Late 80s(?) DW kit, information please!

Tarkus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
61
No.

DW has made plenty of birch shelled drums in the collectors line.

These have a B before the serial number.

View attachment 488281

They also had an All Birch Shell badge in the 4th gen badge period, usually with mini lugs.
View attachment 488282
Thanks for these comments. Now I get it. The 'B' for birch is always pressed into the badge (2nd generation or later). The first generation batches have 'A' or 'B' pre-printed on the batch. Only the following numbers are pressed into the metal. Such 'B' stands not for birch.

@ Nico
The year was most likely 1989 or, latest 1990. As I wrote, the first year that DW showed up at the European Music Fair (Musikmesse Frankfurt). I'm convinced there exist images of their presentation, because they left a big impression. The large blue rock kit there was the one we are talking about.
I was further surprised that it has only 4-digit numbers.

PS: the more I write/read about these drum kits, the more I miss playing one in reality.
 

n2600

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
14
Location
Seattle, WA
Thanks for these comments. Now I get it. The 'B' for birch is always pressed into the badge (2nd generation or later). The first generation batches have 'A' or 'B' pre-printed on the batch. Only the following numbers are pressed into the metal. Such 'B' stands not for birch.

@ Nico
The year was most likely 1989 or, latest 1990. As I wrote, the first year that DW showed up at the European Music Fair (Musikmesse Frankfurt). I'm convinced there exist images of their presentation, because they left a big impression. The large blue rock kit there was the one we are talking about.
I was further surprised that it has only 4-digit numbers.

PS: the more I write/read about these drum kits, the more I miss playing one in reality.
Thank you for the reply! If a "B" prefix came after the "A" prefix, it would be inconsistent with drumphil's pencilled date on his "A" prefix 1991 bass drum.

One possible theory for "A QUALITY INSTRUMENT" black badges is:

100 prefix = up to 1981
200 prefix = 1982
300 prefix = 1983 - 198?
A prefix = 198? - 199?
B prefix = 198? - 1991

It appears from forum threads that the next generation badges, brass and black "HANDCRAFTED SINCE 1972" first appear in 1992. This makes sense in that it would have been the 20th anniversary of the company, but this is speculation.

It would be lovely to get more DW owners from the 1980-1992 era with concrete information on the date their kits were made!
 
Last edited:

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
14,543
Reaction score
2,641
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
Just speculation on my part, but that almost falls in line with Gretsch's change to their badge in 1983, when the wording changed from "That great Gretsch Sound" to "That Great Gretsch Sound since 1883".
 

n2600

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
14
Location
Seattle, WA
Nice kit and interesting sizes. Pity there's no exact date from the post. One thing I've noticed is that DW, as late as my "A" prefix kit, was using the metal Camco bass drum lug spacers on _all_ the toms. These have an elegant curvature that follows the contour of the drum, and must have been a pain to machine. Those spacers alone sell for ~8 dollars _each_ to folks restoring their Camcos.

I should also mention (if that's ok) that my DW kit is for sale via consignment at a local drum store here and is viewable on Reverb.
 

musiqman

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
1,795
Reaction score
1,250
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

dale w miller

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
1,281
Location
Ocean, NJ
Hello @n2600 !

I was working for DW in the late 80s, from 1986-1989 (I was there for the official launch in Jan '87) and might be able to shed a little light, although DW and others here @Tarkus and @musiqman have given you some great information.

The catalog looks vaguely familiar, but I think it predates when I started working there in 1986. By the time I started, we were using all Reliance made hardware for catalogs and advertising. And to outfit drum kits. For those who don't know, Reliance is the Taiwanese OEM company that make everyone's hardware, which is why the spurs on the DW bass drum look like Gibraltar. You see them on DW, Gretsch, Ludwig, etc. Same with cymbal stands, hi hats stands, tom holders, etc. Reliance is the parent company of Dixon and now, Rogers.

At the time, (late 80s) DW did not have a tom mount system so all the bass drums were virgin coming out of the DW factory. All the kits used floor stands to mount the toms, so they were positioned off to the side of the bass drum. People dealt with it, but eventually DW developed their bass drum "sliding track" tom mount system. We initially distributed Collarlock, a Canadian rack system and as @musiqman mentioned, DW eventually bought the company. But early on, we made Collarlock rack systems available to artists and dealers. It was the 80s and drum racks were all the rage! lol

RIMS were standard on all the toms and I believe the earliest kits didn't have standard floor toms (with legs) - they were all suspended. But remember, that was a thing back then too. Also, in the early days, DW didn't include a 13" tom as part of a standard five piece kit. I see the 11x13 is listed in the old catalog, but when we launched in 1987 the toms were typically 10x12 and 12x14. My good friend John Good had very strong opinions about 13" toms so you won't find many old DW kits with a 13" tom.

That's about all my fuzzy brain can come up with, but it's been fun to stroll down memory lane. It's amazing to see what DW has become, compared to those early days. Don Lombardi likes to remind me the company really took off after I left! lol But all kidding aside, I'm so happy for their success. Some incredibly great people and friends there.
Did DW make their own shells back then?
 

musiqman

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
1,795
Reaction score
1,250
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
That one could have been mine.

Unfortunately I don’t have the close up of the picture.

Indeed a killer drum.

They made those from Gon Bops tombale shells it came in 14” and 15”.

They used some later on the Pacific shell too.

A bigger update.

The black/chrome badge wasn’t used starting from 1997 but at least 1995. Someone on the DW forum confirmed his was from that date. Another drummer there had such a kit from 1996.

That means the black/brass badge was used between 1993 and 1994 and on Craviotto models way into 2000.
 


Top