Very Rare Vintage Slingerland Kit

Boone20

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Hello everyone! Recently my friend found a local listing for this kit and I ended up buying it for a great price. It’s from the very early 70’s based on badges, serial numbers and interior chocolate milk coating.

The best my friend and I can figure, it was a full custom order kit from Slingerland and possibly one of a kind.

The kit is a variation on a duet outfit but has 2 13 inch stand mounted rack toms, a 14x14 floor Tom and a 16x16 floor Tom. Also has 2 14x20 inch virgin bass drums. It did come with the original sound king snare as well but unfortunately the threads on the lugs are stripped so the sound king in the photos is my personal one which also happens to be from the early 70’s. To top it all off it was ordered in a beautiful natural mahogany finish which from my understanding is almost nonexistent for Slingerland in the 70’s. The shells are all chocolate milk interiors and all have an “M” stamp inside which shows they were never wrapped and this is the original natural finish. Shells are in great shape but unfortunately the hardware is pretty pitted and was rusted badly in many spots. I’ve managed to get most of the rust off but the pitting remains.

One last note: when I got there the guy had all the original Slingerland stands laid out as well as the original hard road cases for the drums and a big rolling case for the cymbals and hardware! He said “if you want them take them, otherwise I’m tossing them”. (I of course took them) So I’ve got pretty much the complete set. He mentioned he purchased the drums locally from the original owner who custom ordered them, played them for a bit, and then stored them for a few decades.

Does anyone out there on the drumforum have any knowledge on this kit or have/seen anything remotely similar to it?

Sorry for the long post but wanted to get this out there for everyone to see! Enjoy the photos!
 

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Boone20

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Thanks! It's a much bigger kit than I normally play so it's taking some getting used to haha
 

multijd

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Im not sure that is a Mahogany finish. I have the same finish on an 18” from the same era. The outer ply is maple and it is stained. Im not sure what stain they used could be Mahogany or Red Mahogany maybe even walnut. This page may help.
 

Boone20

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Very interesting, I could see that outer ply being maple actually. Some of the drums have faded more than others but the more they fade, the lighter the color and mahogany is very dark naturally. So yes Multijd I think you are right on the maple.

Actually here is a photo I took of one of the drums with the hoop off. Notice the severe amount of fading and how dark they were originally
 

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jmetatual

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What is the first number of the serial? Can't quite make it out.
 

multijd

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The closeup makes seeing the grain easier and now it does look like mahogany grain or maybe something else other than maple. I’m just not sure that they used an exterior ply of mahogany until the late 170’s when they began putting veneer on the shell. Does the outer ply look like a very thin piece of veneer or is an actual ply? That really has faded alot!!
 

Boone20

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Yeah it definitely looks more like a thin veneer than an actual ply. I know they used a mahogany outer ply in the late 50’s. I have a late 50’s floor Tom that confirms that.

But yeah the fade is crazy! It’s the same much darker color under the lugs as well
 

idrum4fun

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Cool Slingerland kit! As previously mentioned, the serial numbers are good for 1971. I wonder why the original owner chose to have a cymbal bracket installed on each bass drum. I can see it as useful for the right bass drum, but not sure how it was used on the left bass drum with the tom in the way. Regardless, it's a great set!

Based on your extra picture showing the unfaded stain under the head, I'm tending to think that the original color was Walnut Lacquer. While not an advertised finish in the catalog, there was a catalog kit shown with this finish. Check this link... Click Here

-Mark
 

Boone20

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Thanks Mark! Yup I was wondering that too. Perhaps that was just something Slingerland did by default and he just didn’t use it? Who knows. Thanks for the link! You’re right, it does look very similar to the parts of the drums that haven’t faded.

Likely Walnut Lacquer then. This is all great info everyone, thanks!
 

studrum

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Beautiful, very cool drums. The shells look great, but the pitted hardware has me wondering: Do you live near the ocean?
 

Boone20

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I live on the East coast but about an hour and a half inland. I’m not sure where the original owner lived but the guy I got these from lived much closer to the ocean and he purchased these locally to him.

I never thought of that but that’s a great point studrum! Likely the salty air there was what did a number on the chrome. I’m thankful the shells faired much better
 

little rock

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I bought a kit in the same sizes, 3ply, from Richard King when he had Master Musicians back in the '80s. Mine are in blue glass glitter. They were NOS that they got from a mom & pop music store going out of business. The main set 20,12,13 and 16 are chocolate interior and the 2nd bass and 14 are clear maple which were ordered at a different time as add-ons or maybe that was the way Slingerland sent them. The COB snare has never been played to this day.
 

Boone20

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Very cool! The toms in this kit are 2 13s though but other than that and the wrap that’s the same kit! Also thanks to everyone for confirming it’s a maple outer ply, that definitely helps!
 

wflkurt

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Wow that is a crazy amount of fade. Certainly helps me understand the darker set of bass drum hoops now. I wondered what was going on there.
 


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