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Ludwig is one of the most iconic brand names in the drumming industry. The brand has been providing top-tier drums for decades, with many of the best drummers in the world using them.
The Element Evolution is an affordable kit from Ludwig made for early drummers that look up to those professional players. It’s an all-in-one kit that gives you everything you need to start learning to play.
In this review, I’ll look through all the aspects of this kit to see how it can benefit you and your drumming journey.
- Complete drum set
- Includes cymbals and hardware
- Poplar hardwood shells
- Remo Pinstripe drumheads
- Upgraded tom holder
- Multiple configuration options
Ludwig Element Evolution Gallery
One of the best aspects of the Ludwig Element Evolution kit is that you get the choice of three configuration options. The first one is with a 20” bass drum. This smaller kick drum makes the kit a bit lighter, and you get slightly punchier kick tones.
The next configuration is with a 22” bass drum. This is more of a standard drum kit setup, and you get a bit more power behind the bass drum sounds.
The final configuration is a 6-piece one that adds a 14” floor tom to the mix.
No matter which setup you choose, you get the same sounds from the snare drum and toms. All the drums are made from poplar wood, leading them to have a bit more emphasis on lows and mids.
The beautiful thing about poplar drums is that their sound quality is fantastic in lower tunings. The drums are equipped with high-quality Pinstripe Remo drum heads, which help round the tones out and eliminate most of the nasty overtones that other beginner kits commonly have.
The snare drum is arguably the weakest drum of the set, but it still sounds relatively decent for being part of a beginner kit.
The kit comes packaged with a full set of Zildjian I cymbals. You get a pair of hi-hats, a crash, and a ride, giving you all the essentials that a beginner needs.
These are Zildjian’s entry-level cymbals. However, they produce surprisingly good tones for how affordable they are.
Each cymbal with this kit offers a glossy and vibrant sound. The hi-hats are very articulate on the surface, and they’re sharp and aggressive on the edge.
The crash cymbal is quick to speak, producing a loud and bright tone as you strike it. It just doesn’t respond too well to varying levels of dynamics. You have to hit it hard to get fullness of tone.
The ride cymbal has shimmering sounds with a strong bell tone. It cuts really nicely through all your drum sounds, so it will always be heard.
For first-time drum kit buyers, these cymbals are perfect. It’s experienced drummers that will notice their quality dip compared to higher-end cymbals.
The quality of the shell hardware has been upgraded from previous versions of the Ludwig Element Evolution kits. The biggest aspects are the tom holder, snare throw-off, and memory locks.
The upgraded tom mounts make it a lot easier to position the rack toms freely. The arms are also a bit longer, allowing drummers that sit higher to feel more comfortable.
The snare throw-off is a bit smoother to operate, and it makes turning the snares on and off a bit more of a breeze.
Lastly, this new version of the kit has added memory locks on the hardware pieces. These memory locks allow you to keep your height settings in place for when you pack down the kit and set it up again.
You then get a full set of Ludwig hardware stands to hold everything in place. These stands are double-braced, making them feel seriously durable and sturdy.
You even get a drum throne, which isn’t something that commonly gets offered with full-package drum sets in the same price range.
The best thing about these stands is that they’re good enough to use with professional drum kits. If you upgrade to a better shell pack down the line, you can keep these stands to use.
The Ludwig Element Evolution kit comes in four main finish options. They’re called Cherry, Copper, Mint, and Platinum.
The Cherry finish has a natural wood vibe to it, but the wood pattern has been printed on a wrap. It’s a bit of a workaround, but it’s one of the most beautiful finishes I’ve seen on a beginner drum kit.
The Copper finish sits between red and brown, and it has a slight sparkling touch to it.
The Mint finish is a lime green color with a brighter sparkle. This one is arguably the most vibrant of the four, and it’s one that some people will love while others really won’t like.
The Platinum finish is a dark silver color with a bright sparkle.
Out of all those finishes, the Cherry option is undoubtedly the best. It’s the one finish that doesn’t make the kit look like a beginner option.
However, they all look decent and cater to a wide range of preferences for different drummers.
This kit costs around $1000, depending on which configuration you choose. The 6-piece setup costs more, while the 5-piece setups with different bass drum sizes cost the same.
You get absolutely everything you need to play besides a pair of drumsticks, making this a highly valuable drum kit to buy.
As a beginner with no gear, there are a few more affordable options available. However, they don’t tend to come with drum thrones, and all those options have brass cymbals.
Brass cymbals sound a lot worse than the Zildjian I cymbals, so it’s worth paying extra to get this kit over those. You’ll end up using the cymbals for a much longer period before feeling the need to upgrade.
Also, the included hardware stands can be used long-term, even if you get other drum shells eventually. So, the overall value of the set is excellent!
I’d recommend the LLudwig Element Evolution as a solid option for any beginner drummer looking to buy their first drum kit. It’s a fantastic full drum kit package that offers enough to make it competitive when compared to other entry-level options.
It may seem expensive, but the B8 Zildjian I cymbals are what pushes it up in price. They sound far better than any brass cymbals that may come with lower-priced beginner kits.
Also, the Cherry finish is one of the most beautiful finishes I’ve seen on an entry-level drum set.
This kit could even work relatively well for intermediate drummers. You’d just need to swap out the cymbals and possibly the snare drum to get better sounds. However, it may be a better option to get something superior like a Yamaha Stage Custom Birch kit.
What Comes In The Ludwig Element Evolution Box?
- 14” x 6” snare drum
- 10” x 8” rack tom
- 12” x 9” rack tom
- 16” x 16” floor tom
- 22” x 16” bass drum
- Remo Pinstripe Heads
- Double tom holder
- 2 x cymbal stands
- Hi-hat stand
- Snare drum stand
- Bass drum pedal
- 14” Zildjian I hi-hats
- 16” Zildjian I crash
- 20” Zildjian I ride
Ludwig Element Evolution At A Glance
- Good value for drummers buying their first drum kit
- One of the few beginner kits that offer different configuration setups
- Great deep tones from the toms
- The Cherry finish is a beautiful finish that you don’t see on too many beginner kits
- The Zildjian I cymbals are good for beginners, but they’re not musical or versatile