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Old 09-12-2017, 04:31 AM
Trilok_Gurtu Trilok_Gurtu is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 251
Default Premier Mid-70's B303

Hello Fellow Drummers!

I've seen some cool vintage Premier threads lately, thoroughly enjoy them. I recently acquired a mid-70's Premier B303 least, I believe it's a B303, from my research. If I'm off base, please advise.

This was a Craigslist purchase. The history of the kit is this: originally purchased in the 70's by Paul Grant, who was a percussionist with The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra during that time, then owned by the person who I bought them from (a touring, gigging drummer), and now me. These drums have gigged all over, and in a vast range of recording and live situations. I plan to keep that tradition alive. I'm always interested in the history of vintage kits...sadly, it's not always available.

Here's a breakdown of the kit:

- 22x14

- 13x9

- 14x8

- 16x15

- 16x18

- 14x5.5 2000 COA snare (magnet tested)

They are 3 ply African Mahogany, with Beech re-rings. I found some pictures online of Phil Collins playing a version of this kit, from the 70's. Shells are nicely round, edges are in excellent shape, outer shells have some nicks in spots, normal for a long term gigging kit. All badges present, have all the tom mufflers, original tom mount, floor tom legs, etc. I'm going to strip it down, give a through cleaning. The purchase also came with a old school hardware case, full of vintage stands, etc. Even a vintage Premier red top, leather stool...very cool. I plan on selling off all the hardware/case, I should be able to recoup half the cost of the purchase from that (paid $500.00 CDN). More then I wanted to pay, but in the end, I think $250.00 is a great overall deal for everything I got. Oh, it came with the original Premier slotted drum key as well. THAT made me very happy haha.

The bass drum is missing: the front hoop, head, tension rods, and thread inserts for the lugs, on the front side. I have a set of maple BD hoops, and a new that's ok. I've already sourced a nice replacement set of original matching tension rods, from England (of course). Last thing I need to track down is the thread inserts...ideas? So, a little bit of extra cost, nothing too bad though. I also plan on getting new heads, all around.

The snare is in the best shape, It's near mint. It is missing the muffler, but I do have one from another 2000 I own. What can you say about Premiers legendary chrome-amazing. The snare mechanism is nicely set up on this one, better then my other 2000 (been lazy to fine tune it). It's unbelievably smooth. Snare wires are in great shape.

I noticed the 22x14/13x9 and 16x15 drums are a tad faded incomprehension to the 14x8/16x18...from talking with the previous owner, he mentioned that the 14x8/16x18 were rarely used on stage, the others were much more exposed to lights, smoke, etc. It's fairly faint. I only play a 3 piece anyways, which would be the 22x14, 13x9 and 16x15.

I should state up front, this is a players kit for me...and I plan to use/keep it as such. I do have some thoughts, I'd love feedback on. They include:

- The finish. On one hand I love the slightly worn, natural look, nicks and all...these drums have earned that. But...A) I've never been the hugest fan of wood finished drums, and B) I've thought about wrapping it. IF I wrapped it, I would not glue down, I'd do the high bond tape version. That way it can be reversed if need be, and maintain it's original look, with no effect to the shells. Thoughts? Wrap ideas, if you agree with that option?

- The 14x8 and 16x18. So...I have a couple ideas: 1) Convert the 16x18 into a bass drum. I could really use a small BD for smaller gigs. Plus, I think it would be super cool. 2) Convert the 14x8 into a snare. Honestly, I'll never play it as a tom, or rarely. It's the perfect size for a nice, deep, woody snare, etc. Jeff Woods (a protege of Ronn Dunnett), does custom snares, he lives 30 minutes from me, and has done work for me before. I chatted with him about the idea, he actually owns a 14x8 Premier 'pancake' tom himself, and did the exact same thing...said it turned out amazing. He chose triple flange hoops, I'd prefer to stay original, so I'd need to track down a bottom matching snare hoop. As far as snare lever/butt plate...ideas? Have any of you done such a conversion before? I'd love to hear, if so.

One final note. It seems the last owner stuck some foam lining on the toms, top inner edges...most of it seems to have been pulled off, but there's still some there. You'll see in the picture. It appears to be some type of adhesive, or glue that was used...what can I use to safely remove the rest of it? I flaked some off with my fingers, I'm not super worried about damaging the wood, just want to do it properly.

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