Updated: October 14th, 2018
Other Ludwig jr drum set reviews tell you about how famous Ludwig is as a drum brand and how Ludwig used to be endorsed by Beatles drummer Ringo Star in the late 1960s. But we’re talking about the much cheaper Ludwig junior drum set here, and the quality of Ringo’s set hardly has any bearing on the quality of Ludwig’s junior kits.
So I’ll rather answer the most frequently asked questions from around the web. And I’ll tell you what’s really important when looking for a drum set for your child.
By the way: the Ludwig junior drum set is also sometimes called “Ludwig LJR106” or “Ludwig junior outfit drum set”. These terms refer to the exact same set that you’ll learn about here.
Table of Contents
Who the Ludwig jr drum set is not for
This is a junior drum kit, so the bass drum is smaller (16”) and the bars of throne and snare stand are shorter than they would be on an adult drum set.
These are the only three parameters that really influence who can use that set. And they dictate that your child should not be taller than 5ft. Otherwise he/she will sit much higher than the snare drum is, and that will be uncomfortable. If this applies to your junior drummer, he/she should look for adult sets, and you can check out my best beginner drum set review.
Also this kit is not for your child if he/she is shorter than 3ft, because then they will have to stretch and strain to reach for the bass drum pedal. Uncool!
What’s in the box?
My students usually order this set on Amazon and I help them set it up. So I know it comes in one box of about 3ft x 3 ft and weighs around 50 pounds. (Beware if it’s a gift: a picture of the drum set is printed onto the box.)
Once you’ve set up the kit (you can learn how to here), it should look like this:
As you can see: the Ludwig jr drum set comes with all the hardware you need, even with a simple bass drum pedal and with two cymbals: a Hi-hat (left) and a Ride/Crash (right).
You’d also get a drum key (needed for assembly) and a pair of simple sticks right in the box. So your child can start to play right away.
Finally, the kit also “comes with” a 1 year warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
What’s important when looking for a junior drum set?
So now that you know what’s in the box, we’ll look at the 4 most important criteria for a junior drum set: color, sound, setup, and durability.
Color shouldn’t be underestimated. I’ve seen one female student of mine significantly improved after her parents exchanged the blue for a red set. So please ask you child for his/her opinion on the color.
The Ludwig jr drum set comes in three color options: blue, black and wine red. If your child wants more options to choose from, the Mendini junior drum set gives you 7.
How does it sound?
From my younger students I know: when starting out fresh, sound doesn’t matter all to much. Like young Vincent here, kids are usually keen on simply hitting those drums:[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laxYiYRfC9s[/embedyt]
Still, the drum set shouldn’t sound all too crappy, and the good news is: any set can be made to sound fairly good with the help of some tape and the right tuning (which you can learn fairly quickly here). Because the sound depends more on the heads than on the drum shells themselves.
Now, if you tune badly, the Ludwig jr drum set might end up sounding like this:[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xVeVPab9Bk[/embedyt]
To my mind, this sound is quite okay. The only thing that’s annoying me is the bass drum. Its head seems to be too tight and I suspect there’s no pillow/blanket inside (makes the sound more dry and punchy).
However, if you tune well, the Ludwig junior drum set could sound as good as this (jump to 0:53):[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oMBBh8Fz9E[/embedyt]
So, I’m happy with the sound potential (again, much depends on tuning). What do you think?
One thing can’t be denied: the cymbals sound crappy. They sound better than the ones coming with a Mendini or Gammon junior drum set as they are less flimsy. But the sound still isn’t what I’d consider nice.
That’s not good, but it’s the same with all other drum sets for kids. In truth, it’s even the same with advanced adult drum sets.
But as I said, there still is the kids-don’t-care-as-much-about-sound point. Most of my students were completely fine with the cymbals for a long time.
Is the hardware durable?
Short answer: yes. You shouldn’t expect high-quality work, but all the rods and screws are made of simple yet durable aluminium.
Especially the snare stand and the throne are more sturdy than the ones by Gammon or Mendini, which have been reported to break in some cases.
Setup, or: will your child learn the right motions?
Setup is crucial, because your child will switch to an adult set at some point, and this will most likely be set up the standard way.
So if he/she plays on a set that has a different setup for the first few years, all these different/wrong motions will become internalised. And it’s hard to forget muscle memory.
So here the Ludwig has one advantage over the Mendini and Gammon junior drum sets on which the cymbal is positioned right in the middle and not on the right (from behind the set) where it should be.
Ludwig jr drum set assembly instructions
Yes, there are loads of parts in the box. And yes, the instructions coming with the Ludwig jr drum set are poor. But that doesn’t mean assembling it is all too difficult. Once you see it demonstrated, it will be pretty easy and only take around an hour.
Note: the video below shows how to assemble a Ludwig Accent (a full-size drum set), but procedure is exactly the same for the Ludwig jr drum set:[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xNCUcLIYxQ[/embedyt]
Once the kit is up and running, it takes up a space of about 3ft x 4ft.
Ludwig jr drum set review at one glance
All in all, the Ludwig jr drum set is a good first kit for a child. The sound is fairly similar to other junior drum sets, since so much depends on tuning.
But the cymbals are slightly “better” (but still low quality), the Ludwig jr has better hardware and, most importantly, a setup that’s will enable your child to learn the right motions.
So, if you manage to cut a deal on a used Ludwig junior drum set on eBay (button below), I’d recommend going for it. Otherwise, I’d look into cheaper junior drum sets and save the money or invest it in new heads or cymbals.[P_REVIEW post_id=506 visual=’full’]
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