Slingerland Lite Series

JohnnyVibesAZ

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Some time ago, I had a flyer (I can't even call it a catalog) of the Slingerland Lite series. I know they were assembled in Ridgeland, by Gretsch, and had thin Jasper shells. I don't think they were around very long. Can someone tell me how good or bad these drums were, and how much they are worth today?

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NobleCooleyNut

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These were the flagship line from the Gretsch/HSS era (1986 to 1985). HSS paid for moulds to be made for this series . The shells were made by Jasper . The shells were 100% maple not maple/gum like the Gretsch USA Custom . Gibson then acquired Slingerland from Fred Gretsch on February 1994 and the Lite line was discontinued .

The Slingerland Lite series were really nice drums , some very nice lacquer finishes and unique hardware appointments .They were also standard 1/8” undersize like most drum companies I believe . Not 1/16” undersize like Gretsch USA Customs Jasper and Keller shells .
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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These were the flagship line from the Gretsch/HSS era (1986 to 1985). HSS paid for moulds to be made for this series . The shells were made by Jasper . The shells were 100% maple not maple/gum like the Gretsch USA Custom . Gibson then acquired Slingerland from Fred Gretsch on February 1994 and the Lite line was discontinued .

The Slingerland Lite series were really nice drums , some very nice lacquer finishes and unique hardware appointments .They were also standard 1/8” undersize like most drum companies I believe . Not 1/16” undersize like Gretsch USA Customs Jasper and Keller shells .
Thank you, NCNut. I remember seeing the close-up of the shells in the catalog, and they looked VERY thin, so I was wondering how they would hold up. I read where the HSS Slingerland "Artist" drum shells were garbage, so I wondered about the Lite's shells. My favorite finish was the cream color. I also remember them being a little pricey. I have never seen a set in person. No drum shop was carrying them in my area, because of the deal with Gretsch and their guitars.
 

SKSMITH

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The HSS Artist shells weren't garbage. They weren't made in the states, but used maple sourced in the North America. Most likely Canadian.
They were damn nice for their cost. Had they used different mounting, instead of the Pearl-style 7/8" tube mounts, I think they'd be more highly regarded.
But they were still pretty nice sounding drums.
I never saw a Slingerland Lite until ebay. And very few Artist kits in the STL area also. I bought mine from Fred Pierce's shop in STL back in 1994. They were shown in a NAMM article in Modern Drummer back in the day.
 
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Skinsmannn

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These are available for 750. Great deal on Chicago Craigs. Guy has had them listed for ages. Been tempted so many times!


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jmetatual

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The HSS Artist shells weren't garbage. They were made in the states, but used maple sourced in the North America. Most likely Canadian.
HSS Artist shells were assembled in Taiwan using shells of North American wood.
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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I found the catalog and July, '93 price list. A four-piece set, without the snare was just under $3000! Big money, back then. It's interesting that their floor tom sizes were an inch deeper than standard sizes.
 

Rhyma Hop

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These were the flagship line from the Gretsch/HSS era (1986 to 1985). HSS paid for moulds to be made for this series . The shells were made by Jasper . The shells were 100% maple not maple/gum like the Gretsch USA Custom . Gibson then acquired Slingerland from Fred Gretsch on February 1994 and the Lite line was discontinued .

The Slingerland Lite series were really nice drums , some very nice lacquer finishes and unique hardware appointments .They were also standard 1/8” undersize like most drum companies I believe . Not 1/16” undersize like Gretsch USA Customs Jasper and Keller shells .
These were heavily undersized.. closer to the only other ones who have it.. Sonor and Premier.. These were the best Slingerlands ever made IMO.. and were attempting to copy the Sonor Lite series except for the wood.. and of course the other methods Sonor uses..

The way I found out.. was by talking to the CREATOR of this series.. Buzz King.. https://www.facebook.com/buz.king.1
He was also involved in the birth of the Sonor Designer in the early 90's.

 

multijd

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Excellent drums. And as stated the HSS artist series were very good also. The artist series were comparable to modern gretsch Catalina or Yamaha stage custom. High quality value priced drums. The Lites were some of the highest quality drums ever produced. Under the radar but outstanding.
 

Rhyma Hop

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And as stated the HSS artist series were very good also. The artist series were comparable to modern gretsch Catalina or Yamaha stage custom. High quality value priced drums.
I remember those.. and yes they were really nice for the money.
 

dalec

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I wonder if these were the Jasper same shells that Corder/Darwin/Fibes used. I own a Darwin kit with thin 6-ply Jasper maple shells.
 

Frank Godiva

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These were heavily undersized.. closer to the only other ones who have it.. Sonor and Premier.. These were the best Slingerlands ever made IMO.. and were attempting to copy the Sonor Lite series except for the wood.. and of course the other methods Sonor uses..

The way I found out.. was by talking to the CREATOR of this series.. Buzz King.. https://www.facebook.com/buz.king.1
He was also involved in the birth of the Sonor Designer in the early 90's.

Bingo. This is the common thread; Mr. King. Not by chance these were called Lites as in SonorLites which have floor toms that are one inch deeper then they are wide.

the full skinny from the man in his own words

 

BennyK

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I was very impressed with these shells . They're not often seen so if you're able to, grab them . I won't disagree with anyone claiming them to be the finest Slingerlands of all time .
 

Living Dead Drummer

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I have one of these kits in Creme White. Sizes are 20" kick, 8" 10" 14" Toms. Been looking for tom arms forever because none of the standard sizes seem to fit. Really nice thick maples shells. I use this kick all the time for small club/bar and throw and go gigs.
 

Rhyma Hop

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Embedded and starting at the Slinglerland part as I think many might not notice that link in your post.


 

Rich K.

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I've had many Slingerland sets and the Lites were definitely the best made I ever had.
And, the made 15x15 floor toms.
The Lites are one of the few kits I regret selling.
 


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