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  #1  
Old 11-21-2015, 02:54 PM
Olimpass Olimpass is offline
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Default Reno Pressure Ring

Interesting to share...cool,
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Last edited by Tommyp; 11-21-2015 at 04:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2015, 04:31 PM
Olimpass Olimpass is offline
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Default Re: Reno Pressure Ring

external links bad?
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:20 PM
FloydZKing FloydZKing is offline
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Default Re: Reno Pressure Ring

Wow, that is neat, thank you for sharing.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:43 PM
FFR428 FFR428 is offline
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Default Re: Reno Pressure Ring

Those are the coolest drums I've seen in a while. What year are they? 40's maybe? Wrap looks old and the design looks way ahead of it's time. HUGE mounted tom must be where the whole power tom fad came from.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2015, 07:56 PM
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Tommyp Tommyp is offline
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Default Re: Reno Pressure Ring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olimpass View Post
external links bad?
Yes indeed!... PLEASE use attachments on the VDF. The reasons are numerous actually, but the quick explanation is that "external links" eventually go bad and disappear. Then, all we have for reference is a blank page. It happens all the time! Then, there's also the issue of the SIZE of the pic when it's embedded within the text box using an external link. They're HUGE, and usually blow the page out of center making navigation and reading of the posts difficult. I was able to put your two pics up as attachments with no problem! Nothing personal intended!, but if at all possible, please do use the attachment system for pics. We, the management, THANK YOU!

Tommyp
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:07 PM
BUCKIE_B BUCKIE_B is offline
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Default Re: Reno Pressure Ring

An excellent discourse and history of these drums is to be found on the Mike Dolbear (UK) website.

They were patented in the 1930's!

http://www.mikedolbear.com/story.asp?StoryID=2874
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:14 PM
Olimpass Olimpass is offline
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Default Re: Reno Pressure Ring

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloydZKing View Post
Wow, that is neat, thank you for sharing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FFR428 View Post
Those are the coolest drums I've seen in a while. What year are they? 40's maybe? Wrap looks old and the design looks way ahead of it's time. HUGE mounted tom must be where the whole power tom fad came from.
info below

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommyp View Post
Yes indeed!... PLEASE use attachments on the VDF. The reasons are numerous actually, but the quick explanation is that "external links" eventually go bad and disappear. Then, all we have for reference is a blank page. It happens all the time! Then, there's also the issue of the SIZE of the pic when it's embedded within the text box using an external link. They're HUGE, and usually blow the page out of center making navigation and reading of the posts difficult. I was able to put your two pics up as attachments with no problem! Nothing personal intended!, but if at all possible, please do use the attachment system for pics. We, the management, THANK YOU!
Tommyp
Gotcha,Thanks Tommyp!
I had copied and paisted the data from the links.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUCKIE_B View Post
An excellent discourse and history of these drums is to be found on the Mike Dolbear (UK) website.

They were patented in the 1930's!
That's one of the links I had posted before also Buckie_B


info from 1st link:
Reno was a drum company based near Manchester, England which was awarded a patent for
a design for a single-screw-tuned drumset in 1939. It was called ‘Pressure Ring’ and they began
to make them around 1946 in Atlantic Street, Altrincham. They used war-surplus machinery and
Gaboon plywood which had been originally stockpiled to make aeroplanes.
The drums were unique to Britain in that they used an internal tuning system which was not too
dissimilar to WFL''s and Leedy & Ludwig''s and doesn’t appear to have fared any better; however
Reno’s did offer optional foot pedal-operated pitch change. The factory closed after about
ten years although production still went on over the music shop they also owned.

The company belonged to Jimmy Reno was an eccentric Scotsman who played saxophone
and violin and started a general music shop in the thirties at 64, Oxford Street in Manchester,
almost directly across from the Palace Theatre. Jimmy was a crusty old chap and someone
who Ivor Arbiter and my Drumstore partner Gerry Evans knew rather well.

Gerry once informed me he always carried a Stradivarius in the boot of his Rolls Royce, just in case! I
never visited Jimmy Reno''s house but I’m told everything was built-in and cupboards sprang from the walls,
staircases swivelled and floors went up in down in a way they didn’t in most people’s homes,
certainly not at that time. I’ve also read accounts of how the Rolls was a wreck and the
‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ emblem on the radiator was frequently stolen and replaced with a bit of rag!

Reno’s shop lasted until 1985 and I went into it a few times in the early sixties -
I was doing weeks in Variety over the road at the Palace Theatre in my all-round entertainer days
with Adam Faith. To be absolutely honest, I never found Jimmy Reno to be the most welcoming of proprietors.

When I began working on the ‘AT’ single-screw-tuning project I remember looking at the Arbiter drums at the
NAMM show in Los Angeles with Bob Zildjian. He proceeded to tell me, with his tongue firmly in his cheek,
that Ivor wasn’t by any means the first to do this single screw tuning thing in the UK, Jimmy Reno was!
(With a patent application issued in 1939 Reno beat Arbiter by approximately 40 years.)

Jimmy Reno took his idea to the World’s Fair in Chicago in the fifties but after original interest from Conn,
plans were shelved because the inventor wanted too much money. As I said George Way of Camco fame
worked on a single-screw project with Leedy & Ludwig (which Bill Ludwig once told me almost put paid
to the company)and Sonor had a bash at an easy-to-tune version too. Later of course there was Arbiter Autotune.

It was all in vain though because, aside from Autotune, the various other drum products which worked along
these lines would have benefited immensely from the plastic heads which were soon to be invented.
Like those others, Reno drums were burdened by the inconsistencies and lack of memory of animal skin heads.
But it didn’t stop there either. Even with plastic heads there would have been a problem in that the
Pressure Ring would have pushed the head in an upwards direction and threatened to force the Mylar/Melanex
film out of the glue-channel. Anyhow when negotiations broke down Jimmy Reno left a warehouse-full of his
Pressure Ring drums behind in New York and by the time anybody thought to look for them, many years later,
they’d disappeared. (It’s my guess he forgot to pay the bill and the drums were ultimately taken in lieu.)

So how exactly did Jimmy Reno’s Pressure Ring system work I hear you asking?

The ready-made plywood (surplus wood he’d stockpiled and astutely called ‘Aircraft Plywood’)
used to make the hardwood shells was somehow steamed and bent in a former. The shells had straight edged
counter-hoops riveted to them which contained a right angled ‘lip’ on the inside to secure the head.
An internal ring slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the drum was forced upwards against
the secured head thereby stretching and tuning it in a more or less even fashion (providing the animal skin
head was lapped evenly and fitted to the drum with care). This ring, which was duplicated on the
other drum head, was activated by a screw thread extending diametrically across the drum,
somewhere around the middle of the shell. This screw culminated in a slotted drum-key operated
screw which came out of a fitting on the side of the drum.

A pair of cantilever arms were attached to the rings and the diameter screw itself. Therefore if you turned
the long screw clockwise a boss attached to each cantilever moved along it and pushed the ring upwards.
(If you turned it the other way it released tension on the ring and the pitch of the drum dropped.)

On the toms, both top and bottom heads were tuned simultaneously by a single slotted drum-key screw
situated in a slot in the side. Since the other ring and its cantilevers were also attached to the threaded boss
they moved at the same time and each mirrored what was happening to the other head.

The Masterpiece Pressure Ring model had two of the centre threaded mechanisms so both heads could be
tuned independently.

But there was more. A rack-like mechanism was attached to the shell at right-angles to the screw and meshed
with the centre section. A pedal was attached via what I assume was a flexible cable which turned the screw as
you pressed down on the pedal, thereby moving the rings up or down to enable glissandi (pitch bends).
The problem was that because the rings and cantilevers were heavy, so were the drums - drummers were
not at all happy about this.

Bass drums were available in diameters from 20 to 28” and in depths from 17 to 22”. Toms had optimistic
diameters from 15 to 22 in depths from 17 to 20”. Reno’s snare drums were all 15” in diameter with a 6.5, 8 or 12” deep shells.

There were also copper timpani produced using the Pressure Ring system which could be pitch-changed
with a pedal or (not so conveniently) a slotted drum key.

Cosmetically there were two different versions of the drums: one without anything attached to the shell and
another with faux nutboxes (made from tin?) for drummers who missed the look of them. There’s an interesting
twist to that story that when AT drums suffered from the same complaint almost half a century later it was
suggested fake casings/nutboxes fitted to the drums might appease the purists!

The advertising slogans for Reno’s Pressure Ring drums were typical of the post war era:

“Easy on the eye, easy on the ear, easy on the pocket.”
“Patent drums representing a revolution in design.”
“Acoustically and mechanically perfect.”

(It all sounds strangely familiar to me!)

The claim about it being acoustically and mechanically perfect is of course an overstatement as we speak of it sixty odd
years later. We now live in an era when drums are possibly expected to be unencumbered but I believe Pressure Ring
drums must have had another problem. Their heads simply wouldn’t have withstood the pressures of involuntarily
self-tuning in hot weather without bursting – so you’d have to detune them after use, and retune them before the next one.

In the fifties you’d get a Masterpiece set with independently-tuned heads,
15 x 6.5” snare, 22 x 20” bass, 15 x 8.5, 15 x 12 and 15 x 15” toms all for 108-18-11.
This price was for white, black, walnut, mahogany or bird’s eye maple exteriors but for another 10% you
could have white, black or blue pearloids along with silver or gold. (An 18 x 16” pedal tom to go with any or all of
that would have set you back around 30 guid more).

Bob Henrit


other link info:
Reno Drums are one of the great curiosities of the British drum scene.
We dug at an old pic we'd taken of a single Reno tom a while back,
but this is the first full kit we've seen. Jimmy Reno was a well-known
character in post-WWII Manchester and owned a multi-storey music
shop at number 64, Oxford Street.

Jimmy Reno was also an inventive chap and had a factory in Altrincham
which produced these unique drums in the late 1940s/early 1950s. Reno
shells were extremely thin - made, according to Bob Henrit, from post-war
RAF surplus plywood. But it is the internal tensioning mechanism which is
remarkable and - again according to Bob - Reno applied for a patent as
far back as 1939.

Historically, there have been several attempts to devise a single tuning
mechanism, from Leedy and Ludwig’s Knob Tension to Arbiter’s AT,
but ultimately they have all been spurned by drummers. Reno’s Pressure
Ring design had the calf skins pushed upwards from inside, the reverse
of normal drums where the skins are pulled downwards.

Rack system, attached to the bass drum, supports the two over-sized toms
which are 15"x12" and 15"x15"

The internal mechanism which accomplished this was operated via a single,
large slot-head screw positioned centrally on the outer shell.
The complex internal gubbins made the drums extra-heavy and what
with the thin shells the enormous top toms could not be mounted on a bass
drum holder, but instead were supported on a basic console-like rack.

The kit belongs to Preston drummer Eric Hammond, who has recently
retired from full time drum teaching. Eric says, “I bought the kit from
Terry Flannery in 1992 and I have had it ever since, although I have not
gigged with it. Terry did play the kit - he was a respected dance band
drummer in Preston and he bought it new around 1950.”

Centrally-mounted key socket with badge which says, 'Reno,
Patent Applied For, Manchester, England.'

Sadly Terry suffered latterly from poor health and, Eric says,
“I bought the kit, not to sell it on, but out of respect for Terry.” The kit’s
restoration has been undertaken by Eric’s friend and pupil Paul Bryans.

“Paul has put his heart into it,” adds Eric. “When I got the kit from Eric,”
Paul explains, “it was basically just dirty, but intact. It was taken apart
quite easily and I cleaned the wrap but without going too far, so as to
retain its originality.” Reno offered kits in 10 finishes and Paul says,
“I cleaned a small area on a tom and I reckon it’s Blue Pearl.”

Paul had some of the metal parts re-chromed before he and Eric displayed
the kit at last year’s UK National Drum Fair where these photos were taken.
“I’ve since got the rest done. So now all the rack system and legs, etc,
including all the wing nut fixings, are done. Everything else is totally original.
The sizes are 15"x12", 15"x15", 18"x17" and 20"x20".”
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Last edited by Olimpass; 11-21-2015 at 10:19 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2015, 08:49 AM
FFR428 FFR428 is offline
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Default Re: Reno Pressure Ring

Quite a drum thanks for the follow up. That tuning system is something.
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2016, 03:43 AM
capt.wierd capt.wierd is offline
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Default Re: Reno Pressure Ring

Very very nice

Last edited by capt.wierd; 02-05-2016 at 03:48 AM.
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