Are Ludwig Drums Any Good? Best Drum Guide + Review

By Evan C

The Question Everyone Wants To Know

Whether you are in the market for a new kit or just curious, you’re probably wondering, are Ludwig drums any good? Let’s talk about this top drum brand and if it’d be a great option for you.

Are Ludwig Drums any good? They sure are beautiful!

Ludwig Drums In A Nutshell

Ludwig drums are considered by many drummers to be high-quality and well-respected instruments. The Ludwig company has been producing drums since 1909 and has a long time history of innovation and craftsmanship in the industry.

Ludwig drums have been used by many famous drummers, including Buddy Rich, Ringo Starr, John Bonham, and Alex Van Halen, which has helped to cement their reputation as a top-tier drum manufacturer.

Additionally, Ludwig offers a range of drum lines at different price points, making their instruments accessible to a wide range of drummers.

Overall, while personal preferences and playing styles can vary, many drummers consider Ludwig drums to be of excellent quality and worth considering for their sound, durability, and history.

Ludwig Logo

The Proof Is In The Pudding.. I Mean Details

That answers the question pretty quick, but what about the details? Let’s look into some more things to consider before moving forward with Ludwig. 

Are Ludwig Drums Any Good? A Deeper Look!

History of Ludwig:

Ludwig drums are one of the most iconic names in the world of drums and percussion. The company was founded in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois by brothers William F. and Theobald Ludwig.

The company originally started as a drumhead manufacturer and was known as Ludwig & Ludwig. In the early years, Ludwig & Ludwig manufactured snare drums, bass drums, and timpani, which were sold to both orchestras and marching bands.

In the 1920s, the company introduced its first drum kit, which was known as the “Jazzette”. This kit was designed to be smaller than the standard drum kit of the time, making it more suitable for use in jazz music.

In the 1930s, Ludwig & Ludwig was acquired by the C.G. Conn Company and the company continued to innovate and develop new drum kits, including the “Super Ludwig” and the “Speed King” pedal.

Ludwig & Ludwig was sold to Selmer in 1955 and the company was renamed Ludwig Industries. It was during this time that the company really began to take off, thanks in part to the endorsement of the Beatles’ drummer, Ringo Starr.

Ludwig drums were used by Starr throughout the Beatles’ career and became synonymous with the band’s sound.

In the years since, the Ludwig brand has continued to innovate and develop new drum kits, including the Vistalite, which was made famous by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

My Ludwig Classic Maple Snare Drum – Check out the badge

Today, Ludwig is still one of the most respected names and best drum brands in the world of drums and percussion, and their products are used by drummers all over the world.

Are Ludwig drums any good? Let’s dive more into their quality and the vast amount of options they have available. 

Check out one of my previous posts about some of the best American made drums by clicking here.

Quality of Ludwig Drums:

Ludwig has a rigorous quality control process in place to ensure that their drums meet their high standards before they are released to the market.

The company has a team of experienced craftsmen who carefully inspect each drum for any defects or imperfections, such as uneven shells, loose hardware, or imperfect finishes.

Each drum undergoes a series of tests and inspections to ensure that it meets the company’s exacting standards for sound quality, playability, and durability.

sticker of Ludwig's quality approval
Inside Ludwig drums – their standard for quality

Additionally, Ludwig uses state-of-the-art manufacturing technology to produce their drums, which helps to ensure consistency and precision across all their products.

This technology includes computer-controlled cutting and shaping machines, which allow for precise control over the drum’s dimensions and construction.

As you can see from the below picture, Ludwig’s quality control stamped this drum as good to go and I can confirm, this drum sounds and looks perfect!

Ludwig also uses high-quality materials in the construction of their drums, such as hand-selected wood and top-quality hardware, which further contributes to the overall quality of their products.

Overall, Ludwig’s commitment to quality control is an essential part of their reputation for producing high-quality drums that are favored by professional drummers around the world.

Versatility and Range of Options:

Ludwig has a vast amount of options available for any drummer’s needs.

Whether you are just starting out playing rock music, or you’ve been playing jazz for the last 30 years, you have some great choices! Below are the current series that they have available, in order from cheapest to most expensive. 

The Ludwig Pocket Kit By Questlove

Ludwig pocket kit

Questlove’s Pocket Kit is a comprehensive drum set specifically tailored to meet the needs of aspiring drummers aged between 4 and 10 years old.

This all-in-one kit has been developed by Questlove, the drummer for The Roots, and is an ideal choice for young beginners looking to explore the world of drumming.

Come on, are Ludwig drums any good when they’re great?! The set comes complete with all the essential components and introductory lessons, providing a premium entry-level drumming experience.

With the Pocket Kit, children can embark on a musical journey and explore their rhythmic abilities with a quality drum set designed for their needs. 

The pocket kit is made of bass wood (I believe) and has only one option for drum sizes: 12″ x 16″ kick Drum, 10″ x 13″ Floor Tom, 6″x10″ Mounted Tom, and 5″ x 12″ Snare Drum. 

This is a great kit for any kid and with it including everything you’d need, it’s a good reason to get one. 

Ludwig Breakbeats By Questlove

Ludwig Breakbeats kit
Ludwig Breakbeats kit (cymbals and hardware not included)

Ludwig’s Breakbeats Series, created by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots, offers drummers a high-quality, portable drum kit design with a small footprint.

With its 7-ply hardwood shell construction, the rack tom, floor tom, kick, and snare deliver the classic, full Ludwig sound no matter where you play.

Whether it’s small gigs or street shows, Breakbeats provides a space-saving percussive solution that’s comfortable to play.

With instant punchy low-end and midrange beats, you can get your rhythm going anytime and anywhere. 

Despite its compact size, the Breakbeats drum kit boasts 7-ply select poplar shells that mean business.

This 4-piece kit delivers the iconic Ludwig sound that professional drummers crave, but with a much smaller footprint.

The shells feature hand-sanded 45-degree bearing edges, ensuring smooth and even surfaces that enhance shell tone and drumhead response.

Plus, with premium Remo Pinstripe heads, you’ll never want to stop playing. Don’t let the size fool you; the Breakbeats kit packs a punch.

My Ludwig breakbeats kit
My dusty Ludwig Breakbeats kit

Drummers know that portability is crucial, and the Breakbeats kit is the perfect solution for city percussionists who require lightweight and convenient travel.

The compact storage bags are transport-friendly and can double as dampeners when you need to reduce your sound.

Upgrades like new tom brackets and bass drum spurs and hoops provide both aesthetic elegance and daily functionality to the Breakbeats kit.

Despite its condensed size, the Breakbeats kit features a 14-inch x 16-inch bass drum, a 7-inch x 10-inch mounted tom, and a 13-inch x 13-inch floor tom.

The 5-inch x 14-inch snare still delivers bright and snappy sounds no matter what style of music you play, from soul to funk, jazz to rap, and everything in between. As Questlove himself stated, “Breakbeats by Questlove does it all.”

Ludwig Accent

The Accent series drums offer a comprehensive drum package for aspiring drummers of today. This all-inclusive 5-piece drum set provides everything you need to start your journey towards becoming a skilled drummer.

You can master the fundamentals, rehearse your favorite songs, and explore creative ideas on a drum kit that is designed to provide quality and affordability. With the Accent series drums, you can establish a solid foundation right from the start.

The Ludwig Accent is especially great for beginner drummers and has everything you need. These entry-level kits are constructed from 5-ply select poplar shells and uses 45-degree bearing edges for optimum attack, sustain, and harmonic brightness.

There are two available outfits of varying sizes, but every kit consists of a 5-pc shell pack, a 3-pc cymbal pack, and a 4-pc hardware pack (including a bass pedal and crash cymbal). How can you ask, ‘are Ludwig drums any good’ when they give you everything you need in a kit? 😀

Ludwig Evolution

Ludwig Evolution kit

If you or a budding percussionist in your life are ready to progress from beginner to intermediate level drumming and seeking the perfect kit, the Ludwig Element Evolution drum set comes highly recommended by many drummers.

This set includes Remo Pinstripe drumheads, Zildjian I-series cymbals, and all the essential Ludwig double-braced hardware to aid in advancing your playing to the next level (including all cymbal stands and bass drum pedal).

Additionally, Ludwig has significantly improved the tom holder, brackets, and snare throw off, and added memory locks.

Furthermore, the Ludwig Element Evolution offers multiple options for configurations and drum sizes, along with various exquisite finishes to choose from.

With rack toms, tom mounts, and everything else you’d need, this Ludwig kit is perfect for a lot of drummers. 

Ludwig NeuSonic

Ludwig Neusonic kit
Ludwig Neusonic kit (cymbals and hardware not included)

Introducing the latest generation of their award-winning Neusonic series drums! Designed specifically for high-velocity working drummers, Neusonic delivers unbeatable tone, premium finishes, and lightweight portability.

This drum kit is the epitome of USA-made affordability, boasting authentic Ludwig quality and professional capabilities that have been trusted for more than a century.

Ludwig’s latest era of Neusonic drums is all about updated shell construction, new Rapid Tom sizes, and stunning new looks!

These drum shells are crafted at their factory in Monroe, North Carolina USA and feature a 7-ply crossover design, with a 4-ply maple exterior and a 3-ply cherry interior, measuring 5.5mm in thickness.

This unique design offers full-range tuning and optimum sustain, making it perfect for any style of music.

Choose from 6 new finishes, including 3 new wraps (Butterscotch Pearl, Ebony Pearl, and Steel Blue Pearl) and 3 new painted finishes (Satin Royal Blue, Satin Diablo Red, and Satin Golden Slumbers), to add a touch of style to your performances.

Unlike any Ludwig drum kit we talked about before this, these NeuSonic’s are the most affordable and made in the United States!

Ludwig USA shells are manufactured using Radio Frequency Technology to enhance their stability.

They employ their original bladder molds from the 1960s and a specialized adhesive in a process called R.F.S.T, which cures each shell uniformly over its entire surface.

This unique bonding system is the key component behind the world-renowned “Ludwig Sound.” 

This series is really a high end kit in disguise, with a slash in the price, so this is definitely a good thing for your wallet! Kits also comes in many varying sizes. 

Ludwig Classic Maple

Ludwig Classic Maple kit
Ludwig Classic Maple kit (cymbals and hardware not included)

For more than two decades, the Classic Maple series drums have been the top pick for professionals. These drums are renowned for their rich sustain, full tonality, and exceptional versatility, making them ideal for any type of performance.

Ludwig has perfected the drum-making process over the course of a century, and Classic Maple drums are a testament to this.

They deliver the signature Ludwig sound with peak performance. You can choose from a variety of popular Standard Outfits or personalize your kit through The Ludwig Outfitter. All Classic Maple drums are handcrafted at Ludwig USA in Monroe, NC.

The Classic Maple series features a standard 7-ply, 6mm shell that is expertly designed to produce the best possible resonance and tonality.

This shell incorporates a center three-ply core panel, which is laminated with a horizontal/vertical/horizontal grain bond to achieve a thickness of 2.4mm.

This panel is inserted between two-ply inner and outer panels using Ludwig’s proprietary RFST molding process.

Featuring a bright attack and maximum sustain, the Classic Maple drum set offers exceptional adaptability, making it ideal for any performance setting.

Are Ludwig drums any good is what I used to wonder, but I’ve been using them for years and they are fantastic!

With its versatility, it’s no wonder that it has become the top choice for professionals in today’s music scene as the best “all-purpose” drum set available. These drums are available in a multitude of sizes as well. 

Ludwig Classic Oak

Ludwig Classic Oak kit
Ludwig Classic Oak kit (cymbals and hardware not included)

For the past ten years, professionals have been captivated by the original Ludwig cross-over Oak shell formula on which the Classic Oak drum set is built.

Their exclusive design combines Oak and Maple to create a rich tone that is both balanced and focused, yet loud.

With new finishes and configuration options, Classic Oak stands alongside its counterpart, Classic Maple, as a powerful, dynamic, and professional drum set.

The cross-over shell of the Classic Oak drum set is made up of 5-ply, 6.5mm construction, featuring a 3-ply maple core with American red oak inner and outer plies.

This is a unique Ludwig design that deviates from the traditional Oak builds. The addition of maple provides more control and low-end to the Oak, resulting in a more well-rounded tone, as opposed to a straight Oak shell.

The Classic Oak drum set combines an aggressive attack and dark tones with a quick and even decay, making it the perfect choice for settings where volume, attack, and control are top priorities. You have some options in sizing with this one. 

Ludwig Legacy Maple

Ludwig Legacy Maple

The Legacy Maple drum line is Ludwig’s premier professional series that puts a contemporary spin on their classic shell formula.

This shell design rose to fame in 1968, representing the second iteration of Ludwig’s renowned 3-Ply shell formula.

Although its run was brief, ending in 1976, it was immortalized in the unforgettable performances of some of music’s greatest icons.

The design gained a devoted following in the years that followed, sparking its revival as a top-tier drum series in Ludwig’s professional lineup.

It boasts a cult-classic sound that delivers a brilliant, prominent tone, deep full-bodied lows, and exceptional clarity.

Legacy’s signature sound is rooted in its distinctive shell construction, comprising of a 1/16″ Maple outer ply, a 1/8″ Poplar core ply, and a 1/16″ Maple inner ply, fortified by 1/4″ solid Maple reinforcement rings.

The center Poplar ply is cross-laminated to enhance the clarity of the Maple plies’ lively resonance. To ensure optimal stability, the shell is fitted with a rounded bearing edge and single-ply reinforcement rings. This meticulous design is what gives Legacy its timeless tone.

Legacy Series drums are crafted with a 30-degree inner cut and a 1/4″ radius round-over, resulting in a clean, polished sound that embodies the signature tone that has defined popular music for over a century. Are Ludwig drums any good, when these shells SING so well! Once again, I’m being sarcastic! haha.

Ludwig Legacy Mahogany

Ludwig Legacy Mahogany

Ludwig’s Legacy Mahogany series marks the revival of the iconic drum tone that has long been coveted by musicians.

This series pays tribute to the classic shell that served as the backbone of Ludwig drums for more than five decades.

Handcrafted in Monroe, NC, each drum features a 3-ply shell constructed of Mahogany and Poplar, with solid 1/4″ Maple reinforcement rings.

This time-tested manufacturing process has been perfected over a century of drum-making, resulting in a tone that is imbued with the rich sonic warmth that is synonymous with Ludwig.

Ludwig Legacy Mahogany represents the perfect fusion of the past, present, and future.

The Legacy series’ signature sound is rooted in its unique shell construction, comprising of a 1/16″ Mahogany outer ply, a 1/8″ Poplar core ply, and a 1/16″ Mahogany inner ply, fortified by 1/4″ solid Maple reinforcement rings.

The Poplar center ply is cross-laminated to enhance the warmth and depth of the Mahogany plies, delivering a “woody” low-end that is both rich and refined.

To ensure maximum stability, the shell is fitted with a rounded bearing edge and 1/4″ solid Maple reinforcement rings.

These drums also utilize the rounded over 30-degree inner cut for a well-rounded sound. 

Ludwig Vistalite

Ludwig Vistalite kit (cymbals and hardware not included)

​With their strikingly beautiful crystalline appearance and fierce attack, Vistalite acrylic drums make a bold statement both visually and sonically.

Since 1972, these drums have been utilized and desired by some of the most prominent figures in music.

Experience the power and leave a lasting impression with the Vistalite series drums, proudly handcrafted in the USA.

Are Ludwig drums any good when they are basically the pioneer of acrylic kits (trick question)?

Since 1972, Vistalite shells have been meticulously handcrafted in the U.S.A from 6MM thick acrylic, with reinforced seams for added durability.

The 45-degree edges on these drums provide enhanced sustain and a sharp attack. This unique edge design enables unrestricted performance across a broad range of tunings.

These drums are ideal for achieving a strong presence, focused sound, and sharp attack. They can effectively fill a stage without sacrificing overall volume or body.

Popularity Among Players:

Ludwig Drums’ popularity has only increased over time, with their drums being used by drummers across a variety of genres, from jazz and rock to hip hop and pop.

Many professional drummers continue to choose Ludwig Drums for their superior sound and craftsmanship.

You’ve probably listened to a lot of music over the years with drummers who have used Ludwig drums in the studio.

Ludwig snare drums such as the black beauty are a staple in the music industry and is still widely used today. 

Price Range:

​The price range for Ludwig drums is from $350 all the way to $4,000. This encompasses all of the series we just went over. I went in order of the cheapest to the most expensive. 

My Thoughts:

I absolutely love Ludwig and will continue to use their drums for a really long time. I grew up playing Ludwig in school band and now have a few Ludwig kits myself.

I have a Breakbeats kit, a Keystone X Pro (discontinued and replaced with Neusonic) shell pack, and a Classic Maple snare drum.

I used to have a Black Beauty snare drum until I sold it. These drums sound phenomenal and are worth it.

Have a listen to my drums in my latest Youtube video below:

They Are All Worth It

If you are planning on getting a Ludwig drum set in any capacity, the sound of the drums you’ll be investing in will be so worth it.

While its personal preference with so many drum brands out there, there is a reason Ludwig is a staple and makes some of the best drums and percussion instruments. The only thing left is for you to answer the question, are Ludwig drums any good? We think so! 

My Ludwig Kit
My Ludwig

What Are Your Thoughts On Ludwig?

So, are you a fan of Ludwig Drums? Do you have another brand you think is better? I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions! Let me know in the comments below!!

Want to know how I DOUBLED my hand speed by just using a few simple techniques?!

Get your hand speed up by clicking here.

Until next time, stay attuned!

-Evan C.

About the author

Hi there, I'm Evan and I love drums.. Also, I love music! I've been playing drums for most of my life and nothing beats the thrill I get from it. I hope to be able to provide you with insightful tips and reviews on things within the drum and music world!

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