Buy a Ludwig Epic kit or make a kit with Keller shells? Help!!!

jodgey4

Silver Member
I have tried to buy a Ludwig Zep set (the mahogany/poplar Accent set) off Musician's Friend, ordered 10/14/09. It still isn't here, and they just gave us a answer as to why it's taking so long (back-ordered hardware) after calling 3 times a week since ordered. I got is price matched for $890 (at that price on Midwest Percussion) instead of $1395, so I'm getting a pretty good deal. However, at this point it may take forever to ship. So they offered me the same % (890/1395 = 64%, so I get 36% I guess ) discount on anything I wanted off their store. After trying to see if the new Ludwig Element SE kits came with 24" kicks (I would do anything for them to make a 14" X 24"), which they don't, I have to make another decision. ---------
I either want a Ludwig Epic Pro Beat kit (do you think they can do custom sizes on it because they also make 13" toms and I'd prefer that over the 12" - kind of a mini-Bonham kit (his SS kit -2" diameter on each)), or, I could make my own Bonham maple kit out of Keller shells. I found all of the parts on Drum Foundry, and would use Jammin Sam's Citrus Mod wrap depending on how much it costs. Which would you recommend and why, I already have the Bonham cymbals (Paiste 2002's, 15 SE, 18 med, 18 crash, 24 ride), and so it kind of limits the kits I can get that would fit the sound . I am a huge fan of Ludwig (and Paiste lol), and if you guys think a 24" Centennial kit would get a Bonham sound, I may get that, but I'm skeptical about the 20" deep bass. What are your thoughts? Thanks a bunch!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
.......Ludwig Zep set (the mahogany/poplar Accent set) off Musician's Friend, ordered 10/14/09. It still isn't here,...... I got is price matched for $890 ........ so I'm getting a pretty good deal. However, at this point it may take forever to ship.
I'd say "slow down and wait". You shopped around for the lowest, bargan basement price, and now you're screamin' cause your drums aren't here yet, and it isn't even a month gone by yet. Have you even, ever played a Zep kit? And if you have, that's the shop you should have bought the drums from.​
While the Zep kit is a good kit "for the money", it is not a "Bonham" kit. Close, but no cigar, so to speak. A real pre-76 Ludwig 26x14 3 ply kick is going to cost you......more than your entire kit.​
The closest "other" option would be the Legacy shell. Very close to the sound of the "original" Ludwig 3 ply. Extremely expensive and.......I don't think a 26x14 has even been introduced yet. Stainless and Vistalite re-issue kits can be had in the neighborhood of $3500.​
........or, I could make my own Bonham maple kit out of Keller shells. I found all of the parts on Drum Foundry, and would use Jammin Sam's Citrus Mod wrap depending on how much it costs.
If you've never worked on a drum before, or never restored a drum before, I'd stay away from a project involving "building an entire kit". Just a 26x14 Keller shell is gonna be $200+ dollars. Put hoops, bearing edges, and hardware on it (and wrap), and you've sunk $300-400 into the kick alone.
....... I already have the Bonham cymbals (Paiste 2002's, 15 SE, 18 med, 18 crash, 24 ride), and so it kind of limits the kits I can get that would fit the sound . I am a huge fan of Ludwig (and Paiste lol), and if you guys think a 24" Centennial kit would get a Bonham sound, I may get that, but I'm skeptical about the 20" deep bass. What are your thoughts? Thanks a bunch!
Hold tight and wait for your "ZEP" kit to show up. The weakest link to that kit, in my opinion, is the small rack tom. The larger sizes, the 16x16, 18x16, and 26x16 drums all hold their own. The 13x9 shows it's "Accent" heritage. I'd replace it with a 14x12 Luddy Accent, but that's just me.
 

jodgey4

Silver Member
I'd say "slow down and wait". You shopped around for the lowest, bargan basement price, and now you're screamin' cause your drums aren't here yet, and it isn't even a month gone by yet. Have you even, ever played a Zep kit? And if you have, that's the shop you should have bought the drums from.​
While the Zep kit is a good kit "for the money", it is not a "Bonham" kit. Close, but no cigar, so to speak. A real pre-76 Ludwig 26x14 3 ply kick is going to cost you......more than your entire kit.​
The closest "other" option would be the Legacy shell. Very close to the sound of the "original" Ludwig 3 ply. Extremely expensive and.......I don't think a 26x14 has even been introduced yet. Stainless and Vistalite re-issue kits can be had in the neighborhood of $3500.​
If you've never worked on a drum before, or never restored a drum before, I'd stay away from a project involving "building an entire kit". Just a 26x14 Keller shell is gonna be $200+ dollars. Put hoops, bearing edges, and hardware on it (and wrap), and you've sunk $300-400 into the kick alone. Hold tight and wait for your "ZEP" kit to show up. The weakest link to that kit, in my opinion, is the small rack tom. The larger sizes, the 16x16, 18x16, and 26x16 drums all hold their own. The 13x9 shows it's "Accent" heritage. I'd replace it with a 14x12 Luddy Accent, but that's just me.
For the discount I'm getting, I could get a Centennial 24" bd, 14" rack, and 18" floor off MF. Do you think I could order a 16" through a local drum store? From what I've heard those drums are killer, and I could even get it in Green Sparkle.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The "Centennial" kits, to the best of my knowledge, also have their heritage from the Ludwig Accent line. Not bad kits "for the money". I would not use the term "killer", however. Certainly, your approach to getting a "Bonham-ish" kit would work, you'd still wind up with a 24" kick. And not that there's anything wrong with 24" kicks, but if a John Bonham drum set is what you want (you have the cymbals), the 26" kick is pretty much the foundation of a Bonham set. I'd still wait for the Zep. kit to arrive.
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
If you really want that true Bonham sound, then you do have to have the 26" bass, although I can get close with a 24". However, those Accent Zep kits aren't the greatest sounding kits. The kick is probably the only drum that sounds decent on that whole kit. I've heard these kits live a few times, and they really don't project all that well, probably because of the soft luan wood used in the shells.

IMO, the Epics and Centennials are way better quality then the accent zep kits. The Centennials are actually US maple, so they will definitely sound good. And, the epics are birch and maple, so the wood quality on both of these lines is way better than the Accent. I would definitely take these over the Accent kit.

Don't get too caught up in trying to get that Bonham sound, as it will only cost you a lot of money in the long run, and you won't really get it anyway with the Accent kit. You could always just try to get the sound he got on Zep's first album, which was recorded with a 22" kick.
 

" Low "

Member
I agree with everything harryconway is saying if that the kit you want then you may have to wait a little
as for building your own you can make a killer set I made two but the $$$$ adds up really quick. I have a Centennial kit right now 24” kick one up ,two down its a GREAT sounding kit it tunes beautifully.
I’ve had a lot of people tell me its one of the best sounding live kits



 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Do the math on building a kit yourself. Use a spreadsheet, put it all together, and you may be surprised how expensive it really is to build one. After I added it all up 12 years ago, I found that the Classic Maple kit I wound up buying wasn't much more than the DIY approach.

As mentioned, it's a *huge* gamble if you've not had a fair amount of woodwork and finishing under your belt, plus you'll want to invest in very specific tools. You can blow a lot of money real quick.

As for buying a set of Ludwigs, all import kits are not going to be customizable. They're boxed up at the factory as a "kit".

In your shoes, I'd be tempted to go with the Epics or the Centennials, just because they're going to be better drums than the Accents (which have been discontinued). On the one hand, the Epics are really purty.... though the Centennials would give you the option to get the specific drums you want. Plus they come in the Bonham-esque neatural maple finish.

-Ryan
 
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