1960’s Radioking kit yay or nay?

jmetatual

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The "Radio King" name ceased being used for kits around 1957. With the exception of a couple very specific snare models there are NO "Radio Kings" in the 60's/70's.
 

Tama CW

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The Krupa 1N kits of the 1960-1963 period may not technically be "radio kings" because they were not labeled or advertised as such. But, in the essence of what they were up to 1957, the
kits from 1958-1963 made of mahog/poplar/mahogany are pretty much the same kits. They look and sound the same from 5 feet away. To me, as soon the hoops were no longer stamped as
Radio Kings around 1955, everything that followed was a "lesser" style of Radio King/Gene Krupa feature kit. As Brooks often says....if it's not labeled a Radio King....it probably isn't. If it is labeled as one....then it is.
 

steambent

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In my small mind once the hardware change about 1955 the Radio King sets were done but in my small mind snares and snares only if they were a single piece of maple with reinforcement rings they were a Radio King regardless of the era and regardless of throw off. Now the circle of small minded people I ran with or still do run with we were of the same small minded believe as me.
 

steambent

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Note on above. I do have an early Radio King set with all cigar lugs in fact the tom lugs are double sided lugs just like the snare lugs but of course the lugs on the toms are only being used on one side, but the snare that came with that kit that is like almost 8 inches deep in a 3 ply shell just like the toms and bass drum shells, not a single ply of maple with reinforcement rings so who knows.
 

Tama CW

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Note on above. I do have an early Radio King set with all cigar lugs in fact the tom lugs are double sided lugs just like the snare lugs but of course the lugs on the toms are only being used on one side, but the snare that came with that kit that is like almost 8 inches deep in a 3 ply shell just like the toms and bass drum shells, not a single ply of maple with reinforcement rings so who knows.
There are well-documented examples of 3 ply radio king snare drums made in the 40's and 50's. They are certainly much rarer than the 1 ply maple versions. If your drum is original to that radio king kit with same badging....and the hoops are labeled Radio King....
that 3 ply snare is probably a RK (3 point throw or the clam shell).
 

Houndog

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Find a Sakae Trilogy kit if you want retro sound and reliable drums/hardware.
But what do you do about how pedestrian they look ???

The old “ deco “ vibe , Yamaha just isn’t even close to a cool look ……

I’m into how things look as well …..
It’s important . Yamaha is just meh ..
Never seen a Yamaha kit that made me go dang that’s a cool kit …..
 

clowndog

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But what do you do about how pedestrian they look ???

The old “ deco “ vibe , Yamaha just isn’t even close to a cool look ……

I’m into how things look as well …..
It’s important . Yamaha is just meh ..
Never seen a Yamaha kit that made me go dang that’s a cool kit …..
Sounds like he wants the sound without the hassle. Options are good. And besides, have you seen a Trilogy kit in person? They are not lacking. More importantly, have you played one? You may not care what they look like.
 

steambent

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I want to get this straight. Am I hearing that people here are saying a Sakae and or a Yamaha kit would be a good replacement for a vintage Radio King or Slingerland Kit and the only main difference is that the Sakae and Yamahas would be more reliable?
 

Aaronjiski

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I want to get this straight. Am I hearing that people here are saying a Sakae and or a Yamaha kit would be a good replacement for a vintage Radio King or Slingerland Kit and the only main difference is that the Sakae and Yamahas would be more reliable?
I was just about to say the same thing. You can’t mess with 150+year old wood versus a newer brand. Hardware can be replaced but the actual sound and resonance is what I’m after. I’m sure the other brands hold up and are reliable. Most of you might have more years in the game than me but I’ve never heard a kit like a Radioking, not even old Gretsch which is a whole different beast all together and a different sound but you get my point.
 

clowndog

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I want to get this straight. Am I hearing that people here are saying a Sakae and or a Yamaha kit would be a good replacement for a vintage Radio King or Slingerland Kit and the only main difference is that the Sakae and Yamahas would be more reliable?
No.

The op was asking about a Radio King kit, that wasn't a Radio King. The op is not wanting to hassle with repairs (or?) and shopping for a kit while looking at mess pictures that don't give any real indication of what is being offered exactly. Not the ideal way to buy vintage, when it appeared the op may not have a ton of knowledge on what was being reviewed. In a live gig, there is not going to be a drastic difference in sound between a 60's Slingerland/Ludwig and a Trilogy kit -maple/poplar/maple full round over edge (sans snare comparison because of rimshots) if the tuning/heads are approached correctly. I've owned all. People don't usually look for a beater kit for the studio where the differences would show a lot more.

Professional violinists can't tell the difference between original Stradivarius violins and new copies when comparison listening. I appreciate the old wood and mojo, but we are not as good as we think we are.

Perhaps I misunderstood some of the posts. :dontknow:
 

hsosdrum

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If you want real vintage sound and resonance, fit a modern 3-ply/re-ring kit with calfskin heads. You'll have to spend lots of time tuning, but that's where the sound is. (And there's nothing like the feel of calfskin under your sticks.)
 

hsosdrum

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hsos: which calfskin heads are you referring to?
When I was 14 (in 1966) at a government auction my father bought me a (then) 25-year-old WFL Zephyr kit that had its original calfskin heads. I spent a few years playing that kit in my bedroom as it taught me the ins and outs of drum tuning. But I confess to having no experience with modern natural skin heads. I know that Earthtone offers them (Earthtone drum heads), and Professional Drum Shop lists them on their website (Pro Drum Shop Calf Heads), but I can't personally vouch for their quality, although I'm sure Stan and Jerry at Pro Drum wouldn't offer heads that were anything less than top-notch. I can tell you that those Zephyrs sounded beautiful with those natural heads, and the feel under your sticks is completely different than any plastic head, although the Aquarian Modern Vintage heads are reminiscent of the calfskin feel.
 

Aaronjiski

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When I was 14 (in 1966) at a government auction my father bought me a (then) 25-year-old WFL Zephyr kit that had its original calfskin heads. I spent a few years playing that kit in my bedroom as it taught me the ins and outs of drum tuning. But I confess to having no experience with modern natural skin heads. I know that Earthtone offers them (Earthtone drum heads), and Professional Drum Shop lists them on their website (Pro Drum Shop Calf Heads), but I can't personally vouch for their quality, although I'm sure Stan and Jerry at Pro Drum wouldn't offer heads that were anything less than top-notch. I can tell you that those Zephyrs sounded beautiful with those natural heads, and the feel under your sticks is completely different than any plastic head, although the Aquarian Modern Vintage heads are reminiscent of the calfskin feel.
What a dream kit! Have you ever tried Kentville? I believe it’s from kangaroo hide instead of calf, I’ve heard positive things.
 

hsosdrum

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What a dream kit! Have you ever tried Kentville? I believe it’s from kangaroo hide instead of calf, I’ve heard positive things.
That Zephyr kit was my last foray into natural-skin heads. Ever since they first came out I've used Remo Fiberskyn heads, which get close enough to the sound of calf to satisfy me. Plus, I play a 2-up/2-down/2-BD kit, and the PITA of keeping 13 skin heads in tune every day would completely overwhelm the advantages in sound and feel that natural skin offers. I might try a calf head just on my reissue wood Dyna-Sonic, but not on the rest of my kit. (Plus, re-skinning my entire kit with calf heads would run me around $1,500!)

P.S. If I had that Zephyr kit now I'd appreciate it much more than I did when I was a teenager. My main kit back then was an E.W. Kent in BDP finish; the black-and-gold duco Zephyrs seemed terribly old-fashioned. In fact, I never took the Zephyrs out of the house — the teen-aged me would have been embarrassed. I'm older and wiser now...
 

Houndog

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No.

The op was asking about a Radio King kit, that wasn't a Radio King. The op is not wanting to hassle with repairs (or?) and shopping for a kit while looking at mess pictures that don't give any real indication of what is being offered exactly. Not the ideal way to buy vintage, when it appeared the op may not have a ton of knowledge on what was being reviewed. In a live gig, there is not going to be a drastic difference in sound between a 60's Slingerland/Ludwig and a Trilogy kit -maple/poplar/maple full round over edge (sans snare comparison because of rimshots) if the tuning/heads are approached correctly. I've owned all. People don't usually look for a beater kit for the studio where the differences would show a lot more.

Professional violinists can't tell the difference between original Stradivarius violins and new copies when comparison listening. I appreciate the old wood and mojo, but we are not as good as we think we are.

Perhaps I misunderstood some of the posts. :dontknow:
How expensive are trilogy kits ?
There has to be something a bit more available and cheap that is newer and more reasonable money wise …
 


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