Singerland wraps which are stamped "M" on the interior? Gold sparkle 1958's with "M."

Tama CW

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This pair of 1958 snare and bass Slingerlands was with the owner/owner's family since the 1960's...maybe bought new. And not played in decades. Probably a 2 piece "ensemble" kit coming with Epic bass pedal, wood block and cowbell, and top center cymbal mount on single lug bass drum.

Some "typical" signs suggested rewraps....such as loose badges. Once I got them home and took them apart, I didn't see anything that would confirm a rewrap. But it was problematic that both drums were closely date stamped Apr/Aug 1958 and with "M." On the good side is that the outer wood ply on the bass drum is mahogany and the wrap cutting along the snare bed looks professional. The wraps are faded under the hoops. These wraps are a dead ringer for the 1957-1983 "sparkling gold" finish variation that has a lot of orange it.....often mistaken for an orange sparkle. Oddly, they are a near perfect color match to my 1966 Champagne Sparkle kit. They are more orange than yellow. And per Slingerland and all references I've checked, Champagne Sparkle was not an offering until 1960.....though some new sparkles were introduced in 1958 (pink, aqua, smokey, black, etc.).

Photos 1-5 and 10 are 14" 8 lug snare drum (student Radio King?). Photos 6-9 are of 22" bass drum. Drum to drum the wraps are consistent in color and aging. Pretty original drums down to their calf skin heads. Snare reso head was an old style Remo with the large crown stamp. From the cob webs inside the drums and deep dirt accumulated on the heads, these drums haven't been opened for decades. When I took off the bass drum batter head the felt strip was still stuck into the bass drum head tuck, and hanging limp though stuck on to the opposite side bearing edge. Could the factory be that sloppy? I put it back it back with felt taught. I could be very wrong being just a Slingy newb. For now, I think these wraps are original factory....and that the shells were stamped "M" in error.....or wrapped in error. Any thoughts from the Slingerland detectives?

Slinger Vintage Drum guide - pearl finishes
 

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Tama CW

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The 13" "rack tom" added to make this a fuller kit was a clamp-on (Sept 1941) Ludwig with Imperial lugs and white enamel oval badge. The Ludwig is in nearly the same sparkle wrap - and back then they only offered "gold flash." So certainly that drum was re-wrapped to fit into this kit....and pretty close too. Seeing this you'd start to figure it was all re-wrapped at the same time. But the hue on the Ludwig is a tad more subdued. The snare has more gold/yellow and is brighter. So up close probably not from the same roll of wrap. Still, the Slingerlands must stand on their own. The Ludwig wrap has shrunk the same way that the Slingerland bass drum wrap did. My main intent of buying these were hoping on old Zildjians and a nice gold/champagne sparkle wood snare to fit into my '66 Slingerland bop kit.
 

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Tama CW

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I tend to think that those drums were originally a duco-painted pair. Embrace them for what they currently are.
Thanks for the input. It's hard to go against an "M" staring at you. If they were duco-painted pair, why not just put the wrap right over the duco?

I did buy them for what they appeared to be...potentially re-wraps with lifting/seam issues. Fortunately, the kit came with a nice dark and smoky set of 50's light 14" Zildjian hats (633/765) on a WFL #1204 flat base hi hat stand with orig clutch, and an Alejian splash. So I'll be into the 2 Slingerlands for $30 or so. If I can locate the 6 clips and rods to complete the Ludwig tom, I may set it back up as as a 3 piece.

I will note this 1958 kit first appeared for sale at $3,000. When it got to $2,000 I informed the seller to run to the bank immediately with the $$ if anyone offered $800. Then it dropped to $1000 for about a week when they contacted me about buying it. I had told them all along it was worth in the $300-$600 range depending on condition. I was the first to actually show up and look at it (ie the "bearer of bad news"). And the "condition" was more indicative of that range bottom. Seller's photo below.

Slingerland 1958 kit.jpg
 
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Tama CW

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Thanks Levelpebble. I think my mind noticed something "off" on those grommets being "dark" (oxidized steel?). But I couldn't quite pin point it. My 1966 Slingerlands have the bright aluminum grommets. And on the bass drum interior, I noted a faint scratch from the badge hole about 2" inward on the inner ply. A sign of a sharp instrument being used on the old grommet. I got the drums for the right price so no regrets. I'm hoping the snare drum sounds ok when I get in some new Remo "classic fit" heads. The original reso and rim were a bear to remove...and weren't even seated properly, suggesting a shell or wrap issue. And that could be as you suggested, a thicker lacquer-designated shell, being altered with a wrap addition. That would explain why even the original Remo reso head no longer fit well after the wrap job. It was jammed on there real tight. Maybe at that point they became unhappy with the drums and put them away. All good lessons learned for me for the next road trip. In the heat of battle you sense things being off though can't pin point it.

That snare was unplayable as received....though sounded fine as a single headed tom. The calf skin batter head, though a tad snug, fits ok. A couple parts of the flesh hoop had cracks....again, suggesting they were over-stressed having to work over a wrap. All the little signs now adding up. The badges on this kit were different - but Slingerland used 2 different badge styles during 1957-1960....one black and gold painted (snare drum), the other all brass and no paint (bass drum). That threw me too figuring one drum was mid-50's and the other later 50's. Why did they use 2 badges overlapping for 3 yrs?
 
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retrosonic

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Tama CW: PLEASE, keep the wrap that is on all three drums, glue it down, clean and polish the wrap and all the hardware, and keep the set as the three piece. It is too nice a period piece to rewrap. That color is soooooo nice. It would look just great with a fix up and detailing.
The hardware will look like new with some polish using Neverdull.

Think of the past history of the set. Its like a '57 Studebaker.
 
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Tama CW

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Tama CW: PLEASE, keep the wrap that is on all three drums, glue it down, clean and polish the wrap and all the hardware, and keep the set as the three piece. It is too nice a period piece to rewrap. That color is soooooo nice. It would look just great with a fix up and detailing.
The hardware will look like new with some polish using Neverdull.

Think of the past history of the set. Its like a '57 Studebaker.
Never fear Retrosonic, I have no intention of re-wrapping these drums. They are attractive and sort of "period looking" as is. And in my mind, a rewrap could even lower their value....or would put one seriously underwater on them. The wrap issues are all hidden in normal set up. And it is very sparkling look....whenever this wrap was applied....and whatever color it is. It could even be a later champagne sparkle. I've already cleaned up the chrome and nickel parts with Dawn and Windex....exterior shells wiped down with soap and water. Didn't take much to clean them up. Some chrome flaking off those stick chopper hoops so I was very gentle to only soak them. Hopefully, the kit will play well once I get the heads all set. The kick drum with the calf skin heads sounds very good. It sounds even better as a 22 inch floor tom using a drum stick.
 

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K.O.

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The "P" and "M" stamps were placed on the shells , as I understand it, to tell the workers whether the shell was one that was intended to be wrapped or have either a natural or painted finish. As such it is certainly possible that someone might grab M stamped shells and wrap them, either by mistake, or more likely, because there was a surplus of such shells in the plant. Therefore I don't think that the M stamp necessarily precludes a factory wrapped drum, although it does reduce the odds.

Precision started selling aftermarket wrap in the very early 1960s so there is the possiblity of nearly 60 year old rewraps being out there. Being as faded or otherwise altered by time as factory wrapped drums of the same age.

So hard to say for sure even though the evidence would probably lean slightly in favor of a rewrap in most people's minds .
 
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retrosonic

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Never fear Retrosonic, I have no intention of re-wrapping these drums. They are attractive and sort of "period looking" as is. And in my mind, a rewrap could even lower their value....or would put you seriously underwater on them. The wrap issues are all hidden in normal set up. And it is very sparkling look....whenever this wrap was applied....and whatever color it is. It could even by a later champagne sparkle. I've already cleaned up the chrome and nickel parts with Dawn and Windex....exterior shells wiped down with soap and water. Didn't take much to clean them up. Some chrome flaking off those stick chopper hoops so I was very gentle to only soak them. Hopefully, the kit will play well once I get the heads all set. The kick drum with the calf skin heads sounds very good. It sounds even better as a 22 inch floor tom via a wood stick.

Excellent Bro!!! those are beautiful drums!! you know, Nevr Dull will make the Nickel hardware look like new. I am sure that the sound of those drums is just out of this world. And to me, the color match of the slingy snare and the Ludwig tom is almost identical. Enjoy...BUT be sure to post a picture with the drums all set up !
 
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GeeDeeEmm

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Considering the stories I've read from former employees of various US drum manufacturers, I lean more to the side of expecting occasional anomalies from factory sources. So, unless a drum feature simply screams "aftermarket," I'm much more inclined to suspect factory irregularities.

According to the stories I've read, it was quite common for new versions of "whatever" to be mixed with old versions; for serial number sequences being ignored; and for using whatever was on hand to make up for certain shortages. The latter, I suspect, is the reason for your Slingerland's shell markings. And maybe even for the grommets. My consideration is simply that one or both of those drums are simply odd-ordered examples. I'll bet they are factory produced and original.

Doesn't matter, though, does it? In the end, you got a screaming deal on a set of beautiful classic drums and some cymbals to boot. I'd call that a WIN.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Tama CW

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Thanks GeeDeeEmm. The "story" on the kit was something purchased by the parents for their son. And the kit was "retired" pretty early in life. It didn't quite fit the narrative of long time enthusiast deciding to recover their drums in order to continue to gig and show them. These calf skins heads would have been pretty dated by the later 1960's. They only remained on the drums because they weren't used much. The bass drum shows very little abuse and minimal wear and tear...especially the heads. I'll be keeping an eye out for other Slingerland drums that might have these same type of steel grommets.

A pair of Remo classic fit snare heads is on the way ($36) and I found the missing snare drum clip and 2.5" tension rod ($10). Already have some vintage looking white snare cord. So all set to go once parts arrive. Fingers crossed that everything fits.
 

Tama CW

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I thought for the most part mahogany was the wood used under the wrap to save on money. Why use a select maple wood on the outermost ply only to wrap over it? Did they have so much maple laying around that it really had no difference in the cost? And wouldn't the more porous and softer mahogany take the glue better to give a more secure wrap?
 


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