1950's Slingerland Radio King - floor tom suggestions?

TattooedDad

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Hello All!

I am new to this forum, and love reading your wonderful advice. I recently purchased this blue sparkle 1950's Slingerland Radio King. I purchased the snare separately, and it is dated 1958 and I'm assuming not too far off from the date of the kit (even though the badges are different). What would you suggest for a floor tom? I know finding a floor tom in this shade of sparkling blue might take some time, but I do need one (if you have a matching one definitely let me know!!). What color do you think might compliment the kit?

I have some new heads on the way, but wanted to ask what you would suggest for a tom reso head? Should I go with clear as I typically would, or go with something coated? Any other tips from vintage owners would be greatly appreciated. I haven't set her up properly yet, the bass drum heads definitely need to come off.

This is my first vintage kit, and I am just a basement player. Aside from some normal wear and tear the kit looks to be very solid, and in great shape for its age.

Thanks!

TM
 

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W&A Player

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I advise patience--just a little bit of patience. Blue Sparkle was one of the most common colors for drums throughout the mid 20th century. If you were not looking for a matching floor tom today, there would probably be several of them available in online selling sites. I'd be pretty certain that you'll find a matching blue sparkle floor tom within a month.
 

TattooedDad

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Thanks for the positive reinforcement! I will hold out and keep looking. You're right, if I wasn't looking for it, they'd all be available!
 

K.O.

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It isn't cheap but you can get sparkle wrap custom made in just about any shade you can imagine. So you could either rewrap a floor Tom (preferably one with damaged wrap) or buy a new shell and "clone" a matching floor Tom. And, just as soon as you do you can rest assured that a perfect match vintage one will pop up at a garage sale down the street.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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There's a 14x14 on eBay that I think is walnut. As KO indicates, you can go custom wrap but that will cost you. It's possible but unlikely that Precision has that color. You may also find a MIJ old FT that is that color or similar and either just use that, or strip the wrap off that one to try and match this kit.

I don't recall seeing a lone 14x14 Slingy blue FT in years. I think realistically, it will take longer than a month.

And hey, there are similar outfits called the "all nighter" and other similar models with just a snare/bass/rack tom so you're good!
 

D. B. Cooper

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Follow your heart on the clean bottom head. Single ply, of course. I like 7 mil better than the super thin heads.
Is that 22" bass and 13" tom you've got there?
Are you looking for a 16" floor? I bet it will come up.
Also don't rule out a marching drum. Throw some legs on her and BAM! a floor tom.
 

TattooedDad

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You guys are the best. I love the positivity and suggestions.

Believe it or not I found a matching 16 Slingerland floor Tom in the same aqua blue sparkle hue from the same era. I probably paid more than I needed but I figured I wouldnt find that shade for a while.

I bought a remo felt strip power stroke 3 and a power stroke batter head for the bass. Im hoping it improves the tone. I already changed the rack Tom head and its made a world of difference.
 

TattooedDad

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And yes sizes are 22, and 13. Its in great shape with the exception of a scuffed area on the bass hoop where the pedal was connected. Any options for hoop protectors that dont adhere or drill into to the hoop?
 

rpludwig

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Velcro = excellent hoop protector, put a wide strip on both sides of hoop, hooked or fuzzy matters not, although hooked on bottom can help grip the drum rug a bit, have used for years...good you found a FT, post a pic when all together & enjoy!
 

K.O.

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TattooedDad said:
Believe it or not I found a matching 16 Slingerland floor Tom in the same aqua blue sparkle hue from the same era. I probably paid more than I needed but I figured I wouldnt find that shade for a while.
Wow! Good for you. My floor tom searches typically take years, even when hunting for a common color. A friend of mine suggests you always buy the floor tom first, the other matching drums will be much easier to find...generally speaking he's right, but it I usually stumble onto deals on the other parts first and then need the floor tom.
 

TattooedDad

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K.O. said:
Believe it or not I found a matching 16 Slingerland floor Tom in the same aqua blue sparkle hue from the same era. I probably paid more than I needed but I figured I wouldnt find that shade for a while.
Wow! Good for you. My floor tom searches typically take years, even when hunting for a common color. A friend of mine suggests you always buy the floor tom first, the other matching drums will be much easier to find...generally speaking he's right, but it I usually stumble onto deals on the other parts first and then need the floor tom.
Your friend is right! Why is it so hard to find matching floor toms? I notice Slingerland floor tom inventory seems to be very scarce across the internet. Is there a reason for that? I'm sure its just scarce at the moment because I was looking for something! :p
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Wow, TDad, you found one quickly and in that aqua hue? I'd like to see that kit! Sometimes, yes, get the FT and the rest will follow....
 

D. B. Cooper

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Don't hesitate. Many around here, myself included, love a 12x15 floor tom. The only one I own, actually.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I bet you can get that for $200 shipped. Sell the snare parts/throw for $100 easy and buy the brackets. Drill 6 holes and you're in the money, baby!
 

Fat Drummer

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I'm with JDG 100% on this! Whip that snare into a floor tom with minimum effort and dollars and play it until you come across a more traditional model in the correct color if you prefer.
 

TattooedDad

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JazzDrumGuy said:
Someone put an offer in on it - hope it was the O.P.......and he gets it!
Hey JDG, I did put an offer in, but it was on the low side and I was just taking some time to consider the counter. I was able to find a 16 x 16" for my kit, but I wanted to experiment with something a bit smaller.

What is also holding me back is that I cant tell if the shade will match. Slingerland and their "blue sparkle" with the 50 different hues! :shakes fist: :laughing5:
 

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