What are these 3 red drums in CL listing for $100?? - 18" Ludwig keystone virgin kick - original. Purchased new! UPDATED with PHOTOS.

Tama CW

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A little bit more of puzzle solved on the RK's. A similar photo of a wooden hooped 1940s RK found on a FaceBook page. Only difference is the wooden lugs on that WW2 tom and the badge (ie a snare shell?). And also an article from modern drummer on the restoration of the Ciucci family 1940's RK duco kit with 13,14,16 wooden tom hoops that was special ordered. The exact same Radio King oval head stamp was on all the original calf skin drum heads of this kit as well. White marine pearl wrap under that white paint? The red RK's have the correct Slingerland hoop claws.

1940 RK kit
 

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Tama CW

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In talking to owners Bill and Deb, Bill's mother for Christmas 1967 picked out this kick drum, the acrolite, and a 16" ride cymbal (ink stamped RIDE weighing 1255 gm), along with Ludwig snare stand, cymbal stand, and Universal Speed Master kick pedal. The acrolite is dated Dec 12, 1967. Bill would have been around 13 at the time....same age as me. The school's band director made the suggestions for drums the mom should pick up. She was close to getting a jazz kit too...just needed one 12" tom. A short time later on a trip to Maine Bill ran into a pair of 13 and 14" Radio King toms. He painted them red to better match the kit. They don't currently have a wrap on them. It's red paint over wood. The interiors are very solid with mahogany and wide re-rings top and bottom. The muffler is a pair of round red felts.

The paint must have been fresh when Bill put the Calf Skin heads back on as they were sort of stuck on there. No extra holes in the RK's....a plus. The 14 RK I didn't open up yet but it looks the same...and it's missing the outside knob for the muffler....the shaft is poking out though. Both RK's were mounted to the kit via hoop clamps and they left behind some scars on each side of the kick drum batter hoop. Those hoops would be VERY clean otherwise. The 3rd tom is a very light no-name marcher. Looks single ply 3.0-3.5 mm, extremely light. Bill did have the original metal snare wires with throwoff and butt plate. That drum sounded great too - very resonant...it was the floor tom in his kit. Despite the lightness, the re-rings and shell are solid.

The kit was put away and not played since around 1972. Bill and Deb decided than rather assume the headaches of trying to find homes for the various parts or a longer term home for the entire kit, they sold it to me intact, at quite a few multiples more than the original $100 CL asking price. Guess it's my job to eventually find the "right" home for the kick drum and the RK's. I might keep the Acrolite for a while as it cleaned up pretty good - and it's dated within a couple months of my 1967 Supra. The Acro is 100% original but was pretty crusty when I first saw it. Photos to follow.
 
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Tama CW

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Close ups of the 18" kick. It's dated Jan 10th or 20th 1967. White painted interior. Does look to be bronze mist...but I won't bet on it. 4 tiny flakes missing on the shell. One hoop inlay is missing a 1/4" chunk. Inside is pretty clean. Bearing edges/re-rings nice and tight on reso head. I see 2 patterns of claw imprints on the reso hoop. So probably this was opened up at least once before during the original owner's tenure. I didn't even want to touch the batter head in order not to disturb the felt. I wiped down the exterior with a liquid wax, cleaned the heads lightly to get off the mold and mung. The reso came out nice and bright. The drum sounded nice upon pick up - a nice thump with a soft hand beater....like a small marcher. I was surprised. There is a strong shell seam showing on the exterior. And you can see the paint having bled into the exterior ply at the bearing edge. The hoops are surprising nice shape - very round - excellent paint except where the RK toms sat.
 

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Tama CW

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Photos of the 13" Radio King. Both toms have the attached hoop clamps. Original calf skin heads on both sides of each stamped "radio king." In researching them a bit, that oval RK stamp w/o the lightning bolts shows up in the early 40's. The internal washers for the tom clamp are embossed with "Slingerland Chicago, ILL. USA"...attention to detail on those days. One of the 14" hoops has a WMP inlay. 2 others have the indent for the wrap but it's gone. The 4th hoop is a cheaper one w/o an indent which seems identical to what's on the no-name Marcher batter hoop. Maybe Bill picked up a few of those for these toms? I'd bet this 5 piece kit when tuned up sounded pretty good back in 1968-1972. Nothing "entry" level about that kit.
 

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Tama CW

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Marching Drum 14" and Acrolite. The acrolite has some rust speckles on the hoops, most of it came off - a few minute spots are left. Can't have it all. The exterior shell is clean and not flaking and no scrapes to speak of. The interior metal finish is excellent. Snare wires are a bit kinked when loose....but tighten up nicely. The drum sounds excellent. A tad different sound than my Supra, and very much like my Black Galaxy sparkle Acro. The Marcher looks to be mahogany with short re-rings. Air hole too. With fasteners, the snare wire assembly should go back on to the old holes. 2 extra holes to the left of the throw off probably for a drum key holder. The drum is very similar to a L&L 30's linked below....right down to the fat black button over the air hole. A Ludwig badge or decal would have gone right above that. This drum has 2 empty holes there. In going through the vintage Ludwig snare catalog pages, they all seem to be decals or painted rectangular emblems. Not enough detail to see if any were tacked on. Could be 30's or 40's as much didn't change then. Throw off has an embossed "L" on the base of the knob shaft. Seems to fit L&L. Light drum for light junior parade duty, boy scouts, etc. Looks like I now know what these "3 red painted drums" are now.

Leedy and Ludwig 30's marcher

Bill noted that he put the Ludwing 1960's heads on the Marcher when he got it in the 1960's. Even then he knew it was a very old drum. And maybe those Ludwig heads were put on because it had old Ludwig heads on it to begin with. It's painted red over wood like the RK Slingerlands. If there were wraps on these at one time....they're gone now. In Bill's accessory box were a couple pair of Joe Morello 1A sicks. Very light. Did Joe really use that size? Unfortunately Bill must have done a lot of rim shots back then as the front few inches of both pairs of sticks are gone - just shrapnel. The 16" RIDE 60's Zildjian stamp is sort of neat. It actually pings with minimal wash. And even at 1255 gms it crashes on the heavier side.... but fast. It doesn't linger at all.

Fun day today. 130 mile round trip for the drums. Cut the grass for an hour. Cleaned drums and stands for 5 hours....took about 100 photos. My aching back!
 

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Tama CW

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Wow what a cool bass drum. Would be so awesome to have the matching 12 and 14.
We can only dream. Even if they were, it would still not be a jazzette in the 18x12 kick size. I doubt anyone else within the local 65 mile radius would have paid any more on a trip to see them. Because of the "crust" factor I lowered my initial top estimate. Just didn't know how things would clean up, or if they would. I actually told them I was ok with going home empty-handed at my offer price.....and I really was. Either way didn't matter. Fortunately, I came up a "little" in price which was all they wanted.

My plan was to set up the kit just the way it was in the 1960's "one more time" for nostalgia after cleaning....and play it. Then again, I don't want to clamp those metal RK hoops on that virgin kick drum again and flake off more paint. Those are "power" toms on that mini-kick over a decade before they became the "norm."
ludwig brown mist drums and RK 2.jpg
 
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JDA

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wait a second; What exactly are the dimensions of the Red RK drums again?...
May be able to use them with the set. Whats the sizes again? thxs
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I still can't tell 100% if that bass is natural mahogany or the bronze finish - it looks like a lot of sparkle, though, so I am thinking it is the bronze? Can I get a close up since I've never seen a real bronze KB finish in person.....thanks!
 

Tama CW

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The RK's are standard RK sizes of 13x9 and 14x12. Yeah, those toms could be used with this set. I guess they could be refinished in the same brown mist look. 13x9 rack tom on a stand, and a floor tom of 14x12 on a stand wouldn't be far off of a bop kit. Certainly a 'different' type one. The original owners would love to see those drums stay together in a "kit."

More photos of the kick shell finish.
 

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Tama CW

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That's the 30's or 40's light shell Ludwig/Leedy marcher snare drum....14x10. The "young" Bill was using that as his floor tom on a flat stand as there was no ready tom mount or clamp to use it otherwise. Starting out with a 2 piece in Dec 1967....and creating a 5 pc kit by 1970.

Some close ups of the kick drum finish. All rain today so no sunlight. Indoor shots only. I can definitely see the numerous yellow or gold sparkle "specs" in there. I can see how a non-drum person could call this a "sparkle" finish. The finish is reddish brown. Not dark enough for mahogany or walnut imo.
 

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TheElectricCompany

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Looks like bronze mist to me. If you could take pictures in sunlight without the flash it'd probably make it easier to see details.
 

JDA

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agree/and/ The inlays point to the Good color ya know the 'spensive one

I think I can hear your mind (gears) clicking ......."1000$ best Offer Reverbay"...
that thing's untouched better ask 1200$ ; )
 

Tama CW

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Just opened up the 14" RK. Probably the first time since 1970. How do I know? See the first photo which is the 13....all the rest are the 14. Both RK toms are "date coded" in red house paint! I thought the were "letters" on the 13 - but now the date is clear after seeing it on the 14. Young Bill was 16 at that time. The heads were literally put on wet. The 14x12 is beefy with that center re-ring. The muffler mechanism works fine but needs the exterior knob for control. A lot of gapping on the re-ring to shell. That will need to be glued/clamped.
 

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Tama CW

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Reverb ad for a 20" brown mist kick drum

The photo of the badge shows the finish very well. Looks just like mine with gold sparkles. Every one of these kicks I've seen has the gold sparkle inlay on the hoops. Mine have silver. The gold sparkle makes more sense though.
 
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Hobbs

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Curious thing is Bronze Mist Lacquer is a Club Date finish. Value is there on an 18" BD but where O where does one find the matching lug configuration for a Jazzette : 8x12" + 14x14 toms? Finding that one special buyer might be tricky.

My vote is the BD was a special order.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Definitely a bronze mist finish - thanks and nice!!!! Congrats again....

I agree with Hobbs - other than the 2" deeper bass, that would be a killer jazz bop kit. Not sure why Ludwig bop kits from back in the day didn't catch on......my "Jazzette" kit is fantastic!
 


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