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That Vintage Drum Smell

rikkrebs

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Last weekend I went to a flee market and stumbled on an old fiber tom case. I got a little excited and walked over and opened it up.......nothing. However, because of the smell of the inside of the case I knew it was the home to a Gretsch drum at one time.

This got me thinking. I think I could tell the difference in a Gretsch, Ludwig or Slingerland drum just by the smell of the inside. Not sure I could ID a Rogers.

Anybody else know what I'm talking about..................or am I just strange.
 

Bunnyman

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Slingerlands have a strange smell when you drill them!!! I'm serious...
 

69OysterBlue

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I know that the smell of a well preserved vintage Ludwig drum is right up there with "new car smell" on my list.
 

W&A Player

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I think that you folks are referring to two different aromas emanating from vintage drums. First, the smell you sniff when removing heads is from the glue of animal origin that was used in the old days. The smell is more profound from drums such as Slingerland and some Gretsch drums with no "breather" holes in the shells. The other smell that occurs when drilling the shells is common to drilling any type of wood. Each type of wood has its own aroma. The animal based glue and the various woods in drum shells gives each combination its own gumbo aroma.
 

mlayton

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my music room should be named the resacote room. its full of ludwig drums and the smell is getting more profound. i love it!

mike
 

drumdrumdrum

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my music room should be named the resacote room. its full of ludwig drums and the smell is getting more profound. i love it!

mike


I agree.... I went for about 6 months with out even looking at a drum back in early 90s. A friend of mine sent me a jazz fest with a note attached saying FIX THIS PLEASE. Upon removing the head it was that smell that made me realize my love for vintage Ludwigs.... I too know by the smell most of the time what brand lived in that case.
 

chetatkinsdiet

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You are so right W&A. A decade ago, give or take a few years, I bought a set of slingerlands on ebay. The pics were terrible and it just said something vague like "white drum kit in cases". It was cheap. Man o' man, when I got them, it was a dead mint set of early 60s Slings in the White Satin wrap. Original heads and factory original bags. The heads had no marks on them. It was as if the kit was just unboxed.
I'm getting to the point of my story here....when I took off the heads, which was obviously the first time this had been done, the smell was beautiful. There was still wood shavings and dust from the sanding of the bearing edges in the drum.

m
 

Bunnyman

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I think that you folks are referring to two different aromas emanating from vintage drums. First, the smell you sniff when removing heads is from the glue of animal origin that was used in the old days. The smell is more profound from drums such as Slingerland and some Gretsch drums with no "breather" holes in the shells. The other smell that occurs when drilling the shells is common to drilling any type of wood. Each type of wood has its own aroma. The animal based glue and the various woods in drum shells gives each combination its own gumbo aroma.

Yes- my ventless Slingerland floor Tom had a very unique smell. But then there's that weird smell of multiple years of dust, as well. It goes away as soon as you throw out the old heads.
 

jptrickster

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I wish someone could capture that smell in an after shave, I'd wear it all the time. We all know Old Spice how about some Old Drum :blackeye:
 

ObiWan

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This is funny...I just made a reference to "drum smell" in another post a couple days ago! My vote goes to my 70's Slingerlands w/natural interior. When I first pulled the heads off it was magical..!
 

W&A Player

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I wish someone could capture that smell in an after shave, I'd wear it all the time. We all know Old Spice how about some Old Drum :blackeye:


Isn't that a type of whiskey? If you can find a bottle, just splash some on yourself.

50's--70's Slingerland and SlingerLeedy drum smells have always been the pheromones to get me excited about vintage drums. Rogers and Walberg & Auge also have some cachet about them. But, the smells given off by painted interiors don't trip my trigger nearly as much as the Slingies, Leedys, and a set of my W&A drums with unpainted interiors.
 

curotto

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Man, this brings me back to the 1960s and my first Ludwig drumset...May 1965 OBP Bluenote Outfit...that smell of the interior was heaven and to this day when I smell that Resacote on an older Ludwig drums it brings me back.

Another smell is that "damp" smell on old drums and hardware that have been packed away for a long time and finally, that smell of old calf heads that have been on drums that have sat for a long time.

Thanks for the memories!

Mike Curotto
 

GeneZ

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The animal based glue and the various woods in drum shells gives each combination its own gumbo aroma.

I have been suspecting for some time that the glues used was a part of the shell's ability to resonate like they did.
Animal based? I guess so. Synthetics were not common back then. I remember how we used to joke about some
old horse being ready for the glue factory. The glue used for the plies becomes a part of the sound.

... I have a very distinct remembrance of smelling my Ludwigs when changing heads. It was akin to me like that of smelling a girl's hair.
I would sit there and feel so relaxed and at peace taking in that aroma. In those days, I could not understand why anyone
would ever want to take tranquilizers. I just could not figure out why. Great days.
 

"poppies"

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I've seen lots of older drums with much more generous glue usage than today's drums have (you can tell sometimes looking at the bearing edges). I'm guessing that imparts a stronger smell, too.
 

gryphon

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I have enjoyed the smell of 60's Premier drums for a long time. I think it has something to do with the sealer they used back then. I'm not the only one, there is an English drum forum that is rife with drum sniffers.

jim
 

W&A Player

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I have enjoyed the smell of 60's Premier drums for a long time. I think it has something to do with the sealer they used back then. I'm not the only one, there is an English drum forum that is rife with drum sniffers.

jim

I wonder if bicycle enthusiasts have a similar fascination with bicycle seats. Dan? Anyone?
 


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