Oops I Did it: A Kent

Neal Pert

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
2,339
Reaction score
1,817
Location
Among the Coastal Elites
Was talking to my guy and I was telling him that I'd one day in the distant future want to get a vintage kit to complement my modern drums. Pretty soon we were talking about a kit that he'd just finished working on. Given the price and the specs, it felt like this was being handed to me by the drum gods. So, I committed to it. Yes, I realize that these are an MIJ stencil kit and therefore not "real" Kent Drums. I won't get it for a few weeks but here's the story:

Time Capsule Kent “USA” Snare & Kit. Tangerine Sparkle (looks gold to me in the pics, but what do I know?) 9 ply mahogany “stencil” drums most likely made in the Star (now Tama) factory in Japan. These drums were imported by Kent in Kenmore, NY and had the USA stickers put on before being sold. Thicker shells. Grey interiors. 1 Owner. Drums have been taken apart, cleaned thoroughly, polished, and foam pads put inside lugs.

Snare Drum 14x5.5” in very good/excellent condition with new Aquarian Texture Coated batter, new Evans 300 snare side, new Gibraltar 20 strand wires. All original parts including throwoff (stamped Zoomatic copy) and muffler. Everything works perfectly. Wrap in very good condition.

3pc Kit
13"x9” rack tom w/ spade plate and muffler. Spade plate rust where “Japan” was scratched off by Kent. 2 small marks (probably paint) in an otherwise very good wrap. New coated Pinstripe/new coated Diplomat. Missing Kent USA sticker (residue remains).

16"x16" floor tom w/ legs and muffler. Kent USA sticker slightly scratched. New rubber feet on legs. New coated Pinstripe/new coated Diplomat. Wrap in good shape. Some corrosion on rims. Legs show wear.

20"x14” bass drum w/ spade rail mount and cymbal arm. Wrap in fair condition, with some bubbling at lugs (no visible cracking). Front hoop is original chrome w/ inlay in good condition. Batter hoop is black steel w/ black inlay. Spurs and rail mount work well and hold firm. New Attack coated p3-type Reso head. Batter is used Attack p3-type w/ patch. All original rods and claws. Some claws have visible corrosion and are on the bottom on the drum.

Second 13” shell and some complete & incomplete parts (spade, muffler, lugs, tension rods) included.

Kent.jpg


I get a feeling this will end up seeing a lot of recording time, but who knows? I haven't even heard a note on it. Wish me luck! And also, buy the stuff I'm selling! Ha ha.
 
Last edited:

JimmySticks

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
936
Reaction score
882
Location
Queens NY
They look good!

You might very well be surprised at how good these old stencil kits can sound. They are normally very warm, pretty resonant and not very loud with those thin shells and round over bearing edges. I think you’ll notice a big difference in sound compared to modern drums.

Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage drums and the MIJ club! Let us know what you think of them...
 

Rockin' Billy

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
659
Location
Keepin’ the beat since 1973 Woodstock, N.Y.
Wow! It looks the the Apollo ‘mutt’ kit I’m working on now. Trying to locate some parts so only have the snare done so far and Top head on rack Tom. I think you’ll be very surprised how good these can sound if you haven’t had an MIJ kit. Have fun!
 

retrosonic

DFO Master
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
3,491
Reaction score
435
Location
NYC
Unfortunately for KENT, they had to. KENT was the always the "entry level" product in the drum world, they were like the Chevrolet of drums. Then came the MIJ sets that sold in music and department stores for alot cheaper. KENT had no choice but to cut costs, which meant importing the MIJ drums and re-badging them KENT. Its a shame. The US KENT shells were good...they were much better than the crappy MIJ shells. I never thought very highly of the Kent hardware, especially the weird tom tom mounts, but they were well made and not the pot metal like the 1960s MIJs.
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Must say I could get attached to metal bass drum hoops..
one of the outstanding features of that Torodor set I had..
man could you tweak/tune/ the bass drum in..
I never heard a remo clear black dot 20" head sound so clear
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,964
Reaction score
2,185
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
MIJ drums are okay but are hit and miss. I played a 70s Pearl kit for 20 years (8/10/12/13/16/20). I never redid the bearing edges though I should have looking back (except I got the kit for $100 and it was not worth doing).

I would think the only thing you're going to maybe need to do is the edges and they'll probably make decent light drums. Hope the hardware lasts too....and I love the orange!
 

JimmySticks

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
936
Reaction score
882
Location
Queens NY
MIJ drums are okay but are hit and miss. I played a 70s Pearl kit for 20 years (8/10/12/13/16/20). I never redid the bearing edges though I should have looking back (except I got the kit for $100 and it was not worth doing).

I would think the only thing you're going to maybe need to do is the edges and they'll probably make decent light drums. Hope the hardware lasts too....and I love the orange!
Bearing edges, yes. The shells on my old 67 Norma MIJ never tuned up well and were pretty wobbly when I laid them on a flat surface, so I drove the kit up to Precision and had them re do the bearing edges and it really transformed the kit from having a rather wonky and barely passable sound to a kit that actually sounds pretty darn good now. It tunes up well now and has more range to. The thin shells didn’t scare Precision from doing a great job on them either!

Unless the edges are in great shape, I’d say it’s worth the cost of doing them to get the very best out of these MIJs.
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,964
Reaction score
2,185
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
Possibly, Jimmy, but as a student at the time, it wasn't in the cards for me. Had I lived near Precision, then, and surely now, I'd be over there every day with a project!

I hope OP's kit is killer.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
218
Reaction score
298
Location
Montréal
Hope your kit sounds as good as it looks...

Btw, I bust out laughing at your thread title. Best wordplay I've seen in months ;-)
 

multijd

DFO Veteran
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
1,718
Reaction score
1,027
Location
Buffalo, NY
These Japanese made Kent’s are all
Over the Buffalo area. Less now than in the 1980’s but the remnants are still around. They were affordable and available because of the “factory”, which became a warehouse/display room, being located in Kenmore which is a first ring suburb of Buffalo. Lots of Buffalo Jazz musicians played these drs and they became somewhat of an iconic sound of Western New York area jazz groups. The only thing that is lacking is the durability of the mounting hardware. I used a kit in High school (yea I was a hs kid). All of the Tom and bass mounts stripped. But I’m not a brute by any means. It’s just pot metal. But there are a bunch of replacements that fit. Have fun with them. BTW they have some of the coolest wrap finishes. Mine is green satin flame. I still have it!!!
 

jccabinets

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2013
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
383
Nice looking drums! I have a Kent set with the white flower badge, they sound pretty good with some old clear heads on them. Im sure they would be even better with some new coated emperors or ambassadors.
 

Buffalo_drummer

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
792
Reaction score
293
Location
Buffalo, NY
These Japanese made Kent’s are all
Over the Buffalo area. Less now than in the 1980’s but the remnants are still around. They were affordable and available because of the “factory”, which became a warehouse/display room, being located in Kenmore which is a first ring suburb of Buffalo. Lots of Buffalo Jazz musicians played these drs and they became somewhat of an iconic sound of Western New York area jazz groups. The only thing that is lacking is the durability of the mounting hardware. I used a kit in High school (yea I was a hs kid). All of the Tom and bass mounts stripped. But I’m not a brute by any means. It’s just pot metal. But there are a bunch of replacements that fit. Have fun with them. BTW they have some of the coolest wrap finishes. Mine is green satin flame. I still have it!!!
Yes, I saw a ton of these kits around here as a kid. By the time I started playing ['84] Japanese imports were flooding the market so I never got to own one but some of my friends had Kent kits that they got from their parents or relatives. I remember looking at the badge of a friends kit and seeing it was from Kenmore, NY and being amazed that a drum company was 15 minutes from my house. Another friend of mine has a kit that his uncle gave him, I told him if he ever wants to get rid of it, I want to be his first call. The kit sounds really great for the price point.
 


Top