Why did Roger's rebrand there gear to those Big R kits?

aldenyc2012

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Ive been on the lookout now for a few years to own a decent Rogers kit from later 60's / early 70's. I'm getting close but as of now it's a simple matter of the funds I've put aside, the shape / age of the kit and what they are being sold for.
Putting that aside, I learned recently that the Big R kits have the same construction as the script badge kits .. am I correct here since I really have limited knowledge of these later kits. If so, I've also heard that the Big R kits sound pretty good ..maybe as good as the script badge kits but the only drawback for me to consider the later is that they just look hideous. That Big R metal stamp, the hardware and those BD spurs. Any Rogers kit I am considering is purely to play .. not to collect .. not to flip but I can't seem to look beyond the "ugliness" of the Big R kits. I'm curious as to why Rogers changed the look from the earlier ones that I always felt were sleek, simple and clean looking.
 

Mcjnic

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Well ... yes ... and no ... and no ... and no.
There were multiple layups of the script badge ... and a few different layups of the Big R badge.
So, yes ... there is some overlap for a brief period of time between what was currently the script layup and the Big R.
And, no ... the majority of the layups of the script are not the same as the Big R.
And, no ... the Big R went from the then current script layup to an all new 8 ply maple layup.
And, no ... the Big R eventually shifted to a few import layups that really didn't resemble Rogers drums up to that point.

It's probably best to research the history of Rogers drums to really get a good hold on this. Each time it was sold, there was a period of "altering" the drums and such ... but there was leftover stock, so it's not so cut and dry. There's some phenomenal work done out there for the data. Good, interesting reads.
 

DanC

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When Rogers got into the 70's, they were owned by CBS, a large corporation. The management wanted to modernize the drums, and also make the hardware more rugged. Music was changing: it was a lot louder, and the way some pro drummers played approached being abusive. The Swivomatic hardware, beautiful and elegant, simply could not stand up to this type of abuse.

The Memriloc hardware was developed. It was simple and very strong, and ahead of it's time. A lot of what is around today can be traced back to those designs. However, a lot of folks agree that the beauty of the earlier mounts was lost. But there are plenty of fans for the Memriloc stuff as well. They are still great drums in their own way.

The Big R badges were another bit of modernization. I'm sure they felt the script badges were a little old-fashioned, and wanted an updated look. And they wanted the drums to be identifiable from across the room: that big 'R' on them is hard to miss.

The shells, lugs etc were the same as the Swivo-era from 1975 when the Memriloc hardware was introduced, thru the introduction of the XP8 shells in 1979.

(Rogers shells started out in the 50's as three thick plies with rerings, with flattish edges developed for calf heads. In 62-3 new shells were phased in, having 3 thin, hard plies, tapered rerings and very sharp modern edges, which were ahead of their time as well. The shells migrated to 5-plies in the late 60's into the 70's, then were 3 plies again for a short time, before going back to 5 leading in to the ML era. Then the 8-ply-and-no-rings XP8's came in 1979. In short, the shell concept and tone were fundamentally the same from 63-1979. The XP8's introduced a different tone and responsiveness that CBS felt was more suitable for the way music was evolving.)
(The XP8's continued until the early 80's, Rogers was then sold by CBS and the drums began to be imported from Taiwan, and were not very good as everything about them was cheapened and changed. These had no 'USA' on the badge, and with a little practice become easy to spot.)

All great drums with their own place in Rogers history: the choice depends on what appeals to a buyer/player/collector.
A lot of guys here play Swivomatic drums at their gigs, they will definitely hold up with reasonable care. And many prefer the ML drums for live work, they are bulletproof under most conditions.

Good luck in the hunt....
 
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tommykat1

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Another Rogers fan here, both Swivo era and Big R. I own sets of each, all US made. They are all excellent drums that sound excellent under today's musical conditions, both live and in the studio.

What DanC says about the Swivomatic vs Memriloc hardware is correct. That said, should you wish to tour with your 1950s or 1960s Rogers drums today, you can both strengthen the Swivo hardware and create a "faux" Memriloc arrangement with the use of setscrew collars. These make the Swivo hardware bulletproof, even for heavy hitters. And, most important, it doesn't alter the originality on these valuable vintage drums.

1967 Londoner 5, 12-13-16-22:

01 Dual Tom Mount.JPG


02 Both Tom Arms - No Toms.JPG


03 Both Tom Arms - With Toms.JPG


04 Dual Tom Mount Close Up.JPG


05 Bass Leg Out.JPG


06 Bass Leg In.JPG


07 FT Leg Closeup.JPG
 

cwdrums

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Nicely done Tommy. Easier setup as you don't have to adjust tom positions and FT legs. Good call on the locks inside the bass as well.
Coy
 

sptucker

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What DanC says about the Swivomatic vs Memriloc hardware is correct. That said, should you wish to tour with your 1950s or 1960s Rogers drums today, you can both strengthen the Swivo hardware and create a "faux" Memriloc arrangement with the use of setscrew collars. These make the Swivo hardware bulletproof, even for heavy hitters. And, most important, it doesn't alter the originality on these valuable vintage drums.
Tommy please tell me where you got the collars with the drum key setscrews that fit your Swivo hardware! I have been toying with the same idea...
 

tommykat1

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Tommy please tell me where you got the collars with the drum key setscrews that fit your Swivo hardware! I have been toying with the same idea...

I found the setscrew collars at my local Ace Hardware store, but here's a link to a company that makes them. You want part number C-043, zinc plated. (Note: you'll need a bigger collar for the double tom holder. Can't remember the size!)

http://www.climaxmetal.com/standard_set_screw_collar.htm

Note that the collars come with Allen head socket screws, but the thread matches the Rogers drum key screws that we know are very expensive. However, DW makes replacements and you can get them at your local Guitar Center. Here's a link to purchase them online:

http://www.dwdrums.com/factoryaccessories/fa.asp?sKITNAME=dwsm029

Besides being a memory indexing tool, the collars also change the weight bearing area. So, in the instance of floor tom legs and the double tom holder, you don't have to reef down so hard on the screws. The wing screw on the double tom mount is particularly vulnerable to stripping because of how tight you need to get it to hold all that weight. With the big setscrew collar in place (as shown), the weight of the two toms is shifted to that collar.
 

sptucker

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I found the setscrew collars at my local Ace Hardware store, but here's a link to a company that makes them. You want part number C-043, zinc plated. (Note: you'll need a bigger collar for the double tom holder. Can't remember the size!)

http://www.climaxmetal.com/standard_set_screw_collar.htm

Note that the collars come with Allen head socket screws, but the thread matches the Rogers drum key screws that we know are very expensive. However, DW makes replacements and you can get them at your local Guitar Center. Here's a link to purchase them online:

http://www.dwdrums.com/factoryaccessories/fa.asp?sKITNAME=dwsm029

Besides being a memory indexing tool, the collars also change the weight bearing area. So, in the instance of floor tom legs and the double tom holder, you don't have to reef down so hard on the screws. The wing screw on the double tom mount is particularly vulnerable to stripping because of how tight you need to get it to hold all that weight. With the big setscrew collar in place (as shown), the weight of the two toms is shifted to that collar.
You are The Best! I already have a collar for my big tom mount, but the others will be a very welcome addition!
 

dexter74

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I used to think big Rs were just the absolute ugliest drums ever made. As I got older my tastes changed a bit. And then I actually played one. They're my favorite sounding drums, period - and I've owned about every vintage set made and some high end new stuff.

Big Rs are a ridiculous value for the sonic quality you get. The spurs are hideous, but there is alternatives. And if you hate every single finish - and the badges - you could rewrap and add script badges.
 

Fullerton 9/72

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It was 1970's styling and accountants' cheapening that brought on the change. At the same time, Rogers finally dropped the last few "old fashioned" pearls and sparkles to give us only a very few solid colors and faux woodgrains finishes - Spanish Gold! Butcher-block! Of course a foil badge cost less to stick on than a metal script one, that had to be drilled and nailed into the shell. They also eventually phased out those costly internal tone control knobs too. I imagine that hollow 1-inch pipe was cheaper to make than solid hex-rod components, as well.
 
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DuplexTim

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Agreed with the above! I’ve owned 5 ply and Xp8’s. Both Big R and Memriloc and they are the best value vintage drums available...period! With the 45 edges, they sound awesome and The memriloc hardware is innovative and solid. If you hunt you can find amazing deals on them!
 

Gunnellett

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People crack me up talking about how ugly Roger's Big R kits are.

Come on people, it's a badge and bass drum spurs. Do you think the ladies out on the dance floor are looking at the drum sets whispering to each other "yeah that drummer ain't half bad but did you get a look at those god awful R's on the badges and those fat legs holding up the big drum"?

Get over it and listen to the drums. I mean no one says a word about those ugly Pork Pie plates used for badges so why so stuck on the Roger's Big R?

Actually, you guys are right. The Big R kits are just hideous and not worth playing let alone being caught in public with. Better to leave those unwanted cheap ugly kits to us bottom feeders.
 

Exploder

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I've had 5 ply memriloc and eight ply xp8.Those one inch tom mounting pipes suck away tone and volume.
If i get hold of another one i would look into a different tom mounting system.Rims ?
Still wish i had kept them all the same.
 

jptrickster

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I liked the Big R tubs especially the 8 ply's but from my design and esthetics perspective the plumbing pipes were/are horendous
 

rhythmace

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Here are my RIMS. My set came with one 13" tom and 2 FTs. All 5 ply shells. I bought a NOS 2 tom holder from Drews. I don't like the lower volume of small toms compared to FTs, so I bought an XP8 12" and 13" up toms to balance that out some. Ace
IMG_0555.JPG
 

rhythmace

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Another Rogers fan here, both Swivo era and Big R. I own sets of each, all US made. They are all excellent drums that sound excellent under today's musical conditions, both live and in the studio.

What DanC says about the Swivomatic vs Memriloc hardware is correct. That said, should you wish to tour with your 1950s or 1960s Rogers drums today, you can both strengthen the Swivo hardware and create a "faux" Memriloc arrangement with the use of setscrew collars. These make the Swivo hardware bulletproof, even for heavy hitters. And, most important, it doesn't alter the originality on these valuable vintage drums.

1967 Londoner 5, 12-13-16-22:

View attachment 392600

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View attachment 392602

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View attachment 392604

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Rogers should have done that instead of Big R hardware. Laugh! Ace
 

DanC

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It was 1970's styling and accountants' cheapening that brought on the change. At the same time, Rogers finally dropped the last few "old fashioned" pearls and sparkles to give us only a very few solid colors and faux woodgrains finishes - Spanish Gold! Butcher-block! Of course a foil badge cost less to stick on than a metal script one, that had to be drilled and nailed into the shell. They also eventually phased out those costly internal tone control knobs too. I imagine that hollow 1-inch pipe was cheaper to make than solid hex-rod components, as well.
Don't mean to disagree, but according to John Cermenaro, chief engineer at Rogers at the time, the hardware needed to be changed because of changing times. A lot of effort was put into it, and cost was not really a consideration. And the design was more flexible than the Swivomatic tom arms, allowing for many different tom mounting variations. The ML cymbal stands look like they were actually more expensive to produce than the Swivo stands, as well.
 

tommykat1

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I've had 5 ply memriloc and eight ply xp8.Those one inch tom mounting pipes suck away tone and volume.
If i get hold of another one i would look into a different tom mounting system.Rims ?
Still wish i had kept them all the same.
There has been a lot of discussion about this. RIMS is a good way to go. As Ace has shown, Gary Gauger at RIMS has made available conversions for Memriloc mounts.

Many of us simply cut the protruding tubes to length inside the toms, and then shove a champagne cork inside. Both these solutions really open up the sound.

Note, though, that back in the 70s and 80s, the "dead" tom tom sound was all the rage. There are many YouTube videos of drummers in famous bands playing Big R kits, and they sound great on stage. However, in the studio, when going for a pure sound, the mounts left a lot to be desired, and the muted tone was disdained both then and now.

The late, great, Tommy Wells of Nashville studio fame had a lot to say about this in prior threads on this forum, as all of the manufacturers went to the heavier, memory enabled hardware, and his endorser drums (Gretsch, I think) were severely compromised. I believe this was the impetus for the invention of the RIMS system.
 


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