June 18

Ludwig Breakbeats Review – Pro, Cons & Setup

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The Breakbeats by Questlove are a compact drum set from Ludwig. The kit is pretty inexpensive and many might dismiss it because of its low cost, however, it is important to understand that it has been made by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, a drummer of Jimmy Fallon’s house band and is from Ludwig. If you want to find out more about this drum, read on.

Ludwig Breakbeats Review


Ludwig Breakbeats

If you want a compact drum kit that is perfect for street gigs, churches, and home use, then the Ludwig Breakbeat will be perfect for you. The drums, while small, pack quite a punch and have a great tone. The kit is ideal for small venues, steer performances. and for practicing. This is a too cheap kit to be good.

Pros
  • The tom drums and the bass drum can be easily tuned and will sound great in highs and lows, that said the kit reaches its best performance when it’s tuned low.
  • The bass drum also punches way above its size and sounds great.
  • The kit also allows you to directly mount your ride cymbal on the bass drum. This should save you some money while also reducing the overweight and volume of the kit.
  • The kit has a sparkle finish, so the drums will catch the eye of the audience when the lights turn on.
  • You can also comfortably use a double bass pedal with the bass drum.
Cons
  • The kit comes with a drum riser, this is because the bass drum is pretty small and the drum riser should theoretically allow you to hit the dead center of the head with your beater.
  • However, the riser just doesn’t work properly. If you want to hit your bass drum properly, it is best you buy a drum riser separately.
  • The other major issue is that the shell pack does not include hardware, cymbals, stool, and kick pedal. You will have to buy these separately and this can bring up the total considerably.

While you can buy a complete Ludwig Breakbeats kit that has cymbals and hardware, buying them separately will save you money and give you better cymbals and hardware.

What’s in the box


The box contains a four-piece drum kit. While the drums are small, they do pack quite a punch. While people may think it is a junior drum set because of its size, it is a drum for professionals.

  • The kit cohosts of a 14”*16” Bass drum, 7”*10” Tom, 13”*13” Floor Tom, and a 5”*14” snare drum with matching wood.
  • While most drum kits usually just throw in a snare drum as a bonus and aren’t usually well made, the Breakbeat is an exception.
  • The snare drum that you receive is powerful and responsive.
  • The kit also throws in multiple-purpose bags which will allow you to carry this kit without any issue to your gigs.
  • The kit also includes a bass drum riser.

Key features


Compact kit with full size fee

The kit is quite compact, you should have no issue carrying it to your gigs and storing it while not being used. The reduction in size however does not compromise the sound and feel.The drums shells are made with 7-ply hardwood and have Remo heads fitted to them. These heads give you an incredible feel and response while playing and produce a great sound that will resonate with all your audience. 

Ludwig Breakbeats Review

How does it sound?

The breakbeat delivers quite a powerful sound. The Tom and Bass drums are especially great and are also quite easy to tune to perfection. You could play anything from Bebop high to punchy low without an issue. You lower it further if you want, something other drums just won’t do. 

The heads are able to produce professional sounds even from the low cost shells. However, if you are looking to play heavy metal or metal rock, it is best for you to buy some other drum. While this drum can play those genres, it just isn’t the best for it. However, if you are into jazz,punk, R&B or hip-hop, this kit will be perfect for you.

Portable shell packs (2 toms, a bass drum, and a matching snare drum)

This four-piece questlove drum set comes with just the essential drumming requirements. The bass drum, while small, does sound great and you will have no issue producing powerful beats.

The toms also sound good and should last you a long time. While the snare does not sound too great, it is actually much better than the snares you might receive from similarly priced drum sets.

All the drums are quite compact and very easy to assemble and disassemble. Transporting the drums should thus be a breeze.

Kick Drum

The kick drum sounds incredible and can be easily tuned to fit your needs. The drum sounds much better than expected for its size. The drum is however big enough to allow you to use a double bass pedal without any issue. The kit comes with a riser that will help you position it perfectly.

Recording

The Ludwig drums sound incredible, the downsizing hasn’t affected it at all. There are quite a lot of ways the small size could come handy during recording. If you are recording in your home with your band, a full-sized drum kit will occupy most of the room and your band might not be able to comfortably play.

Having a breakbeat will ensure that you don’t take too much space, thus allowing your band to record your music comfortably. 

You could record the kit with great tone by simple 3-microphone setup, just simply make sure that you have properly tuned the kit. If you want you can add a close mic or an overhead mic depending on your needs, but a 3-microphone setup should be enough for most cases.

You can use the Recorderman technique to set up your overhead mic as the kit is compact and you will be able to capture all the sounds without issue.

Perfect for street gigging and touring drummers

The small size and amazing sound of Ludwig breakbeats make it an incredible option for both streets gigging and touring drummers. As a street musician you cannot take too much time setting up your drums nor can you take up the entirety of the street with your instrument.

These drums will help you showcase your talent to the world while remaining compact and cost friendly. 

As a touring drummer you will need to travel a lot. If you have a full sized kit, you won’t be able to carry it to all your events and will be stuck playing a random drum that is available.

If you had a compact drum like the breakbeat you will be able to carry it along to your events without issue and comfortably play on your own kit. The small size of the kit also makes it perfect for small venues.

Alternatives to Ludwig breakbeats

With the market right now being filled with various different compact kits, you can actually find many alternatives to the Ludwig Breakbeats.

Pearl Roadshow set

If you want to buy a drum set that comes with cymbals and all the hardware you need, you should check the Pearl Roadshow set which is also listed in our best beginner drum set review article. While the cymbals don’t sound great, the hardware that comes is decent. So think about your budget and your needs before you get it.

If you aren’t into Ludwigs, you could get the Sonor Martini. It’s priced close to the Ludwig and is pretty similar to it in the features it offers and the quality of sound.

If you are open to getting an electronic kit, you should check out the Roland TD-4KP. These drums are compact, sound good, and could be your entry point into e-drums.

Setup and Assembly


Once you have the necessary hardware and cymbals, assembling and setting up the questlove breakbeats kit is without hiccups for the most part. A major issue however will be the riser that comes with the kit. Mounting it to the hoop of the bass drum is hard and you will most likely fit it haphazardly. This just makes it impossible to use any kick pedal.

 You will need to buy a separate riser or get used to your beaters not hitting the dead center of the head. A small issue you might encounter might be with the memory locks, you could solve it with a replacement. Once you’ve sorted these two issues, the drum setup is no different to any other and you should be able to do it without much effort

Summary


The Ludwig Breakbeats are a great option for anyone looking to buy a great sounding compact drum set on a budget. The kit is light and small thus carrying it around to your gigs will not be an issue. The kit also sounds incredible, so you can impress yourself and crowds without issue. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced drummer, this drum will definitely keep you happy.


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