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What is the secret sauce in a 20” Rogers bass drum?

Drdrumdude3009

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no offense intended but how do you know that a Rogers bass drum built in 1971 was made from wood that was 200 years old?
(I like old drums but never owned any Rogers).
The resonant quality of dry wood you describe makes sense to me.
Would not a thin fibreglass shell resonate the same way?

I do own a 20” Ludwig Club date that sounds great, guess it’s circa 1969 from the badge, never compared it to a Rogers drum so I’m just curious.

The discussion about shell composition seems to be endless and kinda hard to prove scientifically that one wood is sonically “better” than another. I guess “the sound” is in the ear of the listener.
I believe heads & bearing edges and tuning have as much to do with sound as the shell.

I would say the difference in wood is subtler than we think. Yes- it’s old growth, wild wood, opposed to the modern, farm-raised trees we have now. Many an argument has been made about this, whether it’s guitars or drums.

I would say that laminated plies are less sensitive than, say a single ply drum or a solid body guitar. Now- the age of the finished instrument can come into question. I don’t know that drums will ever be subject to so many processes like guitars have, such as torrified wood, vibration machines to age wood, etc., in trying to cop the vibe of an older, more stable instrument.

Considering that a few people have replicated a Rogers bass drum reasonably, while wood can be an effective factor, it is likely down to ply thickness, wood species, and edges, as you have said.
 

Houndog

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Years ago a buddy of mine got a Rogers kit with a 20” . Back then I looked down on 20” bass drums . I remember being truly shocked at how it sounded …..

The only answer is to get an old Rogers .
 

High on Stress

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Years ago a buddy of mine got a Rogers kit with a 20” . Back then I looked down on 20” bass drums . I remember being truly shocked at how it sounded …..

The only answer is to get an old Rogers .
This happened to me as well. If I ever buy another kit with a 20, it's going to be a Rogers.
 

Mcjnic

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"Skinny" (Steve) Hindalong toured with a 60s Rogers red sparkle (glass) 20 bass with the Lost Dogs, The Choir, and a few other bands.
It sounded phenomenal.
As you can imagine, his kit was an amalgamation of sound producing devices.
I helped him set up the kit at a stop in Tennessee and got a close look at it ... great little bass drum!
I actually had a full set of 60s Rogers ... 20,12,14 ... even the same wrap ... my bass didn't sound as good as his.
I'm guessing part of it was the "Skinny" variable.
 

DanC

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In the 60's and earlier, when trees were harvested, they were old trees from virgin forests - usually. And those trees were maybe 100-200+ years old, the wood being pretty dense. Now, in order to preserve the forests, things are managed and trees are planted for future use. The wood is very different in these two scenarios. And now those Rogers shells are an extra 60 years old, on top of that.

Add to that the rings, the edges, the paint, the thin plies and the choice of wood species and you have something unique. Can other brands of 20" basses sound really good? Of course. But those Rogers basses are different. Like a 50's 60's Fender Strat, they just sound different from other, later, stuff... And the Rogers sound different than other 60's bass drums as well.


And they are pretty flexible as far as head choices, but a lot of muffling kind of defeats the purpose.....
 
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BennyK

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Rogers formica wraps were, to me , an extra ply The glue they used was industrial rubber based , I've stripped those and brother , its very labour intensive . The edges were unique at that time to the Rogers brand .Machined hardened USA steel fittings .

The drums were the sum total of everything that went into them , and whether they intended to or not , a legendary brand was created , the 20" bass drum a good example . A real sweetheart .

I've tried Rogers copies and though margarine will cover your bread, it ain't butter .
 
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owr

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One thing I've noticed with my 60s Roger's 20 is its much more conducive to wide open heads/tuning than most other drums I own. I love that tone, but its not as useful for me generally in most real world band situations. I have a virgin Craviotto 20 that just sings forever with coated ambassadors on both sides. I have alot of fun with this configuration but get chased out of the room if I show up with it outfitted like that in most bands I play with.

With my Rogers, I think its set up now coated emperor on the batter and coated ambassador reso, no muffling to speak of, but tuned medium low. It rings and sounds huge, but its the right amount of ring that I get away with it. Not too much, just goldilocks.

I've had similar (but different) experiences with other bass drums. I have an old Noble and Cooley 20x17 outfitted with a Super kick 2 and single ply ported batter, with a small pillow inside. It's been setup like that for over 15 years, seriously. It brings that modern funk like nothing else I own. Since I've owned it longer than most of my kits, for awhile the Super Kick 2 was my default head, but I quickly found it just sucked the life out of pretty much every other drum I own.

Some drums just take to head combinations/tuning better than others IMO, and with Rogers you can do that wide open cannon like nothing else I've owned. YMMV
 

charlesm

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no offense intended but how do you know that a Rogers bass drum built in 1971 was made from wood that was 200 years old?

Around that time, most of the wood being used for just about everything was still old growth because it was still plentiful and desirable. Might have been even older than 200 years.

My folks built a new deck in 1979. It took 20+ years for that wood to start warping badly.

I had a friend replace some of the worse-off boards just a few years ago. The new wood is already beginning to warp. Greener/younger growth.
 

TheBeachBoy

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Not sure but I have a 20/16/12 Fullerton Rogers for my home studio and that bass drum sounds big. Don't know what it is either but I dig it.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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They are great drums. I like Rogers, because it’s vintage with a hint of modern in there with the sharper edge. Here is my kit with a 20. Still have them.
 

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jskdrums

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Vintage Rogers 20" Kicks are probably the best 20 I've ever heard or played...Definitely a Magic Drum!
 

mattmalloy66

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I have kits with 18, 20 and 22 inch bass drums.
The `68 Rogers 20 is my favorite.
Just the right amount of low and mid range tones.
 

michaelg

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Anyone know what the actual hearing edge specs are ? Double 45?
 

Cauldronics

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I would say the difference in wood is subtler than we think. Yes- it’s old growth, wild wood, opposed to the modern, farm-raised trees we have now. Many an argument has been made about this, whether it’s guitars or drums.

I would say that laminated plies are less sensitive than, say a single ply drum or a solid body guitar. Now- the age of the finished instrument can come into question. I don’t know that drums will ever be subject to so many processes like guitars have, such as torrified wood, vibration machines to age wood, etc., in trying to cop the vibe of an older, more stable instrument.

Considering that a few people have replicated a Rogers bass drum reasonably, while wood can be an effective factor, it is likely down to ply thickness, wood species, and edges, as you have said.
Dude.. I just had a "eureka!" moment. Either that or it was a senior moment... we'll see.

It's big fun in the guitar world right now to use roasted maple necks b/c it (supposedly) makes the guitar sound better. You see where I'm going with this:

Roasted maple drum shells??
 

Drdrumdude3009

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Dude.. I just had a "eureka!" moment. Either that or it was a senior moment... we'll see.

It's big fun in the guitar world right now to use roasted maple necks b/c it (supposedly) makes the guitar sound better. You see where I'm going with this:

Roasted maple drum shells??

I am surprised John Good hasn’t jumped on that!
 

Cauldronics

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Back on topic, although I never had Rogers kick from that era, the 80's XP-8 22 I had was a beast, like those older 20's. I half considered piecing out the kit and keeping the kick when I sold it but couldn't bring myself to orphan-out those babies. Even though I didn't like the toms at all.
 


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