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Old 11-12-2005, 12:02 PM
CharlesM CharlesM is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 60
Default Leedy Reliance snare?

Hello there,

New member here. Great site!

I found an old Leedy "Reliance" model snare drum in a music store in PA yesterday, and if anyone has any information on it as far as dating it, value, and any other details, I would really appreciate the info.

I'm guessing this is a 1930s-early '40s drum. If anyone could verify that or provide any other information, I'd be very appreciative. Can't post a picture right now, but the below description is pretty much it--imagine a black Ludwig Supraphonic with tube lugs and clip-type rims.


- 5.5" x 14" metal shell (steel? brass?)
- round badge: "RELIANCE model...Leedy...Elkhart, Ind."
- shell is just like a Ludwig 400: plain except for a single raised bead around the center
- BLACK finish
- 8 tube lugs
- clip-held rims
- small, very simple strainer...similar to '60s-era Ludwig Supraphonics
- simple butt plate--just two screws that tighten a small bar to hold strings
- all hardware appears to be brass, but I haven't cleaned it up yet, so hard to tell
- non-original drumheads
- no extra drill holes

The drum looks to be in great shape, except that some of the rim clips are cracked. One clip and one tension rod are missing entirely. Would originals be tough to find?

I paid $25.00 for the drum and I'm quite happy as I'm a big fan of the Ludwig 400 lineage of drums.

Thanks a lot for any help,
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Old 11-12-2005, 12:28 PM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,064
Default Re: Leedy Reliance snare?

As far as I know, ALL vintage, Ludwig, metal, drum shells had that raised center bead. It's there to add structural integrity to the shell. The same goes for the way the bearing edge flange is folded backwards. The center bead adds stiffness to the center of the shell and the flanges add it at the edges.

Without even seeing it, I would say brass shell. That black stuff was used to keep the brass from oxidizing and showing fingerprints. On steel, it wouldn't have mattered that much....besides, I'm not really sure when Leedy Ludwig made steel drum shells. I know that Ludwig made some in the 70's, but....I'm almost sure that your shell would be brass. The single-flange rims and the rest are, too...pretty sure.

The clip and lug screw shouldn't be that hard to find. If you navigate this site, I think there is a vintage parts dept/info. thing in place here. If you don't have any luck there, you can always do a search on Ebay for vintage drum parts and sometimes these little odd and ends turn up. The original ones are prefereable, in my opinion, but you can always find modern versions. The modern ones are bigger and beefier and don't quite look "right" but they will do in a pinch to get the drum into playing condition.

For $25.00...Wow! Sounds like a great deal, man.
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:50 AM
human71 human71 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Montreal, Que. Canada
Posts: 1,845
Default Re: Leedy Reliance snare?

i just bought a used leedy and ludwig reliance model, mahogany 6x14 snare drum with reinforced hoops, that i restored with all new parts direct from the ludwig factory, but all made to look vintage..the shell was in prestine condition, with imperial nickle plated lugs...i just added the triple flanged hoops , ludwig snare strainer, and the ludwig p-83 throw off for that vintage look and ludwig butt reliance model is from the 1951-55 era , which is the time both companies merged's a link to a pic of my exact model...hope that gives you an idea of the era..
Cheers !
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:54 AM
kevins kevins is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: North Carolina, U.S.A.
Posts: 6,192
Default Re: Leedy Reliance snare?

You might try this link and check out the pics.... there's no catalog scan from the 30s, but some Leedy snares from then are pictured. Your badge is probably there too.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:11 PM
Rich K. Rich K. is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,162
Default Re: Leedy Reliance snare?

Sounds like an all original Leedy Reliance from the 1930s. The shell is black lacquer over brass. This was a pretty common "mid line" drum of theirs...not student, and not the top of the line "Broadway" of the '30s or '40s (or "Professional" from the 1920s). They had a thinner brass shell than the aforementioned drums or the similar Ludwigs of the the '30s Leedy and Ludwig & Ludwig were using the same shells. The shell you have is similar to that of the early brass supras (or supers..). This drum is real similar to the '30 Ludwig Pioneer. Some have a concave bead, later one a convex bead.
The clips and a usable tension rod are available from most drum parts places...unoriginal / replacement clips don't really harm the value of these drums.

These drums in original condition usually sell for $150-300 and they sound great.
I'd remove the hardware...clean the nickel parts with cape cod polishing cloths and clean the shell with a lacquer cleaner or soap and water...
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:35 PM
Monkeyballs3 Monkeyballs3 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 12
Default Re: Leedy Reliance snare?

Actually the Leedy Reliance Model was a top of the line student model in the 30's. Not the same as the Leedy Ludwig reliance. It went like this in the 30's:

-Utility model (cheaper student model - nickel over steel)
-Reliance Model (nicer light weight brass shell - nickel over brass or black laquer like yours) has a 4-point strainer which is hard to find
-Broadway Standard
Broadway Dual

I just picked up a 6 1/2 x 14 that someone luckily had painted red. The nickel finish was really well preserved. It needs the strainer and butt plate which I cannot find for the life of me. Then again I jet purchased this thing.

$25 was a steal! Congrats!
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:07 PM
chazsinger chazsinger is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 50
Default Re: Leedy Reliance snare?

Hey guys!

I found a drum in my grandma's old house long after she moved on from this world. I was never allowed in this room as a child and decades later, I was allowed to roam the house and take photos as my childhood friend's wife's parents now own it. Long story short, I went up the back stairwell and entered the room out of long time curiosity. I wasn't allowed up that back stairwell either for fear I would fall down the tiny passageway.

I opened up the door and found a room full of guns and one lone snare drum sitting in an open box. I asked the owner about it and told her that I collected drums and was a life long player. She insisted on giving it to me, but I made her take $40.00 dollars.

The drum has the rounded Leedy and Ludwig badge and has a white marine wrap over a possible maple shell? The interior of the drum is painted white with eight single Ludwig Imperial lugs. The clip on pieces are in good shape except for one and the wrap is in very condition save for yellowing with age. I'm thinking those clips on pieces are leftovers from the Conn inventory shelf and I think it's a Reliance model. I'm thinking upper level student model or lower line Pro level. Manufactured perhaps between 51 nd 55 from the Elkhart, IN plant. The hardware looks to be nickel plated and the bottom head is ripped, but the top is factory and in fine condition. Looks to be calf skin.

I believe that I was led to that room for a reason and hate to sell it for sentimental reasons. Any thoughts on this model or year?
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