Ludwig Element Evolution Review (2022) – Worth Buying?  

Updated on by Brett Clur | There may be affiliate links on this page.

Ludwig has been making drums for a long time. They were once at the very top of the drum manufacturing market, but seemed to have taken a step back over recent years. However, they’re still putting out some good products.

The Ludwig Element Evolution kit is designed to be a one-stop shop for the intermediate drummers. It comes with a 5-piece shell setup, hardware and cymbals, all for an affordable price. This looks like a great kit at first glance. So, is it worth buying?

Ludwig Element Evolution Overview

The kit comes with the following shell sizes:

  • 14” x 5” snare
  • 10” x 8” rack tom
  • 12” x 9” rack tom
  • 16” x 16” floor tom
  • 22” x 18” kick drum

It also includes the following cymbals from the Zildjian I Series:

  • 14” hi-hats
  • 16” crash
  • 20” ride

Lastly, it includes double braced hardware to hold the cymbals and snare drum, as well as a pedal for the kick drum.

  • Great sounding toms
  • Kick drum sounds good without muffling
  • Includes hardware and cymbals
  • Double-braced hardware is solid
  • Affordable
  • Cymbals aren’t the best for intermediate level


The shells of the Ludwig Element Evolution are what give it the classic Ludwig sound. It has big boomy low end with a tight and cracking snare sound. They’re made from poplar wood, which is used for a lot of entry-level kits, making them more affordable.

The kick drum comes with a pre-muffled drumhead, meaning it doesn’t need any pillows inside to make it sound good. It produces a large sound that booms throughout a room. You can put pillows inside the kick if you find it too boomy. It will sound great either way.

The snare drum has a coated single-ply head that gives it a cracking sound if tuned high and a fat sound if tuned low. It’s dynamically responsive and will be able to take hard hits very well.

The toms have a great sound right out the box thanks to the 2-ply stock drumheads from Remo. It’s not common to have 2-ply heads at this price point. You’d usually have to purchase new heads separately to get the best sound.

The kit has 4 finish options: red, blue, black and white. They all have a sparkle to them and make the kit look great wherever it’s set up.


The kit comes with a set of Zildjian I Cymbals. The I series is a fresh reintroduction of the Zildjian ZBT Series. They pretty much have the same sonic qualities, but with a better build. These cymbals come with a lot of entry-level drum kits. The reason for that is that they’re entry-level cymbals.

They sound bright, heavy and are not the most dynamically responsive cymbals out there.  They don’t have a lot of sustain either.

The hi-hats are the best sounding cymbals of the pack. They produce a solid chick sound that will complement grooves very well. The crash and ride are quite ringy, but they do produce the basic cymbal sound needed from a pair of cymbals.

If you’re a beginner, they’ll be perfect for you. However, if you’re an intermediate or advanced player, you’ll find that their quality doesn’t match the quality of the Element Evolution kit and you’ll need to have a cymbal upgrade.

The I Series cymbals will work moderately well in rock, punk, or metal settings. They won’t cut it in jazz or low volume settings.


The kit comes with double-braced hardware, which is a necessity in an intermediate setup. The cymbal stands are boom arms, allowing for a lot of maneuverability. Boom stands aren’t common in kits at this price range, giving this kit an edge over some competitor kits.

The kick pedal is very solid and works well in many different tension settings. You can twist the beater around to get either a plastic or a felt head. The felt head will produce a warm tone and the plastic will give the kick drum a tighter punch.

One of the best things about the kit is that it comes with a drum throne. People often forget about drum thrones, but they’re one of the most important aspects of drumming and can get quite pricey. You have to feel comfortable to play well. Drum thrones make that happen.


Is the Ludwig Element Evolution worth buying? Definitely. The price to value ratio of this kit is out of this world. The sturdy hardware, high quality drum tone and full set of cymbals make it the perfect purchase for someone who’s looking to buy their first set of drums.

The shell quality and hardware make it worth it for an intermediate player. You’ll just need to upgrade the cymbals. Ludwig has made an impressive product here. You won’t regret investing in one of these kits.

About Brett Clur

Brett has been playing drums for 18+ years. He's a huge drumming gear enthusiast and also teaches drumming to his students. He's most active on Instagram (@brettclurdrums), where he regularly uploads drumming videos.

3 thoughts on “Ludwig Element Evolution Review (2022) – Worth Buying?  ”

  1. I purchased my set in Jan 2021 and have been completely satisfied with the exception of the Kick Pedal and Cymbals
    The kick pedal became sloppy quickly which I have replaced with a Ludwig Speed Flyer, I have also replaced my Throne with a more comfortable DW series.
    I will next replace my cymbals and batter heads.
    Ultimately I would rate the entire kit at a 10 particularly at that price point!

  2. Thanks for your review…..I had a very different experience with the same kit and received little to no practical assistance from Ludwig customer service.
    Bought this kit about two years ago from local shop Music Loft in Wilmington NC. By and large I like the kit and the sound. Added a ten inch tom and a couple extra cymbals (and stands) and replaced all tom heads with Evans Hydraulic heads. That said, build quality (of hardware and shells) is NOT what Ludwig is/was known for. Cut too many corners and used substandard hardware. Case in point, after less than two years, the wood in the floor tom began separating – large split approx. 6 to 8 inches starting about an inch from lower bearing edge. Most likely a manufacturing or wood defect. No other drums were affected so it is most likely not due to environmental causes like too dry, too hot, too cold, too humid etc. Also two of the stands (snare and cymbal) needed to be swapped out as they malfunctioned…screws would not reach the underlying metal so stands could not be tightened. The Music Loft, great store, graciously swapped out the stands. Additionally, the bottom hihat cymbal holder (plastic piece the lower hat sits on) broke off the stand as well. The hihat could be “fixed” simply by using a plastic cymbal slide and cymbal felt….however, this method will not allow one to tilt the hihat cymbals. A minor inconvenience that I can live with, but a quality issue nonetheless. The floor tom will need some work. Music Loft provided the Ludwig Customer Service phone number and the Ludwig customer reps were quick to reply, but they did not offer to replace the drum or anything other than some basic suggestions as to how to fix it. Note to myself – buy higher quality drum kit with better, longer warranty. My advice – there are many drum makers with potentially higher quality product and better warrantees in same price range. Every manufacturer has a sub $1,000 kit as good or better. I would not consider Ludwig equipment in the future….but that’s just me and based on my personal experience.

    Lesson learned. Don’t rely on Ludwig history of quality product…it is just that, history.


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