Restored 1973 Slingerland No. 50N Project... Now in all it's Champagne goodness!

Fat Drummer

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While D.B. Cooper is running a wonderful Slingerland restoration series on the builders thread, it inspired me to share a few pics of my latest resto project here on the vintage page! This is a 1973-74 Slingerland NEW ROCK OUTFIT #50N (assuming it came with the Buddy Rich model cymbal stands).

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While we all know that Slingerland serial numbers represent a general era rather than specific, dating (due to the “bucket dump” method employed at the factory) they are still quite useful. This kits numbers ALMOST fell into a straight sequence in order of size which is very cool to me. The 13”, 16” and Base are in the low range from 126K to 133K! It’s just that that pesky 12” that starts at 171. Still just 45,000 digits apart so I would estimate definitely born together.

I would estimate the kit to be between 1973 and 1974 but I would lean on later ‘73. These are the classic 70’s recipe of Maple – Poplar – Mahogany with solid steam bent maple re-rings and clear interiors. All shells are stamped “P” for Pearl and left the factory in a “Black Beauty” wrap.

As I mentioned, I am guessing this kit to be the NEW ROCK OUTFIT #50N. Since there is no 1974 catalog (only a printed price sheet) or ‘75 edition I have to bounce back and forth between the ’73 and 1976 issues. If it was from 1973, it was optioned with the 22” as the catalog shows the 20” as standard. You can see on page 8 of the ’73 book, it only cost $10.00 to option up to the 22”. By the 1975 pricing update and the next color catalog (1976), it was listed as coming with the 22” as standard. The reason I say I’m guessing at this being the 50N is that the exact same set is shown in both catalogs as the Modern Solo #2R even down to the #130 Krupa COB snare. The ONLY difference is the second set came with flat base stands and the rock set came with tripod single braced stands. As it was found with no hardware we cannot actually know. But the 50N was more common so were going with that. Though I suppose I should think of it as the 2R in these photos as I shot it with flat brace hardware!

For fun, let split the difference and say is a 1973 (based on lower serial numbers) and it is the 50N – it would have listed at $705.00 in the wrap and with the 22” kick. If it’s a 1974 then it’s $755.00.

These were purchased by another DFO member, DSart64 and while not in awful condition, they needed a bit of love and care. Though the store is now closed, this is the same guy that put together my UFiP package and made it possible for me to assemble my current UFiP rig as a retail artist. So needless to say, I was thrilled to do him a return solid and restore this kit for him.

The starting point...
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The worst feature of the kit when he bought it was the finish itself, it had been left in too much heat at some point and had bubbled the wrap on every drum. He has always liked Champagne Sparkle and he choose the Jammin’ Sam option for this restoration (it’s fully glued by the way). I went with a matching hoop inlay replacing the factory polished metal. Trued the edges, treated the dry shells, filled a few holes, painted the hoops, polished some hardware and now he is up and running!

I was pleased with how it turned out and wanted to share it simply because… well it’s a beautiful Slingerland kit and I have always had a thing for the brand! We set up Sunday afternoon for the pics with the first few shots replicating the factory 5 piece 50N look, complete with the COB Krupa snare and his amazing sounding Vibra cymbal rig. Then a few pics set up how he will actually play them, as a 3 piece with the 13” on a stand and his Black Beauty!

Thanks as always for the look and the long read. I was thrilled to do this for him and hope he enjoys the kit for many years to come!
Ward

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Fat Drummer

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Thanks, we all know that silver may be the loudest of the sparkles, but champagne is the most exotic and rich looking to me as well.
 
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drummer5359

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That is a beautiful kit. I've always bad a thing for Slingerland drums and champagne sparkle in particular. My first "good" kit was a 1965 Slingerland Modern Jazz set in that finish.

The fact that this is a mid 70's kit in these sizes particularly got my interest.

I have a Blakrome kit from the same era in those sizes. I came across a matching 18" that amazingly was within the serial number range of the others and added it years ago. What makes this kit unique is the virgin bass drum.

This kit has a lot of history for me.

In the mid seventies I would go to "DRUMS" in Crafton PA with my drummer buddy Kevin. Every local drummer that I knew had a set of Ludwigs or wanted a set of Ludwigs. Well, everyone but me. DRUMS sold Ludwig, Slingerland, Rogers, Gretsch, Premier, Pearl, Fibes, and at one point North. It was an amazing shop at that time. They had catalogs on the counter, I gravitated to Slingerland. I read those catalogs cover to cover until the covers fell off, then I read them some more. One day we walked up to the shop and they had my "grail" in the window. It was a "Blakrome" 1975 Slingerland kit. It was a 12", 13", 16", 22" kit with a COB snare. The bass drum was virgin with no tom mount, the toms were mounted on a separate stand. WOW!

I don't remember the price anymore, but I'm thinking that it was somewhere around $700 with hardware. It may as well have been a million dollars, it was out of reach. I continued to play my beat up sixties era blue sparkle "stencil kit" (Del Rey) and dream. When I was eighteen I bought a used 1965 champagne sparkle Slingerland in beautiful condition, I never forgot that kit in the window though.

Fast forward to 1992. I had lived up and down the east coast and found myself back in the Pittsburgh area. I had a bad motorcycle accident the previous year and sold everything I owned of value while I was in recovery. I was finally getting back on my feet (literally) and started looking for a used kit. Guess what I stumbled upon! It had a sticker in the bass drum that said "DRUMS". It had to be the same kit. I bought it of course. As stated earlier, I found an 18" floor tom in the same finish and serial number range years later.

Here is a photo of the kit in 2008.(You can see the chrome "DRUMS" sticker inside the bass drum.)

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I'm out of room these days, and I put this kit on consignment at a local shop. The shop is closing, so I need to swing by and pick it up tomorrow or Saturday. This was my only kit from 1992 until the summer of 2008 when I started going crazy buying kits. The finish isn't perfect. It has a few scuffs and scrapes that it acquired between 1975 and 1992. It still looks good on stage when I've gigged it in the last couple of years. I've considered refinishing it in Champagne sparkle to match the 1966 Gene Krupa 1N kit that I own in that finish. (It would make it into a shell bank of sorts.) Although I think that I really should keep it original. I have an audition on Friday. If that works out I might be able to set it up in their practice space, which would take care of where to put it.

Here is a photo from a gig two years ago.

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And here is a recent photo of it where it's been on consignment.

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After all these years I still think that it is a pretty cool kit.







I'm sorry if I hi-jacked the thread, seeing the beautiful kit that you restored got me thinking. And I just started typing...
 

Tama CW

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Very nice job on that Champagne sparkle kit. Slingerland was pumping through about 35K-45K in serial number sequence per year on average in the 70's. So it's certainly possible one gets left at the bottom of the badge bin for a year. I just had a similar '73/74 style Slingerland in the same sizes, and one of the drums was about 20K off in serial number. I figured there was no way to know for sure if it came with the kit. So many later 60's to early 70's 4 piece kits were converted to double tom during the rock era boom. I usually like to see badge #'s within 5K-10K on original sets.....and that does seem to mostly work on original kits I've run across. The 2 Slingerland kits I currently own are within 500 and 1000 numbers respectively. Ink stamp dates within several months of each other. Of ones I've had and sold, cannot recall anything more than about 10K-20K out.

**Leave that original black chrome finish intact. They're original only once. And if still attractive enough, no wrap cracks-big bubbles or lifts, it's fine.
 

Fat Drummer

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I'm sorry if I hi-jacked the thread, seeing the beautiful kit that you restored got me thinking. And I just started typing...
Are you kidding me? No way is this a hijack... it's all about vintage Slingerland and that is a GREAT story! I am not so sure that you wont regret letting this set go based on the cool history you have with it. Good luck on Fridays audition and maybe the kit will find a new home as well! Thanks for sharing the story.

I have a 1974 kit I restored a few years ago that I keep in my practice room. I always wanted a WMP Slingerland kit and a DFO member hooked me up with this 50N a while back (I did not take the 13") and it was also in black... now I enjoy it daily!

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D. B. Cooper

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First of all, thanks for the plug! But you're doing a much more "back to original" thing and a very faithful job at that! I'm just doing whatever I want. Yours took more discipline!

Really nice work. What is that wrap? I usually don't like modern sparkle wraps, but those look so sweet with the shiny chrome! Beautiful job.

I have a few questions!
What did you do for spurs? Are those original?
I'm considering a Krupa! Did they sound nice with the Krupa? Kind of a cherry on top detail, I love that.
Also, is that a DIY Logo bass head? I want one. Details?
 

jmetatual

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FDrummer, your serials fit nicely into '74. You mentioned that you replaced the original chrome BD inlays with pearl wrap. Per Slingerland historian Dr. Carl Wenk the chrome inlays began in mid '74.
 

Tama CW

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Good timing for this Champagne Sparkle "goodness" thread. Just early yesterday I decided to bring my '66 Slingerland bop kit (12,14,18--) out of storage since last fall. At that time I never really "understood" the tiny bass drum sound. It sort of confused me. Lots of ringing and thump. And the bass pedal contacts the head well above center. I thought that was a "problem." So for the past 6 months my other Slingerland ('62) has been getting the play (12,14,22). But that gave me some good training in tuning with calf skin heads - and getting used to the vintage Slingerland sound. With the '66 now set up, I "understand" a lot more about its sound. I actually like the bass drum pedal being off center a bit as it gives a little more "ring" there....not as dead....when hitting dead center.

So now I'm going back and forth between the '62 and '66 making comparisons and tweaks in 12" tom set up and tom tunings. Last time I had the '66 set up I couldn't for the life of me get the 12" tom set in a comfortable place. This time I dialed it right in after about an hour. A work in progress...even after having this kit for about a year now. Tuned the toms a bit higher this time around.......and still using the same 20" trans stamp ride/crash and late 50's 18" paper thin crash/ride.....they are perfect for the kit. The original owner chose well. He picked the Supra as well over a Slingerland. But I took JDA's suggestion from last year to get a Slingerland brass snare in there. And now I have a mid-70's Super Sound King 5.5x14 to substitute when I want. It's very sensitive....and pretty loud. Supra still works better though as it has a lot less induced snare buzz on the small tom.


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Fat Drummer

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First of all, thanks for the plug! But you're doing a much more "back to original" thing and a very faithful job at that! I'm just doing whatever I want. Yours took more discipline!

Really nice work. What is that wrap? I usually don't like modern sparkle wraps, but those look so sweet with the shiny chrome! Beautiful job.

I have a few questions!
What did you do for spurs? Are those original?
I'm considering a Krupa! Did they sound nice with the Krupa? Kind of a cherry on top detail, I love that.
Also, is that a DIY Logo bass head? I want one. Details?
Thanks D.B., I so excited to see yours come together as well!

The wrap on both kits came from Jammin' Sams (https://jamminsam.com/drum-wraps/) and my friends kit was JS Champagne Sparkle while I did my kit in his Vintage White Pearl.

JS Champagne Sparkle...
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As for the spurs, they are both generic Tama style legs with the retractable threaded tip. They were available in the correct rod diameter so no modifications needed. I bought them for both kits off of Ebay but it's been a while since I picked them up and I do not see them currently listed.

A close up of the spurs...
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I am CRAZY about my #130 Krupa Sound King, that is mine in the photos, though my friend has one for his as well. I got a great deal on mine and had to do very little to it in the way of repairs or even clean up! Here is mine...

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As for the logo, they are just vinyl cut decals from Ebau. I just looked around for the correct era logo and choose a size. (actually I specified it with the seller if I remember correctly). I took the Remo logo off my Felt Tone Fiberskin and placed mine there and he put the other on his Evens. The evens logo is not imprinted center on his head but I could have still done a better job leveling it out when I put the head on.
 
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DWSlingerland45

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Ward, I'm curious now. You mentioned in your write up that you " treated the dry shells" could you elaborate on this please? I've got a Champagne sparkle Slingerland kit going through a deep clean etc now. I thought the inside of the 13" looked rather dry so I'm curious as to what you mean by dry, and what you did to treat it. Thanks,. beautiful job by the way!
 

Fat Drummer

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The finish inside the shells were rather rough and open after all the years. It appears that maybe someone had even tried sanding the interiors in several places with an orbital sander (tough to do on a tight concave surface). So I lightly sanded the rougher areas with several grits of sanding sponges and wiped the inside and outer mahogany veneer with a mixture of tung and boiled linseed oil (30/70 mix). Since the flax oil takes so long to completely dry, I let them set in a controlled environment for several weeks before wiping a thin coat of gloss Polly on the interiors and new cut edges.

I feel this adds a nice, much needed moisture content back to what were very dry shells from the interior finish being removed in so many places. The kit had been cooked (thus the bubbled finish wrap) so while I dont know it's history, I know it lived in a lot of heat at least a few times. But I have discovered that a well finished drum usually does not suffer drying issues, this was just not a well finished kit.

There was some beautiful maple hoops and veneer inside this kit on several of the drums... this was the floor I believe...


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idrum4fun

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Fat Drummer!

Your kit looks great! I've always had a thing for champagne sparkle! I've had both Slingerland and Ludwig sets in Champagne. Concerning the configuration of the Modern Solo 2R vs. New Rock Outfit 50N, yes, it just comes down to the hardware package. Pictured is my 1970-71 Modern Solo/New Rock with a simple hardware change. I went one step further...use a single Setomatic with the 9x13 tom and flush-base stands, and now I have a GK 1N set! And, all drums are wrapped in original "Sparkling Purple Pearl"!

-Mark
 

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dale w miller

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Nice job to all of you guys.

Are you guys using those DW flat based stands? I have a few. The work great for crash cymbals. I use more traditional stands as well.

I love the looks of flat base, but combining the two different types of hardware allows me better options for setups due to them being able to overlap.
 

Fat Drummer

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Nice job to all of you guys.

Are you guys using those DW flat based stands? I have a few. The work great for crash cymbals. I use more traditional stands as well.

I love the looks of flat base, but combining the two different types of hardware allows me better options for setups due to them being able to overlap.
Yep, I can see where that would be needed in many configurations (the being able to cross over each other part). For my local playing I just use the three cymbals and all work well on straight stands so the Gibraltar's work prefect for me. I have a boom version but leave it at home on my practice kit as I'm not sure it has enough weight to balance in a windy situation. For my larger kits everything is on conventional heaver braced hardware as well.
 
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