Just finished my Ajax "NuSound" Staccato kit.

Too Many Drums - NAH!

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Hey everybody,

I thought you guys might enjoy seeing my recently-completed Ajax project. I got the entire kit from a Denver-area pawn shop about a year ago. When I found them, I was told that a young man who had inherited them from his grandfather had brought them in and sold them. He explained his grandfather had bought them in Europe while he was stationed there with the Army. He played in a military band and after his service was complete, he brought them home.

Evidently, Ajax drums are somewhat unusual here in the US. After researching these drums, I knew they were keepers. They were fully complete, including all the pedals and stands; they even came with Gordon-made (in England) cymbals. All they needed was a thorough detailing and some light restoration of the pedals - they were sort of sticky and didn't move as they should.

Doing some research on-line, I found that these drums were part of the "NuSound" line debuted by Ajax in 1967. They were in production until 1970 when Boosey & Hawkes (Ajax's parent company) ceased drum production. They were known as the "Staccato" set-up and consisted of a 20" bass drum, a 12" tom, a 14" floor tom and a wood 5.5x14 snare. The original wrap was in remarkable condition and is called "Burgundy Ripple".

After carefully dis-assembling each drum, I machine-polished the wraps and hand-polished and waxed each chrome piece. I'd heard that cracked lugs are a huge problem. Thankfully, not one lug had any issues whatsoever. All of the heads are original except the snare batter and the bass resonant. The snare head is a vintage Aquarian model and the bass drum head is a new Remo with the logo removed. I took the three dimensional logo from the original head (it was damaged) and attached it to the new head along with a new shield with the "BH" initials - for Boosey & Hawkes.

The pedals have been refurbished so they look and perform like new, the hoops repainted and the cymbals cleaned. I think the kit turned out amazingly well; better than I imagined it would.

Where this kit really shines is the sound; it's simply stunning. Warm and slightly resonant with a sizeable tuning range. They're keepers, that's for sure.

I hope you like them and I'd like to thank my friend Mike, a professional photographer, for the great photos.
 

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retrosonic

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TooManyDrums:

That is one BEAUTIFUL set. Congrats, you did a fine job.

Ajax drums were used by many drummers of the British Invasion. I even think that Brian Bennet of The Shadows used them for awhile.

One note....I bet you they would sound even better with Fiberskyn heads on 'em. Great Drums...enjoy!
 

Exploder

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That was my very first Drum Kit which my parents bought for me in 1970, Exactly the same finish.

Back in those days i was playing hard rock like all teenagers and the lugs cracked.

The problem with the lugs is obvious when you take one off..they are di cast with these thin metal sleeve that does not enter the shell but screws onto the outside of the shell.....very disappointing because the shells are very well made.. not sure if they are beech or birch.

To this day i still have the bass drum and rack tom, the floor tom was lost in a fire.

Interestingly when my father was on holidays in the UK he went to the Boosey and Hawkes factory and complained about the poor lug design.
They gave him a complete set of 'Beverley Lugs " which we fitted by drilling new holes !!! nuff said !!
 

happyshump

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Nice work. The drumshop I work at had one of those in 13/16/22 sizes. Same color. Very cool drums. They sound really good..
 

lazer

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Exploder said:
That was my very first Drum Kit which my parents bought for me in 1970, Exactly the same finish.

Back in those days i was playing hard rock like all teenagers and the lugs cracked.

The problem with the lugs is obvious when you take one off..they are di cast with these thin metal sleeve that does not enter the shell but screws onto the outside of the shell.....very disappointing because the shells are very well made.. not sure if they are beech or birch.

To this day i still have the bass drum and rack tom, the floor tom was lost in a fire.

Interestingly when my father was on holidays in the UK he went to the Boosey and Hawkes factory and complained about the poor lug design.
They gave him a complete set of 'Beverley Lugs " which we fitted by drilling new holes !!! nuff said !!
sounds like rogers b and b issues

great resto !!
 

Too Many Drums - NAH!

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Thanks, everyone, for the positive comments. It means a lot to know that many other people feel the same way I do about vintage drums. I'm glad you're all enjoying the photos.

I have other kits and drums I'll post in the coming days. Stay tuned and have a great Labor Day weekend.
 

Harris K.

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Amazing set. I love British vintage drums - Hayman, Ajax, Premier (of course), Beverley, John Grey, you name it - and this is a fine specimen.
Congrats on the purchase and restoration.
 

Patrick

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Beautiful. I believe some of Nutbox's threads can give you good Ajax (and English Rogers) history.
 

Too Many Drums - NAH!

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Thank you, one and all, who took the time to view these wonderful Ajax drums.

I collect catalogs of all the different drums I have. The catalog for these Ajax drums has eluded me. I'd like to see if anyone has a nice catalog they'd be willing to part with. I'd really appreciate it. PM me with what you have, condition, price and shipping to Colorado.

Thanks.
 

2000dan2000

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oh man! I had my eye on that same set (over at Wedgles I'm assuming) a little while back but could never come to a satisfactory agreement on price with management. Glad to see they went to someone who'll love 'em. Always dug that finish and they looked to be in great shape from the little I looked them over... nice score!
 

Nutbox

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Amazing looking kit. Interesting there is no bass drum anchor.
I would take slight issue with the dates 67-70. The serial numbers tell me more like mid 65 - 67/68 when Premier took over production for a short time till the parts were used up. There are a few sets which have Premier shells - I had a wood shell snare like this once. If you have any serial numbers I can give you a date.
I was going to ask where I could get a logo like that but sounds like one of a kind.
I have a set in Red Pearl that I'm collecting parts for. In fact I've just acquired some extra shells so it will turn out as 20,12,14,16 and matching snare.

 

67Mopar

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Again I learn something new, the detail on those drums was pretty incredible, and they look really nice all shined up.
 


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