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  #1  
Old 09-29-2018, 02:06 PM
Stephen Dizon Stephen Dizon is offline
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Default Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

I have an opportunity to pick up a MIJ stencil kit for $150...anyone know about this brand, Karen Drums? Can't find any info online...thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2018, 02:47 PM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Default Re: Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

Hello Stephen... and to the forum!

Karen badged drums are somewhat of a mystery. Research suggests that 60's MIJ drums using Gretsch-style lugs, like my snare drum pictured below, might be made by Star or even Hoshino. The consensus does agree that they were not made by Pearl. What's odd about my drum, but seems to be "standard" hardware, is having Slingerland Clam-shell style strainer and butt!

I see that the smaller tom has center-mounted lugs, while the others have single top and bottom lugs. Are all the drum labeled Karen? The hi hat looks like a Ludwig Atlas, model 1124-1. If everything is in good condition, $150 might not be bad. Still, it appears that the bottom hoops from the toms are missing? Never hurts to try to negotiate a lower price, say $100. Good luck!

60's and early 70's MIJ kits are pretty cool and can be made to sound good with proper head selection and tuning.

-Mark
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2018, 12:42 AM
Stephen Dizon Stephen Dizon is offline
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Default Re: Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

Thanks for the info, Mark! Actually, when I searched for info about Karen drums, the picture of your snare was the only info I could find. And yes, the bottom hoops of all of the drums are missing...I'm thinking of just purchasing Gibraltar hoops and new heads for a fun, cheap restoration project.
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Old 09-30-2018, 02:54 PM
clubdate64 clubdate64 is offline
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Default Re: Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

If you have a local music store ask to dig through their drum parts, if they have any. The MIJ kits would have had much thinner hoops than what Gibraltar is supplying. plus they will likely be cheaper and not make the other hoops look so bad. Those drums should be nice and light.
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1964 Ludwig Club Date Sparkling Silver Pearl
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Last edited by clubdate64; 09-30-2018 at 02:55 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:38 PM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Default Re: Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Dizon View Post
Thanks for the info, Mark! Actually, when I searched for info about Karen drums, the picture of your snare was the only info I could find. And yes, the bottom hoops of all of the drums are missing...I'm thinking of just purchasing Gibraltar hoops and new heads for a fun, cheap restoration project.
Stephen,

What size toms are with the kit? Looks like 12", 13" and 16"? Also, where do you live?

-Mark
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2018, 05:48 PM
Stephen Dizon Stephen Dizon is offline
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Default Re: Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

I haven't checked out the kit yet (planning on picking it up tomorrow) but it looks like 12/13/16/22. I'm HOPING it's a 20 kick...after you mentioned there are no bottom heads, I did some thinking and did the math and it would cost me more money than I would have liked to put into this kit, so I decided to pass on it...but the buyer and I agreed on $50, so I'm probably gonna pull the trigger on these. The hi hat stand alone would probably be $50 anyway, so...

I'm in southern California.
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:58 PM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Default Re: Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Dizon View Post
I haven't checked out the kit yet (planning on picking it up tomorrow) but it looks like 12/13/16/22. I'm HOPING it's a 20 kick...after you mentioned there are no bottom heads, I did some thinking and did the math and it would cost me more money than I would have liked to put into this kit, so I decided to pass on it...but the buyer and I agreed on $50, so I'm probably gonna pull the trigger on these. The hi hat stand alone would probably be $50 anyway, so...

I'm in southern California.
Hey Stephen!

For $50, it's a pretty good deal! I'm in SoCal, too. Covina. Let me check all my boxes of parts and see what I've got in the way of hoops and heads. If it makes you feel any better, I found a Puresound Percussion kit at a thrift store for $25. It cost a small fortune to wrap it, make matching snare drum, etc. I'll post some pictures of my $25 kit soon.

-Mark
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2018, 11:04 PM
Stephen Dizon Stephen Dizon is offline
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Default Re: Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

Cool, Mark! Thanks a lot. Let me know and we could work something out.
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  #9  
Old 10-01-2018, 09:04 AM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Default Re: Karen Drums - MIJ Stencil Info?

The bass drum looks like a 20". Definitely not a 22". Just checked my stash of parts and I've got a decent selection of 12/13/16 heads, along with hoops. Let me know when you get the kit so you can measure the tension rods. I should be able to supply you with good tension rods, too.

I'm also sending you a PM.

-Mark
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