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Thread: Ludwig Keystone Series - Drum Reviews

  1. #1

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    Default Ludwig Keystone Series - Drum Reviews

    I've had these since November so I've had about a 6 month relationship at this point and figured that to be a fair enough time to produce a quick review of these drums.

    Use: Live gig only (no studio work). Generally mic every drum, however, on occassion only the kick and snare are mic'd.

    Specs:

    9x 13 Tom
    14x24 Virgin Kick
    16x16 Floor Tom
    16x18 Floor Tom

    5 ply shells configured as follows:

    3 ply maple core 2.4mm thick
    1/16" inner and outer ply of oak
    Dual 45 degree bearing edge

    Heads:

    Evans G2 batter over Evans EC Reso on the toms
    Evans EQ1 Clear batter and Evans EQ1 Black Reso (ported) on the kick


    The drums were delivered extremely well packaged and in perfect condition. The outer finish had no visual defects. I believe that at this point these drums are only offered in wrap finish. The wrap I chose was the Mint Oyster Glass that looks great with no flaws and looks to be applied very well. The inner finish of each drum seemed flawless as well. The bearing edges were all smooth and level. All holes were bored cleanly and no lugs were loose.

    I'd classify the overall quality of the fit and finish of the shell pack as outstanding.

    The "claw like" lugs on the kick drum seemed well made and look "low profile" to me. The spurs can be set to position easily and seem very sturdy and easy to use. The tips are retractable/adjustable and very pointy and sharp.

    The hardware on the drums seems very well made and durable. The ride tom mount easily attaches to cymbal stand and provides great placement flexibility. The lugs are small and are designed for minimal contact. To me, they look kind of vintage.

    The entire appearance of the kit, to me, seems "retro". I like.


    The Sound:

    FAT AND LOUD! I love the sound of these drums. Sharp and solid attack with a short decay. Consistantly get comments on how great they sound from both musicians and non-musicians alike. Perfect for the genre I'm currently playing.

    Overall Impression:

    Price point for this configuration seems to be in the $1,500 to $1,800 range. Other configurations can range from $1,300 to $2,500.

    I'm very pleased and happy with these drums. For the money, if you're in the market for a "classic rock" sounding kit, would highly recommend the Ludwig Keysone Series.

  2. #2

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  3. #3

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    I wish they had better finishes. i don't like the options at all.

  4. #4

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    What? The Keystones have some gorgeous finishes, and they're made in USA to boot. Red, blue, orange, green, and pewter sparkle all look smashing. In the beginning I only liked their blue sparkle, but it looks like they expanded and brought some new ones in. Sounds like a great shell composition too - that oak with the maple will really give it some bite I imagine. Price point seems fairly reasonable, and they got all the sizes I like to play with. Man if I was in the market for a new set i'd give these a hard look into! Thanks for the review ink.
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I wish I was your wife
    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    What? The Keystones have some gorgeous finishes, and they're made in USA to boot. Red, blue, orange, green, and pewter sparkle all look smashing. In the beginning I only liked their blue sparkle, but it looks like they expanded and brought some new ones in. Sounds like a great shell composition too - that oak with the maple will really give it some bite I imagine. Price point seems fairly reasonable, and they got all the sizes I like to play with. Man if I was in the market for a new set i'd give these a hard look into! Thanks for the review ink.
    What i mean is i prefer wood tones and not wraps. and IF i where to have a wrap it wouldn't be a sparkle one

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Ludwig Keystone Series

    I kinda' like 'em:








  7. #7

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    That's a nice looking kit, and setup inthpktplayer. It's definitely a cool looking retro vibe.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    I kinda' like 'em:







    That's a nice looking kit. That is the same setup I use when I play my Pearl kit, except I use fewer cymbals. Enjoy the set!
    -Tama Starclassic Birch/Bubinga (10x8, 12x9, 14x12, 16x14, 22x18)
    -Mapex Saturn V (8x7, 10x7, 12x8, 13x10, 16x14, 22x18)
    -Pearl Mixed Series kit (8x7, 10x8, 15x12, 20x14)
    -Brady Jarrah Ply 8x14
    -HHG Purpleheart/Cherry Stave 7x14
    -Ayotte Stainless Steel 5.5x14
    -Ayotte (Drumsmith) Maple 6x14
    -Premier (African Mahogany with Beech Re-rings) 8x14
    -Pearl Masters MCX 5.5x14
    -Pearl Session Studio Classic 5.5x14
    -Pearl Steel (Pre-Sensitone) 6.5x14
    -Pearl Steel Piccolo 3x13
    -CB Percussion Brass 5x13
    -Meinl Custom Classics Dark
    -Paiste 2002, 602, Rude

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by HolyChina View Post
    What i mean is i prefer wood tones and not wraps. and IF i where to have a wrap it wouldn't be a sparkle one
    These kits seem to be aimed at gig playing and when your moving them tearing down and setting up alot you want a wrap.

    These are gogeous drums and I am going to try a set this week.. How are they weight wise inthpkt? Currently gigging my Saturns but man they are heavy, especially the kick.
    DW Collectors

    Sonor Essential Force Birch

    Zildjian K Cymbals

    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

    http://www.redskymary.com/ NOT MY BAND, JUST A GREAT LOCAL BAND WHO SHOULD BE SOOO MUCH BIGGER IMO

    https://www.facebook.com/marcydriveband/ This is my band, please give a like.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by machinedrumkelly View Post
    These kits seem to be aimed at gig playing and when your moving them tearing down and setting up alot you want a wrap.

    These are gogeous drums and I am going to try a set this week.. How are they weight wise inthpkt? Currently gigging my Saturns but man they are heavy, especially the kick.
    Great for gigging. Weight not a problem. I too have a Saturn kit that is a beast as far as being heavy. One of the reasons the Saturns stay home more often than not.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Great for gigging. Weight not a problem. I too have a Saturn kit that is a beast as far as being heavy. One of the reasons the Saturns stay home more often than not.
    Thanks, I was just looking at website and there are those dang rim hanging tom mounts that I have had no luck with yet, seriously how are they? They attach at 4 lugs? I am looking at the 5 pc either 10,12 racks or 12, 13.
    DW Collectors

    Sonor Essential Force Birch

    Zildjian K Cymbals

    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

    http://www.redskymary.com/ NOT MY BAND, JUST A GREAT LOCAL BAND WHO SHOULD BE SOOO MUCH BIGGER IMO

    https://www.facebook.com/marcydriveband/ This is my band, please give a like.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by machinedrumkelly View Post
    Thanks, I was just looking at website and there are those dang rim hanging tom mounts that I have had no luck with yet, seriously how are they? They attach at 4 lugs? I am looking at the 5 pc either 10,12 racks or 12, 13.
    I've had no problem with the mount. My ride tom is a 13x9. You could always put it on a snare stand but it sounds like you're going with 2 ride toms. Anyway, the tom mount, for me, has been fine. These drums sound fantastic.

  13. #13

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    It would take some time for the finish to grow on me, i'd play it proudly though. I love the warmth of maple but sometimes it's like I get just a little bit too much sustain. Sounds like that oak ply will really balance it out, give some attack while not having too much or sounding bright as birch does. I like the idea, and it's not a bad price for an American made kit(not that it matters whether it is).
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I wish I was your wife
    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

    Forum Rules
    DrumBum
    No metronome?
    The Rudiments

  14. #14

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    If i dont decide with going with a detroit custom drum set this is the one for me wish they had a stain. How would it be for a metal or even jazz?
    Sabian!!!

  15. #15

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    If you can feather a bass drum, the size of the drum doesn't matter. The drummers in New York went to 18" kicks for mobility, rather than dynamics.
    "The chances of being attacked and killed by a terrorist are less than the chances of being attacked and killed by your own heart"
    Carrying the message to Garcia. Today and everyday.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazaamski View Post
    If you can feather a bass drum, the size of the drum doesn't matter. The drummers in New York went to 18" kicks for mobility, rather than dynamics.
    True. Jazz guys (not known for being rich) found the smaller drums easier to throw in the back seats of cabs. In time though, they came to indentify the sound of the bebop era.

    all the best...
    Last edited by kay-gee; 05-24-2013 at 07:37 AM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    I kinda' like 'em:







    Beautiful looking Mint Oyster. Congrats!

  18. #18

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    First post on this forum
    Just ordered my four-on-the-floor in mint oyster on tuesday!!!
    Hopefully in by friday!!!!!

  19. #19

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    I am totally thinking about up grading to these...at some point. Not a big fan of wraps myself, however I kinda like the new apple glass finish.

    Does anyone here have any of the new Ludwig Atlas hardware? And if so how is it? From what I've seen it looks pretty solid' but I have yet to get my hands on any.
    Gear
    Yamaha Stage Custom(late 90's)
    10 12 16 22 BD 14 SN
    Cymbals all Sabian
    14 AAX-celerator Hi Hats
    8 & 10 Paragon Splashes
    17 AAX-xplosion Fast Crash
    16 AAX Dark Crash
    18 AAX Dark Crash
    21 AA Raw Bell Dry Ride
    19 Paragon Chinese

  20. #20

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    Really nice kit.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amodaff View Post
    First post on this forum
    Just ordered my four-on-the-floor in mint oyster on tuesday!!!
    Hopefully in by friday!!!!!
    Welcome Amodaff...........................looks like your getting a great kit

  22. #22

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    Hmmm, might have to take a look at these closer up.
    Last edited by Bish; 12-13-2013 at 01:33 AM.

  23. #23

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    Nice review. Those are great drums.

  24. #24

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    Ok, so the Ludwig and my Mapex Saturns are my two go to gigging kits. I've been torn about which to use more than the other. Bottom line, for what I'm doing both are great, but I seem to be loading the Ludwig Keystones into the back of the truck more often than not. I love those drums.

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Ludwig Keystone Series - Drum Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Ok, so the Ludwig and my Mapex Saturns are my two go to gigging kits. I've been torn about which to use more than the other. Bottom line, for what I'm doing both are great, but I seem to be loading the Ludwig Keystones into the back of the truck more often than not. I love those drums.
    Is weight the biggest issue with the Saturns?

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