About to order some Bonham sized Ludwigs Classic Maples. Got questions.

Road Bull

Silver Member
So I am pretty close, maybe this weekend close, to putting down some money to order a new kit. I have been eyeing some Ludwig Classic Maples. I have really liked large drum sounds for some time and figure this is a fun way to try something a bit different.

I am looking at 26"x14" bass, 16"x16" floor, and 13"x10" rack to start. With large classic lugs, curved spurs, keystone floor tom hardware. I am not 100% settled on color just yet. My top two picks at the moment are some like Karl's sweet ass Ludwig kit that keeps coming up on Google searches, the Black Glass Glitter, and possibly the tried and true Green Sparkle. I know these are not quite Bonham sizes but close.

A 14" rack might work, but I don't think it generally sounds and feels as solid as a 13" IMHO. I might change my mind if I heard the right one. As far as having a second, 18" floor goes, I think I can live without. Most of my band's gigs have fairly small stages, considering the amount of bass and guitar gear we cram in there. I might add this latter on down the road, but not just yet.

I have done the large nine piece Tama Granstar with four up and two down and double bass kit a long time ago. But the large kit got trimmed back ever since 1993 or so. For the most part I have been using a one up and one down configuration for a long time. I have been playing a Tama Artstar Custom Maple (power tom) sizes. 22"x16, 13"x10", and 16"x16" floor.

So I have a couple of questions.

1.) Do you have a Bonham type kit? If so what do like about it? And would you change anything about it?

2.) Do you bother using a rail or other bass drum tom mount?

3.) If you don't use a rail or mount, do you use a snare stand or some sort of tom-to-cymbal stand option and how do you like it?

4.) Do you like the bass depth, 14" or do you feel that you would like a 16" depth more?

I have gotten used to playing with power toms, so it IS possible that I could see having rack mounted on the bass and still be able to work with it and get used to it. Heck, it might be just as much a change to go from my mounted tom to a snare basket. I think I could get used to either way I suppose.

I feel that these kits are not always represented very well on youtube. Some people are trying to sell these kits and they seemed to be tuned way too low. Then, often the drummer is primarily using bass, snare, and hats. The kits end up sounding like wet cardboard. I think these kits sound much better when tuned up a bit tighter (Bonham style). I don't mind a little ring and open sound. To me, that sounds alive.

I like how these sound>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwffE1FfCdo

and these>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOnqS9iv7fc

Not so much these>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e8kThwbE9w

I know that a lot of it is head selection and tuning. And I am not at all dissing the drummer or business for the clip that I don't care for as much. I realize some people like their drums to sound like that, but I prefer something a bit different. I also realize that there is a difference between 3 ply and the modern day Ludwig Classic Maples. But I like the sound of the modern day Ludwigs too.

Your input is appreciated.

Thanks for reading.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I agree with your tuning observation on the three videos. They need to tune up a bit to get anything out of the shells. On video 3, there's just nothing happening, & it's not just the recording method.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
My current Luddie kit, is 26x14, 13x9, 16x16, 18x16. 3ply, Thermogloss.​
Before that, I had a Luddie 6ply kit, same sizes.​
I've played 14x10 and 15x12 racks, and .... of coarse, 12x8. I, too, like the 13x9. I'm not a fan of toms on the kick. I use a snare stand, a separate tom stand, hang off a drum rack, or clamp off a cymbal stand.​
As far as kick depth, I like the 14. I had both 14 and 16 inch depths, in my 6ply ..... and I liked the 14, better. Fact is, I like the 14 depth, in just about all kick sizes. Currently, I have 20, 22, 24, and 26 inch kicks. I've played the deeper drums. 16, 17, 18, and 20 inch depths. Now, I just stick to 14's.​
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
I agree with your tuning observation on the three videos. They need to tune up a bit to get anything out of the shells. On video 3, there's just nothing happening, & it's not just the recording method.
Yup. I have been tuning my kit higher these days to have some contrast with a loud, tuned to "C" rock band. For me, you just can't get much out of them, and even if I got them to sound pretty good at low tuning, it would just be more mud competing with the other sound in the same frequencies.

I think when I started playing drums I would tune pretty low and thuddy, and muffled. Wet cardboard... I then came to learn that drums don't need much in the way of muffling beyond proper tuning, at least for what I came to enjoy.

My current Luddie kit, is 26x14, 13x9, 16x16, 18x16. 3ply, Thermogloss.​
Before that, I had a Luddie 6ply kit, same sizes.​
I've played 14x10 and 15x12 racks, and .... of coarse, 12x8. I, too, like the 13x9. I'm not a fan of toms on the kick. I use a snare stand, a separate tom stand, hang off a drum rack, or clamp off a cymbal stand.​
As far as kick depth, I like the 14. I had both 14 and 16 inch depths, in my 6ply ..... and I liked the 14, better. Fact is, I like the 14 depth, in just about all kick sizes. Currently, I have 20, 22, 24, and 26 inch kicks. I've played the deeper drums. 16, 17, 18, and 20 inch depths. Now, I just stick to 14's.​
Thanks for all the information Harry! I have not had a virgin kick yet. I think that in the back of my mind I am somewhat worried that the bass will wonder without the added weight of a tom or something. That, and probably more importantly, whatever method of tom placement I go for, it might require a slightly different set up.

So lets say I wanted the rack tom close to over the drum, or in a "high" position. It might be easier if I ordered it with a tom mount, (maybe ATLAS for options), to use a tom mount to allow for easier positioning. But if I were to place it low and left of the bass, then the snare stand seems the obvious choice. What I might do is just get an ATLAS mount for the drum to have the option. I could always go back to no mounts by replacing the ATLAS mount with the classic lug. I guess, beyond sound considerations of mounting toms to bass drums, when I look at someone playing a John Bonham kit with a mounted tom, it doesn't look too ridiculously high and unplayable. OK, on the other hand, these drummers could be 6'8" and super long arms, but I think it would be doable either way it seems.

There is a local shop here in Seattle that has a kit that is close to what I am looking for. It is a 26x14, 13x9, 16x16, 18x16 in Orange Glass Glitter. I may go play around with that a bit. I wish I liked orange more, lol. I have really dug all the 14" depth basses that I have played/heard so far. So I am comfortable with that. I want to mess around with the 13x9 rack though. I have always had fairly deep rack toms. I get the trade off with sensitivity vs. projection. I just have a more clear mental concept of what "power" toms sound like over shallower depth toms.

I think that ultimately, I will end up with a few more drums down the road to swap out or add to depending on how I am feeling. So if I don't get the 18" floor now and or a 14" or 13" rack, I will just get one or the other a bit later.

Thanks for the replies guys!
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
I own a vintage 3-ply in Bonham sizes (14x24 bass though) and play on a new Centennial Bonham kit. never put them side by side but I love the sound of both. I can only imagine the Classics are even better! tune them high and they are in reality still low and deep and super loud. I do hate the cymbal mounted tom on the Centennial kit. I never liked a tom mounted like that. If I has to do my kit over color wise I would change from silver sparkle to green sparkle, that's just me.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Would you not save money by buying the 18 floor with a kit as opposed to ordering later on. Or are the Classics special order and would make no difference?
 

Bull

Gold Member
I have a 14x26 and a 16x26.. I don't think I really have a preference. I had to customize a couple of snare stands to get my racks high enough. I think Pearl makes a tall snare stand for concert/orchestral players. That is sure to work too.

I am still thinking about an atlas mount and a rail consolette. I think it was Karl that said he looked into it but it would require a larger case.
 
Last edited:

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I used the bottom of a cymbal stand and the top of a snare stand to get my one snare at a stand-up height.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
I like what that "groovedrummer" guy does on YouTube (link 2 you listed.)

I had a Classic maple set in green glass glitter in 24/13/16/18. I hated the classic floor tom leg brackets, so good call there going for the keystone version. I wouldn't get the atlas version either, because they look difficult to deal with in cases (stick out too far.)

They were very easy to tune, but the bass drum was 16" depth and I longed for a 14" deep version for something more traditional. I also rarely used the 18" floor tom, so I agree with you on passing on that too! I'd rather have two sized bass drums and a 13" up and 16" down.

I'd also go for laquer instead of wrap. I dunno, just doesn't feel as cheap to me.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
Also, I personally ended up liking smaller sizes and went back to a 14x22" bass drum and 10/12/14/16 setup (mixing and matching sizes out of those now.) This is just me of course, but if I did it all over again, I'd get a setup like this with the tom mount on the bass drum and everything.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzqidgb5uAM
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Regarding kick depth: I have a 28x14 and a 28x10, both 70s 3-ply Ludwigs. I REALLY dig the 10" depth compared to the 14" depth. There's so much more "punch" to it. I use smooth emperor/ambassador (batter/reso) with felt strips, and it sounds AMAZING on both drums, but the 10" deep drum just has more of a chest-smacking thump to it.
 

pmancuso

Senior Member
This is one of my kits, it's not Bohnam size it is 14x24, 16x16 and 9x13 with atlas arch mount and bass drum cymbal arm bracket in black glass glitter similar to what you are looking at. A 14" as a main tom may not sound as good as you think. Bohnams drums were similar to the Legacies and back then what everyone seems to ignore is that most drummers tuned their drums pretty damn high unlike today. Todays 10" and 12"toms can sound deeper than his 14"/15".
These drums are Legacies and do sound vintage unlike the classic maples. You can get a similar sound to him but not the same with the maples so at least use his head combo of coated emperor top and coated ambassador bottom, both fairly tight.
Hope you get what you want and enjoy.
 

Attachments

Road Bull

Silver Member
Thanks for the responses all.

I am not necessarily trying to reproduce John Bonham's drum sound or anything too specific. I do like a lot of the sound and feel of that idea though. I like that larger drums can be tuned up a bit and still have a lot of depth to them.

@ Bull, I believe you are correct concerning the ATLAS mounts. One on a tom is OK as most drum cases these days allow extra room for suspension mounts. But for a bass drum, it gets trickier. I believe I read that thread as well where Karl was describing the fact that once you start adding ATLAS to the outside of your bass, you will not be able to get that same bass into your case/bag. I mean, if you wanted to, you could make it happen, but it would necessitate getting a 28" case. Not too bad for soft cases, but hard to find for sure. And I have always been unclear as to what people do with the old style consolette bracket when it is time to pack up. It looks like the tom connection hardware did not easily pop off either. hrrrm.

I doubt I would go with a tom mounted from the bass option, its just that I see all these reissue kits with consolettes and cymbal L-arms off the bass. I can't imagine that the cymbal arm is too useful either. Heck my Paiste 2002 24" ride weighs a fair amount. I don't see that being the best place to mount such a heavy and used cymbal.

@pmancuso, Thanks for the picture man! I love to see more real world representations of what those finishes look like. The 2013 Ludwig catalog that has yet-to-be updated has very little to go on comparing colors. I think you and Karl have Ludwigs in that finish. I think they look pretty sweet. Do you still like it as much now that you have had it for a bit? Or was the decision pretty easy for you to make. It seems to be a less common finish for sure. On the other hand, it might be easier down the road to add drums if I had something like green sparkle. It just makes me a little nervous that Ludwig seems to drop finishes fairly regularly. Oh, How do you like your curved bass spurs? Do you move the kit around much? Is it fairly easy to get the bass at the desired height and even? I have always had folding type spurs and at first I thought that curved spurs where a little antiquated. But I think they look pretty cool and would be my choice for spurs on a Ludwig.

@caddywumpus, Holy cow man! That is a huge drum! what kind of music do you like playing? Part of the attraction to larger drums is practical. I play a fair amount of gigs where there is little to no help from the PA. Or I might get a kick mic, and little else. But a lot of times it might be nice to have a little extra something when it comes to volume and power.

@SgtThump, Heck yeah. I have seen a few of your youtube comparison clips, various Zildjian, Paiste, and Ludwig videos. Thanks for taking time to post all those. You might be part of the reason I have a whole set of Paiste 2002s that will be perfect for my future kit. The drums look sweet too! So you don't still have them?

Yeah, at first I thought about going with the classic hardware, but it just seems that the Keystone hardware brackets are a bit more sturdy while not being quite as dimension enhancing as going with the ATLAS for all the floor tom mounts. Hey? Do these brackets make my floor tom look big? No... I am sure that my floor tom case just shrunk a bit.. lol.

I also wouldn't mind adding drums here and there down the road for different occasions and situations.

@GRUNTERSDAD, I haven't found there to be too much in the way of cost savings by going a set configuration route. The main difference might just be about an extra $500 or so for the 18" floor tom addition. If I went with the green sparkle Bonham kit, there is one on eBay that is pretty much what I want, but is around $500-$700 more. Well, maybe $500 more after I get done paying our 9.5% sales tax : (

I believe I was quoted about $1750 for the 26x14, 13x9, 16x16 configuration. So it might be a little more if I go with a 14x10 tom, but not too much I imagine. So around $1916.25 total damage after tax.


@The Old Hyde, Yeah, I don't think that a cymbal to tom mount would be my first choice either. I think it might come down to what is necessary for comfortable positioning though. I might just start out with a snare stand and go from there.


Thanks for all the input guys.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
If there was a way I could try this out before dropping the money on the kit I definitely would.

I don't think I'd get along with it. I play little girly toms.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
If there was a way I could try this out before dropping the money on the kit I definitely would.

I don't think I'd get along with it. I play little girly toms.
LOL, I hear you. For the most part, I have all these sizes minus the Bass drum. I have older Tama Artstar Customs and Granstars. What I DON'T have is the bass for a direct comparison. Although I have had a chance to hear a few live with bands that are our friends, and in a stores. It's also a bit of an adventure in a way.

That, and for many things in this world that are a bit specialized, you don't get a chance to see it in the flesh very often. So I turn to the internet and begin my feverish research and get a little OCD about things.

Most local music stores, and I live in a fairly large city, (Seattle), don't have this kind of kit laying about to put through the paces. I am pretty lucky that there IS a kit that is pretty close to the kit I am looking at save a few minor details. And that's about as close as it gets for most of us. And I LOVE going to music stores. I like seeing cool stuff, even if I can't afford any of it. I had a chance a few years ago to go to Chicago and when to Chicago Music Exchange. They were just setting up their drum side of the shop. And at the time, I was looking more at bass gear because I didn't have a place to play my drums.

Sure there are many places like a GC where you don't see a lot of new exciting gear, but, you never know. And that is the fun in looking I suppose.
 

Bonzobilly

Senior Member
I have some large size classic maples and I love them. I have a 13x11 rack Tom on an Atlas arch over my 24 inch kick with no problem. I don't like flying toms of of stands. I agree with most that they sound better tuned up. I think it's hard to convey good sounds over YouTube and the like. I'd go down to that shop and hit those drums if it were me. At least you'll get a good feel for the wheelhouse you're about to enter.
 

pmancuso

Senior Member
Thanks for the responses all.

I am not necessarily trying to reproduce John Bonham's drum sound or anything too specific. I do like a lot of the sound and feel of that idea though. I like that larger drums can be tuned up a bit and still have a lot of depth to them.

@pmancuso, Thanks for the picture man! I love to see more real world representations of what those finishes look like. The 2013 Ludwig catalog that has yet-to-be updated has very little to go on comparing colors. I think you and Karl have Ludwigs in that finish. I think they look pretty sweet. Do you still like it as much now that you have had it for a bit? Or was the decision pretty easy for you to make. It seems to be a less common finish for sure. On the other hand, it might be easier down the road to add drums if I had something like green sparkle. It just makes me a little nervous that Ludwig seems to drop finishes fairly regularly. Oh, How do you like your curved bass spurs? Do you move the kit around much? Is it fairly easy to get the bass at the desired height and even? I have always had folding type spurs and at first I thought that curved spurs where a little antiquated. But I think they look pretty cool and would be my choice for spurs on a Ludwig.


I just played the kit out last night for the second time. The finish is nicer in person under lights than in photos. I wanted a retro vibe without being 100%, I just thought the black glass glitter was an answer to that and it does look good. If you think Ludwig is bad for dropping finishes Tama is a whole lot worse and I believe in some or most cases Ludwig will make you a drum in a discontinued finish for extra and not at all if it was a laminate that they had had problems with. The spurs work out fine I get it on the second adjustment 99% of the time. ( 5 Moves ) and they look cool.

Now all that said I have had a problem with the 2 rod attachments of the Arch loosening up. When I went to reassemble during setting up last night it was the second time the rods were loose after tightening them up with the allen wrench super tight. I think vibration from playing does it after time but I'm guessing at this point. You probably would not like putting your cymbal on the bass drum because of half of the bracket being designed to move for isolation the cymbal holder can be made to move a little bit but is simply fine for playing.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Thanks for the responses all.

I am not necessarily trying to reproduce John Bonham's drum sound or anything too specific. I do like a lot of the sound and feel of that idea though. I like that larger drums can be tuned up a bit and still have a lot of depth to them.

@pmancuso, Thanks for the picture man! I love to see more real world representations of what those finishes look like. The 2013 Ludwig catalog that has yet-to-be updated has very little to go on comparing colors. I think you and Karl have Ludwigs in that finish. I think they look pretty sweet. Do you still like it as much now that you have had it for a bit? Or was the decision pretty easy for you to make. It seems to be a less common finish for sure. On the other hand, it might be easier down the road to add drums if I had something like green sparkle. It just makes me a little nervous that Ludwig seems to drop finishes fairly regularly. Oh, How do you like your curved bass spurs? Do you move the kit around much? Is it fairly easy to get the bass at the desired height and even? I have always had folding type spurs and at first I thought that curved spurs where a little antiquated. But I think they look pretty cool and would be my choice for spurs on a Ludwig.


I just played the kit out last night for the second time. The finish is nicer in person under lights than in photos. I wanted a retro vibe without being 100%, I just thought the black glass glitter was an answer to that and it does look good. If you think Ludwig is bad for dropping finishes Tama is a whole lot worse and I believe in some or most cases Ludwig will make you a drum in a discontinued finish for extra and not at all if it was a laminate that they had had problems with. The spurs work out fine I get it on the second adjustment 99% of the time. ( 5 Moves ) and they look cool.

Now all that said I have had a problem with the 2 rod attachments of the Arch loosening up. When I went to reassemble during setting up last night it was the second time the rods were loose after tightening them up with the allen wrench super tight. I think vibration from playing does it after time but I'm guessing at this point. You probably would not like putting your cymbal on the bass drum because of half of the bracket being designed to move for isolation the cymbal holder can be made to move a little bit but is simply fine for playing.

You have a great looking set for sure man. I love that color, and it might be what I end up ordering. The reason that I ask about the spurs is that I have always had collapsible bass spurs with rubber/spike feet. I figure that they deploy just as easy as anything else, I just don't know what a loss of the spikes might translate. I always play with rug and just don't want to have to chase by bass drum around.

I heard a HUGE Ludwig kit last night. 26,15,16, and 18". I would definitely not get a 15" rack, but I really liked the 26" bass last night. Again, it was one of those venues that had a little help from the PA. There was no port on the front head, so it was miked directly in front. It still sounded full and punchy though. This has helped sell me on the idea of adding the 26" to my life. LOL.
 

pmancuso

Senior Member
As far as the spurs go I've only had them on carpet so far and so far absolurely no problem. My 24 sounds real good and remember if you do install the new brackets you are going to have to up your case size, I need a 26" case.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
As far as the spurs go I've only had them on carpet so far and so far absolurely no problem. My 24 sounds real good and remember if you do install the new brackets you are going to have to up your case size, I need a 26" case.
Thanks for the heads up. I am tracking. I will most likely be going with a virgin bass drum anyway. I do like the look with your Atlas mount though. It looks like a classed up version if the old style mount. Plus, I don't want to have to use a 28" case to cart my stuff around
 
Top