Ludwig Club Date USA or Gretsch Brooklyn

Warrenwood

Well-known member
Happy weekend!

I'm looking to add a new set to the collection, and I'm looking for a 12/14/20 arrangement. I've narrowed down to either a recent (but used) Ludwig Club Date USA or a new Gretsch Brooklyn. My understanding is that both are maple/poplar. The Ludwig has roundover bearing edges while the Gretsch has 30 degree. But at this point I don't know much more.

Has anybody played both and can give their opinions?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Both are made of Maple/Poplar but they are VERY different kits.

The roundover edges on the Club Date give it a vintage, round, thuddy sound. An analog, "lo-fi" sound. They're also quieter than modern drums, they don't project quite as well. Personally I would only get the Club Date if you only play genres like Americana, singer/songwriter, ballads, 60s 70s music, or songs that hipsters listen to. If that's what you like, go for it!

The Brooklyns are more resonant, more articulate, more modern sounding. They sound more "hi-fi", with a more pronounced attack. Brooklyns can be used for pretty much everything, from jazz to rock.
 

Bozozoid

Silver Member
Well?...i just vvvery recently picked up a renown kit which I hear is similar to the Brooklyn. I've only heard the club dates via good headphones from portsmouth drumcenter..a ludwig shootout and for me I'd pick those over every kit ludwig offers...i was mightily impressed. Warmth..roundness..fullness. You gotta check it out and I'm thinking you'll order your shiny new...drumroll please...clubdate kit.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Yep - the Club Dates sound really tasty here:

I don't think WW would be disappointed with either set though.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Yep - the Club Dates sound really tasty here:

I don't think WW would be disappointed with either set though.
The Club Dates do indeed sound great in this video. However, the "Full Mix" is not a good way to judge their sound. I can't overstate this enough. Judge them only on the Overhead and Room mics.

If you judge them solely by the Full Mix, you'll get them home and be very disappointed that they aren't as big and full as they sound in the video. Notice the drums sound much flatter in the Overhead and Room Mic versions of the demo. That's how they actually sound.

The toms are boosted in the Full Mix to compensate for how much quieter they are, relative to the cymbals. That gives you the impression that they're bigger and fuller than they actually are. They even mention this in the video, saying they don't really "give back" like the other kits do.

That's just a negative side effect of close miking and why it's never as good as overheads/room mics for drum demos.

@Warrenwood
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I bought 2019 club dates and I have to disagree with them being quiter and sounding old. I really like them.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I have a set of Brooklyns and to my ears they do not sound like the Renowns. The Brooklyns sound like a slightly vintage, modern drum set. They don’t have the attack of modern drums (like the Renowns) but they aren’t as tubby as vintage drums. I prefer the Brooklyns to the USA Customs because they don’t sound or feel as stiff. By the way, the Renowns have always sounded very close to the USA Customs to my ears.

If I was going to buy a new set, I would look very closely at the Club Dates. They sound great in every clip I have heard. To me, they lack some of the punch and projection of the Brooklyns but they aren’t far off. Personally, I hate the bass drum spurs, but that’s not a deal breaker.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
Here's a link to a video I made use various mics that own 1 mic at a time, so nothing is close miced. I think it's the 2nd mic that sounds bad I think it's an old shure condenser mic. The heads were stock heads and have since been replaced with Evans EC2 on the 12" G2 on the 14 and EMAD 1 on the 20
 

Warrenwood

Well-known member
Thank you everybody! After reading some of the descriptions, I'm actually leaning towards the Gretsch over the Ludwig. IBitePrettyHard's comment really caught my attention: "The roundover edges on the Club Date give it a vintage, round, thuddy sound."

Chunkaway also had a good comment: "The Brooklyns sound like a slightly vintage, modern drum set. They don’t have the attack of modern drums (like the Renowns) but they aren’t as tubby as vintage drums."

I already have a Ludwig Hollywood and three different Slingerland sets so I have a good sampling of the round, thuddy sound. My Precision Drum custom set is a 6 ply maple with 6 ply rerings and roundover edges, too. It's tone leans towards vintage/modern hybrid, but the sizes are more rock-oriented: 10/12/13/16/20.

My 1958 Gretsch set is 3 ply without rerings, and it has a good tone. It's problem is that the floor tom is the larger 16". So I'm leaning towards the Brooklyn to move away from the tubby sound and give me the smaller jazz-oriented sizes. How would it compare tonewise to my 1958 Gretsch, especially with the smaller floor tom?
 
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lefty2

Platinum Member
I'm sure you'll like the Brooklins. I was looking at those and the clubs at the same time. I couldn't try any in real life so I've not heard the Brooklins but I bet that if I had chosen them I would be just as happy as I am with the club dates.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
So I'm leaning towards the Brooklyn to move away from the tubby sound and give me the smaller jazz-oriented sizes. How would it compare tonewise to my 1958 Gretsch, especially with the smaller floor tom?

After playing your 58' Gretsch kit you'll be blown away by the Brooklyns. Vintage kits have their charm, but they also have their quirks and uneven tone.

Here's an accurate demo of 12/14/20 Brooklyns...


@lefty2 btw, your demo of your Club Dates is quite accurate as well. Except for the 2nd mic, like you said, haha.
 

Warrenwood

Well-known member
IBite, thank you for the video. The tone on those drums is wonderful! I've emailed my Sweetwater rep to see if he can order a kit.
 

Warrenwood

Well-known member

s1212z

Drum Expert
My vintage Club Date sounds much more like the Legacy series, which isn't surprising since it's the same shell recipe. They sound really nice in the studio and though rounder edges limit tuning, you can get some really fat low tunings or have a beefy upper mid.

The modern Club Dates sound much livelier; it 'appears' to be a thinner shell and of course the lack of a thick re-ring and now a 6 ply formula change it completely. The only thing that it shares is the center lug (which does change the tone) and I think you either like or not (I happen to like it). But I think this is a different animal and I don't think they even offer them anymore, seems to be off Ludwigs catolog (probably since the new whole custom built feature, you can get more authentic Club Dates).
 

Warrenwood

Well-known member
Sweetwater quoted me a good price, but a 10-14 week lead time. Debating whether I want to wait that long. I don't gig and I have 7 sets already.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I have the Brooklyns - I can't say enough good things about them.

They are incredibly versatile tuning wise: You throw on a thicker 2 ply head and you have the most thunderous rock kit you can imagine....throw on some single ply heads and they will go to the moon with a wonderful high clear resonant pitch.

They never seem to bottom out - they never seem to choke out: I've tried maybe 6 different heads on the kit now and it's performed beautifully in all occasions. Right now I have a two ply coated head in a medium high range and it's the best of all worlds with a kick that's subsonic low that shakes every room in it's in.

Ordering a full shell bank to have everything from an 22" through an 8" to cover any occasion.

The one thing I don't have is an actual Brooklyn snare - so I can't speak to that, but otherwise - fantastic kit.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
My experience exactly. Club Dates were a little dead/ cardboard sounding. Gretsch rich and musical.

Both are made of Maple/Poplar but they are VERY different kits.

The roundover edges on the Club Date give it a vintage, round, thuddy sound. An analog, "lo-fi" sound. They're also quieter than modern drums, they don't project quite as well. Personally I would only get the Club Date if you only play genres like Americana, singer/songwriter, ballads, 60s 70s music, or songs that hipsters listen to. If that's what you like, go for it!

The Brooklyns are more resonant, more articulate, more modern sounding. They sound more "hi-fi", with a more pronounced attack. Brooklyns can be used for pretty much everything, from jazz to rock.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
My experience exactly. Club Dates were a little dead/ cardboard sounding. Gretsch rich and musical.
It's interesting the different perspectives that people have on the same drums. I have 2 kits that I play regularly a 2019 clubdates and a 2003 Birch starclassic performer kit. You say the clubs are dead and I find them more lively than my Tamas for sure. I love both kits. The Tamas have Birch shells and diecast hoops which will take some of the liveliness out and make them more focused I understand that, but the clubdates are anything but dead. Even with 2 ply EC 2 heads they sing out very nicely.
 
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