New/used kit advise: Keystone vs 3 ply Butcher Block

Discussion in 'General' started by sass, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. sass

    sass Member

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    Newbie here.

    After a 10 year hiatus I have been wrangled back in to drumming by my old band and must admit I can't figure out why it took me so long to pick up the sticks again!

    Looking for opinions on 2 completely different kits that I am eyeing up purchasing (both in excellent condition). I will start by saying I have read alot about each of the models through various posts etc and feel either would be good choices. Would love to hear comments from those who have played both. $$ noted below are in Canadian...USD would be 35% cheaper.

    Kit option # 1): 2013 Ludwig Keystone with apple glass finish. 12/16/22. Comes with single braced snare stand, hi hat stand, 2 cymbal stands, bass drum pedal. $975. For and extra $150 he will throw in the cases and a 15 year old PDP 805 snare. The kit is in show room condition.

    My current opinion: Great value, the finish would look great in a gig setting. Not sure I love the Atlas Mounts....they are pretty big. Would I get sick of the finish over time?


    Kit option #2): 1970's Ludwig 3 ply Butcher Block. 13/16/22. Excellent condition, matching serial #s, no extra holes, original tom mount holder on bass drum. Shells only $1,000.

    My current opinion: LOVE the Butcher Block look. Classic time era for Ludwig. Better investment long term for resale? A little nervous about unknown history of such an old kit etc...Are there problems that I may not see right away etc.


    This will be a second kit for me (so I dont have to tear down my home kit all the time when playing gigs. My other kit is a locally made maple shell set up by Wells Custom Drums)

    I realize it is hard to compare one against each other but if you had to choose just one what would it be (assuming condition etc are excellent for each)?


    Thanks all in advance for your constructive opinions.

    Cheers, Sass
     
  2. Mcjnic

    Mcjnic Very well Known Member

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    Take this with a grain of salt, as I spent most all my life in the Vintage Drum world ... with that said ... this reside in my drum studio. It is one of the best kits I've ever owned. Clear Maple inners and nice classic chrome lugs and hardware. Spectacularly warm sound. The edges were a bit sharper by this time in the Ludwig build history. The shells were also built a bit more logically (these lack the Ludwig "bump"). The finish has a phenomenal wear strength. It's thinner than the standard commercial countertop coating (which many are not aware of) and that allows the drums to resonate quite a bit better than if they had used the thicker commercial housing supply. But the material is very strong and does not damage easily. So, you can actually locate kits built in the mid-70s that are virtually scratch and dent free. I agree with you ... I love the look of this particular butcher block pattern. It's got a nice light/honey look to it. The hardware stands up nicely ... and if you happen to get something that gives you an issue ... there are plenty of replacement options out there on the cheap.

    Good luck in your quest and enjoy whatever kit you determine is correct for you.

    JBOK8747.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  3. GeeDeeEmm

    GeeDeeEmm Well-Known Member

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    Boy, that would be a hard choice for me to make. The Butcher Block Ludwigs . . . well, it's all been said. That's a great kit.

    But the Keystones offer great quality in a more modern look and sound. They Keystones would be a strong contender in my book.

    I don't know which I would choose - I really don't.

    GeeDeeEmm
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. sass

    sass Member

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    Thanks guys for the feedback. Nice to hear the different opinions out there. Those 2 pics are exactly what I am looking at....I just may have to get them both lol
     
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  5. mesazoo

    mesazoo Well-Known Member

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    Butcher Blocks are a love it or hate it finish. Personally I couldn't buy one. But if you like it that isn't a problem. I wonder what the resale is like for those compared to other more popular finishes?
     
  6. clinker555

    clinker555 Well-Known Member

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    That was my thought- get them both.:3some:

    Otherwise- since you can't go wrong with the sound of either set, and you LOVE the look of the vintage BB, go for them.
     
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  7. felis

    felis Well-Known Member

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    I'd go for the Keystones. Just one opinion though.
     
  8. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    I like the vintage vibe of the butcher block (and love B/O badge!), but not the actual finish.
    I like the finish of the newer apple ones, but I think I'd stick with the vintage vibe and likely (better) vintage sound of the older ones..........

    When you said you were looking at a Keystone badge kit, I was thinking 60's and it would be a no brainer for me....those!
     
  9. drumsforme

    drumsforme Well-Known Member

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    Definitely go for the Keystones. 70's Ludwig Butcher Block for $1000 is no steal. The resale value for butcher block finish is not particularly high as well compared to other finishes of that era. The newer Ludwig is built with much better technology, Better shell forming methods, better edges, hardware, mounts, suspension mounts to increase resonance on the tom. I find old school hardware to be lacking for the most part and I'm an older player (64 years old). BTW-Never bought into the thought that Vintage drums have better sound, just different and keep in mind the wood has aged....
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  10. bob

    bob DFO Master

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    butcher blocks would be my pick .... offer him $700
     
  11. ConvertedLudwigPlayer

    ConvertedLudwigPlayer DFO Veteran

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    Keystone hands down for me. I think it will look better under lights than the Butcher Block. Newer drums, better hardware, and the bass is less likely to creep.

    Get the cases and sell the PDP snare if you don't need it to recoup some of of your outlay.
     
  12. thejohnlec

    thejohnlec Well-Known Member

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    Two tough calls! Maybe consider what music you'll be playing, as that may appropriately sway your decision in terms of aesthetics as well as overall tonality. Vintage is always great to have if you foresee yourself engaging the slippery slope of collecting (as many of us have). That being said, some good comments have been made regarding the resale of the BB kit, especially at it's current price.

    Either way, congrats on your re-entry and have a blast with the band!
     
  13. Erik

    Erik Well-Known Member

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    Apple Glass is beautiful. Both great kits, though. Enjoy the process of making the decision.
     
  14. jptrickster

    jptrickster DFO Master

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    I’m a die hard vintage guy especially that era my decision would be easy.( and I don’t even like BB Formica ( worked in a cabinet shop in the 70’ s can’t tell you how many miles of countertops I made with that stuff, Nightmeres!
     
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  15. AustinFitz

    AustinFitz Well-Known Member

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    I'd go vintage, but try to haggle on the price a bit.
     
  16. BennyK

    BennyK DFO Master

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    Butcher Block . Hang the toms off Gauger RIMS ( another great American product)and you'll be doing fine .Keystones are fine drums, but the three plies have classic DNA .

    Are these local ? If so,spin the heads to make sure the shells are in round .

    Price is a little steep, the seller knows and is fishing ... the wrap in corny, so he may be inclined to take less . A quick dusting with Krylon for plastic on a nice summer's day in the colour of your choice might turn them into something worth passing on to your grandchildren .
     
  17. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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  18. studrum

    studrum DFO Veteran

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    The finish on this is not my cup of tea, but condition appears quite good. To me, the six-ply sound will be somewhere between the 3-ply and the Oak (Keystone). Now you're up to three valid Ludwig sonic choices!
    This is from the Carringtons: veteran, pre-internet, extremely knowledgeable vintage drum collectors. They are members here. I have no connection to them, but must say: Buy with confidence.
     
  19. cornelius

    cornelius Very well Known Member

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    I’d definitely go vintage and haggle a bit. Butcher block is very cool, and the 3-ply era is one of the best IMO.
     
  20. dtk

    dtk DFO Master

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    My 1st kit was a 70s ludwig. Went thru 3 tom mounts before one worked...and the L arms that support the toms were pot metal and snapped...once at a gig. I was pretty happy when I sold them and have never looked back. The new kit has more hardware and a snare...I like butcherblock but I think you'll have trouble flipping it if you have to.
     

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