Ludwig is no stranger to the drum world. Having been in business since 1909, they know a thing or two when it comes to putting together a good kit. Their Element line of drums is a sure indicator that the company is more than prepared to put decent equipment in the hands of blues drummers without breaking the bank.
While the Element line is not the starter series – that role is filled by their Accent drums – it is a very solid batch of gear in the upper-intermediate range. Sure you may have your original vintage Gretsch kit that sounds like it was delivered straight from heaven into your basement, but is that the sort of thing you’re going to want to gig with regularly? And what if your band is hosting the blues jam every Wednesday night? Do you want to subject your best gear to the vagaries of jammers who may have had one too many before deciding to climb up on the throne?
If you need something that will handle the rigors of constant use in the field while delivering excellent tone, a set of Ludwig’s Elements may be worth investigating. The shells are made up of marbled birch and poplar. The Classic Keystone lugs are based on the vintage Classic lug. All toms come equipped with Ludwig’s Vibra-Band isolation mounts with two mounting off the central bass drum post while the third is bracketed from a cymbal stand.
The snare is a real standout feature in this line. For starters, the shell is a thick 8mm affair with heavy 2.5mm hoops. Eight double-end lugs hold it in place, suitable since the hoops are so robust in construction. Tuning can take this snare from a deep but edgy sound to fat and swampy. Where the snare often is a weak spot in more budget-minded kits, with the Elements it is a winner.
Currently deals can be had on an Element kit with a 5-piece plus free 10×8 tom for less than six hundred dollars new. Used kits are undoubtedly even lower in the price range. Drop in to your local drum dealer and check them out, or start scouring Craigs List and eBay. An affordable quality kit could be waiting for you out there right now.