Preference: Ludwig USA Club Date or Gretsch Brooklyn?


Platinum Member
Just wondering what folks think about the USA Club Dates versus the Brooklyn kits for use in jazz combo settings. The Luddies have rounded edges versus Brooklyn's Gretsch 30 degree standard, but both shells are maple/poplar/maple.

The Club Dates are a good $300-$400 less than the Brooklyns.


Gold Member
Man, both of these kits by highly reputable companies would get the job done well. To me, its a coin flip. Go with what meets the needs of your ears and eyes.


Silver Member
Both are first rate.
For Jazz, I would go with the Brooklyns. The new Club Dates are really warm and deep with the shell and edges. Also, the Gretsch comes with 3mm hoops, the CD has 1.6mm. For Jazz tunings, that would work for me.


Senior Member
They're pretty different sounds, both quite nice. The new Club Dates have a very beefy low-end thump. The Brooklyns are more along the lines of the classic Gretsch mid-range cut, maybe with a bit more sustain than USA Customs.

The Brooklyns are more in line with the "typical" bop sound, but plenty of jazz guys have gone with a more low-end emphasized sound successfully.

Both are delightful to play, and great examples of the awesome quality you can get for a relative pittance these days.

You may want to consider Inde Drum Lab also, some of the coolest drums going right now for a nice price point. Vintage drums are also worth considering.


Gold Member
I second the checking out of the Inde drums. Fabulous drums at a good price point. I would also check out George Way drums.


Platinum Member
Either would do the job admirably. I have a Brooklyn bop kit and it's awesome tuned up high. I don't play jazz gigs but I like a vintage vibe.
I also have the older Club Date SE with the same roundover edge and they also sound great tuned up high. They have a nice bonky sound. I know it's not the same shell but the edge and vibe are pretty close.

Is the price difference a big issue for you? Which ones turn your crank?


Platinum Member
One thing to consider is the gullwing spurs on the Ludwig. Lefty2 posted about this recently. I only have them on one kit, a Ludwig Giglite, and I'm not a fan.
Depends on the sound you want. I recently bought an 18-12-14 usa custom for jazz. I already have a '67 20/12/14 (mahogany/poplar/mahogany), so I wanted something different. The USA customs are sensitive and reward a lighter touch as well as being very focused. I think the die cast hoops keep them from resonating too much. The Ludwig sound is more like the 50's warm, boomy kits, whereas the USA customs and Brooklyn are more like the 60's focused hard bop sound.


Silver Member
I have played both and I actually liked both of them quite a bit. However, one of the sets was considerably better made - the spurs were a huge deal breaker for me, hi had better hardware, tuned up easier, etc... so I went with that one. Strangely enough, they were fairly close in price at that time.

The Gretsch Brooklyn is what I wound up buying. I am a long-time Ludwig fan and have owned at least 6 or 7 of their kits. I still LOVE the sound of vintage Ludwig drums, but the Brooklyns just made more sense when buying a new kit. It has a vintage/modern sound that can work in a variety of
musical situations.


Platinum Member
After reading scary stories about Gretsch quality control, I ran away from them. Then one day saw a set of USA customs at GC and they were perfect. Renown after Renown was perfect too. Figured the reports were based on a minor few, so went with the Brooklyns after hearing them and couldn’t be more pleased with their quality and delivery. Liked the Ludwings too, but liked the Gretsch HW more.