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OK Premier people... what have I bought? A 4X14" MODERN CLASSIC!!!

Fat Drummer

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I've been missing the crack of a good piccolo of late as well as the absence of British made Premier in the family (I played an English made Maple Custom kit for over 20 years then foolishly let it go) so I saw this as an opportunity to correct both wrongs!

Here is what I DO know (Snicker, read down below to see how even this information was incorrect!).... it's a 4X14" MODERN CLASSIC thin 6mm shell (appears to be 7 ply but it could be 6) with an outer birch veneer in a nice walnut stain. It's got 8 solid brass lugs (to bad, I prefer 10) with stunning Premier die cast hoops top and bottom, has a Nickle throw off with a pewter cast badge and was made in England during the early 2000's ( I think?) when Premier had ceased large scale domestic production and had contracted this line with Keith Keough (Now head of British Drum Company).

How am I on that so far? But I feel I am missing much more info... what was the shell made of ( I have read it's birch / mahogany and the composition appears to bear that out), when did this line start and finish? Is the hoops orgional to the drum as I have seen no images with the classic die cast on the Modern Classic drums. Was Keith and the guys making the shells in house? Where were they actually built? Sooo many questions!

You got any additional info, if you can fill in missing details please do so. In the meantime, I'm enjoying this one VERY much with it's sensitive crack yet still warm and not overly biting!

I will post to a few FB pages but starting here with the home team!
Thanks,
Ward

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Rhyma Hop

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I think you have it all laid out there on the badge.. Modern Classic.. and that is a 6mm shell with Premier die cast which are very cool IMO.
 

hsosdrum

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Whatever it is, that's a very nice-looking drum you got there!
 

Fat Drummer

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WOW, I learned a LOT from two folks on the Premier Facebook pages, one being the admin on the Modern Classic pages. Based on the info below, the correct date would put my drum between 2004 and 2009 with the likelihood of it being towards the end of that period. I am SO appreciative of information like this.

_____________________________

Non of the Keith built prems had nickle throws.
Nor did the Keith modern classics have high gloss lacquer.
This one will be a Wigston made modern classic made sometime between 2000-2008 when premier still built their stuff in Wigston.

Would be at least 2004 after they changed the badge design, also the Modern Classics we’re launched in 2001
_______________________________

Hi Ward. A few things here. Premier didn’t cease UK production in the early 2000s.
The factory in Leicester was operational until around 2009. Keith didn’t join Premier until towards the end of 2011 and he was their head of R&D and oversaw a small team at a different factory.

Your snare would have been made between 2004/5-2009 although I’m surprised it doesn’t have a date/shell badge around the air hole that most did (but I have seen some without, especially ones made towards the end before the factory closed and production moved abroad) - looks like a walnut stain that was offered on the Series kits - the modern classic snares were paired with the original Series kits originally. It was only the later Elite line that had matching snares.
The die cast hoops would have been added by whoever owned it most likely. The only Modern Classic snare Premier launched with die cast hoops was the “specialty” 2000 model with the flo beam system.

For the wood, this size was offered in birch, maple and Gen X (mix of birch and maple), so going on the pics it might be that as it looks like a blended shell. Your snare is not to be confused with the last generation of Modern Classic that was launched in 2014 and was made of mahogany.

Duncan Stewart
Admin
 

Fat Drummer

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So an update for the Premier guys out there, I went to replace the Nickle throw off today and discovered the INDe will not fit the drum. The holes are fine as it's adjustable but the elongated screw frames are too long and hit the top flesh hoop before the bottom frame can line up with the lower hole. That's OK as I will just send the strainer to Gary at Summit for my next project with him. I changed the reso head to a new Remo SA and reinstalled the factory strainer.

Next was to get the 30 strand Pursound off there and play with a couple of different snare wire set ups. First I went with a Pursound Custom Series 16 strand and liked it very much, half the wires gave me much more drum than snares and a good tuning range. Next I had a N.O.S. Grover 15 strand Jazz Dark set that had never been opened and threw it on for comparison. VERY INTERESTING! Much more focused and very dry with really fine articulation that fits a pic very well. I'm going to play around with this a bit more for sure.


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lossforgain

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I recently had a drum built by Gary and found the same as you about the INDe throw. My shell is 5” and the INDe won’t work. I ended up going with the DW Mini Mag, but not sure what hole spacing you’re working with. If you know what it is, I may be able to help you identify an optional replacement.
 

Fat Drummer

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I recently had a drum built by Gary and found the same as you about the INDe throw. My shell is 5” and the INDe won’t work. I ended up going with the DW Mini Mag, but not sure what hole spacing you’re working with. If you know what it is, I may be able to help you identify an optional replacement.
The only three I know of that will fit the particular Nickle mounting holes (which are very high up on the strainer's vertical profile as well) are the INDe, Trick and RCK (not sure those are still available). The INDe would have been fine on a 5" or bigger drum but it's a no go on a 4" for sure because of how high the holes are drilled on the snare.
 

lossforgain

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Sorry I misspoke, the shell I’m thinking of was 4.5”.

The only three I know of that will fit the particular Nickle mounting holes (which are very high up on the strainer's vertical profile as well) are the INDe, Trick and RCK (not sure those are still available). The INDe would have been fine on a 5" or bigger drum but it's a no go on a 4" for sure because of how high the holes are drilled on the snare.

Do you know the hole spacing? I’m not a fan, but I remember the early Dunnett strainers were supposed to be a direct replacement for the Nickel strainers he had been using up to the point where they all started breaking.
 

David Hunter

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Here is what I DO know (Snicker, read down below to see how even this information was incorrect!).... it's a 4X14" MODERN CLASSIC thin 6mm shell (appears to be 7 ply but it could be 6) with an outer birch veneer in a nice walnut stain. It's got 8 solid brass lugs (to bad, I prefer 10) with stunning Premier die cast hoops top and bottom, has a Nickle throw off with a pewter cast badge and was made in England during the early 2000's ( I think?) when Premier had ceased large scale domestic production and had contracted this line with Keith Keough (Now head of British Drum Company).

How am I on that so far? But I feel I am missing much more info... what was the shell made of ( I have read it's birch / mahogany and the composition appears to bear that out), when did this line start and finish? Is the hoops orgional to the drum as I have seen no images with the classic die cast on the Modern Classic drums. Was Keith and the guys making the shells in house? Where were they actually built? Sooo many questions!
Great score! I remember those Premier Modern Classics pretty well. In fact, I'm still kicking myself for not moving on either (or both!) of these sets about 6 years ago. Same with the snare. Just stunning British drums.

 
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