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I think I was mislead by a drum dealer, can I get some 2nd opinions - 1940s Slingerland Radio King

Tama CW

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I bought with the understanding that my questions were truthfully answered, which was #1 about the finish, and #2 about original hardware. I did not know the T-rods were not original until after the purchase, but before they were shipped to me. I was told he has seen them on Radio Kings before. But that point is moot. I would have still purchased the drums with those t-rods... but everything else on top of that just brings a sour taste, especially the refinish. I feel like I've been duped, and I have been.

I've NEVER seen such rods a Radio King drum since I've been tracking them. You could ask Maxwell's to show you a Slingerland RK bass drum they've sold in the past on Reverb with
T rods like that. Mark Cooper in his Slingerland articles never mentions such rods as options for Slingerlands. I'm curious about those rods and admit I haven't seen it all. So I posed the question to the guru's on the Slingerland FB site to see what they say. Brooks Tegler and Mark Cooper say they had never seen such T-rods on a Slingerland drum before. But Adam Kozie did mention they've seen those rods several times before and even offered a photo of a cloud badge, single tension, marching snare drum which had them. So far no one can explain where they were made and why they don't appear far more often on drum products of that era.....at least not in the USA.

To JDA's question on the 16 floor tom......it looks questionable to me. Would want to see better photos.....especially with some lugs off to get more info. The photos and description provided by Maxwell's
were lacking. For a kit "priced" at $2000......that was far too little information on the flaws.

.
 
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Tama CW

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https://reverb.com/item/36097780-1950-s-slingerland-radio-king

This earlier 50's Radio King kit was up on Reverb about 12-18 months ago (1st photo). I thought about it for 30 minutes (too long).....knew it was a good deal....and then someone
bought it for the full asking price of $1600 shipped. Good deal on a 13,16, 24 with 1 ply snare and some hardware. Orig RK heads on BD, FT, and mounted tom batter. They show up
from time to time. I don't agree that the $2000 sale price for the cloud badge piece kit was a "good deal" for the buyer.....or a potential "heirloom" if fixed up....or any such puffery. Look
for a much better kit without so many potential issues.



zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Slingerland Radio King WMP.jpg
 
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ThomFloor

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Geez that black Evans resonant head completely ruined the vibe and look of those classic vintage RK drums.
 

drumtimejohn

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I purchased a vintage drum from the seller. All the logical screening questions were asked in advance. We worked out a fair price based on pics/description. Drum arrived. Shell and hardware issues and damage (not shipping related) were present and obvious yet were the kind that could not reasonably be detected by pictures. These issues reduced the value by half. Initially, there was limited accountability, language deflecting on “vintage”, and an attempt to get me to pay for return shipping. If figured it was standard business self-efficacy protocol. I held my ground. A 19% discount was offered (basically what the seller was committed to in shipping) and I accepted. Big picture, I left positive feedback. It was not reciprocated as if I was doing a shakedown. Despite, I’ll likely do business again. Looking back I doubt seller had access to the drum initially and in the end an effort was made to resolve.

Similar experience with Bentley’s. Apparently they’re not responsible for disclosing extra holes because it’s vintage and has history. $35 appeasement on a set. That exchange was more disappointing. Both businesses, leveraged with statements of demand and willingness to sell it elsewhere. Theme, accountability seems to reduce with increase in rarity and desirability.

OP, it sounds like you’re getting the refund you desire. Im glad you were able to maintain your boundaries.
 
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JDA

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To JDA's question on the 16 floor tom.
I didn't have a question on the 16 floor tom; I just threw up some pictures that showed all the scrapes and scratches; not of a specific drum; I couldn't tell one drum from the other after 23 pictures
 

Tama CW

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"All the logical screening questions were asked in advance."

There's the rub. Buyer's can ask dozens and dozens of questions that will often never get properly answered. And even if they do, there will be dozens more not asked "in the precise right manner"
that would lead you to the info you need. In some cases you could ask a hundred questions and not get what you need from the seller. It really comes down the seller behaving like a potential buyer and
anticipating the same questions they would ask IF they were a buyer. We can only dream.

I don't know how many times after asking a thorough battery of questions, a damaged item still arrives, and that was the one question I never thought to ask. I never thought to have to ask an experienced seller if your item was accurately measured and/or cymbal weighed accurately. It's happened with "the best" of sellers too. In the end, it comes down to relying on the photo's and description. If a seller wants to be sparse with their words, that's on them. These days I refuse to ask the 1000 questions. I'm relying on their photos and description......including those that say: "The photo's say it all." (lol). This $2000 drum kit needed only 150 words to describe all the pro's and con's. Yet on my last Reverb listing for a pair of Slingerland kick pedals at $50.......one for parts only..... I used 200 words.....or 4 words per $Dollar. What does 4 words x 2000 get ya?
 
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JDA

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What On earth were you going to do with them anyway.
Krupa repo band or ? what?
 

pedro navahas

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If you look really close at the finish on the floor tom you can see some checking in the lacquer which to me looks original.
Maybe someone at sometime tried to touch up the finish?
Not in Steve’s corner, just pointing out what I see.
No doubt that floor tom looks beat up, I wouldn’t be happy!
Glad you got your money back
 

jmetatual

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+1 with Tama CW and jptrickster's comments. Seller listed condition as "very good". By what standard would the kit pictured ever receive that designation? Glad you were able to return.
 

drumtimejohn

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If limited to one question I ask if the product has ever been modified and/or damaged.

Yep, larger vintage dealers notoriously have less pictures and descriptions. Whether it’s volume based time limitation, authority principle, or other contributing factors, I try to avoid them and accompanying price hikes when reasonable. Value pricing seems to be the best insurance against modifications and/or damage. In general, the cleanest vintage products I’ve purchased also happen to be the least expensive and found in a local/regional market.
 

Lee Van Kief

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If you look really close at the finish on the floor tom you can see some checking in the lacquer which to me looks original.

That can happen relatively quickly if the conditions are right. You can even fake it on brand new lacquer with a blast from cold compressed air and a heat gun. The bad spot on the floor tom looks like water damage to me.
 

Tama CW

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Here are some closeups of a Slingerland early 1930's white lacquer 26" bass drum. To the best of my knowledge this drum was never repainted.
Gives an idea of how the grain and paint should flow.

IMG_3632.JPG
IMG_3629.JPG
 

Talktotommy

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G I can’t find any Slingerland catalog that’s available on drum archive that shows white lacquer as an option. Also I don’t see any of the drums in the catalog pictured in that color.
 

gnuyork

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G I can’t find any Slingerland catalog that’s available on drum archive that shows white lacquer as an option. Also I don’t see any of the drums in the catalog pictured in that color.
See. I noticed that too. According to the book I have by Harry Cangany, the white enamel was an option in the 20s, but no mention of white in the 30s 40s or after. Not saying there aren't exceptions to the rule. I never saw them as options in the catalogs either in the few catalogs I found.

Either way, I still stand by the floor tom at least having been repainted, because all of the imperfections are underneath the paint, glue globs, sanding scratches, all painted over. There is no way these would come from the factory in that condition. If the other drums have been repainted, it's harder to tell. But even if they were, they were done more professionally. The finish, though checked, feels smooth, where the floor tom is rough feeling.
 
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Tama CW

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G I can’t find any Slingerland catalog that’s available on drum archive that shows white lacquer as an option. Also I don’t see any of the drums in the catalog pictured in that color.

It shows up in the 1930-1933 catalogs. In my case I determined my drum was part of the College Drum Outfit. The also had one in black they called the University Outfit.
These were intermediate lines with single tensioning and only 10 lugs. Still used the same 3 ply shell that survived through the 1970's.
1 ply maple shells were pretty much only on Broadcaster/Radio King/Krupa snare drums beginning in 1935 through early 1960's. Other 1 ply maple snares briefly followed for short periods.

aa a666.jpg
 

YabaMTV

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I looked it up if it’s the kit I seen. Doesn’t surprise me. I’ll gladly post who the seller was. No surprise Steve maxwell. But that doesn’t mean himself he does have employees. But they’re the ones who told me the 13” Ludwig keystone in a blue black oyster was original when I sent them off photos just to come on here and find out it was a rewrap. Not sure why the big secret on not saying the dealer.
I bought several vintage Paiste cymbals in great condition from this dealer at well below market value a fee years back. I guess they didn’t know what they had. Cymbals are easier to assess condition over internet than drums are though.
 

thewedge

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Can add a few thoughts....
1. I have NEVER heard of Steve being anything but the utmost in honest.
2. Having refinished a multitude of modern and vintage drums, I see this set as a borderline case teetering on that edge. Meaning, if the desire was to have a "Survivor" all-original kit as a showpiece...you're still probably right at the value point. Track down what's not period correct to the kit...once replaced you will still be right at market value. If the desire was to have a good bones with lots of original completeness....and refinish to showroom (to display or play), then you are on value with that. Either way, I don't see you are off on what you spent versus what you have there. You can't buy anything with any residual worth these days for $2k. My vote is to collect any missing period correct pieces AND refinish the kit including edges, etc. Make the kit playable and durable for the next 75 years...a fantastic heirloom to pass on one day.
 

Gcort49

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Hmmm, people complain about and name Sweetwater or Guitar Center etc in threads but 'this well-known dealer' seems to remain un-identified after 19 posts?
Is it libel to name a vintage drum dealer in a poor transaction? Asking for a friend.
Steve Maxwell, someone said
 

Gcort49

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I would see if Reverb can be of any help...worth a try.
I'd show them some of the 'expert' opinions from folks here....But if it is Steve Maxwell, as mentioned, I am stunned. He has had a good reputation for years
 

Tama CW

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I think it could cost another $500-$600 in parts and "things" to bring that kit back to full correctness and completeness. And would still be a lacquered finish kit in somewhat scruffy
condition. It would cost additional hundreds to properly repaint the kit and redo edges. And once "refinished" you would have just eliminated all the collectors who
are looking for a mostly "all original" and unmolested kit.

Below is a $3200 cloud badge '47/48 Radio King kit that has been on FB marketplace for 1-2 years. Probably buyable for $3000....maybe even a tad less. It has also
been on the Slingerland FB groups, and I believe Reverb and possibly EBay as well. So it's been "seen" by a wide audience.

It has some of the original heads and very clean shells with no issues that I can see. $200 in vintage hardware + extras is included. Comparing these two kits head to head I see no comparison.
I'd buy the $3000 4 pc kit (includes the $750 one ply maple snare drum too) in a heartbeat without ever considering this 3 piece at $2K. So if this very worthy $3000 kit has been sitting for
sale for a long time.....it speaks to the fact that this other lacquered 3 pc kit "even if it were in" very nice original condition would have a tough time getting past the $2200-$2500 level.....in my humble opinion.

I considered this 4 piece kit on numerous occasions when pondering buying a RK kit. To me this establishes the base line level of what a nice kit could sell for in private hands.
If we subtracted out the value of the snare drum and extra hardware to compare these 2 kits only on "pieces" it would come to $2200-$2300 for this WMP kit. The OP's kit at $2000 STILL needs the correct 16" hoops, the correct BD tension rods, floor toms legs/mounts, etc.....pushing it over $2500. And this doesn't include the market premium this WMP 13,16,24 kit would bring for being wrapped and in apparently much nicer condition. We could debate the value of 24" vs 28" bass drums. Condition should trump size though. Since this kit has not sold for $3200 it suggests that the Northeast Regional market (which includes NY City) is at a lower level.

Radio King 1.jpg
 
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