Ludwig Cherry/Gum Element SE

Doop

Junior Member
Thanks for the advice, Ryan! The info on the heads especially will be helpful. I'm a little ways from pulling the trigger, only because I've yet to talk to the local Ludwig dealer and start getting prices (man, I can't even remember the last time I was in a music store -- it's pathetic!) ...

Re-reading my post, I realize a couple of things I wrote sounded backwards -- I meant to say that I do like the mini lugs on the small shells better, but if I had been able to do the custom kit, I would have felt compelled to be authentic and get the larger lugs. And like you I also kind of like the clean look of the wing-less bass screws -- I always felt like I had to line the T up with the edge of hoop.

I'm actually toying with the idea of getting two of the Downbeat kits, if I can swing a good deal -- one in Mod Orange, which would be a stay-at-home kit, and another in Citrus Mod, which would be the gigging kit -- assuming I start gigging (a few musician friends and I are going to start pulling something together). At the price point -- especially if I can get a deal -- I almost feel like I can't afford not to! And if gigging never happens, I can always sell it!

Maybe I would "experiment" with the cymbal stand install on one kit and see how it goes. I haven't dug in Ludwig's parts catalog yet, but I'll check it out.

Again, thanks for the tips!

-- Doop
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
These drums sound sooooo much better in person than they do in this video! The stock heads aren't so super. :)

There's another video with the orange mod that sounds much better.

Thanks for the advice, Ryan! The info on the heads especially will be helpful. I'm a little ways from pulling the trigger, only because I've yet to talk to the local Ludwig dealer and start getting prices (man, I can't even remember the last time I was in a music store -- it's pathetic!) ...
Glad I can help! There are other brands of heads out there, too. I only mentioned what I'm familiar with.... and admittedly, I'm quite the curmudgeon! :)

I'm actually toying with the idea of getting two of the Downbeat kits, if I can swing a good deal -- one in Mod Orange, which would be a stay-at-home kit, and another in Citrus Mod, which would be the gigging kit -- assuming I start gigging (a few musician friends and I are going to start pulling something together). At the price point -- especially if I can get a deal -- I almost feel like I can't afford not to! And if gigging never happens, I can always sell it!
I'm getting back into it myself, after years of apartments, etc. These new kits came out at a perfect time for me. Much more fun to play as a "grown up" with other grown ups than it was in my early 20's. A lot more laid back now.

Maybe I would "experiment" with the cymbal stand install on one kit and see how it goes. I haven't dug in Ludwig's parts catalog yet, but I'll check it out.
Just remember that when drilling, to "back up" the hole with another piece of wood, so that the bit comes out of the shell and into the scrap wood instead of into nothing. This will help keep the wood from chipping.

-Ryan
 

Doop

Junior Member
There's another video with the orange mod that sounds much better.
Is this the video? I saw this the other day, and was immediately impressed ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVqLdCJB2F4

I contacted the shop in the other video to get a quote. I'm nowhere near NH, but he's selling a couple 2 Up 2 Down on eBay, so I thought I'd get a price. He said he isn't getting the Mod Orange Downbeat until late October (he has Citrus Mod and Psych Red Downbeats in stock). The guy in this video obviously has the Downbeat in Mod Orange -- maybe only a few were out initially and production is catching up to demand ...

I'm getting back into it myself, after years of apartments, etc. These new kits came out at a perfect time for me. Much more fun to play as a "grown up" with other grown ups than it was in my early 20's. A lot more laid back now.
I feel the same way. I was just about to give up on this idea to re-create the Mod Orange Downbeat and buy a nice birch Tama Starclassic (used) off a drummer friend, and then stumbled on the Element SE. I agree with you, too, about playing now versus back in college. The guys I'm (hopefully) going to play with are good musicians who care about working the songs and sounding good. I need that to get my chops back after so many years away from it. Back in school, it was much more about looking cool! Hence, the 7-piece kit when I'm much more of a 4-piece kind of drummer!

Just remember that when drilling, to "back up" the hole with another piece of wood, so that the bit comes out of the shell and into the scrap wood instead of into nothing. This will help keep the wood from chipping.
Smart idea -- thanks! Now, if I get these kits, I just have to get the guts to drill a hole in them!

-- Doop
 

Doop

Junior Member
Follow up on the Ludwig Cherry/Gum Element SE

On a lark I bought a 10" tom in Citrus Mod from a shop on eBay (Ryan, I have a sneaking hunch it's the same shop where you bought the rest of the 2 Up 2 Down -- in W.Va.?). This guy was selling one in Mod Orange and one in Citrus Mod. I knew I would want to add that to the Downbeat configuration I plan to buy, and since Ludwig won't be selling these as components, I thought I'd grab one or both. I wanted the orange mostly, but he pulled that auction early, so I missed out. I bought the citrus instead on spec, but may sell it again if I end up getting only Mod Orange (and not both colors) ...

Anyway, too early to really tell on sound -- it's hard to assess on only this higher pitched tom, with stock heads, and not much time to tune it up right (just got it today). But I plan to work it up and expect to be pleased -- so far I like what I hear!

The one thing that struck me, though, was the wrap. The wrap itself is sharp and seems to be on tight, but the application seems kind of ... well, sloppy ... unless I'm just not too familiar with wraps. (My first kit was a wrap, but that was 25 years ago; my last kit was lacquer.)

The seam is really pronounced, with probably an inch of overlap. Is this typical of wraps, or maybe just wraps at this price point? I mean, the price is incredible, so maybe I'm just being finicky, but it seems it could be applied much cleaner.

Here some detail photos -- am I nuts?

-- Doop





 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Congrats! Indeed, that's from the same shop in Charleston, WV. I was eying that eBay. On the one hand, it would help complete the "kit" for posterity... but on the other hand my wife would kill me... and I wasn''t sure if the wife factor was worth it for something I probably wouldn't use! If you don't wind up getting a kit in Citrus Mod, I may be interested.... maybe... :)

The wrap "joint" seems pretty typical of kits in this price range. On the high end kits, the ends of the wrap will butt together. Not really feasible on mass produced kits.

The amount of overlap is probably due to a vertical strip of double sided tape in lieu of contact cement. The Citrus Mod is a pretty thick wrap, and on a small diameter tom, the overlap and "gap" are probably a lot more more obvious. There really isn't a better way to do it in a cost effective manner, in my opinion.

My benchmarks for examining these drums physically came from other mid-range kits that I've played on (seems like some non-drummer in every band I've played with has one!). These Ludwig's easily surpassed those.

-Ryan
 

Doop

Junior Member
Yep, that's the place! Looks like I bought your tom!

That's kinda what I figured on the wrap. But it's definitely not a deal breaker. I spent some more time tuning it up this morning, and even with the stock heads, the sound is sweetening up. I'm definitely hearing Mitch Mitchell, even early Keith Moon. "Vintage-y" is indeed a good adjective ... I'm liking it!

I'm just about certain I'll end up selling this tom, as I've had my own discussions with my wife, and buying two kits is asking a bit too much! Because I'm getting back into drumming after so many years, I need everything -- stands, cymbals, the works. Two sets of shells on top of all that is a tough sell. And Mod Orange (because of the Densmore/Doors thing) is a must for me. So I'll be looking for another 10" in Mod Orange. That same shop might kick another one up -- I saw several older auctions on eBay, and they seem to be selling these kits in their own homemade configurations that swap sizes in and out. When I sell this one, I'll let you know first to see if you're interested.

-- Doop
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
One nice "feature" about the way the wrap is applied on these drums is that it should be easier to get off. So you could try a Mod Orange rewrap on that tom.

There are definitely a lot of wife-grumpifying hidden costs when getting back into it. My wife gave the thumbs up on the new kit, but didn't count on me getting all new heads... and I didn't expect them to be so pricey! :)

When I first got back into the drums a couple years ago, I still had my ol' Ludwigs and cymbals... but all of my hardware kind of disappeared after 6 years of moving into various apartments. Sold my old cymbals, bought all new ones (a fresh start is nice). I lucked out and found massmusic.net. They've got Ludwig hardware at amazingly cheap prices. I just got an 800 series cymbal stand to hang the 12" tom off of. My other stands (snare, hats, cymbal, throne) are 200 series "lightweight" stuff. Sturdy enough and lightweight. Had to put a "proper" clutch on the hi-hat stand. I had 600 series stands way back when, and they are really nice. Light and solid... that would be my first preference. I got a new Ludwig 315FP bass drum pedal (with a rock plate) new in box for $30 on eBay. I'm liking it so far. The Ludwig pedals aren't quite like my old DW5000 stuff, but probably every bit as good as a DW4000 pedal that runs for a lot more money.

Good luck!
-Ryan
 

Doop

Junior Member
Funny you linked to Jammin' Sam, because I just found that site yesterday! It actually renews my hope that I might later on get a custom maple classic kit done in Mod Orange, either (fingers crossed) because Ludwig adds that to the lineup again, or by doing a custom job. I noticed on Ludwig's maple drum configuration guide that one of the color/wrap choices is "customer supply" -- I figure that means they'll either put a wrap you provide on the drums you're buying, or they'll sell you unfinished shells that you can finish yourself. In either case, that's part of why I'm dropping the two SEs idea -- I'm not giving up on a maple Mod Orange.

BTW, when you bought your Ludwig maples, was that a custom configuration? If you don't mind my asking, how much did you pay? I'm more curious as to the typical dealer price-point as compared to the list price -- I'm wondering if/how much dealers discount those drums.

Maybe I would try wrapping that 10" tom, though I'm not sure Jammin' Sam's Mod Orange is the same as Ludwig's. Frankly, Jammin' Sam's looks closer to the original.

I was thinking of getting the 700 series hardware, which I think is the same as the 600 but double-braced. Thanks for that link -- those prices are great!

-- Doop
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
It might be worth checking with your local Ludwig dealing Mom n' Pop shop. Ludwig seems to have a bunch of stuff ready to roll out that's not in the new catalogs yet. A dealer's phone call to the Ludwig rep may reveal some of the new finishes out there.... Mod Orange may be doable.

The Classic Maples are mostly sold as "component" drums. So they're basically all custom.... which is part of the reason I went with Ludwig. 12-13 years ago, no one was selling the "one up, two down" config. In a strange way, I "accidentally" wound up choosing Ludwig... which is exactly what I wanted. Going on memory.... for the three toms and bass drum, I think I spent around $1800. Those are 1997 prices, though.

Ludwig is pretty flexible with doing what you want. The local dealer (I've since moved far away) had to call Ludwig to work the vintage logo bass drum head (Which was a "Fab Four" only thing at the time).

A person/company (I dunno which!!) called Steve Maxwell is selling new old-school rail consolettes on eBay. Those look a lot neater than the newer Gibraltar style (which is fairly huge!). That might be fun if you went with the classic maples... I'm half thinking about putting one on the Element kit.... along with a BD cymbal mount. :)

-Ryan
 

Doop

Junior Member
Interestingly, at the Mass Music link you sent me, they list Mod Orange as an option for custom maple drums. I'm guessing it's outdated, but maybe he's tipping his hand! My guess, though, is after the Retro Series has come and gone, the psychedelic wraps will return to the lineup. But I'll definitely be pricing a maple kit, so I'll talk to the local dealer about that.

I think I'm definitely doing the bass cymbal mount on the SE when I get it. Looking at it more closely, the cymbal arm mounts to a tom bracket, so probably 4 small holes. I think I can do that without screwing it up!

My current plan: SE now, to get back in the game, with good hardware and cymbals. Maple later, and if I'm gigging, the SE becomes the gig kit, and the maple never leaves the house!

-- Doop
 

Doop

Junior Member
Follow up: I called Jammin' Sam today, talked to Sam himself, and if I'm understanding him correctly, the psychedelic wraps they sell are the same as the ones going on the Element SEs. He said the wraps Ludwig uses come from the same manufacturer. He's sending me a sample, so once I get the Mod Orange kit I'll compare, and if they do indeed match, then I may do just what Ryan suggested and re-wrap the Citrus Mod 10-incher.

Now I don't know if I'm ahead of the curve, behind the curve, or maybe there's no curve, but I've got hunch we're going to see Mod Orange and Psychedelic Red return soon, but as some kind of "glass" wraps, like on the Bun E. Carlos signature snare and the classic maple kits. When I talked to Jammin' Sam, he told me that the psychedelic wraps he sells weren't "those glitter wraps Ludwig is doing." Now, maybe he's just referring to the Citrus Mod Glass, but then I found a reference on a Chicago Ludwig dealer's site that listed two new colors (not pictured) -- Mod Orange and Psych Red. So either that page is really outdated and referring to the reissues from a few years ago, or something new is coming! Plus, a press release announcing the Element SE Retros referred to Ludwig having "other plans for the classic Mod/Psych wraps in terms of the Classic Maple and Legacy Classic lines, so we wanted to use the standard wraps on this new Element SE line."

So, what do you think: Maybe "Psychedelic Red Glitter" and "Mod Orange Crystal"?

-- Doop
 

Juice Box

Junior Member
I like the orange... but I think they probably look different in person. Also, what do you think will look best with the fur boots?
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
I kinda figured that the wraps were the same. Companies like Delmar are the ones making it, and not the individual companies themselves.

FWIW, The Psych Red Glitter is already in existence. I've seen the sample over on drumforum.org. Neat new twist on an old idea. Not sure if they'll do the Mod Orange in a glass glitter. Seems the color differences are subtle enough, but I don't know. Haven't seen it close enough.

The new wraps from Jammin' Sam and Ludwig are probably the closest we'll see to the originals in our lifetime.

-Ryan
 

Doop

Junior Member
Should have guessed I was a day late and a dollar short!

I checked out that forum to see the sample. Yeah, I'm not holding my breath that the version of the psych/mod wraps on the Element SEs will be available on other Ludwigs any time soon. But nice to know I can get the same thing through Jammin' Sam if I ever want to do a classic maple in "Customer Supply" ...

-- Doop
 

wolfgang

Senior Member
I am seriously considering selling my Premier Cabria and picking up one of these in the Downbeat configuration!
 

Doop

Junior Member
I'm now the proud owner of a Downbeat Mod Orange Element SE! The kit arrived today. After a few weeks of quotes and haggling with a few shops, I got a great deal from a new shop in NH on a whole set up. Shipped to my door straight from Ludwig. I went with 700 series hardware, a Speed King pedal, and am poised to pull the trigger on a set of Sabian HHX Evolutions. I've always played Zildjians, and so feel funny about switching brands, but my sound tests just didn't compare.

Anyway, the kit isn't even really out of the boxes yet, so no review to post, other than that it looks great ... for the most part. I have a little quibble, and on that subject I have a question for Ryan, or anyone else who has one of these kits ...

If you saw my previous posts, you read my gripe about the seam on wraps, which I don't have a lot of past experience with. I understand why you need an overlap, and the wrap on these is high-quality so it's thick, making a thick overlap which looks a little horsey. But I can live with it.

The bass drum and hoops have two seams, which surprised me at first, but I realized after doing a little homework that it's pretty standard on larger drums.

But I thought this was odd: The drum isn't drilled so that the two seams are on the underside. One of the seams is on the side more than half way up; the other one is underneath. Had the shell been turned a quarter turn or so, both seams would have been pretty much hidden. From what I've read, it's standard to assemble the two pieces so that the seams are as hidden as possible, preferably below the spurs.

I'm being fussy I guess, and I know it's not a high-priced kit, so I shouldn't expect "custom" attention to detail, but this seems like a factory error to me. So does your bass have the seams on the underside? If this is a factory mistake, I'd like to bring it up to Ludwig and see if I can get a replacement that's done a little better.

Other than that, I'm excited to fire it up. Lots of work ahead of me!

-- Doop
 
Last edited:

volvoguy

Senior Member
Congrats on the new kit!

The wrap on the bass drum does sound funky. While it's normal to have two seams on bass drums, they *should* be on the bottom of the drum. I'd call the dealer you bought them from. Did you get them from the Drum Center in NH? I hear he's good people. According to the Ludwig guys on FaceBook, these drums are fully in stock in Monroe (at last!).

On the hoops, I found that the double seams were easily hidden under the claws.

Speaking of wrap, are you still thinking of wrapping the 10" tom?

-Ryan
 

RodneyZepa

Senior Member
Hello...I'm in process of ordering Ludwig Classic Maple Kit...Tough deciding what color to go with but thinking of what Ludwig has for an option, Vintage Black Oyster Pearl...Thay also have a Black Oyster Pearl.?. Anyone know the basic difference between these two wraps.?.They've also got Mod Citrus Sparkle, which looks to be an option they've just started offering, lately...The Cherry/Gum Element SE's look very cool in Citrus Mod...But does anyone have any idea about the Mod Citrus Sparkle.?.Is it the same as Element wrap.?.Feel like my wife when she chooses paints for our house every 6 months or so...Yikes...Someone has a Red Sparkle Kit posted on forum and that kit is beautiful...Any help, advice sointenly welcome...
 
Top