Zoomatic alternative(s)?

Cauldronics

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I LOVE my SoundKing, but the zoomie straight up sucks. It probably isn't functioning correctly because it does one wire tension with very little change throughout adjustment. The knob sticking farther and farther out from the drum as you turn it for more tension = kit hazard.

It probably can be fixed, and I've tried a solution I found on the web (didn't work), but I'd like to update the strainer with an alternative, modern or not. Anyone know what works?

Thanks in advance!
 

Rich K.

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You tried the simple spring fix? I think you only alternatives would be a new throw off or an adapter plate.
Wouldn't be the end of the world to drill if the drum has no sentimental value as they're far from rare.
Also, I wonder if the new George Way beer tap throw off mounts with one screw. If so you could get o e of those.
 

Ron_M

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The problem with finding a substitute is that the Zoomatic has a three-hole pattern. All of the after-market strainers with adjustable mounting posts are a two-hole pattern.
 

Cauldronics

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Rich K. said:
You tried the simple spring fix? I think you only alternatives would be a new throw off or an adapter plate.
Wouldn't be the end of the world to drill if the drum has no sentimental value as they're far from rare.
Also, I wonder if the new George Way beer tap throw off mounts with one screw. If so you could get o e of those.
The spring fix improved the zoomie, but it continued to suck. Before that it was unusable. The last I looked, zoomatics were going for about $75 on ebay.. which is almost more than I'd want to spend on this drum. I'm about to see what they go for nowadays.

I'll look into the Geo Way throw. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

Valsmann

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YEAH!I,m having the same problem and that looks sweet.Those trick strainers are great.
 

W&A Player

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If I were still fighting a snare drum with a Zoomatic, I'd probably try one of those trick strainers. All of my current Slingy snares have pre-Zoomatic strainers of various types.
 

Bunnyman

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Trick throws are ugly, but highly functional pieces. I would rather have ugly and functional over pretty but undependable. That's cool you found the retrofit so no extra holes.
 

Cauldronics

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I'm sure it could happen, but I don't have the patience to wait for one at that price and I've never seen a 6.5x14 SK go for 150.
 

Cauldronics

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Bunnyman said:
Trick throws are ugly, but highly functional pieces. I would rather have ugly and functional over pretty but undependable. That's cool you found the retrofit so no extra holes.
Function will definitely override form when I get the Trick. Looks like a lever on a frozen yogurt dispenser. I hear they work great, however.
 

Rich K.

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Cauldronics said:
I'm sure it could happen, but I don't have the patience to wait for one at that price and I've never seen a 6.5x14 SK go for 150.
I meant you could get a whole snare with the zoomatic (a 5"), rob the throw off and sell the parts. I was only semi serious.
 

drummerjohn333

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Rich K. said:
I'm sure it could happen, but I don't have the patience to wait for one at that price and I've never seen a 6.5x14 SK go for 150.
I meant you could get a whole snare with the zoomatic (a 5"), rob the throw off and sell the parts. I was only semi serious.
This is a great point. Seems silly to throw down 100 when you can do that and get a whole snare with a Zoom on it - then sell off the parts and make most of it back. That would cut the overall price for the fix to well under 50 (possibly 0).

OR.....he could do that - use the Zoom on his 6.5, replace the Zoom on the 5 incher with another throw of some type and come out with 2 snares.

This stuff is easy if you are willing to be creative and take your time for the right opportunites.
 

Cauldronics

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drummerjohn333 said:
I'm sure it could happen, but I don't have the patience to wait for one at that price and I've never seen a 6.5x14 SK go for 150.
I meant you could get a whole snare with the zoomatic (a 5"), rob the throw off and sell the parts. I was only semi serious.
This is a great point. Seems silly to throw down 100 when you can do that and get a whole snare with a Zoom on it - then sell off the parts and make most of it back. That would cut the overall price for the fix to well under 50 (possibly 0).

OR.....he could do that - use the Zoom on his 6.5, replace the Zoom on the 5 incher with another throw of some type and come out with 2 snares.

This stuff is easy if you are willing to be creative and take your time for the right opportunites.


I think that's a good suggestion and it would work out for someone else, but to me it seems like more trouble than it's worth, to be honest. My time is valuable enough that I'd rather not spend it tracking down a SK and going through all that just to get a part. Plus, why would I want to go back to a strainer that is known to be finicky at best?
 

K.O.

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I've got two Slingerlands with Zoomatics, both are 4" deep and both are newer (post Niles) drums. On the newest (Nashville) 4x14 the zoomatic works just fine. On my older imported 4x14 the Zoomatic seems to function as intended but the snares remain too close to the head when you release the tension. You have to back the tension knob off to get them to release but after having done so the snares don't touch the head when you turn them back on (until you spin the tension knob tighter again). I have a 4x14 RB Gretsch with a Micro that acts the same way so I'm thinking that this style of throw just isn't particularly well suited for shallow drum shells...but it somehow does work fine on the Nashville made drum.

Anyway, that adaptor plate looks like it might be an option. The Dunnett throw from Gibraltar uses the same bolt pattern as the Trick so it would be another option. Both it and the Trick are somewhat large and bulky compared to other designs (like the Ludwig P-86) but they do work nicely.

Actually I've been meaning to try one of these....

http://www.drumfoundry.com/p-1211-rck-throwoff-chrome-plated-rckthrow-chr.aspx

This might be the best choice to replace a Zoomatic (using an adaptor plate) as its layout and function is a bit more along the lines of the original and it might therefore be more aesthetically pleasing on a Slingerland drum.

In fact I just now ordered one ( $45 shipped through Amazon) to try (but not on a Slingerland...I have a Gretsch USA Custom with a Nickel throw I've been wanting to replace).
 

Cauldronics

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K.O. said:
Actually I've been meaning to try one of these....

http://www.drumfoundry.com/p-1211-rck-throwoff-chrome-plated-rckthrow-chr.aspx

This might be the best choice to replace a Zoomatic (using an adaptor plate) as its layout and function is a bit more along the lines of the original and it might therefore be more aesthetically pleasing on a Slingerland drum.
That strainer is much classier looking than the Trick and about 1/3 the price. I'm glad to have not pulled the trigger already and gone with the Trick.

I'm not sure how to go about making an adaptor plate, but I would give it a try so I can use the RCK strainer. How exactly is the plate made and then attached to the drum? Are aluminum plates of the right size and shape already available, with smooth corners or would one need to be cut and smoothed out?

Thanks a bunch for that link. It will probably result in me saving $65 and having a better looking strainer to boot. It looks like high quality piece.

EDIT: While on drumfoundry's site, I noticed the RCK adaptor kit. I believe the Zoomatic has 3 screws, so I don't know if this would work, but it's worth asking.

http://www.drumfoundry.com/p-6777-rck-adapter-kit-for-25-or-less-hole-spacings.aspx
 

Bunnyman

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Cauldronics said:
Trick throws are ugly, but highly functional pieces. I would rather have ugly and functional over pretty but undependable. That's cool you found the retrofit so no extra holes.
Function will definitely override form when I get the Trick. Looks like a lever on a frozen yogurt dispenser. I hear they work great, however.
Having had them on three drums, I love them; but Damn they be ugly!!!
 

K.O.

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I'm not sure how to go about making an adaptor plate, but I would give it a try so I can use the RCK strainer. How exactly is the plate made and then attached to the drum? Are aluminum plates of the right size and shape already available, with smooth corners or would one need to be cut and smoothed out?

The adaptor plate is "simply" a plate with two sets of holes in it. One set matches the mounting holes in the drum and the other set matches the mounting holes on the throw. You bolt the throw to the plate and the plate to the drum. The trick to it is that the bolts need to be flush on both sides of the plate so the plate material needs to be thick enough to allow you to countersink the bolt heads flush to the plate surface. It doesn't necessarily have to be made from aluminum. I've seen them made from wood, steel, and plexiglass as well.

I believe the RCK uses the same bolt pattern as the Dunnett/Gibraltar, Trick, and Nickel so if there is a ready made Zoomatic adaptor available for any of those it should also work with the RCK. I'm not familiar with the RCK plate but it may work as well.
 

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