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Old 07-26-2022, 12:11 PM
leedybdp leedybdp is offline
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Default Drum Brand Preferences

This is sort of on topic for vintage drums. One of the reasons that I don't like a certain brand of American-made drums is that seemingly every other drummer that I knew when I was young wanted or had that brand. Of course, that dislike of the brand intensified when I was required to play the furnished brand-new set of them on the stage of a major battle of the bands in Chicago that was cosponsored by that Chicago-based drum manufacturer.

So, I adopted the other Chicago-based drum maker Slingerland as my preferred brand of drums. If I had been aware of Leedy drums from the 1950s and 1960s, I probably would have chosen them as my favorites.

A lot of soul-searching and self-analysis tells me that, if I were still a gigging drummer, I would not even consider playing DW drums. Why is that? Aside from being absurdly overpriced, they are the "trendy" brand that causes non-drummers to wonder if DW is the only brand of drums because that is all they see on television.

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Last edited by leedybdp; 07-26-2022 at 12:13 PM.
  #2  
Old 07-26-2022, 01:12 PM
thin shell thin shell is offline
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

I've been a Ludwig guy since my teens and my first kit was a mid 60s kit that had belonged to a cousin that my parents bought for me. Never really cared for Slingerland, even though I really had no experience with them.


Ludwig's quality really took a dive in the late 70s and 80s so I jumped ship to Tama and a Neil Peart replica Superstar SuperMahogany kit that I bought one piece at a time when I got my first decent job. From there I moved to a more reasonably sized Tama Starclassic Maple kit with the dreaded power toms and hanging floor toms. I had recovered my Ludwig kit in vintage OBP around the time I bought the Starclassics. They were just really a novelty to me for years and then I set them up and played them and realized that I liked them better than the Starclassics so I sold them and the Ludwigs became my main kit again.



I never liked Premier, even though, again, just like Slingerland, I had no direct experience with them. That changed when I bought a '77 Premier 6500 Powerhouse kit with matching wood snare for a couple of hundred bucks a few years back. Those have been my main kit since cleaning and reheading them. They are built so well and sound great, even though the 6000 series weren't their best drums.



I had been given a '58 Leedy duco snare drum with peeling naugahyde and some other nasty strainer mods when I had the Superstars. I stripped it, stained and varnished it and it became my main snare during that time. Little did I know that it was actually made by Slingerland. Now I would be happy with a Slingerland kit if I needed another kit.


It's funny how certain perceptions make us like or dislike a brand even when we have never played a set.
  #3  
Old 07-26-2022, 02:15 PM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

I didn't even know there were other brands of drums when I was a kid. ALL drums were Ludwigs! I'm not even kidding. Every drum in my school's band room was a Ludwig.

Same thing for cymbals. Everything was "Zildjian". Yes, Paistes were around, too, but no one I knew, had any. Everyone played Zildjians and that was that.

As the years went on, I was kind of like leedybdp....I wanted to be the one guy who had a different brand. So, when the time came, I ordered a Rogers Swivo kit -It was supposed to have a "tri-tom" (12,13,14) on a stand in the center of TWO 22" bass drums and a 16" FT....and the infamous COB Dynasonic snare drum (that I did NOT like).... I ordered it in late 1974. By the time it made it to my rural, upper midwest little town's closest (and ONLY) music store (Schneider's), it was a VERY early Big R MemriLoc kit. It wasn't what I ordered, but the salesman said that they wouldn't charge me extra for the "new and improved" version.....*cough*....Of course, I agreed and fell in love with that kit! No other drum set had memory locking hardware....but mine did!

Anyway, I toured and gigged for nearly 4 decades with that kit. It was a work horse!

I never did develop any kind of double bass drum technique, so one of the 22" bass drums basically got put in its Humes and Berg Fibre Case and didn't get touched. I still have it and it's in "like new" condition. Anyway, it was the perfect kit for me at the time I was working. It matched the music I was playing.

When I got older, I took an interest in collecting. My focus was rare and/or "weird" drums....Zickos Supersonic, Trixon, Arbiter, Peavey RadialPro, etc. While I was looking for those types of drums, I stumbled onto several vintage Ludwig kits....some of them in immaculate condition -others that were rare sizes (Jazzette, Downbeat)....One thing led to another.

Some of the nicest stuff I have in my collection is Ludwig stuff. It just worked out that way. It's not really a loyalty thing at all. Like I said, I wanted to be a Rogers Swivo guy but ended up a MemriLoc guy!

.....I've been lusting for a perfect round badge Gretsch bop kit to come my way. I'm not really worried about it, though, because I know I'll never find one, now...just sayin' sssshhhh!
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Last edited by O-Lugs; 07-26-2022 at 04:35 PM.
  #4  
Old 07-26-2022, 03:30 PM
Marty Black Marty Black is online now
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

Interesting discussion! I know I've related my tale on this forum before, but since the topic has come up again, I'll rehash it.

As a teenager during the British Invasion, I wanted a Ludwig kit for the same reason that leedybdp DIDN'T want a Ludwig kit. Was it because of Ringo? - probably, but most of the other drummers on TV also had the Ludwig sticker on their bass drum head. I knew nothing about drum construction, quality, hardware, etc. - I looked only at the bass drum head to determine what brand kit it was.

I thought Dave Clark was the coolest looking drummer, sitting so tall (nearly standing) behind his red double-tom Rogers kit, but Ludwig was what I dreamed of owning, again because Ludwig seemed to be the kit of choice on TV, and among the local drummers in my area.

I was actually able to help Joe Morello pack up his Ludwig kit after a concert by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. I touched that man's drum kit! That further cemented my desire to own Ludwig. (But since I play left-handed, I needed a double-tom kit, not a Super Classic with the rail conselette on "the wrong side.")

Unfortunately, a lack of money forced me to lower my goal to something more realistic, and so I saved up until I could afford a Kent double-tom kit (the factory was near my school). Still wanting to be a Ludwig drummer, I bought a 20" Ludwig bass drum head, and tore the little blue foil Kent badges off my drums. Do you think I fooled anybody?

Fast forward nearly 40 years, nearing retirement with plenty of money, and armed with an intense interest and the self-discipline to finally learn the craft of being a good drummer...what did I buy? A 1966 Ludwig "Hollywood" kit in Champagne Sparkle - the same kit I wanted when I was 15. That's my gigging kit. And then I bought a nearly identical 1968 model of that same kit in the same wrap, for use as my at-home daily practice kit.

I can afford DW's and where I live now is only 2 hours from the factory - but no, I wanted to finally satisfy my teenage yearnings. Of course, I realize that Ludwig's quality of drums and hardware were certainly not the best, but I don't care. I'm fulfilling a dream, and those vintage Ludwigs are just fine for what I do, playing 4 gigs a month at local venues.

I have no interest in any other brand of drums, regardless of their quality or what superstar is playing them. Nostalgia and sentimentality rule me and I'm extremely happy with what I have.

Whatever floats your boat....Enjoy it!

Regards, mb
  #5  
Old 07-26-2022, 06:39 PM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

One thing I will say for Ludwig is that they definitely got it right when they made the Supraphonic. That is still THE snare drum of all snare drums. Get one with a P-83.....perfection!
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  #6  
Old 07-26-2022, 11:23 PM
DrumBob DrumBob is offline
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

Howie, we all know of your dislike of Ludwig drums. Different strokes for different folks. You know I'm a DW guy. I couldn't care less if they were/are trendy or not. I love the way they sound and look. I do agree they are frightfully expensive. You also know I'm a vintage guy.

Besides DW, my brands of choice are Slingerland, Ludwig, Leedy and Rogers in that order. I have never owned Premier or Sonor. Never really had the desire or attraction to those brands, and I'm developing a fondness for better quality MIJ and Kent drums lately. I have owned Tama and Pearl drums, and quite liked the Pearl set I had. I thought I would someday like to get an oddball British set like Ajax. Beverly, or Carlton. but then, you're dealing with birch (which I don't like) and metric shells, and finding a choice of heads is a royal pain in the ass.

I once owned a six-ply Round Badge set of Gretsches, because I was taken in by the "Gretsch Mystique." They were a mistake, and were sold after a while. Since then, I have never desired another Gretsch set, although I like their blue marine pearl finish.

We agree on Walberg & Auge. I would love to have a set of them at some point. I could have had a set a couple of years ago in a swirly red finish, the same as used on Ludwig Standards of the day, for $895. The seller was in NYC, and had them up for sale constantly on CL for like three years. I guess they finally sold.
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'01 DW Collector's, Oyster White: 8/10/12/14/16/22.
'72 Slingerland Red Tiger Pearl: 12/13/16/16/22.
'64 Slingerland: 13/16/20/22 (to be restored).
'68 Slingerland Green Sparkle: 12/13/16/14 chr./20/20.
'65 Slinger/Leedy, Blue Sparkle: 12/14/20.
'67 Ludwig Burgundy Sparkle: 12/13/16/22.
'69 Ludwig Black Diamond Pearl: 12/13/16/22.
'70-ish Ludwig Std, Burgundy Oyster: 13/16/22.
'69-ish MIJ Drum Mate, Peacock Pearl: 13/16/22.

Last edited by DrumBob; 07-27-2022 at 08:44 AM.
  #7  
Old 07-27-2022, 07:41 AM
kdg kdg is offline
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

I absolutely idolized my drum teacher when I was a kid and he played a 60's Rogers kit. My goal was to be like him in every way. My parents cautiously bought me a used four-piece Gold sparkle WFL/Ludwig with a new Acrolite and Krut cymbals. By 9th grade I finally bought a new Fullerton Swivo Rogers kit in New England White which I still own and play to this day along with a beautiful blue sparkle Cleveland rogers too.

However, I do remember my teacher saying many times saying he loved Rogers, but he wished he owned a Camco kit and I remember having no idea what that was. Four years ago I came across an Oaklawn Camco players kit on Craigslist and bought it. After restoring the kit, tuning it up and playing it, I then knew what my old teacher was going on about. I never fail to get comments from other musicians on the sound of that kit.
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1974-75 Rogers Starlighter IV New England White 13/16/22 (w/Dyna)
1964-67 Rogers Blue Glass Glitter 12/14/16/20
early Oaklawn Camco Blue Moire 12/14/20
1926 Super Ludwig 5x14
1960-ish Ludwig COB 5x14 Super Sensitive
1960-ish Ludwig COB 6.5x14 Super Sensitive
1970 Ludwig COB Cut-Badge 5x14 Supra Phonic

Looking for a Camco Aristocrat SD in Blue Moire!!
  #8  
Old 07-27-2022, 12:10 PM
larryz larryz is offline
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdg View Post
I absolutely idolized my drum teacher when I was a kid and he played a 60's Rogers kit. My goal was to be like him in every way. My parents cautiously bought me a used four-piece Gold sparkle WFL/Ludwig with a new Acrolite and Krut cymbals. By 9th grade I finally bought a new Fullerton Swivo Rogers kit in New England White which I still own and play to this day along with a beautiful blue sparkle Cleveland rogers too.

However, I do remember my teacher saying many times saying he loved Rogers, but he wished he owned a Camco kit and I remember having no idea what that was. Four years ago I came across an Oaklawn Camco players kit on Craigslist and bought it. After restoring the kit, tuning it up and playing it, I then knew what my old teacher was going on about. I never fail to get comments from other musicians on the sound of that kit.
Funny you should mention Camco. I thought the same, that was my ultimate kit. One came on the market here and I bought it immediately. $1,050 which included a matching snare. When I played it I was so disappointed. It was just a let down. Not as good as I was expecting. I ended up selling for a profit but I wish I would have kept it just for an investment.
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2022, 01:04 PM
thin shell thin shell is offline
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

I have always liked Camco/George Way drums once I found out about them. DW drums, which obviously, are the direct descendants do absolutely nothing for me.


I don't know what it is. Same lugs so basically they look the same other than the finishes, but even a DW compared to similarly finished Camco and I am going to have a reaction to the Camco and nothing to DW. It probably has a lot to do with the magnitude of snake oil used in their marketing. They just don't float my boat.



Pearl and Yamaha are two brands, that even though they obviously make high quality drums, do nothing for me. I can't put my finger on it, but they just don't have any personality or mojo as some people call it.
  #10  
Old 07-27-2022, 01:46 PM
leedybdp leedybdp is offline
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Default Re: Drum Brand Preferences

Some of us have an aversion to Asian-made drums. Despite the very good quality of upper end Yamaha, Tama, and Pearl drums, I just can't get my mind to accept them as drums I want to own. It took me a while and the ownership of a great Honda car for me to favor the Asian brands for the past 25 plus years.
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