Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The toms were almost up in the bop range and could have used something other than Remo ebony heads.
Remo Ebonies? Oh dear...

The drums are supplied with Ludwig Heavy clear heads, which really aren't the best for those drums IMO, but I'm sure the Ebony heads didn't help the sound.

Bermuda
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
Remo Ebonies? Oh dear...

The drums are supplied with Ludwig Heavy clear heads, which really aren't the best for those drums IMO, but I'm sure the Ebony heads didn't help the sound.

Bermuda
Yeah I have to talk to the guys at GC. They also could have been tuned better. I usually keep a drum key on my key chain otherwise I would have helped them. I would still say G1clears or coated.

Looking forward to your review. Ludwig if you are listening - if you had the kit in a vintage sparkle it would have come home with me. The ebony is neat also but I would go for the blue strata myself.

Manny
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Yeah I have to talk to the guys at GC. They also could have been tuned better.
Very few drums at GC ever sound good. It's the last place I'd go to hear a kick, snare, or tom at their best.

Looking forward to your review. Ludwig if you are listening - if you had the kit in a vintage sparkle it would have come home with me. The ebony is neat also but I would go for the blue strata myself.
Part of keeping the cost down involves not wrapping the drum. The finish on the drums is a ply, made in the mold with the rest of the shell. So, no extra labor or materials needed after the shell is done (although there's a sealer applied by hand, probably takes 10 seconds per drum.)

Bermuda
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Very few drums at GC ever sound good. It's the last place I'd go to hear a kick, snare, or tom at their best....

Bermuda

I agree. I was back at GC today and took another look at them.
They had both toms sounding great, but the kick drum sounded bad.
I know it's not the drum, but the way it was tuned. It just didn't feel right on the beater either.
But I was there to get something else and didn't want to cause a ruckus about it.
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
Bermuda

Great point on the outer ply being a part of the finish. Somewhat like my '67 kit where the wrap is part of the shell.

I have no doubts this kit will sound great and yes most kits in retail sound terrible. Only drum stores run by drummers normally have well tuned kits. I had to hunt down someone just to buy sticks at that same GC.

Can't complain though because it gave me plenty of time to sit down on that kit. My goodness that bass drum is groovy.
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
TL;DR Saw the Signets in person. I liked the sound, I'm not blown away by the aesthetics, but I think this is a good move by Ludwig.


Long version:

So I stopped at the local GC yesterday to take a look at the Signet drums and I have to take back some of what I said earlier. They had a Gigabeat configuration in Alpine Blue that were stacked up so I couldn't really play them, but I picked up the rack tom and tapped on it a bit. It sounded really nice even with the stock head and the minimal tuning that they applied to it.

I must admit that I was surprised at how light the drum was. I picked up the tom with my fingers under the sides of the top rim, and my hands happened to be at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions with the mount at the 12 o'clock. The whole drum tilted dramatically toward the mount, and almost fell out of my hands! I would guess that the mount weighed as much as the whole rest of the drum. It looked like a variation of the ATLAS mount that bolts into the shell with bolts + washers. The bolts used a drum lug head and I hope the idea of using those instead of Phillips head bolts catches on. I personally would just as soon put the tom on a snare stand instead of attaching the mount.

The finish looks much better in person than in the pictures, but it didn't "grab me" right away. It looks like what it is, an outer ply of something that you might use as a veneer over other wood. They didn't have any other finish so I can't speak to the Teak or the Ebony. They might look better than this one. I guess we are conditioned to expect a high-gloss lacquer or a good sparkle wrap on even mid-range shells, much less on a high-end shell. The more I think about it, the more it grows on me, however.

The overall aesthetic is very "un-Ludwig", and because the Alpine Blue finish is so "busy", I had to spin the drum around a couple of times to see the very tiny badge. I have shirts with larger buttons that that little badge. I didn't look on the other tom or the bass drum so I don't know if the badges are bigger on therm.

The idea of a near-Classic Maple shell at a price that I and other weekend warriors can afford really appeals to me, but the finish turned me off. I would have liked to see a bigger badge than the tiny little dot on the side, more "Ludwig-esque" if you get my meaning. Still, getting an "almost CM" shell pack for only $150 more than a Yamaha Stage Custom feels like stealing money straight out of Ludwig's pocket. I kinda wish I could talk my wife into letting me get a another kit. :)
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Bermuda, I just had an idea.

Perhaps you could suggest to the people at Ludwig that they send out a 12" shell (or even just a portion of a shell) to the various "big box" retailers (GC, Sam Ash, etc) with all three of the finishes on it, like the old "salesman" kit with all of the wraps. The finishes look better in person but if each GC only has a single variation of the finish, then there isn't a way to compare. I halfway liked the Alpine Blue in person, and it's growing on me, but I suspect that I would like the Ebony Macassar quite a bit.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Bermuda, I just had an idea.

Perhaps you could suggest to the people at Ludwig that they send out a 12" shell (or even just a portion of a shell) to the various "big box" retailers (GC, Sam Ash, etc) with all three of the finishes on it, like the old "salesman" kit with all of the wraps. The finishes look better in person but if each GC only has a single variation of the finish, then there isn't a way to compare. I halfway liked the Alpine Blue in person, and it's growing on me, but I suspect that I would like the Ebony Macassar quite a bit.
I was suprised at how many people liked the Alpine Blue, it's not at the top of my list. I fell in love with the Ebony, and the teak is nice, but doesn't really jump out like the others, it's much more conservative, almost a light oak look. But at NAMM, the blue and Ebony were definitely the two preferred finishes of the three.

I'm not sure how a salesman type drum would work with the way the finishes are applied (that is, in the mold with the other plies.) I think it would be difficult to get the mixed finishes to have clean edges separating them, and that opens the door to craftsmanship questions that don't apply to the kit. And a large part of the Signet line is keeping costs down, so manufacturing and shipping several hundred sample shells - even though they don't need to be drilled or edged - adds a lot to Ludwig's cost.

Stores should have flyers that show the finishes accurately, and customers are going to have to rely on that if the store doesn't happen to have examples in stock. People order finishes all the time without actually seeing them in person.

Bermuda
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Are these a guitar center exclusive? I just left Sam Ash and they didn't have any on the floor, i didn't ask about it, just wondering, it seems like a lot of the posts mention guitar center.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Are these a guitar center exclusive?
No, although the Alpine Blue finish is exclusive to them for a short time (a few more months I think.) But GC did get them first, which probably annoys the independent dealers (hopefully not more than they are with GC anyway!)

Every Ludwig dealer can order the Signets, but every dealer is also selective about which lines they take. If they believe their clientele will buy, they'll carry them.

It will be interesting to see how dealers handle the drums; will they set them up for sale, or maybe just one kit out and sell the boxed item? I imagine anyone buying a kit off the floor will have to be told why they're 'different', as the assembly will have already been done. But, that also lets the kit compete better with other kits that don't need (user) assembly.

Bermuda
 

sparks127

Member
The Don's Music City near where I live said they can't get any before April. I'll be ordering from Musicians Friend most likely.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
GC has all 3 finishes, though not necessarily at the same store. I've seen each finish in various L.A. and Orange County stores. The day after NAMM, a buddy and I visited 7 GCs, 4 Sam Ash(es?), Pro Drum and a few others. We saw Signets in at least 4 of the GCs.

Bermuda
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I am sure you guys have seen this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmKJIUkqQ5c

I really dig either the Ebony or the Alpine blue! These kits are very cool. Very simple and straight forward. Plus made in the USA.
No reflection on the kit whatsoever, but given the kit was close mic'd & the audio was processed, they managed to get a surprisingly short/dead sound out of the toms. Especially with close mic'ing, that's quite a trick. Given their weight/lack of mass, the exact opposite of what I would expect.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Hadn't seen that, but that was the kit at NAMM - I picked it up at GC corporate during setup - and I had it tuned much better than that! The toms in that clip sound just like the kits they have in the stores! Oh, now I get it....

Seriously, that video does more harm than good. The unprocessed, digital camera clip of me playing the 4 US lines at NAMM sounds better than the GC clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX3jyXt7Alk

Bermuda
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
No reflection on the kit whatsoever, but given the kit was close mic'd & the audio was processed, they managed to get a surprisingly short/dead sound out of the toms. Especially with close mic'ing, that's quite a trick. Given their weight/lack of mass, the exact opposite of what I would expect.
looked like a sabian ad! he didn't play much of the kit, more snare than toms.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
looked like a sabian ad! he didn't play much of the kit, more snare than toms.
That's the other problem, the snare doesn't even come with the kit! He should have focused more on the toms & kick.

You may notice that, in my 4 kit demo, I don't hit the snares at all! Maybe it's because I'm smrt.

Bermuda
 
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