worked in the family business with his 2 brothers and father, he has always been a great supporter of their efforts and success.
That doesn't change what I have said. That is merely the history of the Gretsch family, which still does own the name, and as I already said, runs the 5-6 person team in Carolina.

Gretsch has never made their shells. It's pretty common knowledge they used Jasper shells until Jasper went out of business, and they now use Keller shells on the USA made stuff.

And outside of the the manufacturing of the USA lines, everything else is handled via a license with Kaman Music Corp, aka KMC, which is now owned by Fender.



Look at http://www.gretschdrums.com/
And go to the bottom, where it says:
Quote:
2014 KMC Music, Inc.
Click and you go to:
http://www.kmcmusicorp.com/

Read further:
http://blog.gretsch.com/gretsch-drum...ation/2003/11/
Quote:
On June 13th, Kaman Music joined Fred and Dinah Gretsch as they commemorated 120 years of “That Great Gretsch Sound” with a special celebration dinner at the Hartford Club.

As guests arrived, each was personally greeted and thanked by Fred and Dinah Gretsch. Following dinner, Kaman Music President, Bob Saunders spoke of the Gretsch/Kaman relationship
http://www.gretsch.com/files/documen...dia-kit-v4.pdf
Quote:
2000 Kaman Music becomes exclusive Gretsch drums worldwide distributor.
http://www.kaman.com/news/kaman-anno...music-segment/
Quote:
October 29, 2007

Kamn
Kaman Announces Agreement to Sell Music Segment

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- (Nasdaq: KAMN) Kaman Corporation announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary, Kaman Music Corporation (KMC), to Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) of Scottsdale, ...

KMC, which comprises the company's entire Music segment, owns Ovation Guitars, LP and Toca hand percussion products, Gibraltar Hardware, Genz Benz Amplification, Hamer Guitars, and is the exclusive U.S. sales representative for Sabian Cymbals, and exclusive worldwide distributor of Takamine Guitars and Gretsch Drums.

http://www.drums-guru.com/Gretsch-dr...#axzz2r3ZlBqgl
Quote:
In 2000, Gretsch drums became more well known after signing a distribution deal with Kaman Music Corporation.

Kaman bought most of Gretsch's drum making equipment and the rights to manufacture their drums in February, 2007. This takes place now in the Ridgeland, South Carolina plant. The same employees have worked at this plant for the last 10 to 15 years and adopted the Gretsch ways of drum making.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzinga...withdraws-ipo/

Quote:
7/20/2012
with Fender describing itself as a “leading, global musical instruments company whose portfolio of renowned, music lifestyle brands brings the passion of music to life. Since the founding of our predecessor company by Leo Fender in 1946, we have built a comprehensive portfolio of brands led by the iconic Fender brand and other renowned brands such as Squier, Jackson, Guild, Ovation and Latin Percussion, which we own, and Gretsch, EVH (Eddie Van Halen) and Takamine, for which we are the licensee.”
http://drumdetails.com/gretsch-drums/
I
Quote:
n 2000 Gretsch signed a distribution deal with Kaman resulting in more global visibility
In 2007 Kaman purchased manufacturing rights and equipment to make Gretsch drums
http://www.mikedolbear.com/story.asp...Search=Gretsch
Quote:
Gretsch has long been associated with drums, though the late ‘70’s and ‘80’s were tough for them and almost finished the company off. In the nineties they got their act together and realised that making expensive US build drums was not the only way forward, so started (just like all the US manufacturers) to build cheaper kits to sell to the mass market. The first kits (again, just like everyone else) were not good, but with long established links with Far Eastern builders through the Kaman group who bought them, things started to come together really nicely.
http://www.squidoo.com/gretsch-drums
Quote:
In February 2007, Kaman purchased the right to manufacture Gretsch USA Custom and Signature drums. They also purchased the majority of the equipment used to make Gretsch drums. They now lease space from Fred Gretsch in his Ridgeland building. The drums are being made by the same people that have worked there for the last 10-15 years.
Fender purchased Kaman in 2008 so now they own the right to manufacture both Gretsch guitars and drums.
Today, Gretsch's top of the line drums (USA Custom & Signature Series) are manufactured in Ridgeland, South Carolina. While other less expensive lines are imported by Kaman from Asian-based drum plants.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:25 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
Premium prices? What are you talking about? Their prices are WAY more reasonable than top of the line Sonor or Yamaha PHX (and they sound better too). If you price out their satin finishes (least expensive finish for their USA Custom line) you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Yes,they are cheaper than those you mentioned...but they're still considered premium prices...as in top of the line,pro quality instruments.

Steve B
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
That doesn't change what I have said. That is merely the history of the Gretsch family, which still does own the name, and as I already said, runs the 5-6 person team in Carolina.

Gretsch has never made their shells. It's pretty common knowledge they used Jasper shells until Jasper went out of business, and they now use Keller shells on the USA made stuff.

And outside of the the manufacturing of the USA lines, everything else is handled via a license with Kaman Music Corp, aka KMC, which is now owned by Fender.



Look at http://www.gretschdrums.com/
And go to the bottom, where it says:

Click and you go to:
http://www.kmcmusicorp.com/

Read further:
http://blog.gretsch.com/gretsch-drum...ation/2003/11/


http://www.gretsch.com/files/documen...dia-kit-v4.pdf

http://www.kaman.com/news/kaman-anno...music-segment/



http://www.drums-guru.com/Gretsch-dr...#axzz2r3ZlBqgl


http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzinga...withdraws-ipo/



http://drumdetails.com/gretsch-drums/
I

http://www.mikedolbear.com/story.asp...Search=Gretsch


http://www.squidoo.com/gretsch-drums
Interesting read. Thanks for that.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:22 PM
wildbill
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  #27  
Old 01-27-2014, 04:09 PM
drumhammerer drumhammerer is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

while the classic maple prices are reasonable, their snare prices have gone through the roof over the past few years. I remember back 15 years ago you could get a 402 new for 300$. Now it's well over 500$. I think part of the pricing is due to rep. People are more willing to over pay for a Black Beauty, than a classic maple kit.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:54 PM
dreyn77 dreyn77 is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Never heard of a gretch drum ever until just before christmas. (that's a lot of decades guys!) so no 'famous around the globe'. the drum shops are totally seperate from other music shops here (something about ripping people off) so they are getting less and less famous now! In three drum shops, I was the only person there for 30 minutes. in the middle of the day. I've never seen more than 2 customers in the shop in the last 10 years.

The new models in the shop round here look really cheap and nasty. I'm certainly never going near them!

I just saw a thin Ludwig snare that had a big split in the laminate. (it's sold already. they might have a glue machine at home.)

I've just seen a black TAMA snare (retro mounts. made in japan, 90 degree leaver action) and the rim around the top is bent/dented, by about 6mm, over about 10cm.

The only thing Ludwig in the shops here is 1 catalogue. and I was too scared to take it because 20 years ago they complained about me wanting to take a catalogue home.
THey Hide the Zildjian catalogue. they have 40 of those. I asked about those cymbols and he still didn't offer a catalogue. He just said 'get the one's you like to hit'.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:11 PM
dreyn77 dreyn77 is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

They are pricy because they are building a stock pile of money from us.
then they can take this formula and set up the same shopping technique in other countries.
we're the cash cows funding there international ventures.
We have to become international buyers, and never use the local shop for purchases again!
Everytime we make a purchase, they're giving us a smack! Give them a 'miss' from now on!
They don't even have a stick to try the cymbals!
They have a guy who sit's behind the counter and the business doesn't care if he makes a sale or not.
they get their income from else where.

There are still porn shops in my town who are still trying to sell DVD's for between $30 to $70 each. that price has not change in the last 15 years. I've never seen anyone purchase them either!

Companies who own companies who own companies. they are all linked. there is no competition. You'll find the competitors might hold shares in the competition. My milk suppliers do/did.
P.s. the japanese are buying Jim Beam alcohol drinks. so when you get pissed they get pissed.
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  #30  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:08 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

So...just this,learn to spell cymbal with an A,not an O,and go back on the meds.Your posts,are making less and less sense .How does the Japanese like of Jim Beam,shoehorn into the Ludwig business model.?

Steve B
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  #31  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:12 PM
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Arky Arky is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Spelling mistakes all over the place...
It's not 'porn' - it's 'drum' ;-)
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  #32  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:34 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhammerer View Post
while the classic maple prices are reasonable, their snare prices have gone through the roof over the past few years. I remember back 15 years ago you could get a 402 new for 300$. Now it's well over 500$. I think part of the pricing is due to rep. People are more willing to over pay for a Black Beauty, than a classic maple kit.
I don't recall the pricing back then, but the 402 typically goes for less than $500 these days (well, in the US anyway.) I also don't know the specific changes have occurred that undoubtedly have contributed to higher manufacturing costs. They're not the only company that charges more than they did 15 yeafrs ago!

But Ludwig is NOT a company that charges more because they think they can. It's the companies that don't have a long legacy, and have marketed and postured themselves, whose prices seem to be predicated on their created/peceived reputation. Ludwig doesn't charge what they do because they're Ludwig, The prices are derived from the costs involved in developing, manufacturing, distributing and advertising the products.

Bermuda

PS - re the 402 pricing, list back in 1995 was $492, and list as of 2013 is $745, an increase of a little more than 50% in 18 years. I don't know how that compares to the inflation rate, or other MI company or general merchandise prices.

Last edited by bermuda; 01-28-2014 at 08:46 PM.
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  #33  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by dreyn77 View Post
we're the cash cows funding there international ventures.
WTF - seriously?

Ludwig are competitively priced. When you buy a kit, you're paying for the total cost of running that company, & yes, a small percentage has to be a contingency for the future. I'd like to see you build equivalent quality drums for less, & maintain all the costs of a business in the process. All larger & most smaller manufacturers already save as much cost as possible by outsourcing parts production. How far do you want that model to progress before all you're left with is a badge & memories?
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  #34  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:01 PM
CCdrummer CCdrummer is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyn77 View Post
They are pricy because they are building a stock pile of money from us.
then they can take this formula and set up the same shopping technique in other countries.
we're the cash cows funding there international ventures.
We have to become international buyers, and never use the local shop for purchases again!
Everytime we make a purchase, they're giving us a smack! Give them a 'miss' from now on!
They don't even have a stick to try the cymbals!
They have a guy who sit's behind the counter and the business doesn't care if he makes a sale or not.
they get their income from else where.

There are still porn shops in my town who are still trying to sell DVD's for between $30 to $70 each. that price has not change in the last 15 years. I've never seen anyone purchase them either!

Companies who own companies who own companies. they are all linked. there is no competition. You'll find the competitors might hold shares in the competition. My milk suppliers do/did.
P.s. the japanese are buying Jim Beam alcohol drinks. so when you get pissed they get pissed.
lol
What do you do, hang around in there and keep track of how many people are buying porno DVD's?
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  #35  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:07 PM
pcastag pcastag is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Well, I just got my set of classic maple exotics, 8x12, 14x14 and 14x20, my favorite sizes. I don't like them as much as my old sonor kits, but they were much less expensive ( 1100 to the door used) in great shape, and will suffice until I can get enough cash together for another sonor kit. The drums themselves have quite a bit of bite and sustain, great for rock or loud gigs, came with clear emps on top, I put some clear ambassdors on the bottom. Good sound, not what I would call "great" , a bit brighter than I expected. I think for they price the ludwigs are a good deal, as mentioned previously the lacquer is not stellar, it is nice, the brisdeye looks great and it's got the older oval badges which I like as well. All in all a nice kit that will get plenty of use from me. Ultimately I'd like to get a medium beech sq2 in the same sizes and then a smaller 16x18 , 9x10 14x14 in medium birch with a vms kick. Right. $$$$$$$$$$$
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  #36  
Old 01-29-2014, 03:01 AM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by dreyn77 View Post
Never heard of a gretch drum ever until just before christmas. (that's a lot of decades guys!) so no 'famous around the globe'. the drum shops are totally seperate from other music shops here (something about ripping people off) so they are getting less and less famous now! In three drum shops, I was the only person there for 30 minutes. in the middle of the day. I've never seen more than 2 customers in the shop in the last 10 years.
I hear that life in Mordor can be pretty isolated.
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  #37  
Old 01-29-2014, 03:07 AM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
WTF - seriously?

Ludwig are competitively priced. When you buy a kit, you're paying for the total cost of running that company, & yes, a small percentage has to be a contingency for the future. I'd like to see you build equivalent quality drums for less, & maintain all the costs of a business in the process. All larger & most smaller manufacturers already save as much cost as possible by outsourcing parts production. How far do you want that model to progress before all you're left with is a badge & memories?
Make sure it's a Mapex badge you're left with, then you could use it as a rudimentary shelter.

Sorry. Sorry. I couldn't help it...
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  #38  
Old 01-29-2014, 03:50 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by pcastag View Post

.... Ultimately I'd like to get a medium beech sq2 in the same sizes and then a smaller 16x18 , 9x10 14x14 in medium birch with a vms kick. Right. $$$$$$$$$$$

You started this thread because you are used to buying kits that most people consider too expensive.

Not a slam, just an observation.
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  #39  
Old 01-29-2014, 04:07 AM
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sonnygrabber sonnygrabber is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
Make sure it's a Mapex badge you're left with, then you could use it as a rudimentary shelter.

Sorry. Sorry. I couldn't help it...
That is just fricken awesome!
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  #40  
Old 01-29-2014, 05:40 AM
pcastag pcastag is offline
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Default Re: How does Ludwig Keep Prices down?

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
You started this thread because you are used to buying kits that most people consider too expensive.

Not a slam, just an observation.
Not necessarily, I've been looking at a lot of different brands lately, ludwig classic maples are cheaper than dw, gretsch, tama, pearl yamaha. Sonors are definitely expensive but that's not why Ludwigs prices caught my eye, I was looking first at their resale and noticed you could get an all maple made in the usa top of the line kit for 1000 or less. Not too many brands out there where you can buy their top of the line kit used at that price. Then I looked at new, much cheaper than almost any name brand, usually about the price of their second teir kits, I found that very interesting.
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