1950's Slingerland Radioking 14x7..or is it? Help needed!

Aaronjiski

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I just bought this snare for $500. Can someone please confirm this is a real Radioking or did I get jipped?
The seller claims everything is original( even washers,tension rods,snare-wires). except the heads and one part on the throw-off made by Drumatix.
Please be patient with me as I just found out about the Radiokings and decided I wanted one. I have heard horror stories and the online information is good but not specific since they pretty much just churned these puppies out. The things that stick out about the drum when I got it:

1.Heads don't seat easily ( I've read it's common with these drums), what can I do to fix that? The drum still tunes up.
2. Is that a real badge? It is correct for the era but looks almost too "un-touched". Possible a newly made badge?
3. When I removed the heads I saw these "cracks" between the re-rings and shell. Is that common or are these bad? (See pics)
4.What material is this? Solid Shell Maple?

I know I'm probably just being paranoid but in these times I don't have $500 to risk having junk.

Please help! :D













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Rotarded

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Looks legit to me, but I am not an expert by any means. The badge I would know nothing about. Yes, single solid ply maple. The other two items you inquire about could be considered typical given of the age of the drum. I am unsure if the old Radio King shells are slightly larger (much like Gretsch of this era) than modern ones, or slightly out of round, but it wouldn't necessarily be uncommon for the shell to both become slightly out of round, and a re-ing to separate after all this time.
 
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kevin klever

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Looks fantastic to me. Re-ring separation is super common, and you can glue them back down or just leave em (i've never had a problem with just ignoring slightly separated rings like that). That particular era Slingy badge seems to just stay shiny like that, not sure why. I've had two snares with that badge and they both were shiny and new looking.

For heads, you can use Remo Classic Fit series heads which are made for oversize vintage drums. Aquarian also makes the same thing, called "American Vintage" (not to be confused with their "modern vintage" series which are not oversized).

How's it sound?
 

Aaronjiski

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Looks fantastic to me. Re-ring separation is super common, and you can glue them back down or just leave em (i've never had a problem with just ignoring slightly separated rings like that). That particular era Slingy badge seems to just stay shiny like that, not sure why. I've had two snares with that badge and they both were shiny and new looking.

For heads, you can use Remo Classic Fit series heads which are made for oversize vintage drums. Aquarian also makes the same thing, called "American Vintage" (not to be confused with their "modern vintage" series which are not oversized).

How's it sound?

Thank you so much! That helps clear up a lot. I have heard of those heads and now they make sense :D, I was also looking at Calf-skin or even Kangaroo-skin from Australia. Unfortunately,due to the lockdown, neighbors and me being last on UPS's route I haven't had a chance to fully try her out yet. I've just been inspecting her and messing with tunings and finally figured out how the throw-off works,it's really nifty. Tomorrow me and her will take a stroll so she can stretch those legs.

Thank you again!
 

Drumstickdude

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Badge is '53-'56. Great score. Yes radio kings tend often to be slightly larger diameter, if yours is then Remo classic fit for oversized drums fit the best I use ambassador batter and reso side, or calfskin - real calfskin not earthtone or other which I think, don't sound as good. Just ask whoever buy off if they can make it same size as classic fit ( as long as it does fit your drum which it should) for snare wire I use Canopus vintage chrome plated. Take heads off and place it on a true level surface to see how level it is, while I wouldn't advocate getting edges totally re cut, I did take my 2 RKs to a reputable drum builder/craftsman just to 'make the edges true' cos I felt that my drum needed it, - not an actual recut but just level out a couple of high spots on the edges, and smooth out the edges, he also filled in the splits in the re- rings which are normal in these old snares, I also use beeswax on the edges, Keep us informed.
 

Tama CW

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Your re-ring separation in some spots is pretty minor, much better than most I'd say. They stopped stamping the hoop "Radio King" in this mid-50's period. Yours is one of the very latest RK's that is stamped. Blue sparkle doesn't show up as often as many other wraps like WMP, BDP, etc. My '48-50 RK wouldn't take a standard head....ended up going with Remo classic fit.

The original throw off arms on that type strainer are often broken or missing. That could be the part that was replaced. Would need photos of the tension rods, snare wires, etc. to say if those are original. From the photos shown so far, things seem to be in order.
 
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multijd

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Thank you so much! That helps clear up a lot. I have heard of those heads and now they make sense :D, I was also looking at Calf-skin or even Kangaroo-skin from Australia. Unfortunately,due to the lockdown, neighbors and me being last on UPS's route I haven't had a chance to fully try her out yet. I've just been inspecting her and messing with tunings and finally figured out how the throw-off works,it's really nifty. Tomorrow me and her will take a stroll so she can stretch those legs.

Thank you again!
I also endorse the Kentville Kangaroo heads. They will sound fantastic on That drum. You can get 14” from Steve Weiss, Lonestar Percussion or Chuck Levins. All three usually have them in stock.
 

snarecrazy

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50s Slingerland radio king super Krupa. looks like nickle hardware and the last year they used the inverted 16 lug design.
great drum. but very touchy when it comes to the clamshell configuration. if you are having trouble with snare operation. make sure ,that with the badge facing outward to the front. that the throw lever is to your right. and the tension mechanism is on your left. the muffler knob should be to your left 1 lug over as you set at your drum. if you have the swivel nut snare to strainer type and are having problems getting your snare wires to engage and disengage when you work the throw lever. remove any washers or spacers you might find on either side of the snare plate and strainer screw holes. reattach your snares butt side first and then throw side, work your throw mechanism and loosen or tighten the strainer/snare wires ( I am using fat cat snares ) screws until the mechanism engages and disengages the snares. very nice find. kudos on that purchase I have one I am building 5.5 x 14 and I already have $560.00 in the build. And it looks like I am going to send it out for bearing edge trueing and recutting. As my drum dial tension reading on the batter is 83 and my tune bot says e3 as the drum note.
still sounds awesome and excepets all heads but the tuning #s bother me. I played it yesterday to Jeff Becks version of supersttious, with Carmine Apices drum track and it sounded great.
I hope this helps
 

snarecrazy

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My bad I just saw the the throw / strainer hole and it isn't swivel nut. and it isn't the last year they used the inverted 16 double lug design. it looks like a 56 Super Krupa with the stamped radio king hoop. so wow. What a great find worth every penny in the condition the pictures show.
sorry about the above info
 

Aaronjiski

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50s Slingerland radio king super Krupa. looks like nickle hardware and the last year they used the inverted 16 lug design.
great drum. but very touchy when it comes to the clamshell configuration. if you are having trouble with snare operation. make sure ,that with the badge facing outward to the front. that the throw lever is to your right. and the tension mechanism is on your left. the muffler knob should be to your left 1 lug over as you set at your drum. if you have the swivel nut snare to strainer type and are having problems getting your snare wires to engage and disengage when you work the throw lever. remove any washers or spacers you might find on either side of the snare plate and strainer screw holes. reattach your snares butt side first and then throw side, work your throw mechanism and loosen or tighten the strainer/snare wires ( I am using fat cat snares ) screws until the mechanism engages and disengages the snares. very nice find. kudos on that purchase I have one I am building 5.5 x 14 and I already have $560.00 in the build. And it looks like I am going to send it out for bearing edge trueing and recutting. As my drum dial tension reading on the batter is 83 and my tune bot says e3 as the drum note.
still sounds awesome and excepets all heads but the tuning #s bother me. I played it yesterday to Jeff Becks version of supersttious, with Carmine Apices drum track and it sounded great.
I hope this helps
Thank you. I did change the strainer without extra holes. I believe I posted pictures of that. And the hardware is brass, you can see the goldish color in one spot on the top hoop. The edges are still factory cut, you can see the saw blade marks.
I bought the fat cat snare wires the day before I sent it in to have the strainer fixed do now I don’t need them. Go figure.

Great drums that just seem to increase in value, I am looking at a 14x5.5 Radioking to add to my collection.

It seems to be like a secret code drummers use to see who’s “legit” lol:). Mention Radioking and the real “cats” spike their ears.
 

snarecrazy

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yep you can see that old chrome a shinin on the bottom of the throw off . Sweet, mine had nickle hard ware buffed the strainer and throw up to chrome shine then switched out all the other hard ware to the c.o.b
they really do sound great. i just put an evans ec1 on there and the whole drum sound changed.
Enjoy your radio king
 


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