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Going All in With Vintage?

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#1
Topsy Turvy

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I was on another drumming related forum (gasp!) and I saw a topic about vintage drums which I have been thinking about. Someone is considering selling all of their modern drums and only having vintage kits, which is something I have considered in the past and have been thinking about recently. 

 

So, a couple of my drumming friends and I were shooting the crap over a couple of beers last night and this topic came up. Both of these guys own vintage and modern kits and have played for many years, so they have experience with all kinds of drums and gigging situations. Both of the guys were 100% against the idea of only having vintage drums. They said they thought that vintage drums wouldn't have enough volume/bite/attack to work in louder situations, especially when unmiced. I was surprised by their reaction, and it got me to thinking. 

 

So, my questions (finally!) are, has anyone made the switch to vintage drums entirely? If so, were there any major drawbacks? Have you had any issues with volume/bite/attack to the point that you thought you needed modern drums? Just curious. 


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#2
marko52

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I only own vintage drums, but I gig once a month or so in small bars, etc--volume is not an issue.  To each his own, but new drums have nothing for me.  I guess if vintage drums weren't available, I'd own a N&C kit or a C&C kit, but it'd have to fitted out in vintage style.....marko


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#3
Osahead2

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Once you go vintage you'll never go back.
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#4
Trilock_Gurtu

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It depends.

 

I own both, but prefer vintage gear; the sound, feel and look of it. I often get hired for situations that require modern gear. Now its not that vintage gear can't sonically work in modern music situations, but more the artist "preferring" a certain look. If they don't care, then I'll bring vintage gear first, and just add triggers/electronics, if need be.

 

If you're just a hobbyist, then have what you like...simple as that.


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#5
Topsy Turvy

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It depends.

 

I own both, but prefer vintage gear; the sound, feel and look of it. I often get hired for situations that require modern gear. Now its not that vintage gear can't sonically work in modern music situations, but more the artist "preferring" a certain look. If they don't care, then I'll bring vintage gear first, and just add triggers/electronics, if need be.

 

If you're just a hobbyist, then have what you like...simple as that.

 

 

So for you, it is only about the look rather than the sonic limitations of vintage drums. Is that correct?


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#6
multijd

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I generally play vintage drums of a variety of brands. Once a month and occassionally other times I play backline modern kits. They definitely have a particular sound. I think you can get close to the modern sound with vintage drums but the modern drums are in a sense already tuned for that modern sound wheras vintage drums have another sound altogether. It’s easier to get a modern aound on modern drums. They are built for it.

Edited by multijd, 16 August 2018 - 09:26 PM.

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#7
H.M.

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I play nothing but vintage kits. They have that mojo that new kits just don't have. My newest kit is from 1978 (Ludwig Buddy Rich kit)  and oldest from 1952 (Gretsch). Most of my kits are from the 1960's (Ludwig, Gretsch and Rogers).  


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#8
Topsy Turvy

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I play nothing but vintage kits. They have that mojo that new kits just don't have. My newest kit is from 1978 (Ludwig Buddy Rich kit)  and oldest from 1952 (Gretsch). Most of my kits are from the 1960's (Ludwig, Gretsch and Rogers).  

 

What kind of music do you play? Miced? Do you notice any issues with volume/bite/attack?


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#9
supershifter2

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I bought 2 identical Tama Superstar kits around 1986 and have played them ever since. I do not have any plans on replacing them. they give me the sound Iike. They are 32 years old and I do not refer to them as vintage or consider them vintage. I dont understand why drummers dump good drums after a few years because they think they need new ones. If they make the sound you like and are in good condition thats all that counts.

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#10
rculberson

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Why not have both?  I have some vintage drums that get me a vintage sound and vibe, and I have some new drums that get me a new drum sound and vibe.  They're both valid, and do different things that I like to have access to if I want it.  To be honest, they all kinda sound about the same to me, although I do notice a slight difference in the volume and clarity of my birch-shelled set compared to my other drums.  I use the vintage drums in situations where the look and vibe of vintage fits in better.  If I'm in a more contemporary situation, I bring the newer drums.  


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#11
davidh

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It is the terrible hardware that makes just playing vintage more difficult. Slotted tension rods, tom holders that put the drum anywhere but where you want, spurs that don't stop a bass drum wandering off. I play my vintage drums at home and gig with the modern stuff.


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#12
Troyh

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I have both and play unmixed, but for my damaged ears, it boils down to what heads I'm running on the kits. I would think, if your miked it ends up being your sound guys mix.
My 2 cents.
My band prefers the vintage over my Legacys.

#13
Topsy Turvy

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Why not have both?  I have some vintage drums that get me a vintage sound and vibe, and I have some new drums that get me a new drum sound and vibe.  They're both valid, and do different things that I like to have access to if I want it.  To be honest, they all kinda sound about the same to me, although I do notice a slight difference in the volume and clarity of my birch-shelled set compared to my other drums.  I use the vintage drums in situations where the look and vibe of vintage fits in better.  If I'm in a more contemporary situation, I bring the newer drums.  

 

Do you think you need the added volume or clarity of modern drums? 


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#14
Powertone

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All vintage. Nothing I play requires a modern kit. When I have had to play a modern kit as part of a back line, just didn’t have the vibe. But I did appreciate not having to set up.
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#15
W&A Player

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It is the terrible hardware that makes just playing vintage more difficult. Slotted tension rods (not on any of my vintage American-made drums), tom holders that put the drum anywhere but where you want (this is not so. My drums are positioned any place I want them to be--even with rail consolettes) , spurs that don't stop a bass drum wandering of f(nothing that can't be handled with a drum rug and front bass drum creep stopper). I play my vintage drums at home and gig with the modern stuff. You are over generalizing based on your preconceived opinion. I'm here to tell you that you are wrong on all counts that you posted. 


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#16
VintageUSA

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In just 9 days, I will have owned my SSB Gretsch Jasper shells for 41 years...................I still gig with them regularly.

 

All the gigs I've played in the last 6 years require mics on the drums, so , no problems.

 

I do own a set of modern Ludwigs but I never touch them.


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#17
funkypoodle

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Somewhere during the last decade I went vintage without looking back. Right now I play 1 of 2 Rogers kits, which I also rent out as vintage backline when the occasion presents itself. Whether on stage or watching someone else gig my kits I don't feel like either kit lacks volume/attack out there in the real world. I could see some MIJ stencil kits being too quiet for loud gigs, but why bring them to a gig that loud? Bring your stainless Ludwig and your Coliseum  :laughing6:

 

 Some folks argue that mechanical failure is another drawback with vintage drums, but honestly my track record with modern high-end hardware is worse than with high-end vintage. When you buy a vintage kit you strip it apart to clean it and discover future problems before they happen, replace lug inserts & t-rods, that kind of thing. When your kit is new you assume everything is cool until mechanical faults present themselves. So in a way having well loved vintage gear is a bit like owning a reconditioned Macbook. There is probably less chance for mechanical failure since everything has been reverified and replaced if needed.

 

 Also, everytime I unpack a brand new drum kit at our drumfest the smell of glue/lacquer and what-not is horrid. I much prefer the smell of 20th century Ohio  :laughing4:


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#18
wflkurt

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I love both vintage and new. Now when I say new, I am playing a classic maple Ludwig set that was ordered by me to look as vintage(1970) as possible. I have actually been asked more than a few times what the year of my set is. Of course any real vintage guy would know instantly but the set looks like a vintage Ludwig, sounds great and has never let me down. One of the things I like best about it is that it is MY set as I ordered it brand new and it has only been owned and gigged on by me.

 

That being said though... I do love a good vintage set. There is nothing like the feeling I get sitting behind my 1969 mod orange super classic. I also play in a top 40 country band so if I were doing the jazz thing like Osa I would definitely lean towards vintage for that style of music. Honestly even though I play places that are pretty decent, I would rather bring my new set and not worry about something happening to one of my older sets. I also worry when the band gets busy that if I am switching gear around, I might forget something. My gigging set stays the same almost all of the time in cases ready to go. Nothing is ever forgotten as the car is loaded the same every time and I will know instantly if something is missing. 


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#19
Johnny D

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Yup, that's me. I have five vintage Gretsch sets ranging from a 1960 RB to four early 70s SSB kits. A 1969 Ludwig Keystone Badge Bowling Ball kit, an early/mid 70s Premier and a late 60s/early 70s Hayman kit. Eight kits in all, and all vintage. Nothing new excites me. 

 

I do confess to using a couple of newer Zildjian cymbals (a recent development), but most of my cymbals are vintage as well.  


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#20
davidh

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It is the terrible hardware that makes just playing vintage more difficult. Slotted tension rods (not on any of my vintage American-made drums), tom holders that put the drum anywhere but where you want (this is not so. My drums are positioned any place I want them to be--even with rail consolettes) , spurs that don't stop a bass drum wandering of f(nothing that can't be handled with a drum rug and front bass drum creep stopper). I play my vintage drums at home and gig with the modern stuff. You are over generalizing based on your preconceived opinion. I'm here to tell you that you are wrong on all counts that you posted. 

 

Wow! Sensitive soul..


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