What killed off Slingerland?

DaleClark

Senior Member
Slingerlan was cream of the crop at one time. Even after the Ringo/Ludwig era started, many people played Slingerland thru the 70's. Just curious of the reason for their demise. One would think somebody would have purchased the company, much like DW did with Camco (maybe they did and failed).


This kit is fantastic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6lpEbW63zs
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Slingerland made a slight comback around the turn of the century. I believe they were bought by Gretsch, but were not a priority. I think Tre Cool was an endorcer.

The original machines used to build Slingerland drums, after their second demise, were purchased by Bernie Stone and are once again at work making drums for Stone Custom Drum Company.

SCD basically are Slingerlands. Same shells, same lugs, same stick saver hoops, even the same badge.

They even have period correct model names in relation to the shell, Chicago and Niles, respectively.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Slingerland made wonderful drums, but a number of factors led to their demise.
Some of which are :
Bud Slingerland sold the company - Bud was a smart businessman and ran the Company well. He was the decision maker too. If they needed new machinery etc. Bud could ok it immediately. This changed when CCM took Slingerland over. Budgets became tight.

The machinery and fittings became old and Corporate Ownership did not want to make the expense to gear up to match the heavier duty hardware coming out of the upstart Japanese Companies like Tama, Yamaha and Pearl.

The Ringo factor - even though some great players endorsed Slingerland ( Seraphine, Bevan, Ehart, etc) they could not overcome the popularity of Ringo and the Beatles. Everyone wanted Ludwig drums like Ringo. This is ironic since Ludwig went through the same issue with Gene Krupa’s influence on Drummers in the 30’s and 40’s and Ludwig could not keep up with Slingerland.

Slingerland did not stay innovative, their drums got dated looking.

Gibson purchased Slingerland priced the wonderful Nashville Slingerland kits far too high. They were wonderful sounding and looking drums but the price was exorbitant and most people could not afford them.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
One would think somebody would have purchased the company, much like DW did with Camco (maybe they did and failed).
The Camco buyout was split between Tama and DW, not sure of the exact details.

With Slingerland, the 80s happened and they didn't keep up with the Japanese invasion, remember this nearly killed Ludwig in the 90s. Even Gretsch stopped making drums for a time. Ironically a lot of the 80s stadium rock drummers used a Radioking snare.

Slingerlands are pretty rare in the UK, I've owned one Slingy snare which I didn't like but you don't see many full kits at all.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I once set a very sarcastic email to Gibson for all they did to bring back Slingerland. My first decent drums were Slingerland. Peace and goodwill.
 

DaleClark

Senior Member
That's good to know if that the Nashville versions are good drums if I see any used for a good price. Even the Nashville Radio Kings?
 

RickP

Gold Member
That's good to know if that the Nashville versions are good drums if I see any used for a good price. Even the Nashville Radio Kings?
The Nashville Slingerlands ( Studio King snares and sets and Radio King snares)
are fantastic drums, wonderful build quality and the lacquer finishes are some of the nicest ever made.

Pat Foley ( finishes ) and Sam Bacco (builder/designer) are geniuses.

I got sniped years ago on EBay for an auction for a gorgeous Nashville Slingerland kit in Big Band Blue that I still kick myself over.
 

DaleClark

Senior Member
I'll keep my eye out. About 25 years ago, Fender wanted to get into the high end acoustic guitar market. Fender had a Spring Hill, TN Luthier shop hand build multiple models. The guitars had a very Gibson like feel. I had a chance to get one when they were released and passed in favor of a Taylor. I'm kicking myself now. Fender Spring Hill models are rare and go for quite a few $$$. I loved the guitar...I just thought, at the time, the Taylor would hold its value better since Fender was only known for electrics.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
That's good to know if that the Nashville versions are good drums if I see any used for a good price. Even the Nashville Radio Kings?
The Nashville Radio Kings are great drums, I own a Nashville 14 x 5.5 Radio King (in gold sparkle) and it's unreal - it looked unused/brand new and even came to me in the original Slingerland box. It's going into the studio with me again tomorrow.

If you want to see/hear it see the below link. It's a very versatile and sensitive snare but they seldom come up on eBay for a good reason. My advice is to set an alert on eBay for them coming up for sale/auction and occasionally one will be listed.

https://youtu.be/-1yQ1SHPiI0

How can one tell a Gibson nashville Slingerland vs a Conway Slingerland?
Either 'Nashville' or 'Conway' are stamped on the cloud badge. Avoid the Conway ones.
 
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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
It was an asteroid. It kicked so much dust and particulate into the air that the climate and life changed forever, the Slingerlands couldn't survive and today we have only distant evolutionary relatives of the Slingerlands that used to roam.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Slingerlan was cream of the crop at one time. Even after the Ringo/Ludwig era started, many people played Slingerland thru the 70's. Just curious of the reason for their demise. One would think somebody would have purchased the company, much like DW did with Camco (maybe they did and failed).


This kit is fantastic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6lpEbW63zs
Indeed that is what happened.

Gibson bought Slingerland. They attempted to re-boot the brand in the mid-90's.
They even signed Greg Bissonette to be an endorser.

The problem with the Gibson era was their USA made drums were rather expensive and came in few options. And they weren't really any different than other drums on the market.

There was no lower line, so they had limited appeal to drummers at large.

And other than the name, the drums had no ties to the old Sinlgerland manufacturing, so the appeal to collectors and nostalgics was also very limited.

Gibson also had a deal to distribute Mapex around the same time, which made Gibson unfocused.

Gibson also tried to tie Slingerland to Gibson Guitar dealers, which meant drum only shops couldn't order them, and guitar only shops didn't want them, small dealers couldn't afford them, and large dealers weren't interested enough.

It just wasn't very well thought out.

They only lasted maybe a year.

Gibson still owns the name, but then went into different directions, which lead to their bankruptcy last year.
 

DaleClark

Senior Member
Like Rogers, I'm sure we'll see it again. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio..where Rogers had a distribution center at one time (They were made in Covington, Ohio for a long while). When I was a kid, Rodgers drums could be found pretty much everywhere in used shops, flea markets, garage sales quite frequently. I wish I knew what to look for then. I could have probably picked up a nice snare drum.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Indeed that is what happened.

Gibson bought Slingerland. They attempted to re-boot the brand in the mid-90's.
They even signed Greg Bissonette to be an endorser.

The problem with the Gibson era was their USA made drums were rather expensive and came in few options. And they weren't really any different than other drums on the market.

There was no lower line, so they had limited appeal to drummers at large.

And other than the name, the drums had no ties to the old Sinlgerland manufacturing, so the appeal to collectors and nostalgics was also very limited.

Gibson also had a deal to distribute Mapex around the same time, which made Gibson unfocused.

Gibson also tried to tie Slingerland to Gibson Guitar dealers, which meant drum only shops couldn't order them, and guitar only shops didn't want them, small dealers couldn't afford them, and large dealers weren't interested enough.

It just wasn't very well thought out.

They only lasted maybe a year.

Gibson still owns the name, but then went into different directions, which lead to their bankruptcy last year.
Saw a new 5 piece kit back in the mid 90's and it was like $3400.
So yeah,expensive to say the least
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
Like Rogers, I'm sure we'll see it again. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio..where Rogers had a distribution center at one time (They were made in Covington, Ohio for a long while). When I was a kid, Rodgers drums could be found pretty much everywhere in used shops, flea markets, garage sales quite frequently. I wish I knew what to look for then. I could have probably picked up a nice snare drum.
wow... you probably could have found a wood Dyna Sonic for a few hundred bucks and had a $3000 drum today
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
wow... you probably could have found a wood Dyna Sonic for a few hundred bucks and had a $3000 drum today
My college had a wonderful Metal dynasonic when I was there. Being a poor college kid, I’d “borrow” that drum for everything back then ;)
 
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