Gretsch VS. Ludwig Shotout!


Well-known member
I feel like Ludwigs have a bit of vocal, harmonic "complexity", reflection-like (?) kind of quality, especially when not tuned too tightly. The John Bonham sound captures that quality. Some might call it "oil can" but I like it. Admittedly a minor detail, but to me it's what differentiates "nice" from "that's it!".


Gold Member
I have owned 7 Gretsch USA Custom kits (Maple/Gum shells) that last in 2014 and 4 Ludwig kits the last just this year ( 3 Legacy Maple and one Classic Maple) . Here is my two cents on the two brands :
Pros - Very versatile drums with wide tuning range , no weird overtones and the diecast hoops make tuning a breeze . The Nitrocellulose lacquer finishes are gorgeous . Wide selection of lacquer

Cons - occasionally has inconsistent build quality . Lacquer finishes have been known to come out of the factory with variances in appearance . Some people make find them too dry sounding . The snares are hit and miss . The USA Custom are very pricey . The way Gretsch has to cut back the wrap to the 1/16” undersized rather than the 1/8” industry standard undersized shells is annoying .

Pros - Snares are excellent classic designs ( especially the pro level metal shells ) - excellent sounding bass drums . Lacquer finishes are limited in selection compared to Gretsch . Classic Maples are very versatile and exfellent

Cons - My opinion is the Legacy Maple are on trick ponies ( thumpy) ; limited finish options . Legacy line is pricey . Build quality can be inconsistent .

The above comments taken into consideration if I personally was to choose between Gretsch and Ludwig , my choice would be a Gretsch , but only if it was a lacquer finish kit . If I had to pick a wrap kit then I would go with Ludwig .

I prefer the sound of Gretsch over Ludwig . Gretsch USA Custom bass drums are outstanding . The Toms are great too but I would most likely go with another snare brand .

You may not be aware that I no longer own any drum sets from Gretsch or Ludwig . I believe I have given both brands ample opportunity to wow me and I have found both brands lacking .
will I buy another drum set from these brands ? Probably not . I like other brands ( Sonor and N&C or Summit) much more .