Why do we buy vintage drums vs modern drums?

Houndog

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
2,377
Reaction score
1,508
Location
Oklahoma City
My heros played Slingerland , I bought my Fibes from my buddies widow and fell in love with them ..
I wouldn't say I prefer one or the other New or Vintage .
I consider my 96 Fibes "modern" so they are my new kit .
And Slingerland is my vintage .
I love them both .
 

Targalx

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
951
Reaction score
576
Location
Los Angeles
I mean a clean brand new great sounding 5 piece Tour custom is $1300, kind of in the same price range with a good/player condition 3 piece Rogers kit from the 60’s, why would you take the Rogers or the 60’s Ludwig over the brand spanking new Tour Custom or equal?
I don't know why people long for the vintage kits. I'm glad someone likes them, but they're not my cup of tea. I'll unbox a new Tour Custom anyday over a vintage kit.

But then again, my 1990s-era Maple Customs are already considered vintage, right?! Oops!
 

SpinaDude

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
726
Reaction score
535
Location
Northwest NJ
I think it's great we're in a place where there's so much choice and that somewhere out there we can find whatever keeps out boats afloat.

For me vintage is not where I want to be. The closest thing I have to vintage is my S.L.P Hickory snare, which, to be honest, I don't think it has a vintage type sound. Maybe they're talking more about the look?

If I were to want something vintage, it would likely only be a snare drum. I have heard some of the old Slingerlands and Rogers that I like. But then the rest of the kit...well, I don't want to insult anyone else's tastes. And that's really all that's about, personal tastes. One is not right or wrong. Suffice to say, that's simply not for me.

I am a sucker however, for things with history. If I had any skills with tools and woodworking whatsoever, I would be into buying old kits for restoration projects. Hopefully making them sound better than before, making them sparkle like they're showroom new. And maybe even updating some with the really nice and light INDe hardware. Yes, it's no longer true vintage, but it's like fixing a '68 Camaro and putting in BlueTooth and a thumping sound system to match the growler of the engine and exhaust. Best of both worlds there.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
16,953
Reaction score
5,715
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Yeah, some people ask $1500 for a 14x14, but on the other hand, you can get a 20/12/14 Progressive jazz for not too much more with some patience and luck.
And add a 16 x16 for a bass convert ; )
Or even a 16 x18 if you have 20 Ts and claws on stock..well you already have 16 from the 20..
 

patrickwitherow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
317
Reaction score
47
Location
Coastal Georgia
Good topic. I have a dw kit and two 60's Ludwig kits. I believe I first got on the 60's Ludwig train when I was looking to get a Supraphonic snare about 7 years ago. I ended up getting a '78 LM400 and a few months later found a very minty '65 Acro at a great price. Both of these snares sound fantastic and have held up very well.

Just recently, I looked at getting a Ludwig Classic Maple kit. I then realized that I wanted something different than an all-maple kit as that's what I've had since 2001. I looked into the Ludwig Legacy series kits; when I came across someone playing a 60's Ludwig 3-ply kit. Once I heard the sound and tone coming from that kit I knew that's what I needed to get. After doing some further research, I was blown away by how well they sounded when played in modern bands on big (or small) stages to be 50+ year old drums. I always thought of them to be 'fragile' since they were so old. Nope.

I was then impressed by the price on which you could get a 60's kit that's in very good condition. Some, as we know, are overpriced....

When they arrived, it was like I was going through my grandparent's old furniture - the smell of the shells and just wondering where they have been the past 50+ years. Seeing the date stamps and the chalk marks/initials on the shells was awesome. Someone at the Ludwig factory dated these shells and signed off on them and I still see it to this day. They tune up very easily and sound great. The bearing edges are great and the shells have no issues.

I was so impressed with the first kit that I purchased another with a smaller depth bass drum (12x22) and in my favorite wrap - Oyster Blue Pearl.

Granted, my dw's are almost 20 years old and have held up very well. They are also very well made, but these Ludwigs kits have certain characteristics that the dw's just don't have - a certain tone, mojo, vibe, etc. that I love.
 

backtodrum

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
671
Reaction score
147
Location
New Mexico
I don't know why people long for the vintage kits. I'm glad someone likes them, but they're not my cup of tea. I'll unbox a new Tour Custom anyday over a vintage kit.

But then again, my 1990s-era Maple Customs are already considered vintage, right?! Oops!
I hadn't really thought about it but the Kit that I was referring to as newer that I bought new is still 20 years old now... Where has time gone? Lol!
 

RIDDIM

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
4,075
Reaction score
818
Location
MD
I think the strongest arguments for vintage drums are that the older drums are made of older, more dense wood than we generally find today, and that the wood has seasoned, if you will.

In my case, it's gear I bought maybe 25 years or so ago - 15 or 20 years after it left the factory. That said, except perhaps for Ohio made Rogers and Sonor drums, modern drums are generally better built, with more attention to bearing edges, have more functional hardware and don't have plastic plies folded into the wood. Walberg and Auge? Please.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
16,953
Reaction score
5,715
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
w&a were never big players in drum sets (except in hardware) (or maybe if you lived in the surrounding area of the plant) compared with rogers slingerland ludwig gretsch premier sonor

if someone would have said w&a in 1969 the answer would have been "no man, don't call a plumber' I need an electrician"
 
Last edited:

backtodrum

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
671
Reaction score
147
Location
New Mexico
w&a were never big players in drum sets (except in hardware) (or maybe if you lived in the surrounding area of the plant) compared with rogers slingerland ludwig gretsch premier sonor

if someone would have said w&a in 1969 the answer would have been " no man, don't call a plumber'..
That right there was funny!
 

davezedlee

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
1,747
Reaction score
228
Location
Toronto
pretty sure the real reason people buy vintage drums is so that they can have 80 kits sitting on shelves

its absurd the number of collectors there are; reminds me of sports cards, or the diamond industry

artificial "scarcity"... it seems to be working
 

Mackermanesq

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,073
Reaction score
88
Why is a Les Paul 1959 so sought after? It has a sound. Same with vintage drums. Add to that, many of them are very very well made. I still have the Slingerlands I bought in 1976, and they still sound and look great. I have had a set of Rogers from 1966 for over 20 years and they sound amazing! Maybe a modern drum or two might challenge them, but nothing sounds better than that to me, so I have no need for new stuff. Even Ludwig is essentially remaking their old drums with the Legacy and Classic Maple series.
 

5 Style

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
6,522
Reaction score
122
Location
SE Portland, Oregon
I only have vintage kits at this point. I have a Slingerland bop sized kit and then another one that's 20',12",13",16" (though I never use the 13") as well as a cheap no-name vintage Japanese kit (20',12",16" that's all the same red sparkle finish and all with Slingerland looking lugs but all bought separately). At least the two Slingerland kits sound very good to me and there's something about the vibe of them being so old that I like, though I wouldn't say that the sound is any better than some more contemporary kits that I've played.

I just like old stuff and I like the idea of not creating a need for anything new to be manufactured on my behalf, so even if I was using more contemporary drums, I'd find them used. I feel like with a lot of old stuff that I own that if I didn't buy it, it might just be sitting in someone's closet, basement or garage...

Honestly though if I was a regularly giging drummer, particularly if I was touring, I'd want something with far more robust, better designed hardware so I'd be wanting something more contemporary than what I have. I'm not really someone who really covets high end gear so I'd be perfectly happy with some Ludwig Classic Maples, which as relatively ordinary as they are seem to be about my favorite modern kit that I've checked out.

Incidentally, by far my favorite snare drum that I've ever owned (though I haven't owned a ton or anything too exotic) is an old, somewhat what beat up Ludwig Standard, which sounds so good to me that I really can't imagine anything better. Somettimes it seems that vintage actually is the best value as that Ludwig Standard snare cost me all of $100, though I did buy a new stainer for it. I'm sure that I couldn't have gotten anything else newer for that price that I would be as happy with...
 
Last edited:

lrod1707

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
3,413
Reaction score
1,573
Location
Florida
Same reason some people like classic cars. Modern day cars have everything going for them vs. classic cars but it's definitely a different feeling and vibe driving a classic. It's a completely different driving and ownership experience in a classic vehicle. I wouldn't agree though with the assessment that "most" of us prefer vintage drums. I would say "some" of us! Plenty of people here on DFO that prefer having new kits.
 

nolibos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
53
Reaction score
67
I bought my "vintage" drums when they were "used" drums in 1991. 1966 complete Ludwig w/ hardware and cymbals for $250. So for me, it was because it was cheaper than a new set. And it sure looks cool.
 

NewBeat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
126
Reaction score
78
Played Slingerland kits for many years - terrible hardware, horrible bearing edges, so was more than happy to move on to Yamaha. Snares are a different story - love the old ones, new snares sound too clean/harsh/odd to my ears. Guess I must prefer aluminum and/or thin wood snare drums.
 

jaymandude

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
167
Reaction score
115
Played Slingerland kits for many years - terrible hardware, horrible bearing edges, so was more than happy to move on to Yamaha. Snares are a different story - love the old ones, new snares sound too clean/harsh/odd to my ears. Guess I must prefer aluminum and/or thin wood snare drums.
Interesting point with the snares. To me all the new stuff sounds the same
 

ludwigjim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
117
Reaction score
28
Location
NJ
I guess because that’s what many of us old timers grew up with. I own two ’66 Ludwig Super Classic sets in Oyster Blue Pearl and they just have the warm deep sound I’ve liked since I was much younger. I use a ‘76 Acrolite with them and all sounds good to me. Plus they’re not real heavy and I’ve babied them so they’re both pretty pristine. Lots of hours on both sets. Just my opinion. To each his own.
 

Latest posts



Top