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Ajax 1930-35 Brass Snare Drum 6.5" x 14"

baz1949

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I think this is a 1930-35 Brass 6.5" x 14". Twin Snare Drum. Everything seems to be present and correct. The drum is in amazing condition for its age, I would love your opinions on the snares and skins I should use and that are available. Also I am missing 4 of the Tension Rods, I realise they will be like finding Hens Teeth but if you could help it would be amazing to get this beauty back to its originality. Oh and any advice on cleaning up the shell you can see on the first picture near the rim of how it should be, or would you be inclined to retain its aged patina??
 

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rikkrebs

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Awesome drum. The rods can be found on eBay or reverb pretty often, just be patient.
 

Lee Van Kief

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Leave it! It looks like nickel from the pics. Imo aged nickel is lovely, and it can be hard to polish out.
 

bjornk

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I`m member of a Ajax facebook group, someone there might be able to help you.
 

Prufrock

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Cool drum! If I am remembering correctly, Ajax were first available in 1935. From a playing perspective I like these earlier NOB Ajaxes over the ones from the late 1930s when they switch from the NOB hoops to cast hoops that tend to bend and crack.

My understanding is that when George Way was working for Leedy he took a trip to the UK and showed off Leedy's build quality and innovations. Soon after that all of the major British drum manufacturers start turning out drums with Leedy aesthetics (the "nutboxes" or lugs, the style of the hoops, etc). I mention this, since it looks like your drum does not have the correct NOB hoops. Below is a photo of a drum like yours - an Ajax New Century model - albeit this only has one snare mechanism (on the original hoops for your drum, it would have had Boosey and Hawkes + "New Century Dual" impressed). These hoops are very high quality, and contribute to the feel and sound of the drum. They could be hard to find, but one option might be to look for vintage Leedy hoops - that would be a very close equivalent, I think.

Modern heads will fit. Original skin heads would sound nice, although something like a Remo Fiberskin could be very nice - still warm sounding. My drum has the original wire over silk snare wires, and with a modern head (something like an Ambassador) it still sounds plenty crisp, but not harshly so as with modern wires. Worth playing around with different combos until you find the sound you like.

Good luck with the project!

3653189_orig.jpg
 

baz1949

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Cool drum! If I am remembering correctly, Ajax were first available in 1935. From a playing perspective I like these earlier NOB Ajaxes over the ones from the late 1930s when they switch from the NOB hoops to cast hoops that tend to bend and crack.

My understanding is that when George Way was working for Leedy he took a trip to the UK and showed off Leedy's build quality and innovations. Soon after that all of the major British drum manufacturers start turning out drums with Leedy aesthetics (the "nutboxes" or lugs, the style of the hoops, etc). I mention this, since it looks like your drum does not have the correct NOB hoops. Below is a photo of a drum like yours - an Ajax New Century model - albeit this only has one snare mechanism (on the original hoops for your drum, it would have had Boosey and Hawkes + "New Century Dual" impressed). These hoops are very high quality, and contribute to the feel and sound of the drum. They could be hard to find, but one option might be to look for vintage Leedy hoops - that would be a very close equivalent, I think.

Modern heads will fit. Original skin heads would sound nice, although something like a Remo Fiberskin could be very nice - still warm sounding. My drum has the original wire over silk snare wires, and with a modern head (something like an Ambassador) it still sounds plenty crisp, but not harshly so as with modern wires. Worth playing around with different combos until you find the sound you like.

Good luck with the project!

View attachment 570802
Thanks for all your info, I managed to find the tension rods. Just one question, are your T Rods a different thread for the top than the bottom. I know it sounds strange but the top rods will not fit the bottom and vice versa. Just try yours
 

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Prufrock

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Thanks for all your info, I managed to find the tension rods. Just one question, are your T Rods a different thread for the top than the bottom. I know it sounds strange but the top rods will not fit the bottom and vice versa. Just try yours

That's odd. Aside from what appear to be two non-matching replacements, all the t-rods on my are like the ones on the left of your picture (the shorter one).
 


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