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  #1  
Old 06-19-2014, 10:31 AM
Cardamonfrost Cardamonfrost is offline
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Default New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions and model ID please.

Hi all,
So I have wanted a kit for a while. I have never had anything to do with drums. I found these for 50$ yesterday and bought it as it doesn't seem like I could loose anything on it if I bail on the project. However, I think I will use it to learn and jam with friends.

The badges all say Stewart World Supreme Quality. No doubt one of a billion stencil kits. It does seem to be in good shape though. The wrap, which I think you guys call Black Pearl (?) is in 100% condition. Most of the drum heads still have the Stewart logo on them. The snare is a chrome Pearl President. The cymbals are a mix of ones that say Stewart and Azco Canada (I'm in Ontario). I think this thing is original?

I am a tinkerer at heart, so I think I will take it apart and clean it, polish the chrome etc. Is there something else I should do? I read a lot of posts that lacquering the inside is a must do, but I don't want to make it louder, I think that a quiet, dark kit would suit my goals better.

Also, if anyone has thoughts on model, year, what it was copied from etc, it would be appreciated.

Thank You for your time and suggestions.
C



Last edited by Cardamonfrost; 06-19-2014 at 12:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2014, 11:10 AM
OddBall OddBall is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

Instead of the lacquering, use a few coats of Beeswax, it dries like it`s not there. Not butchers wax, that`s not natural and builds up. You can`t go wrong with that kit, especially in one desired wrap.
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2014, 11:21 AM
Cardamonfrost Cardamonfrost is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

Thanks OddBall. I will look into getting some and how to apply it.

C
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:25 AM
DownTownFarmer DownTownFarmer is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

50 bucks for that kit is an amazingly good deal here in Ontario, as you likely know. Sweet find, congratulations!

Mitch
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:06 PM
ElMoonlightDrummer ElMoonlightDrummer is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

Man...can't go wrong for $50...and it's a 4-piece kit in nice condition...you scored! That's a sweet deal no matter where you live!
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:26 PM
Cardamonfrost Cardamonfrost is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

It does pay to cruise the thrift shops! Actually, it was m mom that found it, she know I was looking and called me right away. By the time I got home from work, it was in my garage!

Still a lot to do just in learning how to set them up.. And because its the type of guy I am, I am going to keep an eye out for the matching snare.
C
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:18 PM
salty 1322 salty 1322 is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

Hey, C!
I'm in Ontario too and that is a fantastic price for those Stewarts! My first kit was a set of Stewarts. They are Star stencils from the late sixties. I have a set of Supremes, also a Star stencil in the identical wrap. I also have a spare Star snare shell from around the same time. It is in mint condition but, the only hardware on it is the lugs. It's in blue sparkle. Black or Grey diamond pearl is not difficult to come by if you're thinking of going all the way with this kit. Rims and even badges shouldn't be a problem either. Hey! Sorry! For a minute, I thought they were mine. Best of luck, C!!!
Brian
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2014, 05:11 AM
Starship Krupa Starship Krupa is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

Congratulations on the score, they are gorgeous, and congratulations on taking up drums.

Fun instrument for a tinkerer type, which I am.

Probably the first best easiest thing you can do for them is wipe down any unfinished wood with Wax-N-Feed, which is an orange oil/beeswax blend. They'll be thirsty, and the Wax-N-Feed will help keep the wood from splitting and splintering.

I haven't lacquered the insides of any of my vintage Asian drums, just put that stuff on them.

Any metal pieces, like the tension rods, etc. lube them with some light oil or a bit of white lithium grease.

Next, read up on bearing edges and how to test them for level and how to restore them. The drums that are most important for this are the mounted tom tom and the floor tom. Bad bearing edges can make them hard to tune, and new drummers do not need the tuning process to be any more difficult.

Learn how to tune them, and have a blast!

When I first got going, the easy tuning method from Rob "Beatdown" Brown's YouTube videos helped a lot. I am now way beyond that, but to just get the things playable, it works fine.

The heads look worn and cheap enough that you'll want to replace them before too long. For the "darker" sound that you mention, look into 2-ply (Emperor) or edge-treated (Pinstripe) batters. A complete set of brand new batters and resos will cost more than you paid for the entire kit, but there's no way around it. If you do them one at a time for cash flow purposes, do the mounted tom first, then the floor tom. Bass drum is more forgiving of heads.

Not sure how functional you will find the hi hat and bass pedal, but those are easily replaced by good used ones from Kijiji or wherever if your skills outgrow them.

As for the provenance, Azco cymbals were a precursor to Sabian. The AZ stood for "Avedis Zildjian."

The Stewart brand was one of many made by the "Star" company that would later start using the name "Tama." The lugs and badges usually look more reminiscent of Slingerland than anything else.

I particularly love the flat-based cymbal stands.

Shells are probably lauan plywood with mystery wood reinforcement rings. I have a Star-made U.S. Mercury marching snare. Not the most solidly-built drum, but vibe and mojo for days.
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Last edited by Starship Krupa; 06-20-2014 at 05:30 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2014, 06:38 AM
funkypoodle funkypoodle is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

to the forum and congrats on a cool kit. I just restored and sold a black diamond pearl Stewart kit. My first kit in the 70's was a Stewart and I enjoyed learning to tinker with it.
Lots of good advice already. A few other tips: the t-rods (the screws that tighten the heads) have metric threads so don't try and replace them with new store-bought ones as this will strip the lug inserts. You will find many threads about MIJ drums here. A lot of people recommend tapping on the side of tom shells and tuning the consequent tom to that pitch. The wood grain runs vertically on MIJ drums and tends to make a nice bassy sound but sounds a little "choked" when tighten up to a jazzier tuning. Enjoy your new drums!
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Sabians, Paistes, Zildjians, Zyns, UFIPs, MIJs etc
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  #10  
Old 06-20-2014, 07:24 AM
Cardamonfrost Cardamonfrost is offline
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Default Re: New to me Stewart kit. Tune up suggestions?

Wow! Thanks guys. First, gotta say - Starship Krupa is an awesome name.

Feed-n-wax is something I use on other wood stuff and have a bottle of it in the garage, so that's great.

I will start looking into new heads. Im going to keep the ones on there too though, they still say Stewart on them. The bottom (resonators?) have stamps from the company in Toronto that sold them, cant think of the name right now.... For reference, I will post it later.

Had some friends stop by last night and we 'played' it for a few hours. I think I am going to like this.

Things I need are some replacement rubber feet, both the thin flat ones for the cymbal stand and the round ones for the bass drum. Also, a M8 thumbscrew (its not actually a thumbscrew, more of a bolt with a bent handle that looks kind of like a Y, will post pics in a bit) for the hihat stand.

Cheers,
C

Last edited by Cardamonfrost; 06-20-2014 at 07:28 AM.
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