Slingerland Radio Kings

Dzdrum

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I just got both of these drums at an estate sale. Based on the badges, the white marine Pearl Radio King is from 1944-45 and the Duco Radio King is from 1950-53. I will take them apart and clean them up. They came with calf skin heads which the resonant heads on both drums are ripped. Should I replace them with calf or go with modern heads? I have seen on YouTube that the drums sound very good that had modern heads on them. Thanks for your input!
 

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Sinclair

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Two beauties. Did you know they were at the sale before you went?
I would try modern bottom heads on both. On top too if you're worried about the condition of the calf. I'd keep the calf handy if you ever sell. Aquarian make a slightly larger head for older snares you might look into. I think they're the American Vintage series. Congrats. Providing the edges are good those two drums should sound very nice.
 

Dzdrum

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I had no idea these drums were there. There was a picture of a closet and I could see the drum cases. I drove 90 miles each way on a whim that there was something in those cases. The company that was doing the estate sale did not even mention them having any drums!
 

guilbert

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I had no idea these drums were there. There was a picture of a closet and I could see the drum cases. I drove 90 miles each way on a whim that there was something in those cases. The company that was doing the estate sale did not even mention them having any drums!
Wow!! Incredible score!!
 

Dzdrum

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I just noticed that the 8 inch deep Duco drum is a 15 inch snare. The other is a 7 x 14. I never realized they made a 15 inch snare?
 

jmetatual

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The 15" x 8" is a 'Concert King' snare. Note the absence of snare extension brackets.
 

jmetatual

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Yes, Slingerland did use the engraved hoops on the Concert King. A 3-ply shell would also be expected. The Concert King model dates back to the late 40's.
 
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JimmyM

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What a score! They should sound great with most any good heads, but I would put clear Ambs on snare side and calf on top first before looking for slunk heads. Make sure you can deal with the calf heads first. They are pretty darn fussy. I used them as a kid.
 

Dzdrum

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Part 2 - the Drumset was for sale yesterday when I bought the two snare drums. They wanted $1100 for the 4 drums and cases. I did not want to pay that knowing that they would be half off today. Went there before the sale opened today and was the second person in line. Got the set for $550 including the matching bongos. The person in line right behind me looked like a musician and followed me to where the drums were, he wanted the set also! Luckily for me, I got there 5 minutes before he did this morning. The set is a 12,14,16,26. So the question again with the drums now is “should I put a modern head on the batter side and leave the calfskin bottom - or change out both - or leave the calfskin on since I am going to sell this set?
 

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D. B. Cooper

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Part 2 - the Drumset was for sale yesterday when I bought the two snare drums. They wanted $1100 for the 4 drums and cases. I did not want to pay that knowing that they would be half off today. Went there before the sale opened today and was the second person in line. Got the set for $550 including the matching bongos. The person in line right behind me looked like a musician and followed me to where the drums were, he wanted the set also! Luckily for me, I got there 5 minutes before he did this morning. The set is a 12,14,16,26. So the question again with the drums now is “should I put a modern head on the batter side and leave the calfskin bottom - or change out both - or leave the calfskin on since I am going to sell this set?
Amazing! Nice work!
 

Pre ‘72

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Holy moly!!

Play them as they are for a while before you do anything to them. Then, if you must, go ahead and change the batter head and leave the calf on bottom.

I don’t think you’ll need oversized heads for those.
 

guilbert

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Doesn't that cloud badge WMP snare go together with the set of drums you got? You know, I would consider keeping them together, not separating out the snare. I know, everybody always seems to separate them, but with a set like this, the museum curator in me is crying out that they should stay together. Anybody else ever think along those lines?
 

Dzdrum

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Yes it does. But I don’t have a Radio King solid shell snare in my snare collection. The other snare, Duco finish is a 3 ply shell. I know it does feel bad to break up the set but when am I going to find another snare like that. The last three sets I bought at estate sales, I sold the drums and kept snares!
 

Hulakatt

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I just noticed that the 8 inch deep Duco drum is a 15 inch snare. The other is a 7 x 14. I never realized they made a 15 inch snare?
I had a 8x15 Slingerland at one point. I worked in a drum store and kept the drum in one of the cases as a showpiece. The owner sold it without asking me and kept the money for himself.
 

AaronLatos

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Play the kit and I pretty much promise you won't want to sell.

I have 13 14 16 26 slingerlands from that era. Calf is great, but with coated ambassadors on everything, they rip. On par with any drum set I've owned...

I just bought a Toyota Sienna minivan, and the thing I'm most excited about is being able to casually gig my 26-in radio King kick without having to remove car seats
 


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