Rogers Londoner from 1972, any thoughts?

GrandfatherOdin

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Recently I've been humoring the idea of finally upgrading my shells from my current Ludwig Accent kit. The accents still sound good with careful tuning to me, but I would like to upgrade to something a bit classier.

I've found what's listed as a 3-piece 1972 Rogers 'Londoner' in Blue Onyx. I'm not very educated in vintage drums, but I have been trying to do some research in my off-time about the array of Rogers out there. In a previous posting from 2012, a fellow forumite mentioned that a 'Londoner' simply referred to a 5piece or 7piece rogers kit with no regards to shells or hardware. Considering this is only a 3-piece (13rack 16FT 22BD) that already runs against the description.

The kit looks great from the pictures, the badge is raised Rogers metal (not sure for the term on this) and the wrap and hardware look well preserved to my eye. I'm a fan of the blue onyx color and the overall aesthetic of the drums. I'm not sure if the tom has the coveted swivomatic mounts as the picture has the tom on a snare stand.

I guess I'm just curious if these would be a worthy buy at $800 + shipping for the 3-piece. I'd hate to overpay for something that's not the real thing. Especially since I'd be mostly buying for aesthetic over practicality (since my current shells still make some noise) The kit can be found on reverb right now as a rogers londoner 1972 blue onyx(please don't steal them ;). I can download pictures later if anyone needs to see what I am talking about. I'm currently at work and running out of free time for this post.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate any helpful thoughts on the subject.

-Zach
 

Mcjnic

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The "Londoner" was a somewhat "signature" kit designed for Dave Clark around the mid 60s. It was a 20 (or 22) bass, twin 12's (soonafter, a 12 and 13) bass mounted toms, a 16 floor, and a snare ... also hardware.
Later, they used the Londoner name to denote even larger kits.
I do not believe there was ever a Londoner with just the one rack tom.
 

GrandfatherOdin

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Thx for the reply nic. I'm under the impression that the seller likes to restore kits and flip them rather than a guy who is just selling his old faithful after years of ownership. It's possible that when he found the kit, something had happened to the extra drums along the way and he was only able to acquire the BD and the 2 toms.

Here's a link to the listing.

https://reverb.com/item/34469863-ro...d3gNWsGtREvEndSCiM-Vl8PefBqqzVPYaAl2iEALw_wcB

To be completely honest I probably won't end up getting this as I should honestly save the money. But the drums look gorgeous and I love the finish. I recently liquidated my other hobby and we just sold our house so we have a little extra right now. I can always sell my old shells and any extra cymbals I have laying around to help fund the Rogers. Part of me wants to sit around and wait for a killer deal, but it appears to me that quality Rogers rarily if ever pop up for killer deals, and the ones that do get snatched up almost instantly.
 

amosguy

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Description says Londoner with missing 12" tom. Cannot dispute that is possible. The bd tom double tom mount needs replacing. The single tom mount is not original for Londoner configuration and betting it is addition for use with single tom. Some collets are machined replacements for original cast collets (prone to cracking) - not a problem though and actually an upgrade. 13" tom mount has cast collet in pictures. Machined leg mounts are early Fullerton with cast collet on tom - might be put together orphan setup by previous owner as current seller is Fix and Flip as you think.

Statement about the bearing edges and beat up painted interiors suggest they were played without bottom heads and moved with hardware inside. And ask specifically about any cracking in the wrap.

With that in mind, should be room for price negotiations.
 
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KevinD

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Well it all depends on what you want to do with these. If you want to restore it to original Londoner configuration and add a 12" tom, then you are looking at petty good additional chunk of change. Rogers parts can get pretty expensive. As mentioned above the bass drum dbl tom mount, and swivo arms could add a few hundred $$ to your cash outlay. And you would have to add the 12" (plus the muffler for the 13" if you so desire -new ones are about $28 I think)
Even if you just want to add the swivo set up for the one existing tom, it can get pricey once you are all done with things.

Listing says no labels on any of the drums ..while I don't think that calls into question the authenticity of the drums, that could be an issue if resale is important, some folks really want the original labels on there.

One drum has a black interior.. I guess a previous owner tried to "customize" it.

If you are just looking at a players set and are happy with a 3 piece set "as is," I would say this should be in the $600-650 price range before shipping.

The upside there is that the wrap looks to be in great shape. (my '68 blue onyx has a couple of fissures on various drums).
Also, there are few drums that sound as great as US Rogers drumset, irrespective of whether they were made in OH, or CA.
 

GrandfatherOdin

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Well it all depends on what you want to do with these. If you want to restore it to original Londoner configuration and add a 12" tom, then you are looking at petty good additional chunk of change. Rogers parts can get pretty expensive. As mentioned above the bass drum dbl tom mount, and swivo arms could add a few hundred $$ to your cash outlay. And you would have to add the 12" (plus the muffler for the 13" if you so desire -new ones are about $28 I think)
Even if you just want to add the swivo set up for the one existing tom, it can get pricey once you are all done with things.

Listing says no labels on any of the drums ..while I don't think that calls into question the authenticity of the drums, that could be an issue if resale is important, some folks really want the original labels on there.

One drum has a black interior.. I guess a previous owner tried to "customize" it.

If you are just looking at a players set and are happy with a 3 piece set "as is," I would say this should be in the $600-650 price range before shipping.

The upside there is that the wrap looks to be in great shape. (my '68 blue onyx has a couple of fissures on various drums).
Also, there are few drums that sound as great as US Rogers drumset, irrespective of whether they were made in OH, or CA.
I'm not too concerned with the black interior and lack of labels. I would really just be getting it as a players set to enjoy myself and not to try and flip it. It would be nice to have an efficient tom mount, but I'm not opposed to using a snare stand to hold the racktom. My current drumset uses a double tom balljoint mount that works fairly well so I have no experience playing a tom on a snare stand.

It sounds like it could be a nice set, especially if I can talk him down in price a little. I've never used reverb before so I'm not quite sure how negotiation works with that site. I guess it ultimately boils down to personal preference and if I think the drums are worth that much to me personally. I'm not really a vintage snob when it comes to all original hardware, if unoriginal hardware makes the set more efficient then I'd be ok with that. That being said, the more original to the classic Rogers it is the better. I still appreciate the concept of having nice things. The wrap looks to be in pretty good condition, but it is a good idea to ask if any wrap has started to crack as that spells an even larger investment to restore it as cracked wrap will inevitably get worse with use.
 

KevinD

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OK cool, sounds like you know what you want for sure. I didn't want to color your decision with my experience.
Admittedly, some people want perfection and will pay good money for it, in my case here with my Rogers set I was not too concerned about that part of it. Resale is not a concern for me either.

I can give you my experience with my players kit.
In 2012 I bought a 4 piece (12, 13, 14, 20) in blue onyx just because I wanted a vintage Rogers set. It is def a players kit.
It had Ludwig tom mounts which I removed. The dbl tom mount/post was not there and the wrap is split on all but the 13" ...go figure.
From what I've seen the onyx line of finishes (even the Slingerland versions-same Delmar wrap I believe) were notorious for splitting.
There are people here who are a lot smarter than me that can tell you why.

I paid about $400 and picked them up myself. (I think today the 14" FT even with the split is prob worth that much)
Later I added a 10" Big R tom and rewrapped with blue onyx Delmar wrap from Precision (spot on match to the other drums).

I primarily use them at home for recording drum tracks. They are perfect for that.

Over the years I've gigged out with them about a dozen times (most recently two weeks ago) I don't think I've ever played a gig where one of the other musicians or even an audience member hasn't complimented me on the way the drums sound (def a case of the drums not the drummer here).

I've never played a kick drum with so much punch. The 14" FT also had depth and tone beyond what I thought any 14" could produce.
When I play two toms up I mount the 12 and 13 on Rims mounts to my Tama tom stand -works well and the unsightly tom mount hole faces me, away from the audience.

Sometimes I'll just bring the 12" tom and mount it on a snare stand.

I've acquired some original parts here & there (building it "One Piece at a Time") with an eventual goal of restoring it back to original Swivo tom holder configuration but I'm in no real hurry as what I have works well for my needs..

I play coated Emperors over coated Ambassadors, but also had great results a few years ago with Aquarian Studio Xs over the Ambassadors.

Good luck with your decision!
 

Tama CW

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Seller doesn't impress with leaving so many loose ends on that kit. No muffler, worn out heads, mixed hardware, black interior, no tags, etc. Yeah, just "snap" your fingers and all that stuff is "fixed."
And they started out asking $1100 for it! Can you be sure it's not a re-wrap? On top of that you'd have to pay shipping and taxes - about $1000 all in. Despite the shiny blue exterior, that kits appears beat to me.
Learn more about Rogers and other vintage 60's and 70's drums. Keep poking around and learning. When the right deal comes around you'll know it. While that black interior may not bother you today....it probably will someday.....
and in particular on the day it comes time to sell the drums.

Seems like you can find a much cleaner and more correct 12,13,16,22 kit locally. And with local kits, you can often get cymbals and hardware tossed in for a huge discount....to considerably offset the price of the drums.
 

GrandfatherOdin

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Seller doesn't impress with leaving so many loose ends on that kit. No muffler, worn out heads, mixed hardware, black interior, no tags, etc. Yeah, just "snap" your fingers and all that stuff is "fixed."
And they started out asking $1100 for it! Can you be sure it's not a re-wrap? On top of that you'd have to pay shipping and taxes - about $1000 all in. Despite the shiny blue exterior, that kits appears beat to me.
Learn more about Rogers and other vintage 60's and 70's drums. Keep poking around and learning. When the right deal comes around you'll know it. While that black interior may not bother you today....it probably will someday.....
and in particular on the day it comes time to sell the drums.

Seems like you can find a much cleaner and more correct 12,13,16,22 kit locally. And with local kits, you can often get cymbals and hardware tossed in for a huge discount....to considerably offset the price of the drums.
I feel you, I can see where you're coming from when you say this isn't the best deal in town. Unfortunately there's not a wealth of local Rogers kits in my neck of the woods out here in Indiana. Infact the only drums somewhat local to me right now that have the words Rogers on them is a single R360 kit, and those aren't even American-made Rogers. Those were japanese kits by Yamaha with some Rogers hardware on them. It seems to me that you'd have to find a killer deal online which is fairly rare through ebay or reverb, and then you have to hope that some other vintage shark doesn't swoop in and buy it out from under you to store in their dusty storage unit.
 

Tama CW

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You can beat out those sharks from time to time if you're diligent in your search. Set up a 200 mile search window on CL and FB. Keep an eye on Ebay and Reverb though you're less likely to find a deal there.
Those sharks prefer to work on doubling their money (buy at 50% of break up value). We non-storage unit "collectors" can afford to pay 60-75% of break up value and still get a great deal. You just have to be first.
It will happen even if it might take several months to a year or so. Indiana is surrounded by about 10 major cities. Pretty good shopping if you ask me. Chicago, Nashville, Cincy, Louisville, St. Louis not all that far away.
You can always post a 'wanted' listing on CL and FB and see what falls out.

Look at every pre-1976 Rogers kits that hits any of those sites. You'll get smarter faster on what's correct and what's not. There's no short cut other than researching and/or looking at kits.
You might even consider the Rogers Big R's from 1976-1979. While not as "classy" as the earlier versions, they have the same shells....and should sound the same. Very rugged drums too. Those pop up for sale pretty often.
 

GrandfatherOdin

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You can beat out those sharks from time to time if you're diligent in your search. Set up a 200 mile search window on CL and FB. Keep an eye on Ebay and Reverb though you're less likely to find a deal there.
Those sharks prefer to work on doubling their money (buy at 50% of break up value). We non-storage unit "collectors" can afford to pay 60-75% of break up value and still get a great deal. You just have to be first.
It will happen even if it might take several months to a year or so. Indiana is surrounded by about 10 major cities. Pretty good shopping if you ask me. Chicago, Nashville, Cincy, Louisville, St. Louis not all that far away.
You can always post a 'wanted' listing on CL and FB and see what falls out.

Look at every pre-1976 Rogers kits that hits any of those sites. You'll get smarter faster on what's correct and what's not. There's no short cut other than researching and/or looking at kits.
You might even consider the Rogers Big R's from 1976-1979. While not as "classy" as the earlier versions, they have the same shells....and should sound the same. Very rugged drums too. Those pop up for sale pretty often.
Great advice good sir
 

Kevinpursuit

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Thats an incomplete Londoner. It has the base for the double mount, but missing the upper part that has the swivomatic dual tom mounts! Londoner was always a double mount tom setup.
Net net its not a Londoner unless all pieces are included. The following link has the Londoner and pic of the dual tom mount further down from the kits.
 
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Square

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Another strategy is to contact any major drum shops you can find and explain to them what you're after. They may have a nice kit that they haven't listed anywhere yet.

This was the case with my recent purchase of a Slingerland kit. I went into a local drum shop to look at a kit which I really didn't intend to buy, but that they had listed online.

When I got there, they had three other similar kits they had not listed. I came home with one of them...
 

poco rit.

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I was in your exact position a couple years ago. For your needs, i would consider pulling the trigger. But i think you can go a hair lower on the price. You can make a big deal about the black painted interiors. Even tho personally it wouldnt bother me one bit

I have a 60s Red Onyx kit. Those small scratches here and there look just like mine. But very hard to notice since the wrap is so busy. So i dont think yours is a rewrap. Mine made it out alive with fully intact wrap all around. A lot of 70s onyx kits seem to crack. I think a lot of the value of the onyx drums rides on if they are cracked or not. But that Blue Onyx looks tight everywhere. Except I see a crack starting on the right side bass drum spur.

If youre worried about the edges on the reso side, they dont look too bad to me. Considering the possibility that they were sat naked bearing edge to hard floor in the 70s/80s, then the edges look fine. And if the kit is a gigging player, abused Rogers edges still sound good.
 

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