Slingerland best value for vintage drum sets?

Talktotommy

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My first high-quality drum set was an early 70s Slingerland. After that I was a Ludwig guy for 30 years. Over the last eight years I’ve drifted back to Slingerland.
I know some of the Radio King stuff is pricey but Slingerland drum sets from late 50s through the late 70s are nice instruments.
I now have five vintage Slingerland kits I really like playing all of them.
Couple of years ago I picked up a 58 red sparkle kit 22 13 16 Gene Krupa deluxe 1N. Looked pretty nice in the pictures -paid $1500 which was more than some comparable ones and less than others (slingerland).
after I cleaned it off I realized it was actually a true glass glitter much to my delight , and in real fine condition. The drums sound wonderful, fat, punchy round tone.
I don’t think for $1500 I could find a comparable vintage set from any maker that sounded and looked as good. What are your thoughts? Is there a better vintage value out there than Slingerland right now?
 

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Tama CW

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I think for $1500 you can get some pretty nice and complete vintage kits, especially Slingerland. Condition matters so a kit identical to your '58 could range from $800-$1600 depending on features and sizes.

I considered a 1 owner 1958 Krupa in WMP + the Krupa snare about 18 months ago. Also came with period Ludwig hardware and 50's Zildjians. It sold for $1500 after a couple months. That was a nice kit. And it didn't sell
fast.

And 2 yrs ago I let a clean '61/62 Slingerland BDP 4 pc slip by for $1,000....about the time I started looking at Slingerlands. It also came with Zildjians and hardware and a Supra. At the time I never considered the Supra might be COB.
I've seen a lot of great Slingerland kits (at great prices) go by the past few years. I would agree that Slingerlands in general offer the best vintage value and sound for your buck. But's it all relative since the Slingerland's also currently
have a 25-35% lower resale value than comparable Ludwig, Gretsch, Rogers 50's to early 70's.
 

michaelg

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Do the vintage slingerlands sound just like Ludwigs from the same period ?
 

BennyK

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I have a 1975 date stamped 22 13 16 set of 3-ply Slingy's . Maple interiors, flawless in every respect - $300 . Similar response, resonance and sustain as any of the good Ludwigs of that era . Ludwig edges might be little sharper , I'm not entirely sure and sticksaver hoops could influence the initial attack . Again I have no way of a-b'ing .
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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You can buy or assemble "cheap" vintage kits by all big brands if you look hard and sometimes long. I started collecting vintage Slingy and I'm down to 2 Slingy kits and only the 12/14/18 had seen gigs back in the day. They are great sleeper vintage kits with great lugs. I never liked the tom arms though. Both my kits have rails!

I love yours in red glass...one of my favorite drum colors!

Btw, I have a matching red late 50's solid shell snare if you're interested.......
PM me.
 

idrum4fun

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While prices have been on the rise for all US-made vintage kits, Slingerland has always seemed to stay under the radar in terms of price. I've owned many Slingerland kits over the decades, with many of them still in my possession. The vast majority of them were obtained for prices far below market value! Go Slingerland!!

-Mark
 

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varatrodder

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Do the vintage slingerlands sound just like Ludwigs from the same period ?
To my ear, Slingerland is more punchy, while Ludwig is more boomy. That's probably due to the edges since Slingerland tends to have a wider, flatter edge (baseball bat edge). However, you will also find Slingerlands with a 30 degree round over edge, similar to what Ludwig used. My early 70's Slingerland have a 30 degree edges, and they have a very pure tone with a long sustain.

Here's a shot of the edges on my Slingerlands...

IMG_3344.jpeg
 

retrosonic

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Yes, I think the perceived notion is that Slingys are not "Rock" drums, they are "Jazz" drums. Completely ridiculous, of course, but I think thats what keeps the prices lower....fine with me!

I played Slingerland in my college band. I LOVED the crisp response of the Buddy Rich wood Marine pearl snare drum.
I could never get my Gretsch RB snare to sound anything like that.
 

jmetatual

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I have a 1975 date stamped 22 13 16 set of 3-ply Slingy's . Maple interiors, flawless in every respect
BennyK, I have never seen a 70's Slingerland date stamp, could you possibly post a few pictures?
 
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lossforgain

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I’m positive that of the US made vintage drums, Slingerlands are one of the best values. My main and only operational set right now is a 70s 3-ply silver sparkle set that I rehabbed. I love them to death and don’t even mind the modern Spurs someone put on before me. Didn’t pay a lot for them, not planning to let them go either.
74DFC24F-F1A9-468D-A914-0EADDFA93B8F.jpeg
 

BennyK

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BennyK, I have never seen a 70's Slingerland date stamp, could you possibly post a few pictures?
Sorry, its just an ink slingerland stamp . I just checked . The fellow I bought them from told me 1975 and I'd no reason to not believe him . I've owned old Slingy marching drums that were definitely dated so assumed the same with these .
 

JDA

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Slingerland Central is in Minneapolis almost


also a nice one here
 
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K.O.

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I think Slingerland has represented a great value for the past couple of decades, generally being the lower cost option of high quality vintage American drums.

That could change depending on what DW chooses to do with the brand. If they raise the profile among younger drummers then the demand for the older stuff will likely rise and with that the prices as well.
 

Mcjnic

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KO - that Slingerland large chip Pearl wrap my absolute favorite of the Marine variety. Stunning kit.

I've owned quite a few Slingerland, Rogers, and Ludwig kits over the years. The Rogers are in a class by themselves. They don't sound, feel, or play like the other two. So, I'll keep this focused on the Slingerland and Ludwig drums.

While going through the kits, I noticed that Slingerland had several different edges through the years ... my favorite being the relatively sharper edge they put on the late 70s 3ply kits (usually a custom order, as 5ply was the standard shipper by then). Those 3ply drums were amazingly responsive drums.

I have always liked the sound and feel of my Slingerlands over my Ludwigs. I couldn't stand that Ludwig lump. And the Ludwig edges were not quite as true and sharp as the Slingerland ones ... speaking only about my kits here. There are quite a few examples of the opposite being true out there I'm sure.

The tone from my Slingerland toms tended to have a bit more depth and sustain than my Ludwigs. They always sounded more round, woody, and deep to me.

As a kid, I just couldn't like Slingerland due to the name. But once I overcame that, I was a Slingerland guy. Just took some maturity.

If I were to choose to purchase a vintage kit ... between Ludwig and Slingerland ... no doubt in my mind, it would be a Slingerland. I really don't have a desire to own another Ludwig kit. Been there, done that. But the Slingerland drums are still hanging on inside me. I may yet pick up another.
 

jmetatual

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Sorry, its just an ink slingerland stamp . I just checked . The fellow I bought them from told me 1975 and I'd no reason to not believe him . I've owned old Slingy marching drums that were definitely dated so assumed the same with these .
BennyK, thanks for clarifying that. Per Slingerland historian Dr. Carl Wenk the 'Slingerland' script ink stamp was used from '77 - '79. Approximate expected serial range is 270xxx - 400xxx.
 

exliontamer

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I 100% agree that they're the most undervalued US drum along with Big R Rogers(5-ply & XP-8). This isn't a hot take, but I think it boils down to associations/endorsers. Ludwig has nearly 100% of classic rock gods and Gretsch has CoolJazzBop and "what players actually use in the studio" credentials.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I have only owned one Slingerland kit to date , the pictured Slingerland 80n kit with the ribbon mahogany outer veneer . It was a great sounding kit , but the hardware was flimsy and unreliable for gigging , so I sold it.
I did not want to start changing spurs and mounts for convenience sake . It was one of the best sounding kits I have owned.
I have a soft spot for Slingerland due to my two biggest drumming influences ( a Buddy Rich and Danny Seraphine ) being former Slingerland players .
 

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