Ludwig Maple Classics VS. Gretsch USA

Roy E. Munson

Senior Member
I know the basics, but can somebody with actual experience please give me the pros and cons. I know one costs about a grand more than the other. Both are extremely famous and together they are likely used on Rock record that I love. I really enjoy the sound of both shells. Sell me!
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
My number one and number two favorite drum sounds! I've waffled on Gretsch in the past but have grown to love them. However, Ludwig is "my" drum sound...it's really all I want to play.

I own two Classic Maple kits and a Gretsch Renown kit. I've played Gretsch USA Custom and honestly, I couldn't tell them apart from the Renowns. The Renown shells are made in the US, edges are cut in the US, and you get slightly better features and hardware with Renowns...such as chambered floor tom feet and die-cast bass drum claws. Same silver sealer, lugs, etc. They mine as well be USA Custom and sound every bit as good, IMO...at a fraction of the cost.

Nothing beats Ludwig Classic Maple though, IMO. They're the warmest drums I've played, yet, and I've tried many. They're magical! Gretsch Renown and Ludwig Classic Maple are essentially parity, in terms of cost.

It comes down to preference...so try 'em both!
 

kinghat

Junior Member
I'm in the middle of making the same decision. If I add a ludwig snare to my order it will be about the same price as the USA Gretsch - roughly $2500. So do I go with 3 Gretsch drums or 4 ludwig?

Good luck with your decision. I'll share mine with you when I make it.
 

B-squared

Silver Member
They are very comparable in quality. I looked at both before going with CM's. You can't go wrong with either one, really.

Gretsch (or probably more correctly, Kaman Music) has really screwed up their price points. That's a lot of the price difference. I was also looking at Renown 57's at the beginning of last year, and they were going for around $1957. (No coincidence, I would guess). Now, they go for just under $1300. That's for 5 drums with an 18 x 22 kick. I just saw a thread for Renown 57's in bop sizes. I looked at the prices and guess what? They want just under $1300 for 4 drums with a 14 x 18 kick. I had to look twice and hit the back button on the browser to believe my eyes.
 

Roy E. Munson

Senior Member
I'm in the middle of making the same decision. If I add a ludwig snare to my order it will be about the same price as the USA Gretsch - roughly $2500. So do I go with 3 Gretsch drums or 4 ludwig?

Good luck with your decision. I'll share mine with you when I make it.
gee im getting quotes for 22 kicks, 12 tom, 16 floors for $1500 for the luds, and $2250 gretsch.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Hmmmmm.....to 'Vinnie' or to 'anti-Vinnie'?......that is the question.

By far the hardest decision I've ever seen posted on these boards. I don't envy either of you (actually, I lie. I'd kill to be in this position....sell my soul to be able to afford either). But nonetheless, it's a little like asking, my right arm...or my left arm?

As a life long lover of Ludwig drums, my heart tells me your holy grail lies in Monroe. But my head also knows there are no losers in a decision of this magnitude. Personally, I'd sleep soundly forever after with either.

I demand pics either way!! :)
 
B

Balto

Guest
Flip a coin. They are both going to sound like Maple drums. Pick which one you think is prettier.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
gee im getting quotes for 22 kicks, 12 tom, 16 floors for $1500 for the luds, and $2250 gretsch.
A lot longer wait on the Gretsch if you order anything but a shell pack.

Gretsch drums do sound great, no doubt, and the have a really nice feel, but Ludwig is just what works better for me.

My Ludwig's have tuned up easily, stayed in tune, have a wide range (in all sizes), and sound great with any head I've wanted to use.

Ludwig also offers pretty much any size you'd want, and it's no problem getting add-ons.

And they finally have great hardware too!

Gretsch USA Custom is a standard too, so you'd not "go wrong" with them, but, you asked, so I'll say Ludwig.
 

Smatch

Senior Member
Flip a coin. They are both going to sound like Maple drums. Pick which one you think is prettier.
I would disagree that all maple shells sound the same. A thin ply drum will sound different than a thick ply drum, sharp double 45s sound different than round over 30s etc.

In my opinion you need to play both side by side to make a judgement. I personally would look for a used Broadkaster as they represent the last true Jasper shells Gretsch ever used.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Like it would make a difference anyways!
It can make a difference to the purchaser who wants to invest in a product manufactured in his home town/country. I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all, having pride in or supporting the local economy. It doesn't have to be about a product being superior, necessarily.
 
B

Balto

Guest
It can make a difference to the purchaser who wants to invest in a product manufactured in his home town/country. I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all, having pride in or supporting the local economy. It doesn't have to be about a product being superior, necessarily.
If its about buying at home, for your economy then great. If you are trying to convey that the edges will be cut better in the USA than in some other part of the world, then I say bull****.
I just had my bass drum shortened and new bearing edge put on by a local Canadian guy, and he did a great job. Anyone with the right tools, and technique can do a bearing edge.
 

kinghat

Junior Member
It can make a difference to the purchaser who wants to invest in a product manufactured in his home town/country. I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all, having pride in or supporting the local economy. It doesn't have to be about a product being superior, necessarily.
This is the dilemma I'm facing with Allegra. As an Oregonian I'm inclined to support them, but the price difference between that and Ludwig CM's are hard to swallow.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Flip a coin. They are both going to sound like Maple drums. Pick which one you think is prettier.
I own three maple kits, a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute, a Gretsch Renown and a Ludwig Classic Maple and none of them sound the same as the others. One made in Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

At one of the studios where I work we have a Maryland Drums kit with shells made of maple manufactured in Sparks, Maryland, that too has it's own particular sound. I really don't care for the sound of DW Collectors and they're maple drums. There is just too much generalization in your statement.

On a side note, sticks you self confessed that you were never fond of the maple sound anyway, so to you maybe all maple shelled drums do sound alike.

Dennis
 
B

Balto

Guest
I own three maple kits, a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute, a Gretsch Renown and a Ludwig Classic Maple and none of them sound the same as the others. One made in Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

At one of the studios where I work we have a Maryland Drums kit with shells made of maple manufactured in Sparks, Maryland, that too has it's own particular sound. I really don't care for the sound of DW Collectors and they're maple drums. There is just too much generalization in your statement.

On a side note, sticks you self confessed that you were never fond of the maple sound anyway, so to you maybe all maple shelled drums do sound alike.

Dennis
Exactly! They sound like Maple drums! :) With very subtle differences. When I was checking out drums a couple of years ago from all the different brands, all the Maple drums had a similar sound to them.
 

Mr. Compactness

Senior Member
Keep in mind that the Gretsch's have diecast hoops which greatly affect the tone. I've owned both and to my ear, Gretsch has a punch and shorter sustain that the Ludwigs don't have...which I prefer. The bass drums especially on the Gretsch for me respond to a variety of different heads, but I had a hard time with the Ludwig. The Gretsch seems to have a bass drum that you really feel as well. To me the Ludwig was weaker and had less attack and more boom that I couldn't actually feel as much.

Gretsch QC seems to be better as well. Zamb can testify he's had a hard time with Ludwig at times. Every Gretsch I've owned both Renowns, New Classics and USA Customs have been perfect.
 
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