Radio King gear heads!!! HELP!!

j-ronimo

Member
Hey guys, hope all are well.

I recently bought a slingerland radioking snare drum (my first) off of ebay for about $260; the drum is in great shape: there is no ply separation, the strainer works, and the finish ply (white marine pearl) looks very good for it's age. What i'm curious about is why mine went for so cheap; I've seen them go for over $300 up to $1000. Is mine a dud for some reason and i'm unaware of it? It has the die cast hoops that I am familiar with, and the throw is the same I've seen in most Radio King pics, the slightly bulkier one. One curious thing about the snares is that they are SCREW ON. I've never seen this before; the tension for the snares are opposite of the throw arm, and the throw arm works on a see saw type fulcrum, so when the arm is thrown, the top of the mechanism pulls tight to the drum, thus making the bottom pull away and tighten the snares; when the opposite is done, the snares (as they are screwed into the hardware and not tied on) bend in the middle and away from the head, as the fulcrum drops the bottom "into" the shell. The badge is he gold and black oval that say "Chicago ill". Also worth noting is the fact that neither the top nor bottom hoop have the "radio king" engraving, though they do seem to be original.

Secondly, I was watching another radioking that seemed to be from a different era ( the hoops were not the same die cast as mine, they had the "single claw hooks" that grabbed the top and bottom hoops, like a bass drum hoop). Also, the throw was completely different from mine; the snares were the more traditional "tie on" type, and the throw arm was more traditional as well, I would say it resembled a skinnier, extended version of the Supraphonic throw. The drum ended up selling for only $202, which leads me to believe that it was not a top of the line model, but I could not tell why. The seller did not post any pics of the shell composition (plys, rings) but did say that it was a genuine radio king and not a student model, and the seller assured that it was in fine mechanical condition with no hidden surprises. The badge was identical to mine, gold and "Chicago, ILL". Was there something about that drum that I don't know?

Long story short, what exactly did I buy, and what exactly was the other model that I saw sell for so cheap? It's driving me nuts!!!

EDIT: Upon further inspection, I've discovered that the throw and strainer on my purchased model are "clamshell" models, and the strainer and throw on the second model resemble those found on the Gene Krupa artist model. Also, the claws I referred to on the second model (that sold for $202) are clips made of nickel, apparently known by some enthusiasts as "chubbys"....? I found pictures of them on the toms and floor toms of a few radioking drum sets from the 1940's. Still doesn't help me find out what I bought, what I saw sold, and why they were both so cheap. Thanks guys, looking forward to some schooling!!!!!
 
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tamadrm

Platinum Member
I would have to be a psychic to help you here without pis of the drum.Radio Kings were made with both the clamshell and 3 point strainer with bridges.They have a single one ply steam bent maple shell with re rings.Only the later late 80's-2000 models came with no re rings.

Radio Kings also NEVER came with die cast hoops.The top hoop was always engraved "Slingerland Radio King".They were at first, the "stick chopper" double flange type,and in the mid 50's,changed to the "stick saver" aka rim shot type triple flange hoops,but,always engraved Slingerland Radio King.

I've owned and played RKs for years,and NEVER heard of "chubbies".There are student radio king models with single flange rims with rim clips,and are 3 ply shells,with a 3 point strainer.

The radio king models with the clamshell strainer/butt,are less desireable than those with the 3 point strainer.The price of RKs has been on the decline in the last few years,but they will again command higher prices.

Lastly,there is NO way ,I can be sure if you have an actual RK,without clear pics of the exterior,/interior and bearing edge.If the batter side rim,is not engraved Slingerland radio king,then it is not original to the drum,and therefore,the selling price would be lower.

Steve B
 

j-ronimo

Member
thanks tama;

according to what you've said and what I've found, the snare that I didn't jump on was probably a student model; it had single flange hoops with clips on the tension rods. I found that the clips on these models were referred to as "chubbys" in reference to the earlier clips that adorned the rolling bomber kits; the chubbys were shorter, stubbier versions of the same clips, made smaller to fit over the single flange hoops rather than the larger wood hoops.
In regards to what you said about radiokings NEVER having come with die cast hoops, I am a bit confused, as I found a very large amount of evidence of the contrary online from a number of different sources showing that they did.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Radio kings used double and triple flanged rims,not die cast.Of that,I'm positive,after looking through unteen Slingerland Catalogs from the thirties on.The stick savers hoops,look similar to Premier die cast,but they aren't the same thing.,and if you find an older drum with a diecast hoop on it,it's non-original.the batter side hoop on Radio kings are engraved "Slingerland Radio King"

There may be some one off out there,but if they exist,then they're non -catalog drums.Some older drums from the 30's and 40's used heavy,double flanged COB or NOB hoop.that look die cast,but they're not.

Original Rolling Bombers had wood hoops with deeper hoop clips,than the ones used on snare drums rim clips,and rosewood lugs

Again,I've seen and played RK's from most eras,except the modern Nashville drums,and currently own a 47 Super Gene Krupa model,and NONE,has had a die cast factory hoop engraved Slingerland Radio King......ever.The catalogs will also bear this out,as there was never a cataloged RK,with a FACTORY die cast hoop.

All I can say it,your looking at a heavy flanged hoop that's double or triple flanged stick saver(rim shot),not diecast,and if you read catalog discriptions,they say flanged rims/hoops as well

The catalogs , personal experience,and communication with other knowledgeable collectors like Mark Cooper and Jim Messina,bear out these facts.

Steve B
 
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