Ludwig Cherry/Gum Element SE

volvoguy

Senior Member
Anyone know what the scoop is on these? I'm seeing them on Ludwig's front page (only) and for sale on fleaBay. Their catalogs aren't up to date it seems. I've never heard of cherry and gum being used for drums. Do they have desirable qualities? Not that I'm particularly interested in these drums... just curious. :)

I'm also getting the feel that there are some other "new" Ludwig products in the pipeline. Might anyone know when the "new season" of Ludwig stuff hits the press? I'm kinda-sorta thinking about throwing down for a COB Supraphonic, but I don't wanna play my hand too soon. Word is that there's a lacquered brass Supra as well.

Thanks!
-Ryan
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
They were officially introduced last month at NAMM, and they're a vehicle for some of the re-issue wraps. I've got a cherry/gum/cherry snare that's lacquered, and it's a stunning drum... I hope they'll offer that in a kit.

The sound is warm, with a balanced attack, very vintage-y. I personally tuned their kits at NAMM and liked the sound very much.

The price point is really good as well. The Element is basically at the bottom of the hierarchy (Epic and Epic X-Over in the middle, Classic maple & Legacy at the top) but the quality and sound is quite good and the Element SE (special edition) leaves the Accents in the dust.

I don't know if there's a full range of sizes though, just a few basic configurations for now. At NAMM they had a 14x20, 8x12 & 14x14 kit (+ snare) with a rail mount, which is the old Club Date size.

Also, the Element SE and Element are different drums, just as the Epic and Epic X-Over are different. It's a little confusing, I think they could have created 4 distinct lines, but that might have changed the perception of balance between the US made drums (Classic and Legacy) and Asian drums (everything else.) Prior to this, there was Classic Maple/Birch, and the Accent series. Now it's Classic Maple & Legacy, and Element and Epic (and for 2009, Centennial, which are very underrated drums.)

Bermuda
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Thanks a bunch, Bermuda!

The price points are really attractive... and I'm definitely hip to the retro styles and configs. If only Ludwig had a rail mount when I ordered my classic maples. :)

Fortunately, the cherry/gum kits that I've seen "new" on eBay are exactly in the config that I would be after. Could be a fun kit to drag around vs the classics, which are more valuable than the cars I drag them around in. ;-)

I wish the Centennials came with shallower (16") bass drums... or I'd get one of those right quick.

Cheers,
-Ryan
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Are they axing the Centennials at the end of '09?
That's sort of the plan, although whatever is made this year will be available in stores until they actually sell, so there will probably be some lingering into next year.

Bermuda
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Did the Centennials just not move?

Does Ludwig sell any of their kits/products at the big box music stores like Guitar Center? I can't go into those places...especially since Ohioans are blessed with a pretty fantastic drum shop (Columbus Percussion) smack dab in the middle of the state, and only 5 minutes up the road from Guitar Center.

You don't see nearly as much Ludwig chatter in the forums, I wonder if it's because Ludwig does the official dealer thing (which I like: supporting small shops with good service), and it's stores like Guitar Center that define the "fashion" of playing drums.

Just ramblin'.... :)
-Ryan
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
GC isn't carrying Ludwig kits at the moment, there was a parting of the ways a few years ago but nothing irreparable. They do still carry the obligatory Supra, Black Beauty and a few parts, and just commisioned an exclusive Oyster Pink snare, so perhaps GC is warming up to expanding the Ludwig inventory again.

Sam Ash actively carries Ludwig.

But yes, Ludwig values its dealer network, and with GC not carrying kits right now, I'm sure it has strengthened the independent dealers position to sell the drums.

I don't know how the Centennials are doing, I've seen a few kits in stores and tried them myself at the last 2 winter NAMMs and they're really nice drums with all-maple shells. I'd place them right under the Classic Maple, but with some obvious hardware differences, only 20" deep kicks, and limited finishes. I've seen the green sparkle and maple in person, silver sparkle always looks great, and I'd think the charcoal would look pretty classy.

Maybe dealers got overwhelmed with all the 100th Anniv. gear, and the new Epic and Element offerings? The Centennials are definitely a sleeper, I think they're going to be collectable once they're gone and everyone gets hip to them (a la the Ludwig Standards, DW's 'Drum Workshop' series, etc.)

Bermuda
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Good grief. These kits are available in Psych Red. I've wanted a kit with this wrap for ages, and the big beat reissues were out of my price range at the time. I can't not get one of these. The vintage sizes, finish, and price are awesome. I'll have to check these out at the dealer ASAP.

The only question remaining is how to hide it from my wife. :)

-Ryan
 

pasta

Senior Member
Bermuda, how about the Element LCE Jazzette kits? What are the shells and can you tell us about the sound?
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Bermuda,

Do you know if any "add-on" drums will be available for these kits like with the Centennials? The New Hollywood config with an extra floor tom might just be the ticket. :)

Thanks!
-Ryan
 
GC doesnt currently carry any kits at the moment except with a few vistalites here and there, but can order any kit you want. With price matching (and beating) still being an option :) I ordered a Ludwig Epic kit for a kid last week
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
After 5 hours on the road last night, I've got a new set of the Cherry/Gum Series bass and toms (that I scored on fleaBay for a song!) in the house!

It's basically the floor model of a "2 up, 2 down", minus the snare and 10" tom They weren't an option in this case for some reason (though the shop has two of the small toms in the back). Though, I didn't want to pay for these drums anyway, frankly, since I've got a trusty Supraphonic and am not a fan of teeny toms. No rail mount, though.... just the cymbal stand mount.

I lucked out with the Citrus Mod (AKA "Psychedelic Lunch Revisited"), which I like best out of the three finishes for some reason, despite always wanting a kit in Psych Red.

Attached is a pic from the shop. I haven't sorted them out yet (new heads and such), but my first impression is that they seem real solid. The wrap is on nice and snug. Hardware seems robust and functional. Almost on par with that on my Classic Maples. Almost. The bass drum claws look like cast metal, but aren't. Should work just fine, though. The low tom sings just fine with barely any tension on the stock heads. Stay tuned! (No pun intended!)
 

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Drummer54321

Junior Member
I also just invested in one of these sets. I drove to all the local places in my area Sam Ash, Guitar Center.ect and none of them had one I can test out they only said I had to pay to order it and if I didn't like it because I couldn't return or exchange it. So I called Conn Selmer directly aka Ludwig and they gave me a list of the three stores that ordered them. I called them up they had them so I drove 3 hours away just to test them out. I have played on birch,bubinga, and maple but when I played on these drums it sounded so great I couldn't believe my ears. As soon as I got home the next day I ordered one.Wow great job Ludwig!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
I also just invested in one of these sets. I drove to all the local places in my area Sam Ash, Guitar Center.ect and none of them had one I can test out they only said I had to pay to order it and if I didn't like it because I couldn't return or exchange it. So I called Conn Selmer directly aka Ludwig and they gave me a list of the three stores that ordered them. I called them up they had them so I drove 3 hours away just to test them out. I have played on birch,bubinga, and maple but when I played on these drums it sounded so great I couldn't believe my ears. As soon as I got home the next day I ordered one.Wow great job Ludwig!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Congrats! Which kit/color did you go with? You'll have to share some photos!

I've got coated Ambassadors on the toms now, a little too bright, so I have a set of Emperors coming in the mail... then I'll put the Ambassadors on the bottoms. I put a Fiberskyn Power Stroke 3 on the bass drum, and am still tweaking the amount of muffling.

I've been tuning this kit up next to the Classic Maple kit, comparing sounds, and the new drums are really impressive. They're easy to tune, and sound sooo much better than the price tag would suggest. The exterior finish is really nice too. I'm just waiting for the 826CS modular cymbal stand to show up to hang the rack tom on (my lightweight cymbal stands lack the beef!).

-Ryan














 

Drummer54321

Junior Member
I actually went with the two up two down Citrus mod like yours. I will try and get pics up ASAP. You know what I say when I said they sound absolutely great right?hahaha but I see that you only have one up tom though did you not set up your other one?
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
t I see that you only have one up tom though did you not set up your other one?
It's a good question where that tom is!

I bought basically a floor model kit from a semi-local Ludwig dealer via eBay. For some reason, the small tom and snare weren't part of the package.... which was fine by me... I didn't really want those drums, nor did I pay for them. I got the rest of the kit for a steal.

When I went to pick the drums up, they told me that they did have a small tom in back if I wanted to buy it (which I didn't).... and now they have the snare and small tom on eBay in separate auctions. Not sure WTF is going on there. In my opinion, I lucked out, and got exactly what I wanted. Not sure how they expect to break even selling the teeny tom separately.

Whatever. :)

-Ryan
 

Doop

Junior Member
Hi all --

I'm brand new to the forum and wanted to introduce myself as well as ask you all a couple questions about this new Ludwig cherry/gumwood kit. I'm extremely excited about it, especially after everything I've read here and elsewhere on the web.

A bit about me: I've been out of drumming for about 15 years now and haven't owned a kit for about 8 years. I played in bands in high school and college, but after graduation I was in apartments for several years and had no room to set up my kit, so it sat mostly in storage. I played it only a handful of times over those 7 years, and then finally sold it in 2001 (7 pc. 1990 Pearl World Series, Piano Black). Over the last couple of years I've been singing a bit with a band and recently filled in (pardon the pun) a few times on drums. I'm rusty to say the least (it ain't like riding a bike, trust me!) but I'm fired up to get back intro drumming after a far-too-long hiatus.

Back to the Ludwig: My favorite band is The Doors -- huge, huge fan -- and a couple years ago I had the notion of trying to put together a kit that replicated John Densmore's classic Mod Orange Downbeat kit. At the time, Ludwig had reissued the Mod Orange wrap, and I was stoked to find that with a custom maple setup, you could order all the vintage lugs, badges, etc. Around that time my wife pregnant and we were moving, so I put the idea on the back burner. But I waited too long, and the color was discontinued.

So you can imagine how excited I am with this Retro Series, which is essentially the exact set up I was going to custom build -- right off the shelf and at an amazing price. And it looks like they got the color right this time! I was really skeptical about the quality at first, because of the price point and knowing that the Element line is lower-end. But everything I'm hearing about how this kit sounds has sold me.

The appointments on this kit aren't quite as true to the original as you could get with custom maple, but most of the differences are improvements to my taste. For example, this kit uses the mini-lugs rather than the standard lugs, which I think are much more attractive on smaller shell sizes. And I love the vibraband tom mount, despite the fact that it's not authentic to the original design. And the bass tension screws have standard heads instead of wings, which I also prefer. I plan to add a Supraphonic metal snare, like the original kit, to complement the wood snare.

But one thing I do miss over the original design is the bass shell-mounted cymbal stand. I really think they should have kept that detail. It's not a deal-breaker, but it does lead me to ask (and thanks for sticking with me this far): Is it nuts to think about adding one after market? I'm not sure whether Ludwig sells them separately, and whether it's worth the risk of having a drum shop custom install it or (gulp!) try doing it myself. What are your thoughts?

A couple other questions:

  • What do you recommend for heads on this kit, particularly ones that would maximize the unique vintage sound? I've been out of the market for a long, long time, so I don't know what's out there that's new or improved.
  • Any other upgrades you'd recommend -- snare wires, for example?

I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

-- Mike (aka "Doop")
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Welcome!

I was a bit skeptical of these, myself, but (obviously!) have been pleased!. The floor tom tunes pretty low and still sings.

Like you, I'd have liked the classic lugs and a bass drum cymbal stand... but that's lower on my priority list.

I'd definitely consider new heads on the kit. I'm still experimenting myself. I should have a set of Emperors in the mail tomorrow. The Ambassadors are a little too bright. Since these are smaller diameter drums than my other kit, the Ambassadors are fairly loose.

Other head candidates for me would be Remo "Vintage" Ambassadors and Emperors (a bit different from the standard flavors), as well as Ludwig "Heavy" coated Weathermasters. The Ludwig heads are thinner than the names suggest, so a "Heavy" is more of a medium thickness. Depending on what you go with, you may need a little bit of muffling. I'm still sorting out the bass drum. Folks seem to have good luck with Remo Powerstroke 3's. I've got the Fiberskyn version of that on mine. I just need a pinch more muffling (it's tedious pulling and retuning the head each time!). The stock resonant head on the bass is coated, but pretty thin (crinkly, actually), so I'll likely replace that as well with a vintage logo Ludwig Heavy Weathermaster head like I've got on my other kit.

The Supraphonic is still my favorite drum that I've played.

Check out Ludwig's web site (ludwig-drums.com). The catalogs are in there somewhere. Ludwig still offers the bass drum mounted cymbal stand. I've found that Mass Music (.net) has great prices on Ludwig hardware, which is then drop shipped directly from Ludwig.

As for installing it yourself, if you're experienced drilling wood, go for it! I've been toying with the same idea myself, as well as installing a tom mount on my bass drum. I've drilled drum shells before, and even with sharp bits you can still shred the wood a little as the bit comes through the other side if you're not careful. Paying someone to drill a couple holes can't cost too much.

As for the bass drum tension rods. I was really adamant about getting 'T' handle rods when I got my other kit, but was actually kind of glad not having them on this kit. I kinda like the clean look, plus the T-rods can snag on things. I'm still up in the air, though. Regardless, you can get T-rods from any drum part supplier like: amdrumparts.com and precisiondrum.com for not too much.

-Ryan
 
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