Yamaha vs. DW vs. Ludwig Drums – Can You Hear The Difference?

Drum Kit Comparison: Yamaha vs DW vs Ludwig

At DrumheadAuthority, we’re all about comparing drumheads (it’s why we built our drumhead selector to help you find the right heads).

Drumhead choice (and how you tune and dampen them) will always have a massive impact on the sound of your drum kit.

But what about the drums themselves?

Drummer Johnny Seguin (@johnny_seguin) recently made a nice drum kit comparison, to show how much (or how little?) the actual brand of a drum kit can affect your sound. He’s kindly shared the video with us, so we can show our readers.

He set up a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute, a DW Collectors Series, and a Ludwig Vintage Super Classic. They’re all maple drums, all tuned the same, and all with the exact same drumheads. The snare and toms each feature a coated Remo Ambassador drumhead, with two moongels. On each kick drum is a clear Remo Powerstroke P3.

Take a look at the video, and see if you can hear any real difference between these three kits. You’ll hear each snare, rack tom, and floor tom, followed by each of the kick drums.

When we spoke with Johnny, he told us he wanted a controlled experiment to identify the differences in shells and hardware, with results up for debate. He said the silver lining with this comparison is that an intact shell with good heads can sound great, regardless of the brand.

What do you think?

If you want to read more about how a drum’s wood and construction can affect its sound, we actually have an article on a snare drum made of one of the cheapest “wood” products available: MDF. The results for that drum were pretty surprising.

Beyond just the drum’s wood, the hardware can also have a pretty big effect on your drum sound and sustain, especially where a tom comes in contact with the floor (or with its mount). Check out our overview of how BootyShakers can improve your tom sustain, or try putting some thick cymbal felts under your floor tom legs: These can be especially handy to squeeze some more sustain and boom out of your tom.