If you’re wanting to start learning the drums, you may be looking for an affordable set of drums to play on. With so many drum kits available, it can become fairly overwhelming to choose one. You also don’t want to spend too little and get a low-quality set or spend too much to get a set that you won’t fully appreciate yet.
If that sounds like you, the Ludwig Accent is a drum set worth checking out. I’m going to give my review of the kit. I’m also going to give you a quick guide on choosing a good beginner drum set so that you know exactly what to look for.
What is the Ludwig Accent?
The Ludwig Accent is the prime entry-level drum set from Ludwig. It’s a kit that has been designed specifically for beginners to play. If you look at Ludwig’s bottom to the intermediate kit lineup, this is where the Accent stands:
- Ludwig NeuSonic (highest-quality intermediate set)
- Ludwig Evolution
- Ludwig Breakbeats
- Ludwig Accent
- Ludwig Pocket Kit
From that list you’ll see that it’s second from the bottom, making it Ludwig’s second most affordable drum set. It’s a full drum set package, meaning it comes with cymbals and hardware. So, you’ll get most of what you need to start playing all with one purchase.
What to Look for in a Good Beginner Drum Set
Before we get to the review of the Ludwig Accent, let me give you a few tips on what you need to look out for when buying an entry-level kit. If you’re not a first-time drum kit buyer, you can skip this section. If you are, pay close attention.
The drums themselves are naturally the most important thing to check out. Another name for drums is shells, and your first point-of-call when buying a kit is to see what the shells are made of. The type of wood they’re made of will determine how the drums sound.
Most entry-level kits are made of poplar or hardwood. These are cheap woods to find and use, making them ideal for affordable kits. If you see a kit made from woods other than these, it’s most probably a higher-quality set.
Poplar shells have a smooth and even tone with a bit of boosted low-end. Hardwood shells have a more streamlined tone across the frequency range.
You also need to check the hardware design around the shells as that affects the tones as well.
If you’re buying a drum kit for the first time, you need to make sure that the kit comes with cymbal stands, drum stands, and a bass drum pedal. These are the things that hold the drums together, so you can’t play without them. If a kit doesn’t have them, you’ll need to buy them separately.
If the kit does come with these stands, you should scope them out to see their quality. Boom cymbal stands are always better than straight stands. However, both types of stands will get the job done. Boom stands are just more adjustable.
Another thing to look out for is whether the stands are single-braced or double-braced. You can identify this by looking at the legs. Double-braced stands will have two metal rods on each leg while single-braced stands will only have one. Double-braced stands are sturdier and more reliable.
You’re going to need cymbals in your setup as well. So, it would be ideal to get a drum set that comes with a few. The main cymbals in a setup are the hi-hats, a crash cymbal, and a ride cymbal. Not all entry-level kits come with all 3 cymbals. You may find a kit that only has hi-hats and a ride.
Entry-level cymbals are also fairly low-quality most of the time. The low-quality won’t matter too much to beginners, but you’ll find yourself wanting to upgrade them sooner than anything else. So, cymbal quality may be a determining factor in which entry-level drum kit to buy.
The last thing to worry about when buying a beginner drum set is the cost. If you’re a first-time buyer, the prices of drum sets may seem a bit scary to you. While drums may seem quite expensive, you should know that they tend to last decades and have excellent resale value.
The only drums that don’t have good resale value are ones from unknown drum brands. I highly suggest that you don’t get anything that costs less than $300. That cheap drum sets that you can find on Amazon rarely leave new drummers feeling satisfied.
It’s better to invest your money in a solid well-known brand like Ludwig, Pearl, or Tama.
Ludwig Accent Review
With all that being said, let’s move on to the review of the Ludwig Accent kit. I’ll look at this kit through the lens of the above guide. This will allow you to see how you should scope out other drum sets as well. Let’s get started.
Here’s everything that comes with the Ludwig Accent drum set:
- 22” x 16” bass drum
- 10” x 7” rack tom
- 12” x 8” rack tom
- 16” x 16” floor tom
- 14” x 5” snare drum
- 14” no-name brand brass hi-hats
- 16” no-name brand brass crash
- Snare drum stand
- Hi-hat stand
- Straight cymbal stand
- Kick drum pedal
As you can see from that list, you get almost everything you need to start playing as soon as you unbox and set the kit up. The only thing missing is a drum throne. I was a bit disappointed when I found out it doesn’t come with a throne as most of the other entry-level kits on the market include one.
One last thing to mention is that you have the option of getting an Accent kit with a 20” bass drum instead of a 22”. All the other drums stay the same size in that configuration.
The drums are made from select hardwood. This is one of the few entry-level kits I know of that doesn’t have poplar drum shells, making it fairly unique. The drums boast a fair bit of attack and sustain. However, they also have plenty of nasty overtones. You’ll need to muffle the drums to eliminate those.
I wouldn’t say the sound of the drums is better or worse than a poplar kit. It’s just different in tone. You’ll need to hear them for yourself and do a comparison with a popular kit to see which drum sounds you prefer.
Here’s a demo of the Ludwig Accent kit being played:
The construction of the kit is where you’ll feel the low price coming through. While the kit looks solid from a distance, you can feel that it’s an entry-level set when playing it. I’m a big fan of the classic Ludwig lugs, but everything else feels quite flimsy compared to higher-quality drum sets.
The good thing about that is that if you’ve never played a solid pro drum kit, you won’t be accustomed to how that feels, and you won’t worry about the lower construction quality of this kit.
I’ll admit that it’s built to last. If you take good care of it, it will last you a good few years and you’ll be able to sell it once you’re ready to buy a higher-quality set.
My biggest peeve with the kit is the tom mounts, though. The rack toms are connected to arms that mount to the bass drum. These mounts work on a rotation system that is fairly limited in the way that you can adjust them.
The hardware that comes with the set is fairly impressive, especially if you look at it through the eyes of a beginner. The stands to hold the cymbals and snare drum are double-braced, making them feel quite sturdy.
I’ve always loved how large the wing nuts are on Ludwig hardware stands. There’s nothing worse than trying to adjust a stand that has a tiny wingnut that is too tight to turn. Experiencing how easy these larger wingnuts make things is something you’ll only get when you set the kit up in person.
The kick drum pedal that’s included is also solid. It has a smooth action, and it’s easy to adjust to a comfortable setting. It’s a lot better than most pedals that come with cheap entry-level drum sets.
The cymbals that come with the kit are cheap brass cymbals that don’t have a brand name. You can expect to get cymbals like these with any kit that costs less than $600. You get a 14” pair of hi-hats and a 16” crash that is labeled as a crash/ride.
16 inches is way too small for a ride cymbal, so I’d suggest your next cymbal purchase after getting this kit be a properly-sized ride.
While the cymbals aren’t anything special, they’re decent enough to learn to play the drums on. You’ll find yourself wanting to get better cymbals after a few months, though.
The Ludwig Accent only has the following 3 finishes available:
- Blue Sparkle
- Red Sparkle
- Silver Sparkle
These finishes don’t look particularly fantastic, but the sparkling nature of them adds a fair amount of character. It may not seem like many finishes to choose from, but most entry-level drum sets don’t have the option of many finishes.
I find the differences between the three finishes to be extreme enough to cater to different personalities. The Silver Sparkle is the most neutral finish while the red and blue finishes are a bit brighter and more colorful.
Depending on when you buy it, the Ludwig Accent is going to cost between $500 and $600. That’s the typical price you can expect to pay for a full entry-level drum set from a major drum brand. It’s very competitive compared to the other competing entry-level kits.
The price of the kit isn’t going to be a deciding factor as you can find about 3 other kits with the same number of drums, cymbals, and stands for the same price.
As I said earlier, though, it’s better to spend $500 on a kit like this than it is to spend $300 on a cheap kit from Amazon.
Pros and Cons
- Full kit with drums, cymbals, and hardware
- Very reasonably priced
- Large wing nuts on the stands are very useful
- Great drum set for beginners
- Unique select hardwood shells
- No drum throne included
- Plenty of unwanted overtones when the drums aren’t muffled
Overall, the Ludwig Accent is an excellent kit for beginners. It feels great to play on thanks to the standard drum sizes, and it comes with most of what you need to set up and play straight away. You’d just need to purchase a drum throne separately.
The construction quality of the kit isn’t amazing, but it feels the same as all the other entry-level drum sets that cost around $500. The Ludwig Accent is the only one of those that has select hardwood shells. So, it’s a great option for drummers wanting a kit that doesn’t have poplar shells.
Alternate Beginner Drum Kit Options
The Pearl Roadshow is the current king of entry-level kits in the drum set market. It offers the same drum sizes and cymbals as the Ludwig Accent. However, you can choose to get a jazz version of the set with only two toms or another version that has two floor toms instead of two rack toms.
The drums are made from poplar which gives them a punchy tone. I’d say the Roadshow is the superior kit as it comes with a drum throne. It also comes with sticks, a stick bag, and a cool Pearl poster. It’s a bit more expensive than the Ludwig kit because of this.
The construction quality is also a lot better. Pearl is known for making high-quality hardware on their drums, and you can clearly feel it when you put the drum kits next to each other.
We have a full review of the Pearl Roadshow kit which you can check out here.
- Most popular entry-level kit on the market
- High-quality Pearl hardware
- A few different configuration options
- More expensive than the Ludwig Accent
PDP Center Stage
The PDP Center Stage is another popular entry-level set to consider getting. It also has punchy poplar shells, and it comes with the same type of brass cymbals as the previous kits.
This particular kit has two unique benefits that may sway you to buy it over the others. The first benefit is the True-Pitch tuning rods. These are the same tension rods that are used on all DW and PDP drum sets. They make tuning the drums very easy, and the drums tend to stay in tune for extended periods.
The other benefit of this kit is that you get a total of 6 finish options. That’s a lot more than the Ludwig or the Pearl entry-level kits.
Here are the finishes you can choose from:
- Diamond White Sparkle
- Electric Green Sparkle
- Iridescent Black Sparkle
- Royal Blue Sparkle
- Ruby Red Sparkle
- Silver Sparkle
- Affordable full drum set for beginners
- 6 finish options to choose from
- Has the True-Pitch tension rods that are used in higher-end PDP and DW drum sets
- Cymbals are a bit smaller than on the previous kits
If you want to spend a bit more money to get a higher-quality drum set, the Tama Imperialstar is a great kit to look into. It’s also a full set with hardware and cymbals. However, you get an extra cymbal stand and some higher-quality cymbals from Meinl.
The cymbals are the Meinl HCS Series. They’re entry-level cymbals, but they sound a lot better than the brass cymbals that come with the Ludwig Accent.
A kit like this will last a lot longer than the Ludwig Accent due to its higher-quality construction and superior tones. Although it’s more expensive, it’s well worth the extra cash you pay for it.
The Imperialstar also has some amazing finish options, allowing you to get a truly personal drum set. This is the kind of set I would get to set up in my teaching studio for my students rather than the Ludwig Accent.
We have a full review of the kit here if you’d like to read more about it.
- Higher-quality set than the Ludwig Accent
- Comes with Meinl HCS cymbals
- Sturdy hardware
- Beautiful finishes available
- More expensive than the Ludwig Accent
Ludwig Element Evolution
The Ludwig Element Evolution is another good kit to consider for the same reason as the Imperialstar. It’s a bit more expensive, though. I’d suggest getting this kit if you love the features that Ludwig offers, but want a higher-quality set than the Accent.
One of the biggest benefits of this set is that it comes with two boom cymbal stands. Boom stands are superior to straight stands as they allow for more adjustability, so it’s great to have these stands with the kit.
The kit comes with Zildjian I cymbals. They’re also entry-level cymbals, but they sound fairly decent, and a lot better than the no-name brass cymbals from the Accent. They have a bright tone that cuts very easily through the mix of drums.
I’d say that this is a higher-quality set than the Imperialstar, making it the best set on this list. If you want to read more about it, you can check a full review here.
- Intermediate drum set
- Includes Zildjian I cymbals
- Comes with two boom cymbal stands
- The most expensive kit I’ve suggested so far
Answer: Entry-level drum kits are more affordable and typically come with hardware and cymbals. You get a few intermediate kits that come with extras, but most of them are sold as shell packs.
Entry-level kits are primarily aimed at first-time drum set buyers while intermediate kits have a much broader consumer range. Naturally, intermediate kits also sound a lot better than entry-level kits. They’re made with higher-quality woods such as maple, birch, and mahogany.
Answer: It’s always going to be more ideal to get an acoustic drum set. Acoustic kits are what drumming is all about, so it’s good for a beginner to learn to play on one to get accustomed to how the drums feel and sound.
However, not everyone has the luxury of being able to play a loud drum set. If you have neighbors living in close proximity, an electronic kit is going to be one of the most viable options. If that’s the case, an electronic set will be a decent option.
If you’re a beginner with an electronic set, I’d suggest that you try to play on acoustic drums whenever you can to get accustomed to how they feel. If you end up playing live gigs with bands someday, you’ll be playing on an acoustic set most of the time.
Answer: Ludwig has been one of the top drum brands for decades. They’re one of the longest-running drum companies next to Gretsch. Because of this, you can find many vintage Ludwig kits around the world. A lot of their kits incorporate vintage aspects within the modern designs.
Some of the most famous drummers who played Ludwig drum sets were John Bonham, Charlie Watts, and Ringo Starr.
The brand isn’t as popular nowadays as it used to be in the 20th century. However, a few notable drummers still happily endorse their drums. You can see drummers like Nate Smith and Questlove playing Ludwig drums on some of the largest stages in the world.
Answer: Cymbals are vitally important. You won’t have a full drum setup without them. You’d be surprised at how much a good set of cymbals can elevate the overall sound of a drum set. One of the best things you can do to improve the quality of an entry-level kit is to get a set of high-quality cymbals.
The reason for this is that cymbals can’t have their tones altered too much. A bad cymbal will always be a bad cymbal. However, drums can be muffled and tuned to sound better. So, a set of low-quality drums that have been tuned well will sound great when paired with some good cymbals.
I’d happily recommend the Ludwig Accent to anyone looking for their first drum set. Whether you’re buying it for yourself or for someone you know who wants to start learning the drums, I think it’s an excellent choice.
However, I’d suggest you look at the other entry-level drum kits in the same price range as well. They all offer similar features, so it’s good to compare them to see which kit you may end up preferring.
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