What Caused Drummers to Start to Seek Vintage Drums?

bfulton

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Old drums have mojo new drums do not.
A history.
And in my opinion the 50's drums are some of the best built ever.
And the best finishes.
Behold a 1958-1965 Capri Pearl orphan kit (I just landed the final pieces of the puzzle).
Pieced together with much love with the varieties of this beautiful wrap.
They don't make drums this pretty anymore either! (and they sound incredible). View attachment 425042 View attachment 425044
Ah. My very first drum set! I traded it for a motorcycle. Sigh. I was 18.
 

wflkurt

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I was actually born in 1970 so I did not live through the Beatle era and all the cool rock and roll bands. In fact my parents are two of the most non musical people I know and there was not much music in the house until my older brother started bringing records home. This was the early 80's and I remember getting a clock radio one year where I started hearing bands like J Geils, Aerosmith, Stones and Van Halen. The very first band I saw were a bunch of kids playing at the park near me and this is where I discovered drums and Ludwigs as the drummer had a maple cortext set from 1973. After I started on lessons, my teacher had a 1973 walnut cortex set of Ludwigs.

Basically I did not know anything about old drums other than the fact that i wanted a Ludwig set. My first set that I got in June of 1983 is a Gretsch from 1974 that I still have and it is rosewood colored. In the 80's I just got sick of wood finishes and solid colors. I liked things that looked glitzy or just plain different. I also liked white marine pearl like Buddy Rich and once I saw a video of The Doors at the Hollywood Bowl, I knew I wanted a set like John's though I had no clue what it was. In my senior year of high school I decided I wanted a brand new Ludwig set as a graduation present to myself. I worked all summer long to pay for the set and I ordered a 22,12,16,18 in super classic WMP. The set sounded great but I was disappointed that the bass drum hoops were solid black. After six months of of owning the set, the finish cracked everywhere and peeled off in spots.

basically I turned to vintage drums around this time as well as I was starting to hit yard sales, flea markets and auctions. John Aldridge also lived a state away from me and I started reading NSMD. Once I started finding good deals I was hooked and there was no turning back. For me I love history and things that were here before my time so vintage drums are a perfect fit for me.

Fortunately now most of the major drum companies are making really nice drums again so I can comfortably own new and old and love them all. I just went and saw John DeChristopher and he was playing a beautiful set of Rogers this past weekend. H sounded great and it motivated me to bring a vintage set out on my next gig. Thanks John!
 

TheElectricCompany

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Any modern crap made by Pearl or Mapex isn't going to sound like 3-ply Ludwigs. That's the only sound I want so those are the only drums I desire.
 

Troyh

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Great topic!
For me, it was mostly the Ringo effect and being a history buff, I love(d) that aspect as well.
When I got into vintage it was also price.
 

bob

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always loved the champagne sparkle ludwigs .... in 1994 i finally bought a set 20 12 14
then i bought another set 22 13 16 both 1965 still have the 22 13 16 set ... forum member , evan f has the 20 12 14 set now ....
 

lrod1707

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As with anything, vintage stuff is cool to have. Like people that collect cars! I think drums are a bit different though because they carry several different reasons: collectibility, better quality that what's modern, price, brands no longer made, etc...
Different reasons for different people!
 
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Humans are nearly never satisfied.Or if satisfied....it won't last long
So searching out new gear is needed time to time, to relive the ache.ha
People generally gravitate to the things they didn't have as a youth.Now,being an adult with some $, maybe the kit you had dreamed of owning as a kid could become a reality now,and of coarse,it would be considered a vintage kit
Even though my tastes have changed,I'd still be into getting that Pearl CZX kit that I used to gush over as a teen. In spite of the way too thick shells and power depth toms.
 

jim harkins

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I recently saw the newer version of The Temptations. The drummer had a DW kit. I am 67 and saw them back in the 60s and 70s and a new DW kit does not fit the sound. It all depends on what your playing. If at all possible check out what some of your favorite drummers are recording with and you will be very surprised. Thanks
 

GeneZ

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I was watching a Rick Beato video tonight and they were talking about how guitarists in the 1970s started seeking guitars from the '50s and '60s because the major manufacturers in the 1970s weren't making new guitars with the same quality or playability or materials as those they produced 10 or 20 years prior. Also, at the time, the "vintage" guitars were actually cheaper than the new guitars.

What made drummers start to seek vintage drums? When was that turning point of "maybe we should start buying older kits" instead of new ones? When did newer not necessarily mean better, and why was that the case?

Here's the video link (they talk about the start of finding vintage instruments around the 8-minute mark):
Here is one perfect example of why they began to seek vintage kits...

 
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I began collecting vintage drums when I bought them new, LOL! I still have my Rogers Buddy Rich Headliner from new in 1967 and Rogers XP8 Londoner 7 from 1980, hand picked from the Monrovia factory. That's my vintage drum story.

BTW, I wanted to trade that 1967 4 piece blue sparkle Rogers Headliner as a down payment on the 1980 Londoner, but the dealer would only give me $50, so I said, screw it, I'll keep 'em. The rest is history. My history. Yeah!

I still play all these drums today because the design was way before their time, and they sound fabulous in any setting.
Old guys remember their youth. Vintage takes us back there. When you 'kids' are 50-60 years old, you'll want that 80's sound !! ;-)
 

Guzowskip

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Very interesting thread. Older guy here. My two cents follow... Your mileage may vary.

Bottom Line Up Front: Older thin shells with reinforcing rings have a distinctive sound. Additionally, vintage wraps and hardware are not matched by the mass-market shells from China.

I bought a 3-piece Japanese Slingerland knock-off kit in HS... it was the best I could do in the mid-60s but the sounded pretty good when well tuned... I played everything from 50s/60s to British Invasion to Cream/Hendrix on that kit... I even tried removing lower tom heads... I beat it up and even broke some sticks... I couldn't afford any decent cymbals but at least didn't break any of the cheap ones I could afford.... I last played that kit in May 1970... My dad sold it when I went away to college because it was taking up too much room in the garage.

I didn't play drums again till 2009 when I was gifted a Sonor Force 3007 Special Edition fusion kit in blue sparkle (spray not wrap). Pretty good sound but good cymbals more important... but the kit is just too big/heavy for what I now play (jazz, swing, country)... I built a player's kit from Slingerland shells and added a mid-60s COB snare.... it's great.

I later came into a 1969 Rogers Londoner kit in Black Strata Pearl from the original owner (period cymbals included) at a price I couldn't resist. It's been fully restored and looks great.... there was some wrap damage but we were able to rescue it.

My current project is a 1964 silver sparkle Ludwig Club Date (5.5x14 Supraphonic, 12, 14, 20)... it will probably be my go-to kit for playing out when I get it finished.

I need to thin the heard so the Sonor and Rogers kits are available. I'm not looking to make a lot of money on either, just want to recoup my costs. Details (including serial numbers) on request. Photos attached.
 

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LarryG

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I began collecting vintage drums when I bought them new, LOL! I still have my Rogers Buddy Rich Headliner from new in 1967 and Rogers XP8 Londoner 7 from 1980, hand picked from the Monrovia factory. That's my vintage drum story.

BTW, I wanted to trade that 1967 4 piece blue sparkle Rogers Headliner as a down payment on the 1980 Londoner, but the dealer would only give me $50, so I said, screw it, I'll keep 'em. The rest is history. My history. Yeah!

I still play all these drums today because the design was way before their time, and they sound fabulous in any setting.
Kind of same here, Tommykat, I started with 1962 circa Slingland Blue Satin Flame whole set new. Wish I still had today It was all about looking good then. Now with clear acrylic Fibes from 1970 I was into looks (stage lighting) and sound. Still have the Fibes with 1970 Rogers Dynasonic purchased new at same time as Fibes. I think its the looks that hooked me on vintage, first, then how the play real close 2nd. There is nothing like the sound and feel of that "time" when you got on your first set.
PS: By the way, Dynasonic and clear Fibes are available. Priced reflective of market. Will be posting with pics soon. Age has slowed me and no gigs coming up in near future. time to pass these on to appreciative vintage fan/player.
 
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2001BMWM5

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It's all in the wood. Northeastern hardwoods used by the major drum manufacturers during the first half of the 20th century have a deeper and richer tone than do modern shells manufactured overseas using their local woods.
 

studrum

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Here is one perfect example of why they began to seek vintage kits...

This^^^^sort of proves the point I made in my other comments here. The Producer Man is going to say "Bring the WFL's," and yes, the player here (Carter McClean?) is excellent, but even with this fellow playing, it would not sound the same with any modern drum kit you could name.

This clip also demonstrates, clearly, the value and use of vintage drums far beyond nostalgic purposes and shows that the "Oulde Drommes" can live on in younger hands, thank goodness.
 

Targalx

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This clip also demonstrates, clearly, the value and use of vintage drums far beyond nostalgic purposes and shows that the "Oulde Drommes" can live on in younger hands, thank goodness.
That kit sounds fine and he's obviously a very competent player, but I don't know, its sound doesn't knock me off my feet. I like a lot resonance and sustain in my drums, which is why I seek more modern stuff. Now, I wouldn't say no to a kit like this, but I wouldn't go seek one out, either.
 

Jazz Drummer

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In 1978 I ordered a new SONOR Phonic Rosewood 18/12/14”, at the time the most expensive drums money could buy. I have played my rear end off to be able to afford it. Poor SONOR quality (all lug screws were loose) upset me and made me buy my first vintage drum, a 1961 White Marine Pearl LUDWIG Super Classic snare drum. I sold that SONOR set to my drum teacher in 1979 and have not touched a SONOR drum ever since.
The main difference to me, vintage drums have aged woods, were hand-made to a large degree and they do have a "soul" which mass production drums from Asia cannot have. Also, light hardware. In terms of quality, nothing beats pre-serial Keystone LUDWIGs (early 1960s), PREMIERs up to the late 1970s, SLINGERLANDs up to the late 1960s or French ASBAs up to the mid 1970s. GRETSCH is not on that list, they just sound good. I have restored over 150 drums by now and I have seen quite a bit, good and bad.

Having said that, quality has become better and even cheap sets for $ 600 or so do sound good today.
1961 Ludwig NewYorker2.jpg
1967 Premier Outfit 101 DSC05012.JPG
ASBA Garros1973SuperBaby DSC04710.JPG
 

Trapkatmidiman

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I was watching a Rick Beato video tonight and they were talking about how guitarists in the 1970s started seeking guitars from the '50s and '60s because the major manufacturers in the 1970s weren't making new guitars with the same quality or playability or materials as those they produced 10 or 20 years prior. Also, at the time, the "vintage" guitars were actually cheaper than the new guitars.

What made drummers start to seek vintage drums? When was that turning point of "maybe we should start buying older kits" instead of new ones? When did newer not necessarily mean better, and why was that the case?

Here's the video link (they talk about the start of finding vintage instruments around the 8-minute mark):
 

Trapkatmidiman

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That kit sounds fine and he's obviously a very competent player, but I don't know, its sound doesn't knock me off my feet. I like a lot resonance and sustain in my drums, which is why I seek more modern stuff. Now, I wouldn't say no to a kit like this, but I wouldn't go seek one out, either.
Good points, with a Ludwig chrome o wood, I just like the way it sounds, head technology in manufacturing vastly improved with time. Regarding sounds, it s all done electronically on recordings, always has been. When you hear the set with your ears, by the time it goes into a microphone, will not sound the same. Any audiophile will confirm this. So, trying to get a vintage sound, can be done with newer kits, in the hands of a knowledgeable sound engineer. Hardware, even my rare 70z Tama spartan stands, have little comparision to whats made today, quality, durability, finish wise. Also, the sad fact drums often were not held in high esteem as a musical instrument, were sometimes in a garage, shed, or stored in an attic- vistalites even come apart in uncontrolled climates, like wood. Old heads, also affected sound. Unlike today, some pics show really dirty worn out heads, where today a lot of drummers keep them fresh, like guitar strings. We could go further, but a drum sound, wood shell, head, sound, is still a preference. Even fiberglass shells dry up! And minutes cracks appear:( if only North shells lasted)
 

wflkurt

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In 1978 I ordered a new SONOR Phonic Rosewood 18/12/14”, at the time the most expensive drums money could buy. I have played my rear end off to be able to afford it. Poor SONOR quality (all lug screws were loose) upset me and made me buy my first vintage drum, a 1961 White Marine Pearl LUDWIG Super Classic snare drum. I sold that SONOR set to my drum teacher in 1979 and have not touched a SONOR drum ever since.
The main difference to me, vintage drums have aged woods, were hand-made to a large degree and they do have a "soul" which mass production drums from Asia cannot have. Also, light hardware. In terms of quality, nothing beats pre-serial Keystone LUDWIGs (early 1960s), PREMIERs up to the late 1970s, SLINGERLANDs up to the late 1960s or French ASBAs up to the mid 1970s. GRETSCH is not on that list, they just sound good. I have restored over 150 drums by now and I have seen quite a bit, good and bad.

Having said that, quality has become better and even cheap sets for $ 600 or so do sound good today. View attachment 426262 View attachment 426263 View attachment 426264
Those Ludwig's look beautiful!
 


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