I feel like I've betrayed a friend

HowardW

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I have several vintage sets, plus two contemporary. The set I play on the most is my DW Performance set. It tunes very well, the ring and sustain are good, and I can play it for every music type I play. But I also enjoy playing on my vintage sets, and my favorite of those has been my 1963 Slingerland. Two of my favorite drummers (Phil Ehart and Danny Seraphine) played Slingerland for many years, and my 1963 set is barely two months older than me. I like to play it when I want to relive my jr high and high school days, when I was learning to play, and lusting over the professional drummers' kits.

But about a month ago, I bought a 1953 Gretsch set, and it's stolen my vintage time. I don't play on the Ludwig or Slingerland set anymore. I like the tone and sustain of the Gretsch set, it's very close to the DW but has a mellow vintage vibe as well. With the Gretsch set in the mix, now I understand what people say about the "thuddiness" of the vintage Slingerlands. It seems weird that I never really noticed it when comparing to the DW set. From a physics perspective, the difference is probably the absence of rerings in the Gretsch (the DW Performance doesn't have rings, either) but there is also a special tone as the Gretsch toms sing.

Last night, I played on the Gretsch set for nearly an hour. After warming up to Woody Herman's "Corazon" and then playing along with the Blues Brother's first album, I finished up feeling very happy. But then I looked across the room to the Slingerland set. It was sitting there alone, staring back at me, and suddenly I felt guilty. The music I had just played was music I played on the Slingerland set. They were "our songs". But now I was playing them on a different drum set and enjoying it more.

All the memories of restoring the Slingerland set rushed over me: finding the set, regluing the rings, light sanding on the bearing edges, cleaning and polishing, tuning. I remembered how excited I was to bring the Slingerland set back to life, and the thrill when it was finally assembled and I played it for the first time (Woody Herman's "Corazon" in fact.) All I did with the Gretsch set was to horsetrade for it and put new heads on it. To add insult to injury, I had taken my ride cymbal off the Slingerland set and put it on the Gretsch. I can still see the image of the Slingerland set, an empty boom stand reaching out to me as if it was saying "come back, please!"

I felt like I was betraying a friend.

What shall I do now? I always thought that I could be a polygamist drummer, but it seems there is sadness and jealousy in my house. Oh yes, there was always some rivalry between the Slingerland and the Ludwig set, but in general the Slingerland was the queen of the sets. But now, the pecking order is broken.

What shall I do?
 

JimmySticks

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I think sometimes we just have to many kits in our collection. We have to ask the really tough question - do we need them all? Do they actually detract from our music because we're always concerned with the perfect sound instead of playing better?

I'd say pair down your collection. Move on, as tough as that might be, and give them to somebody that will be excited to play the Slingerland and other kits just like you were at one time. And just concentrate on being a better drummer.
 

HowardW

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If it was me , I would sell whatever kit I was not using . I rarely get sentimental about gear and our tastes change constantly .
Unfortunately for me, I do get sentimental... I get it from my mother, she collects antiques and each one she's kept is a memory. I've sold several sets over the years, but the ones remaining all have memories attached (sigh).

And from a practical perspective, there's not much market for vintage drums in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the cost of shipping would kill me!
 

Ron_M

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You're a monster. Playing the Gretsch right in front of your Slingys? Maybe it's fine, though. Maybe the Slingys like to watch.

You could always send them down the road, to give someone else the opportunity to love and appreciate them. It's not like your good work was for nothing. I've done the same myself (refurbed an old Slingerland kit) and it was sold to someone who was happy to have them.
 

D. B. Cooper

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What are you losing by keeping them all? Space? Are you cramped?

You didn't say much about the Luddies, so I'd say sell those. Unless you feel like you've got the vintage vibe taken care of with the Gretsches, then sell the Slingies and the Luddies.

What's the issue here, again?
 

Mcjnic

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I have never owned a “real” Gretsch kit. Plenty of the “other” Gretsch lines, though. I sold or gave away almost all my vintage gear. I might consider bringing in a sweet Gretsch kit if one should rear its head and wink.
Is yours a 3ply?
 

HowardW

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DB Cooper: I'm not cramped, my issue is one of sentiment. Each set has a very different emotional meaning to me, and selling any of them is something that I think I would regret later:
  • 1963 Slingerland - we share a birthday. I did some minor woodwork on it. Excellent condition.
  • 1971 Ludwig - identical to my very first set. This is the only collector grade vintage set I have (thanks to Vinnie at Vintage Drum Bug!)
  • 2018 Precision - shells built to my specs (plies, rings and sizes). I did the finish work: sanding, drilling, staining, assembling.
And besides the finished kit, I have enough spare Slingerland toms to make a decent jellybean kit (I would consider selling those.)

Mcjnic: the 1953 Gretsch is definitely a 3 ply.

My original post was being a bit silly and flippant, but of my three vintage sets, I clearly like the Gretsch sound better. I wonder what direction my playing would have gone if my first set had been a Gretsch instead of a Ludwig?
 

JDA

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I wonder what direction my playing would have gone if my first set had been a Gretsch instead of a Ludwig?
very few in the USA I know of started out with a Gretsch set. It was - due to the volume distributed/ ...then available secondhand usually a Ludwig or Slingerland.
So, better late than never.
 
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Mcjnic

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I wonder what direction my playing would have gone if my first set had been a Gretsch instead of a Ludwig?
My favorite sentence read today.
Really got me thinking. My first kit as a wee tot was a Ludwig. I was two or three when I first started playing. Had that kit for quite a few years. Got rid of it (stolen) when I was in the service.
This sentence hit me hard today for some reason.
 

Drm1979

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Its funny the way we get about our gear. I only have one drum set but it is special to me. As much as I love pearl, tama, ludwig, gretsch and slingerland and would love to own one of those higher end kits, I've never looked at replacing the pulse percussion drum set that I've had for 20 years. Sure I upgraded the snare and the bass drum and hi hat pedal, but the 2 toms and bass drum will be mine forever. The reason is because they were a Christmas gift from my parents 20 years ago brand new. That kit has played hundreds of gig and recorded an album with my old band and just has a lot of memories wrapped up in it. Right now it is packed away waiting for the right time to come back out when I can play with some other musicians again. The only other set I own is an electric kit that I use for practice since my home is small and we have 4 kids. One with autism whi cannot handle the volume of acoustic drums. But I'll never replace my pulse kit, and I have no desire to buy anymore drums than what I already have.
 

CSR

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I keep a couple of sets that I’m not playing at the moment in a closet. The trick is to switch them slyly so that they don’t see each other in the move. It might require the use of a couple of rooms and closed doors, but what they don’t know can’t hurt them.
 

tkillian

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I have several vintage sets, plus two contemporary. The set I play on the most is my DW Performance set. It tunes very well, the ring and sustain are good, and I can play it for every music type I play. But I also enjoy playing on my vintage sets, and my favorite of those has been my 1963 Slingerland. Two of my favorite drummers (Phil Ehart and Danny Seraphine) played Slingerland for many years, and my 1963 set is barely two months older than me. I like to play it when I want to relive my jr high and high school days, when I was learning to play, and lusting over the professional drummers' kits.

But about a month ago, I bought a 1953 Gretsch set, and it's stolen my vintage time. I don't play on the Ludwig or Slingerland set anymore. I like the tone and sustain of the Gretsch set, it's very close to the DW but has a mellow vintage vibe as well. With the Gretsch set in the mix, now I understand what people say about the "thuddiness" of the vintage Slingerlands. It seems weird that I never really noticed it when comparing to the DW set. From a physics perspective, the difference is probably the absence of rerings in the Gretsch (the DW Performance doesn't have rings, either) but there is also a special tone as the Gretsch toms sing.

Last night, I played on the Gretsch set for nearly an hour. After warming up to Woody Herman's "Corazon" and then playing along with the Blues Brother's first album, I finished up feeling very happy. But then I looked across the room to the Slingerland set. It was sitting there alone, staring back at me, and suddenly I felt guilty. The music I had just played was music I played on the Slingerland set. They were "our songs". But now I was playing them on a different drum set and enjoying it more.

All the memories of restoring the Slingerland set rushed over me: finding the set, regluing the rings, light sanding on the bearing edges, cleaning and polishing, tuning. I remembered how excited I was to bring the Slingerland set back to life, and the thrill when it was finally assembled and I played it for the first time (Woody Herman's "Corazon" in fact.) All I did with the Gretsch set was to horsetrade for it and put new heads on it. To add insult to injury, I had taken my ride cymbal off the Slingerland set and put it on the Gretsch. I can still see the image of the Slingerland set, an empty boom stand reaching out to me as if it was saying "come back, please!"

I felt like I was betraying a friend.

What shall I do now? I always thought that I could be a polygamist drummer, but it seems there is sadness and jealousy in my house. Oh yes, there was always some rivalry between the Slingerland and the Ludwig set, but in general the Slingerland was the queen of the sets. But now, the pecking order is broken.

What shall I do?
Howard. I was about to write the exact same thread!

As much as I love my little slingerland kit...the Gretsch rb leave them in the dust.
I keep trying different heads and making these little videos to try and convince myself that I like them better than my gretsch.
But..between you and me (dont tell anyone)..i love the gretsch. They are so full and warm...
 

drummer5359

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A year ago I had a 1960s Gretsch Round badge kit, two 1970s Stop Sign Badge kits, a 1981 Drop-G Badge kit, a set of 1960s Slingerlands, a set of 1970s Slingerlands, and a set of 2008 DW Collector's Series.

In June of 2019 my new Gretsch USA Custom kit arrived.

I sold both Stop Sign badge kits, my Round Badge kit, and my 1970s Slingerland kit is on consignment at a local shop. The only reason that I have not sold the 80s Gretsch kit is that I'm hanging on to it for a friend.

I use the 1960s Slingerland kit at my home for practice. The new Gretsch kit has been expanded into a shell bank, it sits near the door in cases ready to gig. The DWs are also cased up, ready for any gigs that call for them.
 

D. B. Cooper

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Its funny the way we get about our gear. I only have one drum set but it is special to me. As much as I love pearl, tama, ludwig, gretsch and slingerland and would love to own one of those higher end kits, I've never looked at replacing the pulse percussion drum set that I've had for 20 years. Sure I upgraded the snare and the bass drum and hi hat pedal, but the 2 toms and bass drum will be mine forever. The reason is because they were a Christmas gift from my parents 20 years ago brand new. That kit has played hundreds of gig and recorded an album with my old band and just has a lot of memories wrapped up in it. Right now it is packed away waiting for the right time to come back out when I can play with some other musicians again. The only other set I own is an electric kit that I use for practice since my home is small and we have 4 kids. One with autism whi cannot handle the volume of acoustic drums. But I'll never replace my pulse kit, and I have no desire to buy anymore drums than what I already have.
Nothing like this has ever been said here.
Thank you.
 

Houndog

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DB Cooper: I'm not cramped, my issue is one of sentiment. Each set has a very different emotional meaning to me, and selling any of them is something that I think I would regret later:
  • 1963 Slingerland - we share a birthday. I did some minor woodwork on it. Excellent condition.
  • 1971 Ludwig - identical to my very first set. This is the only collector grade vintage set I have (thanks to Vinnie at Vintage Drum Bug!)
  • 2018 Precision - shells built to my specs (plies, rings and sizes). I did the finish work: sanding, drilling, staining, assembling.
And besides the finished kit, I have enough spare Slingerland toms to make a decent jellybean kit (I would consider selling those.)

Mcjnic: the 1953 Gretsch is definitely a 3 ply.

My original post was being a bit silly and flippant, but of my three vintage sets, I clearly like the Gretsch sound better. I wonder what direction my playing would have gone if my first set had been a Gretsch instead of a Ludwig?
I might be interested in a few of those toms .
 

ludwigmod72

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Its funny the way we get about our gear. I only have one drum set but it is special to me. As much as I love pearl, tama, ludwig, gretsch and slingerland and would love to own one of those higher end kits, I've never looked at replacing the pulse percussion drum set that I've had for 20 years. Sure I upgraded the snare and the bass drum and hi hat pedal, but the 2 toms and bass drum will be mine forever. The reason is because they were a Christmas gift from my parents 20 years ago brand new. That kit has played hundreds of gig and recorded an album with my old band and just has a lot of memories wrapped up in it. Right now it is packed away waiting for the right time to come back out when I can play with some other musicians again. The only other set I own is an electric kit that I use for practice since my home is small and we have 4 kids. One with autism whi cannot handle the volume of acoustic drums. But I'll never replace my pulse kit, and I have no desire to buy anymore drums than what I already have.
That’s a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.
 

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