Best vintage drum kit buy in the early 1980s

richardh253

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Current interview on drum history with Terry Keating suggests a lot of dumping of American vintage kits at cheap in 80s as Tama, Pearl, Yamaha swooped in. What’s your story?

Mine: 1982 in Toronto, classified ad. For $425 CanaDian dollars I took home a 65 Ludwig super classic in non fade blue oyster pearl in VVG condition, 22, 13, 16. Plus a 5x14 Big R Rogers metal dynasonic snare. Plus a Ludwig Ghost pedal. Plus 14 zildjian new beat HHS , 16A zildian crash, 20 inch A zildjian medium ride. White slingerland 60s drum throne. The cymbal stands were modern generic tripods with the boom arms and the snare stand was a modern Tama. came with blue evans hydraulics soon swapped for ambassadors. Will dig out photos of that set up from 82. $425!! What a time to buy.
 
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Rich K.

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I didn't play or.buy much drum stuff in the '80s, but there were two deals.
There was a guy that took out a classified ad every week in the Village Voice advertising used drums for sale. I asked if he had any 18" Ks for sale. He said he had two for $75 each. I remember taking the subway a long way.and then having to walk a while to some out of the way house deep in Brooklyn or Queens. Guy had a basement full of old drum gear. I bought an intermediate stamp 18 with sizzles I regrettably sold a couple years ago.
Always wondered if this guy was Ned I. or whatever happened to him
The other pickup was at the famous New Jersey place Robbies Music in their attic.
It was an 18" satin flame Slingerland bass drum that I poorly refinished and then sold cheaply years later on NSMD.
The '90s had many more stories.
 

Ralph27

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I didn't play or.buy much drum stuff in the '80s, but there were two deals.
There was a guy that took out a classified ad every week in the Village Voice advertising used drums for sale. I asked if he had any 18" Ks for sale. He said he had two for $75 each. I remember taking the subway a long way.and then having to walk a while to some out of the way house deep in Brooklyn or Queens. Guy had a basement full of old drum gear. I bought an intermediate stamp 18 with sizzles I regrettably sold a couple years ago.
Always wondered if this guy was Ned I. or whatever happened to him
The other pickup was at the famous New Jersey place Robbies Music in their attic.
It was an 18" satin flame Slingerland bass drum that I poorly refinished and then sold cheaply years later on NSMD.
The '90s had many more stories.
Ha! I was up in that attic at Robbies a few weeks ago!!! Still some great finds if you ever make your way back out there!
Picked up a bunch of felt beaters at a great price!
 

vintagedrummersweden

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Those were the days!
Almost no one wanted that "old stuff", so I bought a couple of Ludwig kits for $100 each, parted out the Supraphonic and made a $100!
If I had known then...

Missed out on a Ludwig snare in 1987, it had such a cheap looking badge so I thought $50 was too much for a snare since I already had one just like it.
A couple of weeks later the garage band Lyres is playing in my hometown (yes, I was the promoter for the local community music scene) and the drummer shows this same snare. That's how I got to know about trans badge Ludwigs... the hard way!
 

johnnyzero

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1985: mint Champagne Sparkle Ludwig Club Dates (20, 13, 14) for $200 at Rogue Music in NYC.


KOW_jb.jpg
 
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exliontamer

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My very first kit, which I had no perspective on, was a 12/13/16/20 mid-60s Slingerland that I bought for $150 at a pawn shop. It came with the original hardware and some Pearl Wild cymbals. It was in the early 90s in a small town in Tennessee, pre internet really being a thing so it was kind of still the 80s.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I the early 80’s I was buying add on drums to my Gretsch 18/12/14 bop kit . They were all bought from the Toronto Percussion Center (sadly defunct). The kit ended up morphing from 18/12/14 with matching snare to 18/22 bass drums - 6/8/10/12 double headed rack toms and 14/16 floor toms.
I stupidly traded this kit in the early 90’s for a Yamaha RC kit when that was THE kit to have or so I thought .
5D5902F6-1DD3-4076-814F-7531A3996E40.jpeg
 

mkelley

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The grunge era started the increase in vintage prices. I got some great deals in the late 80’s and early 90’s but by 94/95 seems like more vintage kits were kept longer or sold for higher prices
 

K.O.

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I didn't have any money during most of the 80s or any major interest in older drums. I was happy with my 70s Ludwigs. I did save up for a new set late in the decade.

I did see lots of deals I'd kill for today but let them pass. I looked at a Gretsch round badge set once. It was blue satin flame, 5 piece, for $250. Couldn't quite pull the trigger. Just as well as I wanted to buy them to strip and rewrap in pink sparkle for the 50s band I was in. Lots of nearly free Ludwig Standard sets I passed on because I didn't know what they actually were. Ludwigs, slingerlands, Rogers...somebody needs to invent a time machine.
 

JDA

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early 80s I got swept up buying new Tama Superstar (trad size toms) drums and Titan hardware .
mid 70s earlier I bought 2 (Red Wine and Yellow Satin) passed on 2 (champagne R&R and a 24" monster walnut) vintage Gretsch sets.
 
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Monday317

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Current interview on drum history with Terry Keating suggests a lot of dumping of American vintage kits at cheap in 80s as Tama, Pearl, Yamaha swooped in. What’s your story?

Mine: 1982 in Toronto, classified ad. For $425 CanaDian dollars I took home a 65 Ludwig super classic in non fade blue oyster pearl in VVG condition, 22, 13, 16. Plus a 5x14 Big R Rogers metal dynasonic snare. Plus a Ludwig Ghost pedal. Plus 14 zildjian new beat HHS , 16A zildian crash, 20 inch A zildjian medium ride. White slingerland 60s drum throne. The cymbal stands were modern generic tripods with the boom arms and the snare stand was a modern Tama. came with blue evans hydraulics soon swapped for ambassadors. Will dig out photos of that set up from 82. $425!! What a time to buy.
Woof—highway robbery! Good for you.
 

kzac

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Current interview on drum history with Terry Keating suggests a lot of dumping of American vintage kits at cheap in 80s as Tama, Pearl, Yamaha swooped in. What’s your story?

Mine: 1982 in Toronto, classified ad. For $425 CanaDian dollars I took home a 65 Ludwig super classic in non fade blue oyster pearl in VVG condition, 22, 13, 16. Plus a 5x14 Big R Rogers metal dynasonic snare. Plus a Ludwig Ghost pedal. Plus 14 zildjian new beat HHS , 16A zildian crash, 20 inch A zildjian medium ride. White slingerland 60s drum throne. The cymbal stands were modern generic tripods with the boom arms and the snare stand was a modern Tama. came with blue evans hydraulics soon swapped for ambassadors. Will dig out photos of that set up from 82. $425!! What a time to buy.

I have owned both types of kits and I can say hands down that my Yamaha YD7000 and my Yamaha Recording Custom kits are by far better kits than my 1973 Ludwig Pro Beat kit (that is relative to manufacturing process control)
I began having delamination problems with my 73 Ludwig kit about 1980, and then there was the classic Ludwig bass drum creep and chrome snare pitting. Yes they were a gigging kit, but my opinion is they were not very durable. When I sold them in 83-85, the toms shells had lost roundness, the snare was pitting, and the bass drum was delaminating at the plies.
Neither of my current Yamaha kits have these problems (except for some light pitting on a chrome snare). My YD 7000 kit is from 1978 (44 years old), and my Recording Custom (1981 - 41 years ago). both sound excellent today and have held their shape over the years.
I have owned many kits from many manufacturers, during my drumming career
My favorites are Yamaha 1st, then Mapex and Tama (keep in mind Mapex made the Sonor kit I owned at one time)
I never owned DW or the secondary line PDP but I have owned PDP hardware (which was very good hardware)

Being in manufacturing for over 40 years, I am well aware of manufacturing processes, risks and controls. I can honestly state that manufacturing processes used today are far more consistent and controlled than those used to construct kits in the 50s-80s.

Anyone who wants to know the manufacturing processing details between the 1950s to today. let me know and I can provide details here relative to those processes. Suffice it to say American manufacturing under went radical manufacturing process changes in the mid to late 1980s, which resulted in the consistent drum manufacturing processes observed today. Even an entry level kit manufactured today provide sound good enough for performance, once the heads are changed. That was not true in the 1950s through the early 80s.
When Asian manufacturing arrived on US shores, we started to understand the words process variation, severity and the countermeasures to such occurrences such as statistical process control or SPC, and how such process tools were being used by the Asian manufacturers to produce excellent drum kits.
The interesting end to this story is that it was an American "Edward Deming", who taught the Asian's how the manufacture to produce excellent quality goods. Americans later had to employ Deming to teach them the same manufacturing techniques. Which is why today, we see very little variation in the manufacturing of drums, today.
 

Monday317

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I wanted to build my own drumset as inexpensively as feasible. Having played a later
‘90s Pearl Export kit with maple shells in a local second hand shop, I found the years had rendered the shells quite resonant. While the kit was a bit out of my budget, I was able to piece the same age drums on eBay for a song. Also, I was able to remove and sell the hardware on eBay and recoup a bit of the cost of the shells.

So my kit is 10 x 9, 13 x 9, 16 x 16, and 5-1/2 x 14. My bass is a converted Slingerland marching bass of similar vintage & design; 28 x 12, down from 14. They know when I’m playing, by God!
 

flatwins

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Just listened to the podcast. Terry is always entertaining and I can relate to him as we’re about the same age. Deals are still out there, evidenced by my mid 80s Gretsch I bought in 2017 for $80 with the original heads on it.
 

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CherryClassic

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I was still playing my '64 Rogers Kit. I didn't buy anything till '94 and that was a late 80's Classic Ludwig, 6-piece for $950.00 in mint condition with stands/hi-hat, and fiber cases. Then added 2 more new toms to match. I'm still using that kit today along with a new CM Ludwig kit.

sherm
 

kip

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in 1982 at the ripe old age of 15 , i bought part of my then drum teachers 1970s clear vistalite kit for $500 or $600 i think.
12,13,14,18, 22

Still have that kit!
 

richardh253

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Here's the photo (in my LR) of that '65 Ludwig as I brought it home after paying $450 Canadian $ in 1982. You can see the DynaSonic. I know it looks like black oyster but that's the light. It was blue, with no fading - the way you could see the underlying mahogany outer ply thru some of the clear spots in the finish. (I was wrong about remembering boom stands, those came later). Other photo is same kit in 2016, not long before I sold it, in my Dino Danelli set-up. In 2006 I did a full restoration - everything was taken apart, polished, the inevitable 2 holes from moving rail consolette were plugged, etc.


Ludwigs Toronto 1982.jpg
IMG_0085.JPG
 
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JDA

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you could see mahogany---thru the Oyster wrap..
Now there's a backpocket tid bit for ya. (Holy Shite!
 

drummerdan68

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In the 80s I bought a ‘66 sparkle silver Ludwig in 13/16/20 with a Supra and hardware for $60.
I have an 80's Pearl BLX-WD 24(2), 8,10,12,13,14,15,16,18, and 14 free floating snare that I bought new in 83 that I would like to get out back to someone who would appreciate them. I have no use for them anymore.
 

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