WOW. My first Walberg & Auge kit

markrocks68

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I know the folks here know about this amazingly cool company. It was all new to me up until the last year so a real slice of Americana here with my first Walberg & Auge kit. 14x22 bass drum w/internal dampening control, 9x13 & 10x14 toms and the crazy cool 14x16 FT. This is how they arrived. I've done nothing but wipe off with a damp paper towel. No issues except a good cleaning needed. I felt this was a must for my collection of vintage American made drums. Check out the hybrid mix of hardware vintage drum friends. This kit was hand built to 'Perfection' by Robert George Bernard (RGB) in July 1960 and each drum is signed & dated in the shell. I have NOT opened the FT yet!! There is an unbelievable build quality to these drums. These drums are the 6 ply Jasper Gretsch shells. So basically a 1960 RB Gretsch kit in a very rare finish. I've not seen a sparkle like this before so I contacted Walberg & Auge & was told sometimes W&A would acquire rejected wraps from many of the big 4 American drum companies thus making the wrap unique. 2 of the drums in the kit also have a second square badge which I was told was commonly used on horn cases in the 30's making the set even more unique. The kits were ONLY sold at the factory in MA and no where else as so not to compete with the folks W&A supplied.
It's highly likely that this set never even left the state of MA & was stored for decades (as NO fade in finish). Anybody have these before me?
My tradition is (if possible) that the first gig be done as I got them & the old heads actually have tuned up pretty well. I'd like to thank the guys (Joe & Brian) at Wood & Weather Drum Shop in Springfield, MA for this kit. A great small REAL brick & mortar vintage drum shop. And the drums made it all the way to CA unharmed thanks to their great packing job. THANKS GUYS!! A great piece of 20th century American Drum History and it's gig time soon.
 

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franke

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That is indeed unique. W&A, as you know, was a hardware and component manufacturer for other companies. I'm not entirely clear on the story behind their drum kits, and if they ever had a dealer network for their products, or if they just made them "on the side" and sold them out their factory through WOM. I had read here that they would sometimes trade shells for payment, which seems like a rather odd way to do business, but then again, it's the music business!

Your kit looks like it's from two eras, the FT looks like late forties/early fifties Gretsch ("Rocket" lugs and "stick chopper" hoops), while the rest is as you said, a mid-sixties Gretsch RB kit; regardless, I'm sure it's a lot of fun and sounds great.
 

studrum

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Agree with FD. IF you play them at a gig in LA, some hipster producer will hear them and want to buy them off you.
 

DanC

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W&A was around for decades before 1960, producing hardware for the music business. I had a late 60's kit from them, Gretsch shells. Rogers lugs, standard W&A spurs and rail mount and ft legs. A nice kit with good sound, wish I still had them.

I'm not sure why the company did this, building on the cheap thru barter for the shells etc, but I suspect it was to provide good kits to the local populace of modest means at a good price.
 

dtk

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Welcome to the W/A club. I have 3 orphan kits...and two snares. I've had a few other snares go thru the catch and release program...

The square badge was also used on older drums...and real old ones have a tiny badge/sticker in the drum. They sound amazing...IMO.

ENJOY
 

W&A Player

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Walberg and Auge had special arrangements with leading drum manufacturers for whom they manufactured drum hardware. W&A traded out some hardware for major drum building components from those drum makers--primarily Gretsch, Rogers, and Ludwig. All W&A drum shells I have ever encountered have been from Gretsch or Rogers. Maybe some shells were obtained directly from the independent drum shell manudacturers Jasper and Keller. Every W&A drum I've seen has lugs from Rogers or Gretsch, and floor tom leg mounts from Ludwig. I have read that surplus drum wrap or dead inventry of wrapped shells were also acquired by Walberg. Sample runs of wraps , that were rejected by the major drum companies, found its way to Walberg. The snare strainers,, internal mufflers, and hex head tension rods for snares and toms are W&A proprietary items. I love my Walberg & Auge drums for their amazing sound and their unique construction. For many years, all W&A drums were built by and signed on the inner play by Robert Bernard (RGB). I have read that the last few years of W&A drums were made by his son Robert, jr.
 

Rich K.

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markrocks68 said:
I know the folks here know about this amazingly cool company. It was all new to me up until the last year so a real slice of Americana here with my first Walberg & Auge kit. 14x22 bass drum w/internal dampening control, 9x13 & 10x14 toms and the crazy cool 14x16 FT. This is how they arrived. I've done nothing but wipe off with a damp paper towel. No issues except a good cleaning needed. I felt this was a must for my collection of vintage American made drums. Check out the hybrid mix of hardware vintage drum friends. This kit was hand built to 'Perfection' by Robert George Bernard (RGB) in July 1960 and each drum is signed & dated in the shell. I have NOT opened the FT yet!! There is an unbelievable build quality to these drums. These drums are the 6 ply Jasper Gretsch shells. So basically a 1960 RB Gretsch kit in a very rare finish. I've not seen a sparkle like this before so I contacted Walberg & Auge & was told sometimes W&A would acquire rejected wraps from many of the big 4 American drum companies thus making the wrap unique. 2 of the drums in the kit also have a second square badge which I was told was commonly used on horn cases in the 30's making the set even more unique. The kits were ONLY sold at the factory in MA and no where else as so not to compete with the folks W&A supplied.
It's highly likely that this set never even left the state of MA & was stored for decades (as NO fade in finish). Anybody have these before me?
My tradition is (if possible) that the first gig be done as I got them & the old heads actually have tuned up pretty well. I'd like to thank the guys (Joe & Brian) at Wood & Weather Drum Shop in Springfield, MA for this kit. A great small REAL brick & mortar vintage drum shop. And the drums made it all the way to CA unharmed thanks to their great packing job. THANKS GUYS!! A great piece of 20th century American Drum History and it's gig time soon.
The color looks identical to Slingerland's aqua sparkle, probably the rarest of all of Slingerland's '50s and '60s finishes.
http://www.vintagedrumguide.com/drcjw/article_4_finishes16.htm#
 

orvilleb

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What is kit like that worth? I have an original 1965 version very similar - same wrap, but Rogers lugs.
 

markrocks68

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W&A Player said:
I called this W&A wrap Ice Blue Metallic because it resembles that color used by Fender's Custom Shop.
It's similiar to this but really leans towards the silver blue. There is really not any green to it at all.
 

orvilleb

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markrocks68 said:
What is kit like that worth? I have an original 1965 version very similar - same wrap, but Rogers lugs.
Cool! Any pics?
Here a few. Older pictures copied from slides that have discolored with age. Other than needing new heads (heads are original from day 1), drums are still in great condition...drummer not so much.
 

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markrocks68

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orville said:
What is kit like that worth? I have an original 1965 version very similar - same wrap, but Rogers lugs.
Cool! Any pics?
Here a few. Older pictures copied from slides that have discolored with age. Other than needing new heads (heads are original from day 1), drums are still in great condition...drummer not so much.





Wow what a fastastic set! I just love those pics! That sparkle def has a bit of green hue to it. Is that you back then? So cool you have these drums still AND you are in Worcester MA!
I don't have any idea what the drums are worth but (or mine for that matter) but that's a great time machine you have there.
 

orvilleb

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Yes, that is me on the drums back in 67...where does the time go?! W&A had their shop and offices in the heart of Worcester in the 1960s. The set was custom made for me and I picked them up around this time in 1965. The cost was around $350 for everything in the picture. Regarding the wrap color, Ive always referred to them as light powder blue sparkle or as W&A Player compares to Fenders Ice Blue. The green tint that appears in some of the photos is due to poor color balance on the part of the photographer (me).
 

Osahead2

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markrocks68 said:
I know the folks here know about this amazingly cool company. It was all new to me up until the last year so a real slice of Americana here with my first Walberg & Auge kit. 14x22 bass drum w/internal dampening control, 9x13 & 10x14 toms and the crazy cool 14x16 FT. This is how they arrived. I've done nothing but wipe off with a damp paper towel. No issues except a good cleaning needed. I felt this was a must for my collection of vintage American made drums. Check out the hybrid mix of hardware vintage drum friends. This kit was hand built to 'Perfection' by Robert George Bernard (RGB) in July 1960 and each drum is signed & dated in the shell. I have NOT opened the FT yet!! There is an unbelievable build quality to these drums. These drums are the 6 ply Jasper Gretsch shells. So basically a 1960 RB Gretsch kit in a very rare finish. I've not seen a sparkle like this before so I contacted Walberg & Auge & was told sometimes W&A would acquire rejected wraps from many of the big 4 American drum companies thus making the wrap unique. 2 of the drums in the kit also have a second square badge which I was told was commonly used on horn cases in the 30's making the set even more unique. The kits were ONLY sold at the factory in MA and no where else as so not to compete with the folks W&A supplied.
It's highly likely that this set never even left the state of MA & was stored for decades (as NO fade in finish). Anybody have these before me?
My tradition is (if possible) that the first gig be done as I got them & the old heads actually have tuned up pretty well. I'd like to thank the guys (Joe & Brian) at Wood & Weather Drum Shop in Springfield, MA for this kit. A great small REAL brick & mortar vintage drum shop. And the drums made it all the way to CA unharmed thanks to their great packing job. THANKS GUYS!! A great piece of 20th century American Drum History and it's gig time soon.
Wow sweet drums but PLEASE hurry up and open that floor tom it's killing me, I want to know what date is written inside it.
 

funkypoodle

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Congrats! Fantastic kit from the most intriguing company ever! I was doing some research on W&A recently and literally went through every link my browser had to offer, so I kept ogling this kit as I ran back into pics of it. Orville, thanks for sharing those pics! Legendary!

The pics are of another fascinating kit I kept running into, this ruby red Walberg & Auge kit from a later period described by the seller:

"bass drum has Four "spike" spurs - front and back.
Toms have Gretsch die cast hoops top and bottom.
Rogers lugs on all drums.
Wrap is Ruby Red Strata. (Ludwig wrap) exceptionally good condition.
Slingerland bass drum hoops and claws - very good condition.
Shells are probably 1960s Rogers - Purchase by W&A from the Rogers supplier in the early 70s or late 60s - interiors have black stain inside and have re-rings on all the drums.
Rogers internal mufflers were on both top and bottom heads. Those are not in the drums currently. I am looking for them".

I love how every Walberg & Auge kit is unique yet familiar, like a dream or a snowflake.
 

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