Ludwig Classic Maples vs. Vintage Slingerlands

acsunda

Junior Member
Hey guys, I'm looking at buying a new (to me) kit in the near future. I'm was looking at some older Ludwig Classic Maple kits from the 90's- early 00's. But then I started looking at some old Slingerland kits from the 60's and 70's. I've specifically got my eye on a couple of Slingerland "New Rock Outfit" kits as well as a few earlier kits from the 60's. I know I'll be perfectly happy with the Ludwig CMs, they're the safe bet. But maaaan, those Slingerlands just got that vintage cool factor, and I've got a weakness for old drums. What kind of differences am I looking at sound wise between the two? What would you guys do, if you had to choose?

I'm looking at many different kits, but here are some examples of generally what I'm looking at.

https://reverb.com/item/15855678-slingerland-aqua-satin-flame-60-s-aqua-satin-flame

https://reverb.com/item/33703051-1970-s-slingerland-new-rock-outfit-in-white-marine-pearl-14x22-16x16-9x13-8x12

https://reverb.com/item/33184800-ludwig-classic-maple-2015-silver-sparkle
 
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NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I think you should split the difference of vintage and new drums and get a hold of Bernie Stone at Stone Custom Drums.

Bernie was a fantastic drum guru that would customize bearing on Neil Peart's kits and Kenny Aronoff...all kinds of people, etc. He eventually made enough to purchase the original slingerland machines they made shells on and became an expert on RF and all that style of shell making and now produces some beautiful drums on those machines that have all the character of the classic Slingerlands - but with modern hardware and longevity etc.

For a while he was making these amazing kits at insane prices for Sweetwater:



I think were like $1400 for a custom made brand new shell kit made on those Slingerland machines.

Long story short - they did him dirty (it's not my story to tell but it's BS) but you can still reach out to Bernie and I'm sure he'd love to build you a great neo-Slingerland set.

If you tell him I sent you - I bet he'd make you a great deal too :)

 

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acsunda

Junior Member
I think you should split the difference of vintage and new drums and get a hold of Bernie Stone at Stone Custom Drums.

Bernie was a fantastic drum guru that would customize bearing on Neil Peart's kits and Kenny Aronoff...all kinds of people, etc. He eventually made enough to purchase the original slingerland machines they made shells on and became an expert on RF and all that style of shell making and now produces some beautiful drums on those machines that have all the character of the classic Slingerlands - but with modern hardware and longevity etc.

For a while he was making these amazing kits at insane prices for Sweetwater:



I think were like $1400 for a custom made brand new shell kit made on those Slingerland machines.

Long story short - they did him dirty (it's not my story to tell but it's BS) but you can still reach out to Bernie and I'm sure he'd love to build you a great neo-Slingerland set.

If you tell him I sent you - I bet he'd make you a great deal too :)

Cool, I’ll consider that, thanks!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
As much as I love Slingerland since I played those as a kid, you have to be wary of any drums that old. Usually they need new bearing edges cut, and they could be out of round, and there’s nothing you can do about that. I like vintage drums but sometimes they’re not worth the hassle if you want them to be a headache-free working kit.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Are these to be played out, or kept at home? The reason being, if you're on stage competing with amps .... the Ludwig CM would be my pick.

When I had my choice of Ludwig 3 ply vs Ludwig 6 ply .... to put on stage .... I went with the 6 ply. A bit more projection. A straight shell, with a sharper bearing edge. When you're competing with Marshall, Ampeg and Mesa Boogie amps, you need all the edge you can get.

If you're just gonna keep it at home (and you seem to like vintage kits), either Slingerland kit would be my pick (Satin Flame my fav., though). I've got my Ludwig 3 ply's now, 26, 14, 16, 18 ..... probably be with me 'til I die.
 

acsunda

Junior Member
As much as I love Slingerland since I played those as a kid, you have to be wary of any drums that old. Usually they need new bearing edges cut, and they could be out of round, and there’s nothing you can do about that. I like vintage drums but sometimes they’re not worth the hassle if you want them to be a headache-free working kit.
Noted, thanks for the input!
 

acsunda

Junior Member
Are these to be played out, or kept at home? The reason being, if you're on stage competing with amps .... the Ludwig CM would be my pick.

When I had my choice of Ludwig 3 ply vs Ludwig 6 ply .... to put on stage .... I went with the 6 ply. A bit more projection. A straight shell, with a sharper bearing edge. When you're competing with Marshall, Ampeg and Mesa Boogie amps, you need all the edge you can get.

If you're just gonna keep it at home (and you seem to like vintage kits), either Slingerland kit would be my pick (Satin Flame my fav., though). I've got my Ludwig 3 ply's now, 26, 14, 16, 18 ..... probably be with me 'til I die.
Thanks! Yeah I mostly just play at home. I’m a hobbyist more than anything.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Acsunda. If were me, I would look at the Slingerland Rock Kit. From what I can see in the pics the shells look O.K. and also the wrap. The lugs could be cleaned with 0000 steel wool then a rust remover and sealer. You could look on line for used lugs or go to:


 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Among the drums I own, I have a modern Classic Maple Set and two vintage Ludwig kits. So I think these are fairly close to what you are looking at with your choices.

These are really different sounding drums. The Classic Maples are big, booming drums with projection and articulation. They are meant to cut through in louder situations. Having said that, they are adaptable to a variety of sonic situations. They are definitely made for modern applications though. They are durable, consistent, and easy to tune. I played Classic Maples on a tour I did because they were so easy to work with.

My vintage Ludwigs have a great feel under the stick, and they have a great woody, organic tone. Oh, and they look fantastic. They are not as articulate or as loud as the Classic Maples, especially if you are unmiced. They do tend to be finicky and take longer to tune. The bearing edges are not perfect, so I have to spend time coaxing the heads to a consistent tuning. Having said all that, the vintage Ludwigs are my favorite sets. If I were to go on tour again, I’d definitely take the vintage Ludwigs simply because I love how they sound and feel.

If the plan is to have your drums stay at home, I’d go with the Slingerland set. If they need new bearing edges or something like that, it isn’t too difficult to have that done. Vintage drums typically don’t go down in value either. If you buy them and then find that they aren’t cutting it for you, I’d bet you’d be able to sell them for close to what you paid. The Classic Maples will almost certainly lose money if you decide to resell them.
 
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acsunda

Junior Member
Among the drums I own, I have a modern Classic Maple Set and two vintage Ludwig kits. So I think these are fairly close to what you are looking at with your choices.

These are really different sounding drums. The Classic Maples are big, booming drums with projection and articulation. They are meant to cut through in louder situations. Having said that, they are adaptable to a variety of sonic situations. They are definitely made for modern applications though. They are durable, consistent, and easy to tune. I played Classic Maples on a tour I did because they were so easy to work with.

My vintage Ludwigs have a great feel under the stick, and they have a great woody, organic tone. Oh, and they look fantastic. They are not as articulate or as loud as the Classic Maples, especially if you are unmiced. They do tend to be finicky and take longer to tune. The bearing edges are not perfect, so I have to spend time coaxing the heads to a consistent tuning. Having said all that, the vintage Ludwigs are my favorite sets. If I were to go on tour again, I’d definitely take the vintage Ludwigs simply because I love how they sound and feel.

If the plan is to have your drums stay at home, I’d go with the Slingerland set. If they need new bearing edges or something like that, it isn’t too difficult to have that done. Vintage drums typically don’t go down in value either. If you buy them and then find that they aren’t cutting it for you, I’d bet you’d be able to sell them for close to what you paid. The Classic Maples will almost certainly lose money if you decide to resell them.
Thanks, that’s helpful! I’m definitely leaning toward one of the vintage kits!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Ludwigs of course have the mojo factor, and the bigger reputation, but can have some wonky edges through the 60's.
Look at those WMP Slingerlands, excellent looking edges, and fantastic condition.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I've heard of these before, but never really looked into them. they are super intriguing! his facebook page is active and he appears to be making drums still/taking orders. I wonder what he charges for a 3 piece.
He makes amazing drums - I've known Bernie now for years and I have a 3ply Cherry set of his in Jazz sizes and they are stunning.

I would literally give Bernie a call - he's the nicest guy. Let him now you were talking to me and I bet he'd hook you up. I'm pretty sure those 3 piece shell kits were around $1400 - which is insane for hand made shells, etc. I'm not sure now though - worth a discussion.
 

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