Why do we buy vintage drums vs modern drums?

tkillian

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That was the day I got them. Set them up and took photo. Then they went upstairs.

My current Slingerlands are 1960s vintage too. Just a new wrap

I hear/feel a difference between old and new drums.

Old drums are warmer and more mellow imo.
 

Obiwandrumobe

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Ever assemble a new drum kit? Those things smell gross & come with various cancer warnings! At our last drum fest I assembled about 20 of those health hazards. Once a drum kit has aired out for 50 years or so they are good to go! A lot of my cymbals are new, but the folks at Sabian beat the newness out of them with hammers :icon_e_biggrin:
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Agree - new drums stink!

man-gas-mask-sitting-toilet-newspaper-finland-57244242.jpg
 

tkillian

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I don't think (....) they want to confuse the market.. I can see in 10-15 years... a USA Custom Round Badge Ultra...... with the old tom tom edge.....
You say except for 18" bass drums ....old are generally less $...How's about 14x14 floor toms? Think the upper (or lower dollar) hand there goes to new ... Throw in an 8 x 12 tom....and buying new...18/12/14 besides those "ultra" tomtom edges...is the New deal/
That old tomTom edge (mounted and floors) was a little softer rounder sound

Hi Tom!
they basically put that old edge on the (new) 3 ply Broadkaster toms don't they; I don't know what the (new) bass drum and snare- in Broadkaster- edge is..)
I know. Ive been eyeballing broadkasters for sure. Yup. I like the look and sound and concept.

But even then....

There is a big difference between a new shell and one that is 55-60 years old. The molecules and glue and paint have all settled.

Plus I LOVE that my bearing edges are not perfect...little imperfections etc

More mojo and history
 

gwbasley

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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.
The wood quality is a major factor, and I would add the glues and methods as well.

Ludwig, and as far as I know they were the only ones to do this, put their laminates on the sheets before they were formed into shells. You can see this method in the scarf joints and it had to contribute to the unique sound of their drums. Rogers had a sharp bearing edge and some innovative hardware. Gretsch shells were a ply larger in diameter and the heads fit snugly. Slingerland had a big softer sound that fit a certain style of music. Each brand had something unique.

I don't see these kinds of differences in modern drums. The shells, for the most part, are all made the same and only vary in the species and number of plys. Yes, there are some companies building "old style" shells, but why go there...just buy some old drums and get something proven by time. If the hardware is an issue, just use modern stands wit vintage drums.

My Ludwig kit is circa 1965, but I use modern lightweight stands and pedals. I had the bearing edges redone and now I have the best of both worlds.
 

ThomasL

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The wood quality is a major factor, and I would add the glues and methods as well.

Ludwig, and as far as I know they were the only ones to do this, put their laminates on the sheets before they were formed into shells. You can see this method in the scarf joints and it had to contribute to the unique sound of their drums. Rogers had a sharp bearing edge and some innovative hardware. Gretsch shells were a ply larger in diameter and the heads fit snugly. Slingerland had a big softer sound that fit a certain style of music. Each brand had something unique.

I don't see these kinds of differences in modern drums. The shells, for the most part, are all made the same and only vary in the species and number of plys. Yes, there are some companies building "old style" shells, but why go there...just buy some old drums and get something proven by time. If the hardware is an issue, just use modern stands wit vintage drums.

My Ludwig kit is circa 1965, but I use modern lightweight stands and pedals. I had the bearing edges redone and now I have the best of both worlds.
Yes, I also like the fact that manufacturers (generally) stuck to one shell type and (mostly) used local wood species: Sonor used German beech, Premier used (Scandinavian?) birch with beech re-rings, Gretsch used maple/gum (6 ply era) etc. Most companies had quite distinct hoop styles as well.

Nowadays every company offers multiple woods and hoops and (almost) the only distinct thing is the brand logo and who's endorsing what (and even this changes quite often).
 

Cycles2

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The chrome plating of the lugs, rims and hardware of my circa 1970's Rogers kit looks brand new. I also have a Fibes acrylic kit from the '70's and the chrome is almost as good. Acrylic shells are perfect with no stress cracks.

How many 50 year old kits can you say that about?
 

Coolvan

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I definitely think it's a mix of all the questions you posed up there. Comparing a new Yamaha set to a vintage Ludwig set is tough in itself I think. I bought a 1967 set of Ludwigs that were spray painted black and restored them back to the original Champagne Sparkle- all in about $950 or so....
I had that same set which I sold back in the 70s. I had bought it from the original drummer of the Moving Sidewalks in 1968 when the band broke up. In 1972 I was playing in a Off Broadway Theater doing musicals and I came into the theater one afternoon for that night's show and somebody had broken in and stolen half of my drum set. They left me my cymbals my snare and 1 floor tom. So I wound up buying a gold Sparkle set with a 22-inch bass drum instead of the 20-inch that had been part of the original but they were still Ludwigs. The year before while I was at College in TSU, now called UNT, I have traded my 5" Ludwig snare for his six and a half inch Ludwig402 snare so I could have what John Bonham had. Anyway in around 1975 I sold the whole 6 piece set with A Zildjian cymbals ( 17 in 18in crashes, and 20in ping ride, formula 602 Paiste 14-inch hi-hats for $650! The only part of those that I miss now are the 402 snare and the cymbals.
 

nickdrum1234

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There are so many different brands on the market that make great sounding drums with consistent quality, great lightweight hardware and great customer service.
BUT why do most of us prefer vintage drums? Many times our vintage drums don’t have good and reliable hardware, difficult to find or expensive to buy add-ons. Are you sure the vintage kits sound better!? Hmmm not sure!
is it the charm, the aesthetics, or the belief that vintage drums are better made (are they?) or sound better (do they?)? OR is it because they were made in the USA, England, Germany instead of China/Taiwan? Is it the appreciation value? Or because all those 60’s/70’s cats played on them!? Well those were the brand new drums at the time.

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?

EDIT: Why do SOME of us prefer vintage drums?
Some reasons I prefer 60s Ludwigs are the 3 ply mahogany shells, the classic wrap options, and the sound of 50+ years worth of age to the wood really can’t be replicated, and that last point is the same reason why older acoustic guitars fetch so much money.
 

telejojo

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New for me. I used to restore cars and motorcycles and they are nice and fun to drive and ride but are nowhere near as good as modern stuff. The manufacturing machines and processes are so much better now. Used to be a car that had 100k miles on it was worn slap ass out but now that's nothing not even half its life. I'll take the new stuff any day..................
 

DavedrumsTX

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There are so many different brands on the market that make great sounding drums with consistent quality, great lightweight hardware and great customer service.
BUT why do most of us prefer vintage drums? Many times our vintage drums don’t have good and reliable hardware, difficult to find or expensive to buy add-ons. Are you sure the vintage kits sound better!? Hmmm not sure!
is it the charm, the aesthetics, or the belief that vintage drums are better made (are they?) or sound better (do they?)? OR is it because they were made in the USA, England, Germany instead of China/Taiwan? Is it the appreciation value? Or because all those 60’s/70’s cats played on them!? Well those were the brand new drums at the time.

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?

EDIT: Why do SOME of us prefer vintage drums?
With the exception of my snares, all my drums are 60s and 70s Ludwigs. I have owned top of the line, brand new kits from Craviotto, Yamaha, Ayotte and Gretsch. While I liked them, I just never felt at home on them. I realized my sound was older Ludwigs. While it’s the sound I want, can’t deny that there is also a vintage, nostalgic vibe.
 

Coolvan

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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.
I agree with what you posted here. And it's funny you mentioned that about the Inde Hardware. I just bought a Gretsch Catalina Maple shell for a six and a half inch drum put all my own Hardware on it including a 2.3 mm top hoop and the Inde throw off. I turned it into a really really nice sounding and looking snare drum.
 

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jeffintampa

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There are so many different brands on the market that make great sounding drums with consistent quality, great lightweight hardware and great customer service.
BUT why do most of us prefer vintage drums? Many times our vintage drums don’t have good and reliable hardware, difficult to find or expensive to buy add-ons. Are you sure the vintage kits sound better!? Hmmm not sure!
is it the charm, the aesthetics, or the belief that vintage drums are better made (are they?) or sound better (do they?)? OR is it because they were made in the USA, England, Germany instead of China/Taiwan? Is it the appreciation value? Or because all those 60’s/70’s cats played on them!? Well those were the brand new drums at the time.

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?

EDIT: Why do SOME of us prefer vintage drums?
Answer to that question is Why are old drum companies making "New Vintage Drums"?
 

kzac

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There are two answers to why people purchase vintage drums over late versions
1- Social image, People purchase them because vintage drums because they feel those drums will make them socially acceptable ... The absolute worst reason to purchase vintage drums....

2- Drummers with experience, purchase vintage drums because they understand that most modern drums are constructed for studio work and not live performance. Vintage drums on the other hand, were mostly designed for live performance. There is no comparison in the sound. Later drums sound almost lifeless in a live environment, due to the deadening techniques used during construction to make them acceptable for recording .... Where vintage drums provide more tone, presence, and sustain, because their construction centers around live venues.
 

kzac

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There are so many different brands on the market that make great sounding drums with consistent quality, great lightweight hardware and great customer service.
BUT why do most of us prefer vintage drums? Many times our vintage drums don’t have good and reliable hardware, difficult to find or expensive to buy add-ons. Are you sure the vintage kits sound better!? Hmmm not sure!
is it the charm, the aesthetics, or the belief that vintage drums are better made (are they?) or sound better (do they?)? OR is it because they were made in the USA, England, Germany instead of China/Taiwan? Is it the appreciation value? Or because all those 60’s/70’s cats played on them!? Well those were the brand new drums at the time.

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?

EDIT: Why do SOME of us prefer vintage drums?

Tour Customs are Stage Customs with a maple shell... they are designed more fore studio work than live play. Compare those to the old tour customs made in the 1980s and you will hear a very distinct difference. I figured out a few years ago as I was going through kits like women go through shoes, that there was a change in drum design which occurred in the late 90s onward..

Drums of today are designed for studio work... therefore the focus is to make them not have ring, sustain, harmonics... etc.... by the way theses are all desirable functions of a live venue kit Older drums were constructed for live play .... newer drums however are mostly designed for studio play
 

donbseattle

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People don't but should/could/ add Polls to threads...
Maybe iPhones don't show them and adding a Poll to a thread, has gone the way of the old "light" twin tom holder ; )
I thought you were a Pearl twin tom holder type guy!
 

Stixkubwa

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There are so many different brands on the market that make great sounding drums with consistent quality, great lightweight hardware and great customer service.
BUT why do most of us prefer vintage drums? Many times our vintage drums don’t have good and reliable hardware, difficult to find or expensive to buy add-ons. Are you sure the vintage kits sound better!? Hmmm not sure!
is it the charm, the aesthetics, or the belief that vintage drums are better made (are they?) or sound better (do they?)? OR is it because they were made in the USA, England, Germany instead of China/Taiwan? Is it the appreciation value? Or because all those 60’s/70’s cats played on them!? Well those were the brand new drums at the time.

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?

EDIT: Why do SOME of us prefer vintage drums?
 

Stixkubwa

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Buddy Rich was sponsored at various times by all of the famous drum brands of the day. He is attributed as saying that none of the kits he played on ever lived up to the claims of the makers. Nonetheless to see him and or his contemporaries sitting behind those famous brands, be it Slingerland, Ludwig or Rogers just to mention, is very powerful marketing image. To own such an outfit and to be seen playing on such a brand may mean to a drummer like myself "I've made it", "I'm creating the same sound as the greats, my role models, my heroes". Interestingly, drums do not have an intrinsic market value on the scale of (say) a Stradivarius violin or cello and are subject to warping and rusting and deterioration of the wrap and the fittings. Thus , I think the desirability for owning an old kit (aka vintage) is psychological primarily arising from clever marketing years ago.
 

Pounder

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Better deal, new drums provide minimal sound and technology improvements at a huge price increase. I like the ecology of buying a set already made 20+ years ago. Honestly don't have a judgement about anyone else, each to his/her own. Plus I'm working on a Pearl fiberglass project kit. where I could find a similar "new" project is completely unknown. BTW I heard some earlier posts claiming their drums aren't vintage. If your drums are older drums or the company is defunct, you have vintage drums.
 

Houndog

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There are two answers to why people purchase vintage drums over late versions
1- Social image, People purchase them because vintage drums because they feel those drums will make them socially acceptable ... The absolute worst reason to purchase vintage drums....

2- Drummers with experience, purchase vintage drums because they understand that most modern drums are constructed for studio work and not live performance. Vintage drums on the other hand, were mostly designed for live performance. There is no comparison in the sound. Later drums sound almost lifeless in a live environment, due to the deadening techniques used during construction to make them acceptable for recording .... Where vintage drums provide more tone, presence, and sustain, because their construction centers around live venues.
You are kidding I hope ?
 


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