Narrowed Down Drum Set Options -> Final Help Requested

?uesto

Silver Member
So I've narrowed down my list of kits to try out and maybe make my next one.

I decided I'll be sticking with 16x20, 8x12, 14x14, and 16 16 and I think I want to do a sparkle wrap or possibly a walnut or natural lacquer.

If I could just get some opinions on the following kits, especially compared to one another, that'd be awesome.*

-Gretsch New Classic
-Ludwig Classic Maples
-Mapex Saturn

Thanks!
 

kettles

Gold Member
There are heaps of threads on Saturns where you'll find my and other user's opinions. I haven't used the others so I can't really compare, however I think Gretsch have some of the nicest looking drums out there, for one of the bigger companies anyway.

What kind of music are you going to be using the kit for?
 
A

audiotech

Guest
So I've narrowed down my list of kits to try out and maybe make my next one.

I decided I'll be sticking with 16x20, 8x12, 14x14, and 16 16 and I think I want to do a sparkle wrap or possibly a walnut or natural lacquer.

If I could just get some opinions on the following kits, especially compared to one another, that'd be awesome.*

-Gretsch New Classic
-Ludwig Classic Maples
-Mapex Saturn

Thanks!
I just bought a Ludwig Classic Maple kit in those exact sizes. I just picked it up last evening. I have to order the 16" x 16" floor tom. They do sound very, very nice. I always really liked bass drums in a 20" x 16" size. The finish I chose is "white marine pearl". I'm deciding on either an additional rack tom, either a 10" x 7" or a 13" x 9".

Dennis
 

?uesto

Silver Member
There are heaps of threads on Saturns where you'll find my and other user's opinions. I haven't used the others so I can't really compare, however I think Gretsch have some of the nicest looking drums out there, for one of the bigger companies anyway.

What kind of music are you going to be using the kit for?
I'm playing a lot of mid-range rock and blues. Lots of funk. Some jazz and easier tunes too, but not often.

AT, I'll definitely be getting a 7x10 soon after... And a 14x24 after that, if I go with the Classic Maples...
 

RickP

Gold Member
My choice would be the Ludwig Classic Maples, they are made in the U.S. they are well made and they sound great. Ludwig is making great drums these days and of the three kist you have whittled your choices down to, I think Ludwig has the most "Wow factor".
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Two of them sound like Maple drums, and one sounds different because of the Walnut interiors, and thin shells. All three are made in factories by qualified personal. What sound are you looking for. That should be the deciding factor. If you want wow factor buy a DW. They sound like Maple drums too. :)
 

?uesto

Silver Member
Two of them sound like Maple drums, and one sounds different because of the Walnut interiors, and thin shells. All three are made in factories by qualified personal. What sound are you looking for. That should be the deciding factor. If you want wow factor buy a DW. They sound like Maple drums too. :)
I really dig the Stanton Moore/Steve Jordan sound. Warm and slightly dead sounding but still getting a nice tone out of the drum while tuned up. I'd like to be able to achieve a real old, vintage R&B/Soul sound, but at the same time, be able to get a jazz sound too if needed.

It's gotta be versatile, but it doesn't have to be too versatile to where I sacrifice sizes or head choice.

*EDIT*

I know Steve Jordan plays a 16x24, but it doesn't sound big..
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
I really dig the Stanton Moore/Steve Jordan sound. Warm and slightly dead sounding but still getting a nice tone out of the drum while tuned up. I'd like to be able to achieve a real old, vintage R&B/Soul sound, but at the same time, be able to get a jazz sound too if needed.

It's gotta be versatile, but it doesn't have to be too versatile to where I sacrifice sizes or head choice.
Have you tried all three yet. Those new limited edition birch/walnut Saturns that I recently purchased, are like my maple/walnut Saturn's but a little brighter, and more controlled. Not as in your face. There is an online store in Canada that just recently bought a bunch of stock from the Mapex factory, and they have killer deals on all there in stock Mapex stuff. They have those limited edition kits for 1499 Canadian. That is a killer deal. Cheaper than I got mine in the USA. They also have tons of regular Saturn's, and they still have a Black Panther Velvetone for 1599. WOW! The Velvetone won best new kit of 2011. Check them out. http://www.axemusic.com/
 

Soupy

Silver Member
Reminds me of my drum search. I too wanted something with a 20" kick and found the options pretty limiting at times. More specifically, I wanted a 12/16/20 configuration with options for expanding it in the future.

All three are great sounding drums. Saturns will be the most modern sounding drums of the group, Gretsch and Ludwig both embrace their classic vibes.

Here's what I considered the practical factors in the options:

Individual drum pricing on the Saturns will kill you, so definitely go the route of one of the 4 or 5pc jazz shell packs and add on the extra floor; the shell pack will be cheaper than the individual drums by a huge margin. Doesn't seem too hard to find shell packs in stock, depending on what finish you want.

Ludwig offers the most options in sizes. And their individual drum pricing is pretty good (comparatively). Ludwig has the most options for adding on additional drums down the road, particularly including larger, shallower bass drums.

Gretsch is apt to be the most expensive, and has the most limited finishes. Wait times can be long for custom orders.

And 18x24 is the shallowest bass drum option from Gretsch and Mapex.
 

millerscapes

Senior Member
I have played all of the kits you're looking at and you've definitely got it narrowed down to some top-notch kits! I would seriously consider the Mapex because they sound incredible! The combo shell (maple & walnut) will give you some variance from the all maple shells.
 

B-squared

Silver Member
That's almost the same makes and models as my final three when I purchased last spring (the exception being that I had Gretsch Renown 57's rather than New Classics). Without telling you which one I chose, I will tell you how I decided. These were my criteria in order of importance:

1. I wanted a professional model.
2. I wanted maple shells.
3. I wanted a 2-up, 1-down and I did not want a 10". (I like the sound of a 10", don't like the small sweet spot).
4. I wanted the most "bang for my buck" both for getting a pro model and good resale value (not that I plan to sell).
5. I would prefer American-made, if the price wasn't totally out of line compared to comparable foreign models.

This is just my list and it helped me decide. You might want to try a similar approach to help you zero in.
 

JimboJim

Senior Member
Two of them sound like Maple drums, and one sounds different because of the Walnut interiors, and thin shells. All three are made in factories by qualified personal. What sound are you looking for. That should be the deciding factor. If you want wow factor buy a DW. They sound like Maple drums too. :)
Congrats Sticks; I am about to delete my account here and you are the one and only reason.

I am a DW guy, and am defeated by your little childish digs at DW in every thread. You pop in the "Show Us Your DW" thread every couple of weeks to stir up shit. Even random threads like this that have nothing to do with DW, you find ways to get in your little shots.

I'm just a drummer that respects music, artists and all brands in general. I've gravitated towards DW because of their quality, attractiveness (IMO) and sound. I don't think they're superior to other brands, and I would never judge another musician based on the brand of instrument they play. However, if someone around here has a DW question or comment, I like to add my thoughts, as it is one of the few topics I have some experience in. I am sick and tired of perusing this place and always feeling like I need to interject reality when you trash and sway people away from DW for no reason.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Congrats Sticks; I am about to delete my account here and you are the one and only reason.

I am a DW guy, and am defeated by your little childish digs at DW in every thread. You pop in the "Show Us Your DW" thread every couple of weeks to stir up shit. Even random threads like this that have nothing to do with DW, you find ways to get in your little shots.

I'm just a drummer that respects music, artists and all brands in general. I've gravitated towards DW because of their quality, attractiveness (IMO) and sound. I don't think they're superior to other brands, and I would never judge another musician based on the brand of instrument they play. However, if someone around here has a DW question or comment, I like to add my thoughts, as it is one of the few topics I have some experience in. I am sick and tired of perusing this place and always feeling like I need to interject reality when you trash and sway people away from DW for no reason.
Hi Jimbo

I don't want to be rude or anything like that, but I reckon that on this occasion, Sticks was genuine with his comment, the OP shortlist are all maple kits, and considering the reputation of DW's drums, he was actually complimentary for once regarding the DW. :)
 

?uesto

Silver Member
Have you tried all three yet. Those new limited edition birch/walnut Saturns that I recently purchased, are like my maple/walnut Saturn's but a little brighter, and more controlled. Not as in your face. There is an online store in Canada that just recently bought a bunch of stock from the Mapex factory, and they have killer deals on all there in stock Mapex stuff. They have those limited edition kits for 1499 Canadian. That is a killer deal. Cheaper than I got mine in the USA. They also have tons of regular Saturn's, and they still have a Black Panther Velvetone for 1599. WOW! The Velvetone won best new kit of 2011. Check them out. http://www.axemusic.com/
Yeah, I'll check out some of those out. I'm not too sure about the Saturns anymore though. But yes, I have played the Velvetone. I played the one Derico Watson played when he did a clinic for my store. those are some killer drums. I like them so much more than the Blaster... The sizes kill me though.

Reminds me of my drum search. I too wanted something with a 20" kick and found the options pretty limiting at times. More specifically, I wanted a 12/16/20 configuration with options for expanding it in the future.

All three are great sounding drums. Saturns will be the most modern sounding drums of the group, Gretsch and Ludwig both embrace their classic vibes.

Here's what I considered the practical factors in the options:

Individual drum pricing on the Saturns will kill you, so definitely go the route of one of the 4 or 5pc jazz shell packs and add on the extra floor; the shell pack will be cheaper than the individual drums by a huge margin. Doesn't seem too hard to find shell packs in stock, depending on what finish you want.

Ludwig offers the most options in sizes. And their individual drum pricing is pretty good (comparatively). Ludwig has the most options for adding on additional drums down the road, particularly including larger, shallower bass drums.

Gretsch is apt to be the most expensive, and has the most limited finishes. Wait times can be long for custom orders.

And 18x24 is the shallowest bass drum option from Gretsch and Mapex.
I know they're more expensive per drum. Honestly, I think they're more expensive, even as a kit, since they don't have a pre-packaged configuration that's even close to what I want... :/ Ludwig is seeming like the best choice right now, unless I go cheap and maybe order some new Renown Maples. They do 16x24, but they don't offer 8x12. Only 9x12. I just realized they only do 18x24 for the New Classics, too. Thanks for the heads up. The Ludwigs are USA made too, like you said, and offer all the exact sizes I want.

That's almost the same makes and models as my final three when I purchased last spring (the exception being that I had Gretsch Renown 57's rather than New Classics). Without telling you which one I chose, I will tell you how I decided. These were my criteria in order of importance:

1. I wanted a professional model.
2. I wanted maple shells.
3. I wanted a 2-up, 1-down and I did not want a 10". (I like the sound of a 10", don't like the small sweet spot).
4. I wanted the most "bang for my buck" both for getting a pro model and good resale value (not that I plan to sell).
5. I would prefer American-made, if the price wasn't totally out of line compared to comparable foreign models.

This is just my list and it helped me decide. You might want to try a similar approach to help you zero in.
This is actually a great little list. I can use most of these factors to make my decision. Thanks, man. I feel like most of these point to the Ludwigs, in my particular case.

Thanks to everyone. This was one of the more insightful threads I've posted, (in regards to the responses). I think I'll be getting some Classic Maples. come tax-return time. =]
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Hi Jimbo

I don't want to be rude or anything like that, but I reckon that on this occasion, Sticks was genuine with his comment, the OP shortlist are all maple kits, and considering the reputation of DW's drums, he was actually complimentary for once regarding the DW. :)
I'll second that. Sounded reasonable to me too.
To a lot of people, DW has a big "WOW" factor. I didn't read any hint of a "dig" at all in the comment.

Without seeming to be a Ludwig fan-boy, Ludwig does offer the most sizes for adding on without being stupidly expensive. Their pricing all around is very fair IMO.
They will also do any customer supplied wrap, if you like something they don't have.
You can pick which badge you want also, & I don't believe any other company has that option.

Other kits are great too, but if someone specifically wanted to add-on at later dates, Ludwig, or DW would be the way to go for just about any size you'd want, other than building a kit yourself.

If someone just wanted "a kit", then the options are pretty open as far as brands, which basically all sound great with the top line stuff.

Good luck choosing!
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Congrats Sticks; I am about to delete my account here and you are the one and only reason.

I am a DW guy, and am defeated by your little childish digs at DW in every thread. You pop in the "Show Us Your DW" thread every couple of weeks to stir up shit. Even random threads like this that have nothing to do with DW, you find ways to get in your little shots.

I'm just a drummer that respects music, artists and all brands in general. I've gravitated towards DW because of their quality, attractiveness (IMO) and sound. I don't think they're superior to other brands, and I would never judge another musician based on the brand of instrument they play. However, if someone around here has a DW question or comment, I like to add my thoughts, as it is one of the few topics I have some experience in. I am sick and tired of perusing this place and always feeling like I need to interject reality when you trash and sway people away from DW for no reason.
Wow. I haven't said very much about DW at all. I have a 3500 dollar DW rack holding up my kit. All I have ever said was that they are too much money for a Maple kit. If someone asked me about Mapex Orion's I would say the same thing. I wouldn't own one of those either. Have you been around to see how much crap I have taken about my Saturn's on here. At least I get involved in a bunch of different threads and not just the DW ones. Nobody talked about Mapex when I first got here. I really had to blaze a trail on here for my Saturn's. We all joke around here. Believe me I know. It goes both ways. DW 's are great drums, just like 20 other brands on here. If you read any other posts on here, you will see that I really don't say much about them anymore. If you are going to leave because of me, then you need to toughen up a little bit. I am tame compared to the crap I took on this and other sites. Don't take it so personally. That is what I am trying to learn. They are just drums. Really. That's it. Everyone on here thinks the lugs are way too big. They usually say so to. You should of heard everyone going on about my badges the day I showed off my new kits. You must of missed that thread. You didn't say anything about them. There is more to this site than just DW. You should take a look around every now and then. I will say sorry for hurting your feelings about your drums. I will try and not say anything negative about those drums again. Merry Christmas. Glen. Just when I thought I was doing OK on here. :(
 
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?uesto

Silver Member
DW certainly does have a "wow" factor, but to save money, (since the sound is no different), I'd go with Performance series, because the Collector's series would be close to $3,000 for four drums. I might spend that much on the kit with the added 7x10 tom and the 14x24 bass drum, but for just four drums that don't sound any better than any other drums in any situation I'll ever be in.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
DW certainly does have a "wow" factor, but to save money, (since the sound is no different), I'd go with Performance series, because the Collector's series would be close to $3,000 for four drums. I might spend that much on the kit with the added 7x10 tom and the 14x24 bass drum, but for just four drums that don't sound any better than any other drums in any situation I'll ever be in.
Buy the one you like, and have fun with them. That is what it is all about. :)
 

?uesto

Silver Member
Buy the one you like, and have fun with them. That is what it is all about. :)
I feel like my last reply that you just quoted came in the middle of a little war. But I will definitely do that. I hope you weren't offended by my dismissing your opinion of the Saturns. I happen to love the drums. It was the first drumset I ever sold at the drum shop I work at. (That's not the reason I like them so much.) They really do sound, look, and perform great and an almost unbeatable price with an amazing warranty. This is the high end kit I push at my store for people who are undecided, are on a low-budget, or are unaware of the unnoticable differences between them and any $4-6,000 kit.
 
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