The Lang Gladstone snare drum

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hey all,

Does anyone have an opinion on the Arnie Lang Gladstone replica snare drum? I had always admired the Gladstone snare drum, but never got a chance to play a real one and I'm wondering if there's anything more special about it than anything else? I wonder if it would make a good 'meat-and-potatoes' snare for daily use or do collector's just like them to look at? And if it is an exact replica of the original Gladstone, perhaps some of our Gladstone historians can shed some light on whether or not some of those strainer designs withstand the test of time (i.e., any parts that constantly break?). I would think a custom-built snare for $1350+ (depending on what you got) would really be something special, especially if I ever got to play Ravel's "Bolero"....

Thoughts?
 

paistepower92

Senior Member
The innovation with this snare is obviously the lugs, the fact that you can tune both heads from the top. Other than that, it's really up to you about what you want in the snare. Unlike the original Gladstones, Lang will make you a snare out of whatever you request. Straight from the Lang website:
"
FAQ
1- What is three-way tuning?

In 1937 Billy Gladstone patented a system where you can tune the top and bottom head from the top of the drum, or even tune both heads at the same time. No need to turn the drum over to change the tuning. The key is attached to the shell.

2- How does the throw work?

The throw has no springs and is held simply with three pins and natural leverage. It is instant on/off.

3- What is that knob by the throw?

It is a muffler that really works! One slight twist engages the internal muffler that has a numbered gauge to easily duplicate the same sound.

4- Is each drum really customized?

When you purchase a drum a customized plate will be engraved with your name and the date of purchase.

5- Can I put gut snares on the drum?

The original drum had a butt end with 12 holes and a setscrew to hold each pair of gut. If one strand loosened it is easy to adjust that strand without disturbing all the rest.

6- Is this drum only for symphonic players?

Even back in the 50s a good percentage of the drums were made for pop/jazz players like Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Shelly Manne. We have sold drums to major players like Carl Palmer, Charlie Watts, and many others.

7- What have you changed from the original?

We have not changed anything. We have made some technological improvements and added different shell sizes and materials. Billy was only able to make 6” & 7” depths, but we have added a full range of sizes.

8- Have you ever made metal shell drums?

Gladstone made metal shell drums. In fact, one of his personal drums had a copper shell. We have made drums with titanium shells, hammered copper shells and even fiberglass shells.

9- Can you put three-way tuning on a complete drum kit?

With technological improvements we are now able to put three-way on any size drum. Isn’t it great to be able to tune the bottom head or the toms without taking it off the stand or lying on the floor? Tune the front head of the kick without getting off the throne.

10- Can I have my choice of heads?

Every drum is custom made, so we will supply heads that you chose.

11- Do you use generic hardware?

NO! We make all of our own hardware except for the die cast hoops. We do not sell hardware so you are guaranteed an original Lang/Gladstone drum."
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Thanks for that post - I read that on the site as well. I was hoping maybe there'd be someone here who actually owns one and uses it on a daily basis. Compared to my $300 Stewart Copeland snare, I'd like to know if the Lang-Gladstone sounds $1000+ better ;)
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Thanks for that post - I read that on the site as well. I was hoping maybe there'd be someone here who actually owns one and uses it on a daily basis. Compared to my $300 Stewart Copeland snare, I'd like to know if the Lang-Gladstone sounds $1000+ better ;)
Bo....I'm not sure anything sounds $1000 better these days.Drum building /construction technology seems to have come a long way from the sloppy seam construction of the 60's.We already have run the gamut in ply layup,shell material ect.Nothing is really new and marvelous,except for drum pedals maybe.But I'll put my 80's Tama/Camco against any modern pedel for speed,smoothness and light weight.

We know already how to do custom drums,that cost thousands of dollars.Heavily personalized,and made from all type of shell materials.These drums will even include a DNA sample and will cost more than your first born child,but is the sound difference if any worth it?Build a truly different sounding drum;now there's something drummers would love to hear and play.Lots of claims,but few deliver(except for Guru maybe)

And if there is a snare out there that sounds better than a Ludwig black beauty, acrolite or a supraphonic for that money,well then you better buy it.;)

Steve B
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Bo....I'm not sure anything sounds $1000 better these days.Drum building /construction technology seems to have come a long way from the sloppy seam construction of the 60's.We already have run the gamut in ply layup,shell material ect.Nothing is really new and marvelous,except for drum pedals maybe.But I'll put my 80's Tama/Camco against any modern pedel for speed,smoothness and light weight.

We know already how to do custom drums,that cost thousands of dollars.Heavily personalized,and made from all type of shell materials.These drums will even include a DNA sample and will cost more than your first born child,but is the sound difference if any worth it?Build a truly different sounding drum;now there's something drummers would love to hear and play.Lots of claims,but few deliver(except for Guru maybe)

And if there is a snare out there that sounds better than a Ludwig black beauty, acrolite or a supraphonic for that money,well then you better buy it.;)

Steve B
This is kinda' what I've already been thinking. And the Gladstone was from the era of bad-mass-produced drums, so for it to be three-steps ahead back then wouldn't be all that hard. But now here's a company making exact replicas, and I'm wondering how much better can it be when compared to the Brady's and Guru's, or even the venerable Black Beauties. I concur: there hasn't been alot of new things coming out in the drum world since the 70s, just improvements making the proverbial wheel rounder ;) I will have to admit the Noble & Cooley's from the 80s were really nice kickers and I wouldn't mind having one of those.

But oddly enough, Charlie Watts is using one of the Lang-Gladstones, and I swear, his backbeat sounds exactly the same as when he was using a 6 1/2" Supraphonic....
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I almost bought a Lang/Gladstone years ago when they first started doing these. Maybe in '88-'89?
It was "only" $500 back then.

The only two snares other than my BB's that I've really wanted were the 5.5 Craviatto Diamond snare--shell made by AK, and a Titanium snare made by ID (a Michigan guy I know).
The AK/Craviotto would have been $2300....not gonna happen, and the ID snare was $8000.
CRAZY money, but that snare sounded clean and clear about 100 feet away when I walked into the shop. It was insanely cool sounding. Milled aircraft grade stuff, special screws and all that.

It would be great to own one of those, but I have to say, when I lay into one of my BB's on the stage of a cool venue, I can't think of anything sounding much better than that, no matter what it costs.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I almost bought a Lang/Gladstone years ago when they first started doing these. Maybe in '88-'89?
It was "only" $500 back then.

The only two snares other than my BB's that I've really wanted were the 5.5 Craviatto Diamond snare--shell made by AK, and a Titanium snare made by ID (a Michigan guy I know).
The AK/Craviotto would have been $2300....not gonna happen, and the ID snare was $8000.
CRAZY money, but that snare sounded clean and clear about 100 feet away when I walked into the shop. It was insanely cool sounding. Milled aircraft grade stuff, special screws and all that.

It would be great to own one of those, but I have to say, when I lay into one of my BB's on the stage of a cool venue, I can't think of anything sounding much better than that, no matter what it costs.
A friend of mine is probably the only one who owns that Paiste alloy snare (8x14, I think) and for the $2300 he spent for it ten years ago, he hates it when I tell him it "sounds like a snare drum".
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Are you looking for a symphonic drum Bo? If you are I would recommend trying some of Neil Grover's snare drums. I have a Noble and Cooley from the 1980's and it's the bees knees, but not the same as a drum built specifically for orchestral work.

Here's a link: http://groverpro.com/products/drum
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Are you looking for a symphonic drum Bo? If you are I would recommend trying some of Neil Grover's snare drums. I have a Noble and Cooley from the 1980's and it's the bees knees, but not the same as a drum built specifically for orchestral work.

Here's a link: http://groverpro.com/products/drum
Not sure yet. I like that Grover Titanium snare. If it sounds better than the Black Beauty with the Super-Sensitive strainer I played in college, maybe....but I think I'm still hankering for a good wood snare. But I keep wanting my snares to sound like 5x14 metal ones, so maybe I keep climbing the wrong tree. I should probably just face the fact that I won't be happy with a wooden snare?
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
This is kinda' what I've already been thinking. And the Gladstone was from the era of bad-mass-produced drums, so for it to be three-steps ahead back then wouldn't be all that hard. But now here's a company making exact replicas, and I'm wondering how much better can it be when compared to the Brady's and Guru's, or even the venerable Black Beauties. I concur: there hasn't been alot of new things coming out in the drum world since the 70s, just improvements making the proverbial wheel rounder ;) I will have to admit the Noble & Cooley's from the 80s were really nice kickers and I wouldn't mind having one of those.

But oddly enough, Charlie Watts is using one of the Lang-Gladstones, and I swear, his backbeat sounds exactly the same as when he was using a 6 1/2" Supraphonic....
The true Gladstone snare drums were individually hand made by Billy Gladstone in his NYC apartment out of 3 ply maple shells,and the odd metal shell with Gretsch and Billy's custom hardware.These were indeed custom made snare drums,and only number fifty odd drums, and they actually post date the Gretsch/Gladstone 3 way drums.Billy also made 4 custom drum sets,and only 3 of those exist today,as 1 was burned up in a fire.

I'm curious which template they are using for the repro drum,because there are actually 3 distinct drums.The first was the Gretsch/Gladstone 3 way,then after the war,the Gretsch/Gladstone two way as that drum was tuned in the conventional manner,or the Gladstone custom hand made drum?The handmade drums are extremely rare.I know they offer the 3 way design,but Billy's did differ slightly as his drums had an actual volume control,which worked by opening and closing small vents in the shell.

Steve B
 
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KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
But I keep wanting my snares to sound like 5x14 metal ones, so maybe I keep climbing the wrong tree. I should probably just face the fact that I won't be happy with a wooden snare?
If you keep going back to, or ending up with (basically) the "same" sound, no matter what the drum is.... it might be time to (try to) stop the madness.

I have kind of faced that in the last couple years myself.

I seem to end up, no matter the shell material, getting the same type of sound.
It might not start out that way... but it happens.

Yeah, I'll get a bit different quality within the total spectrum of sound (that I notice) from a different shell, but really, to anyone else...it sounds like a snare.....

Do we got thorough all this because we think we should have "X" in the arsenal?...
Do most people really need it, or is it just a "want", and acquiring "stuff"?

I have a friend at the shop who did a lot of symphonic work at school. He said with a Stave snare an instructor had, he could do anything with it. If he wasn't able to use it, he used 2 different drums to cover everything he needed to play.

Other than a situation like that, for what most people are involved in, one or two drums would probably be all they'd ever need.

99% of the time, I bring my 2 BB's (one as back up), and most of the time, it's what I play at home too.
They just sound great everywhere, and they make me happy when I hit them.
The 402 is at the rehearsal place, & the rest sit on the shelf looking good unless some mood hits me.

After all this time, 12 snares & #13 in the works...it's probably very safe to say I'm done.
I kind of don't know why I went and started having #13 built.... 7x14 with rounder edges and split lugs.
I don't have anything like it, but I don't really need it either... It's not costing me that much, and it will be cool, but....
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If you keep going back to, or ending up with (basically) the "same" sound, no matter what the drum is.... it might be time to (try to) stop the madness.

I have kind of faced that in the last couple years myself.

I seem to end up, no matter the shell material, getting the same type of sound.
It might not start out that way... but it happens.

Yeah, I'll get a bit different quality within the total spectrum of sound (that I notice) from a different shell, but really, to anyone else...it sounds like a snare.....

Do we got thorough all this because we think we should have "X" in the arsenal?...
Do most people really need it, or is it just a "want", and acquiring "stuff"?

I have a friend at the shop who did a lot of symphonic work at school. He said with a Stave snare an instructor had, he could do anything with it. If he wasn't able to use it, he used 2 different drums to cover everything he needed to play.

Other than a situation like that, for what most people are involved in, one or two drums would probably be all they'd ever need.

99% of the time, I bring my 2 BB's (one as back up), and most of the time, it's what I play at home too.
They just sound great everywhere, and they make me happy when I hit them.
The 402 is at the rehearsal place, & the rest sit on the shelf looking good unless some mood hits me.

After all this time, 12 snares & #13 in the works...it's probably very safe to say I'm done.
I kind of don't know why I went and started having #13 built.... 7x14 with rounder edges and split lugs.
I don't have anything like it, but I don't really need it either... It's not costing me that much, and it will be cool, but....
I agree. I just had a teacher who impressed upon me long ago that all you should need is a wood snare and a metal snare because they both sound different. But historically for me, I've never been able to make a wood snare sound good, and was so well-versed in making my Supraphonic (and now my Copeland) sound like anything anyone could ever want that the need for a wood snare isn't there. The want definitely is, though. I suppose I'll just continue to watch others play their wonderful-sounding wood snares.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Or you could find the wood drum that matches the sound you have in your mind and then buy that exact drum. Don't buy a drum until it's the one that you imagined hearing in your ears. As you know this is easier said than done most of the time, but it's still possible. Kinda like picking out the perfect ride cymbal.
I just bought a beautiful looking and sounding drum of amazing build quality that will last a lifetime. It has the sound I dreamed of. Will it be the last drum I'll ever want/need? Probably not. Every drum has it's limitations-just some less than others.

If I could only have two snares to cover a wide range, I'd keep my 5x14 NOB and my 7x14 N&C solid steam-bent maple from the 80's.

PS I actually think snare 'auditioning' is fun!
 
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KONA

Silver Member
I see this is an old thread. I got here by searching the web for a Gladstone snare - I do this from time to time and it's fun to see one for sale now and then.......$25+K most of the time lately but I did se one at $19K a short while ago.

I bought this LangPercussion drum a few years ago.
Mine was Arnie Lang's first 7x14 3ply. Gold hardware...with 3way tuning.

It's a very nice drum....solid, easy on the eyes and sounds great. I've never used a better throwoff - this one is like butter to use.

I highly recommend a LangPercussion.
 

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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I see this is an old thread. I got here by searching the web for a Gladstone snare - I do this from time to time and it's fun to see one for sale now and then.......$25+K most of the time lately but I did se one at $19K a short while ago.

I bought this LangPercussion drum a few years ago.
Mine was Arnie Lang's first 7x14 3ply. Gold hardware...with 3way tuning.

It's a very nice drum....solid, easy on the eyes and sounds great. I've never used a better throwoff - this one is like butter to use.

I highly recommend a LangPercussion.
And jealousy sets in! That's a very nice snare! Happy New Year!
 
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