Help, I'm turning into a… Rogers guy!

frankmott

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GASP!

Here’s The Rest of The Story (with apologies to Paul Harvey) started in the Vintage Rogers Swan-leg Hi-hat Rust thread.

Bear with me here...

About twenty years ago, I bought a sixties Ludwig Sky Blue Pearl (SBP) “Hollywood” kit with every intention of flipping it. I made the mistake of cleaning it up, re-heading it, and playing it. Oh my. They sounded wonderful! I’ve played nothing but vintage Ludwigs ever since. Before that I had a variety of contemporary drums including Yamaha RC’s, Pearl Masters, and the boutique Fortunes. All are/were great instruments.

But those old three-ply shells w/rings are just magical. Sure, they need to be tweaked a little more often than new drums, but they’re worth the slight extra hassle. I’m not one given to mysticism, but they’re loaded with ---- MOJO!

Over the years I carefully collected a Ludwig SPB shell-bank, such that I can cover any musical situation with my beloved vintage Ludwigs. I even have a matching Jazz-fest snare.

However, I’ve never had any use for the hardware, with the exception of a Ludwig L1123-1 Hi-hat stand, mostly because it fits in my (non-vintage) canister throne. New hi-hat stands are all too long. Modern hardware is much more convenient and reliable (I’m looking at you, INDe!).

Enter Rogers.

Over the years, I’ve worked on and flipped a few vintage Rogers drums. They were clearly better made than Ludwig or Slingerland, but I just never got bit. Dyna-sonic snares (new or old) do nothing for me.

Not bit, that is, until I bought a complete 1967 Rogers 5-piece with cymbals in Blue Onyx. Once again, I had every intention of flipping it -- particularly the stands and cymbals. Once those have all moved, I’ll have the core “shell-pack” for basically nothing. (I already sold the metal Dyna.) So I cleaned them up, re-headed them and played them. Do they sound better than my beloved Ludwigs? Maybe, but not much. But they’re definitely better built, and they are definitely prettier. The Blue Onyx cleaned up beautifully and is breath-taking. The evenly faded-to-grey SBP has its own charm, but something sexier just came along.

Darn you Rogers Blue Onyx! I’ve been bedeviled! I was perfectly happy with my Ludwig SBP until you came along. Now I need to build a Blue Onyx shell-bank. The only way to do so is to sell off my Ludwigs. It feels like I’m contemplating divorce for a younger woman.

Oh, and I think I’m keeping one of the cymbals as well.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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I hear ya,

I currently tour with a Broadkaster set wich are amazing drums in their own rights, and each night I have local techs, drummers, other musicians or even just people from the crowd giving me praise about how good they sound.

But every time I get home and back to the Rogers Holliday kit now permanently setup in my living room, I feel like these are extra special. I don't know what sort of fairy dust they've been sprinkled with, but I feel like a way better drummer than I actually am when I play them.

Welcome to the club...

PS. I'm in the "keep both" camp as well ;-)
 

Dumpy

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I never knew how much I loved Rogers drums until I no longer had them. I still haven’t cleaned and detailed mine yet. I know the house will never be quiet again afterwards.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I have a 12/16/20 Rogers in silver glass glitter only because 1) I wanted a Rogers kit, and 2) I wanted a silver kit. Looks and sounds great! But I would give it up for a blue onyx....!

Ironically, my latest ( and "last"!) gigging kit I assembled right before Covid is a vintage sky blue Ludwig 12/15/20 which is great and not faded. Only one gig so far.....
 

rikkrebs

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Vintage Drum Guy: This is my 1967 WMP Jazzfest.

Vintage Rogers Guy: This is my 1967 WMP Powertone. As you can see from the washers used on the lugs it was assembled by Patty slightly after lunch on a Thursday afternoon. She was standing when this one was assembled although she usually sat on a Brooks and Roberts #14 industrial stool.
 

Steech

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Rogers were never on my radar as I always had Ludwig, Gretsch, even Slingerland. Then I saw a video with Jess from Steve Maxwell’s shop comparing the main vintage brands and I was absolutely and completely blown away when he showed the inside of an older Rogers tom. Night and day compared to the others. I’ll go look for that video now…
 
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Steech

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I have a 12/16/20 Rogers in silver glass glitter only because 1) I wanted a Rogers kit, and 2) I wanted a silver kit. Looks and sounds great! But I would give it up for a blue onyx....!

Ironically, my latest ( and "last"!) gigging kit I assembled right before Covid is a vintage sky blue Ludwig 12/15/20 which is great and not faded. Only one gig so far.....
I’m a fan of 15” floor toms.
 

Piggpenn

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Boy, talk about regrets. I had special ordered my entire Rogers kit from a local vendor back in the mid 70's. Young punk proving he could do the rock show but short on smarts and knowledge. Get the gig, bang the drum, rinse and repeat.

Now when I look back on what I had, it just hurts. I had no awareness of what those drums could do even though they did it for me effortlessly.

My biggest drum life regret was letting them go. I didn't know and back then having one good drum set was hard to do. At least I transitioned to Ludwig after that. Then the flood gates opened and PDP, Mapex and Gretsch become my next focal points intermixed with some ddrum and electric kits. Then on to Pearl, DW, TAMA and Yamaha.
 

DD

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Boy, talk about regrets. I had special ordered my entire Rogers kit from a local vendor back in the mid 70's. Young punk proving he could do the rock show but short on smarts and knowledge. Get the gig, bang the drum, rinse and repeat.

Now when I look back on what I had, it just hurts. I had no awareness of what those drums could do even though they did it for me effortlessly.

My biggest drum life regret was letting them go. I didn't know and back then having one good drum set was hard to do. At least I transitioned to Ludwig after that. Then the flood gates opened and PDP, Mapex and Gretsch become my next focal points intermixed with some ddrum and electric kits. Then on to Pearl, DW, TAMA and Yamaha.
On the positive side, you promoted diversity and equity…so there’s a silver lining!
 

frankmott

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Page two:
In my zeal to switch over to vintage Rogers, I bought another kit just a few weeks later!
First off, the Blue Onyx kit mentioned above is 12, 13, 16, 20. All in excellent condition.
The second kit is a 1972 New England White 24, 13, 14, 16. The bass drum is in rough shape; there is bad staining on the bottom and some knucklehead installed a clunky old Pearl tom mount. The shell and the rest of the parts are all fine. My go-to rock kit is 13, 16, 24. In fact, I have TWO 24” Sky Blue Pearl Ludwigs (both virgins), which I use for a Power Trio I’m in (we sadly haven’t gigged much since… well, you know).
I plan to “re-virgin” the Rogers bass drum and re-cover it in Precision’s Blue Onyx. I’ll sell off the New England White toms to finance the project. But, man, I’d sure like to have two 24’s! Finding an original 24” Blue Onyx will frankly never happen.
I’d also love to have a 10” mounted. and 14” floor tom in Blue Onyx. The 14” floor might surface someday, but would be surely be stupid expensive, and I’m cheap. The 10” is even more unlikely. I'm not sure Rogers ever had a 10” while they had Blue Onyx. My Ludwig SBP 10” is a converted concert tom. In fairness, I rarely use it or the 14” floor tom.
But I could build a decent reproduction of those two drums using existing stock Keller/Precision shells. And the new Rogers Company is selling parts -- including script-logo badges. I’m no purist, but I’d prefer to start with vintage shells.

Am I crazy? Should I just get over it and sell off all this wacky Rogers stuff (I’d make a bit of change if I did), and be happy with my beloved Ludwig SBP shell bank?

IMG_5878.jpg
IMG_8723.JPG
 

richardh253

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When I finally got a Rogers late 60s kit to round out my WMP collection, I have to say playing it did not "do" anything for me, with that said....better to save up your coins for more Rogers and save the SPB!

As Bogart said in "Casablanca" if you sell the SBP now "...you'll regret it...maybe not today, or tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life..."

Having just watched three episodes of "Get Back," I cannot believe I sold off my carefully restored after buying for $500 "Ringo" '79 maple Hollywood kit.


Ludwig Maple 1.jpg
 


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