Ive called ludwig customer support numerous times and theyve been great. The quality, sound, and duribility of ludwigs are superb, which is why many of their kits from the 20's - 60's are still around today, and in great condition. Theyve been making drums for over 100 years, and know how to do it better than most everyone.
Personally, I feel that DW is the best mainstream drum company. While Pearl does have a nice Master's series, DW's line is immaculate and the hardware is simply unbeatable. It's hard to really pick and choose cause each company has a really nice top of the line kit. But my pick goes to DW drums
I vote for Peace drums and percussion even though its not on the list. I have had nothing but solid customer support. Im on my second set of Peace and they sound great. The hardware is average not great not terrible.
That all said Im thinking of buying a PDP FS bbirch kit soon so we'll see.
most of those big corporate brand names make entry level kits and pro-quality gear.
They don't seem all that different to me, at the upper level it's all fairly nice stuff.
They all sound like drums, ya know?
I voted DW/PdP because I want a kit by either but in general I think all the mainstream companies make good drums. I think it's usually the small things that make different drummers gravitate to certain brands. For instance, I currently play Tama. I've played Pearl, and I think they make nice kits, but I don't like their tom mounts. I prefer the Tama style tom mount so thats what I got instead of going the pearl route. At the moment I like PdP and Gretsch the best but that's now. I used to be a hardcore Tama man.