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-   -   Why Play Vintage? (http://www.vintagedrumforum.com/showthread.php?t=65727)

JimmySticks 02-11-2020 08:59 AM

Why Play Vintage?
 
So I'm wondering what makes so many drummers play vintage kits instead of buying new.

Is it the sound of vintage drums, the nostalgia, the look, maybe you like restoring and fixing, the cool factor? Or something else?

Which kind of brings us to another question, where would the drum market be had the great American builders like Rogers, Slingerland etc. survived the 70's and were still building in America today? Would we care about vintage?

leedybdp 02-11-2020 09:46 AM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
I can only say for sure why I prefer vintage mid-twentieth century American-made drums from a few brands. Let's start off with the fact that I played Slingerland, Rogers, and Camco drums for many years of gigging. After I stopped playing gigs, I still kept a drum set at home--a Slingerland set. When I got into collecting drums, I went back to my comfort zone of those same brands from the 1950s up to the early 1970s. I discovered that Leedy drums by Slingerland and Walberg & Auge drums fit perfectly into my comfort zone because of their similarities to my favorite drum brands. That comfort zone is based on how the drums sound and feel when I play them. The feel is a hard to explain factor. But, I know it when I feel it. If my favorite brands had stayed in business, there might not be brands like DW and many of the boutique-builder brands. I also think that the vintage drum business would not be any different than it it is now--maybe even bigger. There are a lot of collectors of vintage cars, or guitars , or guns, or other items that are still manufactured as new products.

jmcohen 02-11-2020 12:03 PM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
”Is it the sound of vintage drums, the nostalgia, the look, maybe you like restoring and fixing, the cool factor? Or something else?”

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. I sold my Mapex Saturns to buy a vintage Slingerland set. The Mapex’s sounded incredible, their hardware was indestructible, and the fit and finish was excellent. But they didn’t have the sound and “vibe” that my drums of old had. They sounded like modern, recorded full drums, not the complex-toned ringy drums that I had in my youth, and what my drummer-heroes of the day played on.

I really can’t fully explain the draw, and in fact, I sometimes question it, looking lasciviously at modern Ludwigs or Tamas. I guess the fact that I perform exclusively for a 60’s band helps explain it, though.

TheElectricCompany 02-11-2020 01:02 PM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
Because Pearl ruined drums in the '80s.

BosLover 02-11-2020 01:29 PM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JimmySticks (Post 457654)
So I'm wondering what makes so many drummers play vintage kits instead of buying new.

Is it the sound of vintage drums, the nostalgia, the look, maybe you like restoring and fixing, the cool factor? Or something else?

Which kind of brings us to another question, where would the drum market be had the great American builders like Rogers, Slingerland etc. survived the 70's and were still building in America today? Would we care about vintage?

Yes to all you questions. With regard to whether we'd be playing vintage today if those classic manufacturers were still in business, the answer is yes. First, one of the biggest and best known makers, Ludwig, is still very much in business and Vintage Ludwig drums, probably due to availability, are probably the most owned vintage drums.

Second, over time, all manufacturers have modified their design and construction techniques as well as shell material, and shell sizes are now more or less standard that are different than the '60s/''70s standards. Most notably the basedrum sizes have changed. As an example, back in the day 14x22 or 14x24 drums were standard for larger ensembles or rock. Today very different sounding 18x22 or 18x24 drums are more or less a standard replacement for those older sizes. The mellow sounding 3 ply mahogany and poplar shells of yesterday are very different sounding than, for example, thin 6 ply birch today.. It's a while different ballgame.

leedybdp 02-11-2020 03:06 PM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheElectricCompany (Post 457660)
Because Pearl ruined drums in the '80s.

I can't disagree with that statement.

JimmySticks 02-11-2020 03:17 PM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheElectricCompany (Post 457660)
Because Pearl ruined drums in the '80s.

Can you elaborate?

I'm still learning about all of this.:)

O-Lugs 02-11-2020 03:18 PM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
Things were different back when vintage drums were new. Having something that was manufactured from that time connects me to it.

In many ways, modern drums are "better"...because they are all as straight as a computer can make them...no flaws...much higher quality standards...etc.,etc....I have nothing against them...other than they just aren't the same as a vintage kit. I dunno...maybe sometimes it's the quirkiness and flaws that give certain vintage drums a kind of soul.

Certainly one thing about vintage drum SETS...Back in those days, not every kid had a set of drums. In fact, having a set of drums for a kid back then was unusual. So there was a kind of longing and anticipating the day when you had mowed a sufficient amount of lawns and shoveled a sufficient amount of sidewalks during bone-chilling weather in order to FINALLY be able to get that dream that you'd been swooning over in the catalog for months and months (if not longer!)

New drums (and the new kids) aren't the same. I can't even remember the last time I saw a kid raking leaves, mowing lawns or shoveling sidewalks...but I can walk two blocks in any direction and hear someone playing "BOOM BOOM TSSSH BA-BOOM BOOM TSSSH!" -usually coming from a house with an unmoved lawn. Go figure.
So there's many reasons that I play vintage...not really just because of the sound...but because of the sound and every intangible other thing connected to it.

jda 02-11-2020 03:34 PM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
Maybe in the snare. Because a Used Gretsch wood US snare is less $ than a new one.
Same for WFL Ludwig 6.5s; less $ than a new one.

Drums I like new. Newer (mine are 10 years old) Gretsch. Which are built identical enough to old and actually incorporate many improvements ....beside being 0 miles 100% 'fresh..
Vintage in the snare for the reasons above. New Snares are outrageous priced (for the models I like)

Marty Black 02-11-2020 05:10 PM

Re: Why Play Vintage?
 
Man, O-Lugs...you lived my life! Mowing lawns, babysitting, shoveling sidewalks and helping to paint a house...just to buy a "Hollywood"-type set of entry-level Kent drums in 1966! But it was worth it! Loved those things, but longed for a Ludwig kit. Saved up "overseas" money in the Navy and bought the Ludwigs in 1976. Still practice with them every day at home, but normally gig with an entry-level Gretsch Catalina Club kit (18,12,14), made in Taiwan.

With Aquarian tom heads, Evans heads on the kick (with sound port), and Remo Emperor heads on the snare, and good cymbals, that tiny cheap foreign kit sounds great and fits great in small/medium venues. Half the weight of the old Ludwigs, half the setup/tear down time, I never break a sweat or strain my lower back. Easy, peasy....

But for pure sentimentality/nostalgia of my younger years, I still love the old Ludwigs and enjoy showing them off in larger venues/larger stages. Thanks for the memories! MB


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