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Are you looking for the best Ludwig drum set available today? You’ve come to the right place. No matter your style or skill level, there’s a Ludwig kit that is perfect for you—here are 6 of our favorites!
When Ringo Starr decided he would use a bass drum head with the branded Ludwig logo while playing the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, little did the Ludwig company know they’d be catapulted into international stardom.
However, even long before it became the go-to drum set for Beatles enthusiasts, Ludwig had built an excellent reputation as one of the most reliable manufacturers of quality drum sets.
The drum manufacturer still stands strong, catering to drummers of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.
If you’ve decided to procure a Ludwig kit of your own, then you’ve made a great choice. We’re here to give you some guidance so you can pick the best one for your style and needs,
Let’s dig in and check out the best Ludwig Drum Sets of 2023.
Ludwig Classic Maple Drum Kit
For a drum set that’ll work beautifully in just about any professional situation, the Ludwig Classic Maple Drum Kit is a great choice.
It feels great and sounds even better, delivering plenty of sustain. The kick drum resonates like a sea cave, and the toms sing like the sirens accompanying it.
If you don’t muffle the drums, you’ll get a thunderous and open tone, perfect for rock and other loud genres. Underneath all that sustain, you get a prime balance of body, presence, and attack, giving you versatility for any environment you play them in.
The sound of the drum set is thanks to the seven-ply maple shells, which are molded with the famous Radio Frequency Shell Technology, ensuring the perfect curing of the plies around the shells. As a result, the ringing tones are exactly what you’d hear in classic 20th-century rock albums.
The overall look is very vintage. You won’t find the sleek hardware found on many modern Ludwig kits, which we quite like. We dig the fact that the rack tom uses a mounting system with a thread built into the lugs. You then attach that mount to the cymbal stand, giving you a ‘ghost’ mount that is reasonably well hidden.
One of the main downsides to this kit is that it does not come with a snare drum. You’ll have to pay around $500 or more to pair a snare with it. The good thing is that you can find the perfect Classic Maple Drum Kit for your style, with more than 18 finishes available.
Ludwig Legacy Drum Kit
The Ludwig Legacy is the true flagship kit for the company, available in both Maple and Mahogany shells. The Maple shells use a 3-ply Maple/Poplar/Maple formula, while the Mahogany shells use a 3-ply Mahogany/Poplar/Mahogany formula.
The 30-degree bearing edge design is what gives these kits their distinct sound. You’ll often only find Ludwig Legacy kits in three-piece configurations, meaning you’ll need to purchase cymbals, stands, and a snare to enjoy your drum kit in full.
The Legacy Maple is well-renowned for its bright tone and punchy low-end, delivering a focused sound that cuts through the heaviest of rock mixes.
On the other hand, the Legacy Maple kit has a richer, warmer tone that delivers warmth and richness. Regardless of the kit, you can expect shells and hardware that will last you a lifetime.
Ludwig Vistalite Drum Kit
There’s nothing quite as distinct in the drum world as the sound of acrylic shells, and the Ludwig Vistalite delivers the tone and look in one killer package.
Though the Vistalite Drum Kit may be relatively expensive, it’s a one-of-a-kind sound you can’t obtain with a standard kit. Beyond the cool look, there’s a reason why legendary players like Bonham chose to play Vistalite drum kits.
The Ludwig Vistalite is going stronger than ever today, even after 50 years since its inception. Drummers can purchase it in three packages, including the Pro Beat (24”/13”/16”), the Fab (22”/13”/16”), or the Zep (26”/14”16”/18”), which comes with the 14”x16.5” Supraphonic snare (a Bonham favorite).
With plenty of individual snares and toms available for purchase, the versatility of the Vistalite is truly underrated.
If you’ve never played an acrylic kit before, you can expect a wildly fat and beefy tone. When you pair the acrylic shells with the proper heads and the correct tuning, it can be a kit that you use for just about any occasion.
You may have heard from your drumming buddies or gear forums online that acrylic drum sound ‘too dry.’ While that might be true for some acoustic drums, Ludwig Vistalite drums have a unique liveliness.
Plus, unlike traditional wooden shells, which can react to changes in temperature and humidity, acrylic shells are far more predictable. So if you’re a traveling drummer worried about the elements impacting your drum tone, the Vistalite is an excellent choice.
Yes, you may spend a bit more than you originally bargained for, but keep in mind that you’re buying one of the best professional drum sets on the market that will last you a lifetime.
Ludwig Pocket Kit Drum Set
The Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson approved Ludwig kit is perfect for pint-sized players. Includes everything they need to get jamming.
The Ludwig Pocket Kit Drum Set was designed in partnership with iconic drummer Ahmir Thompson, better known by his stage name, Questlove. As a drummer from New York, who was more than used to having to haul his kit from venue to venue throughout his career, he wanted to create a kit that was easy to bring with him on public transport.
There is no doubt that the Ludwig Pocket Kit is one of the lightest and most portable drum sets on the market today. With such a lightweight design, you can easily sling this thing over your shoulders and hop on the metro without any issue.
Even with its small size, the hardwood shell material helps it to project quite nicely. Compared to the Pearl Midtown, a similar-sized kit, the snare is relatively shallow, meaning you’ll get a much tighter, funkier tone.
In terms of the overarching sound, the Pocket Kit sounds subjectively best when tuned in the medium-high range. It delivers a tone that cuts through beautifully while maintaining that legendary Questlove tightness.
We recommend checking out the Ludwig Accent kits if you’re in the market for an intermediate-level drum set. The shells on these kits are made with select hardwood, which is an excellent choice for rock or jazz drummers, thanks to its balance of warmth and focus. Also, the 45-degree bearing edge design is standard for most Ludwig kits.
You can purchase the Ludwig Accent in two configurations, including a Drive and Fusion setup. In addition, you can buy them with Wuhan cymbals and double-braced stands to get a full-fledged drumming experience.
With a balanced tone and durable hardware, the Ludwig Accent is the most versatile kit for beginner to intermediate players in the Ludwig lineup.
Ludwig Breakbeats Drum Set
Configuration: 16”x14”, 10”x7”, 13”x13", 14”x5”
Shell: 7-ply poplar
Finishes: White Sparkle, Black Sparkle, Wine Red Sparkle, Azure Blue Sparkle, SaharaSwirl
If you’ve read our best junior drum sets guide, you know how much we love the Ludwig Breakbeats Drum Set.
The Ludwig Breakbeats Drum Set is one of the best sets for those who need something portable. The shells are made with seven-ply poplar, and you get a 16”x14” bass drum, a 14”x5” snare, a 13”x13” floor tom, and a 10”x7” rack tom.
This portable kit delivers incredible sound for the price and oozes classic style. Since its first launch in 2013, many players consider it the king of miniature kits, great for younger players, small stages, or tight practice spaces.
The bass drum riser feels sturdy, the hoops are smooth, the tom-holder is nice and weighty, and the chromed shell hardware provides a reliable thickness.
However, what truly stands out about this kit is the bass drum. While you won’t get the same ‘boom’ that you’d get from a conventional rock kit, it delivers a cannon-like punch with its size and shell construction.
On top of that, you get plenty of character with the snare, which is gritty and crispy sounding. When tuned lower, you get full-bodied overtones that give you that well-known vintage funky tone.
Of course, you won’t get a ton of tom power with small diameters, though when adjusted to the mid-tension sweet spot, it’s more than possible to get that lovely fat sustain.
Also, though it originally only came in the iconic Azure Blue Sparkle finish, you can now find it in Red, White, and Black sparkle finishes. You can’t go wrong with the Ludwig Breakbeats Drum Set for the cost alone. Overall, it’s one of the best drum kits for beginners.
Why Get a Ludwig Drum Set?
While Ringo Starr may have launched this small Chicagoan drum manufacturer to international fame, this drum brand is one of the most versatile around. So many iconic drummers endorse Ludwig, including Questlove, Buddy Rich, John Bonham, Marky Ramone, Mitch Mitchell, and so many more.
Over the years, the brand has become one of the most trusted and respected in the industry, and the resale value on these kits is incredible (just in case you decide later down the line that a Ludwig isn’t the kit you saw in your dreams).
We hope our guide narrowed it down for you. If you’re about ready to invest in a Ludwig drum kit, start by checking out the options above. Happy drumming!