Finally scored a vintage Black Beauty!!!

JazzDrumGuy

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So I was in Fresno for worktoday and I of course had to hook up with Dana @ Bentley's. I unfortunately had to blow off hooking up with my DFO bud El Larry, but my schedule was crazy and we actually ended up running in....to each other at Bentleys (unplanned!).....

So Dana and I were talking about vintage BB's and he of course pulls out 4 different ones. We are looking at different features and such. One of them was one I've seen before and I've had my eye on. Today, I finally ended up picking up that snare drum and crossing this off my drum bucket list!!!

The good - heavy 2 ply welded shell (weighs 3737g, or 8.22 lbs.), 12 point flower engravings all around, all original throw/butt (the mounting screws/nuts may be newer), orig. COB hoops, orig. 10 tube lugs with orig. mounting hardware, orig. 20 clips, and orig. 20 rods. New Remo coated top and clear snare side fit easily. Newer German wires. The hardware is all nickel.

The bad - some jack-@$$ drilled 2 holes right under the Ludwig logo! Also, there are 2 smaller holes by the throw, one on each side. The "black" on the shell is worn and dull. Dana added a vintage Slingy RK muffler as there were 3 holes for it (he didn't drill the holes - they just happen to accommodate that muffler). Few small dents on the shell but nothing serious. Light pitting on the hoops and slight bending of the hoops where the clips are.

It's definitely a player's drum, but it has an amazing tone and the rim shots are loud and ringy. It's very sensitive and easy to play. Cross sticks sound thick and solid, too. I'm still in the "holy crap, I own a REAL Black Beauty" phase.....

As much as I want to open it up and clean every piece, I think I will just keep it as is. I wish I knew if any oil or wax would help restore some of the black shell without darkening the brass flower engraving, but other than that, I will let 90+ years of mojo just be.........any info/tips/input are appreciated.....I am curious to know how rare (or not) the nickel hardware BB's were. There is one for sale by Donn Bennett drums now on Reverb, but I can't find another example......

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BIG Congrats on the 1920's BB!!!!!! I remember playing mine for the first time. Don't worry about the little "imperfections" they won't matter after you hear it. There is NOTHING like that shell design combined with 1920's NOB (which just ISN'T the same as todays NOB!!!!)

I wonder if maybe those lugs were originally gold, and it wore off in time, and maybe someone took the remainder off to make it look cleaner, who knows. And it really doesn't matter (to me.) It won't affect the AMAZING sound, that you will fall in love with.

I think Curotto told me to use 3 in 1 oil, or lemon oil (maybe that's the same thing, I forget,) and a soft rag. I took it all apart and it worked great on the whole drum. I used it on the black, the gold, the scroll, everything. It cleaned up GREAT, no adverse affects on anything.

I might have to do it again soon, it's gotten a lot of use in the last 15 years or so. I take good care of 'em, but I PLAY 'em!!!!!!

You'll LOVE it!!!!
MSG
 

shuffle

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Very cool!
Those hollow bearing edges give those drums a unique voice!
Congrats
 

El Larry

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That drum is soooooo sweet! If only it could tell the stories it has been through!
 

drumtimejohn

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Excellent! So happy for you! Consider contacting Mike Curotto if you want to restore it. He has been super kind in helping me with a Deluxe. Again, congrats!
 


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