Why no love for Vintage Premier?

uniin

Gold Member
i've aquired one of these:



i have no idea what it is, but i have a friend who is going to repaint the insides, rewrap the drum, replace lugs, hoops tension rods and overall completely re-do the snare drum... he thinks its a birch snare, can anyone confirm?
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Regardless of the fact that I like almost every drum, I am not a fan of any vintage drum. I do not like the tom mounting on most of them. When I drill a hole in one, I have ruined the vintageness of it. Peace and goodwill.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
I'm 50 and considered "vintage" by some people, so I love the vintage kits!

I still have the "vintage" Japanese import Pearl kit my parents bought me for Xmas in 1972 when I was 11 years old and Japan was flooding the market with cheap Ludwig and Slingerland and Gretsch knockoffs.

The shells are great and the wood has aged very nicely, regardless of type wood The blue sparkle wrap is in fantastic shape. Now when I play it out, the younger generation walks up and complements the kit. "Dude, I LOVE that kit...it looks SO Retro! Where'd you get it????" LOL I don't have the heart to tell them the kit is probablly as old if not older than their parents.

That kit brings back fond memories of high school drumming and the chicks that swooned over us just because we "played in a band". Haha!!! (Come to think of it, I lost a girlfriend over my purchase of a 16" Paiste Crash cymbal...she had the idea I was going to spend that money on her......wierd. LOL)

I'd love to get my "vintage" grubby paws on a vintage Premier kit!!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I'd love to get my "vintage" grubby paws on a vintage Premier kit!!
My '75 Baron kit, has "old school" reinforcement ring shell construction. 24" kick, 18" floor, and concert toms 13, 14, 15, 16. Six drums, for under $1000. Deals are out there. Good luck hunting.​
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I have a late 1960's Premier Kit and I love it, since being given it a couple of years ago by a non playing friend I am yet to use it (other than the snare) at a gig/in the studio due to the set needing complete new heads on both the batter and reso sides. It could do with a rewrap also but that can wait.

Regarding heads for Premier Sets made between 1965-1968 it's very simple. You buy Remo Pre International Heads as they make them specifically with Premier and Hayman sets in mind. Most shops don't stock these heads so it just means they have to order them in from Remo. The lead time I was given the other day was just 7-10 days, so not a problem.

I do like the sound of the Royal Ace snare, I have used it in a recording and it sounds great. Was exactly the sound I was looking for.

Planning on using the kit at a gig in August once all the new heads have arrived and I've given it a good clean. Really looking forward to hearing it in all its glory out there. Played another vintage premier kit a few years ago (the photo of that show is my avatar) and it sounded brilliant. Just chance I was given another free of charge soon after.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I am a vintage Premier drums fan. Their chrome is superior due to the higher voltage they juse in the process compared to that used in the U.S. produced chroming. Premier's drums had a very unique ( at the time sound) , they were very full and resonant to the point of being called fat sounding. This was probably due to the thin mahogany or Birch shells with the Beech reinforcing rings and the full length lugs and diecast hoops. Premier's made in house Everplay heads were also really nice IMHO?
 

royal ace

Junior Member
Premier's drums had a very unique ( at the time sound) , they were very full and resonant to the point of being called fat sounding. This was probably due to the thin mahogany or Birch shells with the Beech reinforcing rings and the full length lugs and diecast hoops. Premier's made in house Everplay heads were also really nice IMHO?
Along with the woods used, the bearing edge design as well as single-node lug attachment, I believe a significant component in producing the full, fat, round tonal qualities of Premiers from the 50s through mid-80s are their undersized shells (I have no experience with earlier or later periods of production) The same was true of Sonor (it still is), as opposed to Gretsch, Slingerland and Ludwig.

Ron
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I remember renting a Premier kit in the late 70s. It sounded AMAZING! I loved those drums. I still say those high-tension lugs were the best looking lugs, and the lugs they had on their concert toms were BEAUTIFUL!!!

I really hope they bring back those lugs.
 

sacco

Senior Member
Even if a bit late, I would like to bring my small contribution to this very interesting thread. In fact, as I already wrote in other threads, I consider that Premier drums - and not only vintage kits - are generally underrated.

Concerning vintage Premier kits, I have a small personal story, and please forgive me if that story does not directly answer your original question. Around 1978 (yes, I am an old guy …), I had to replace for six or seven gigs a fellow drummer who sadly had an accident. Since in that same period I was also playing some gigs with my own group, my friend kindly offered me to use his Premier kit. Well, at that time I was playing a Slingerland set, and when I first saw his kit I was slightly disappointed by the esthetics: the kit was in perfect shape, but to me it looked awfully old! As far as I can remember, the first tom was an 8" x 12", and the second one was an 8" x 13” or maybe even 14"! The hardware was also quite old style: flat base stands, thin cymbal holders. But when I started playing it I found it was an awesome set! Much better than my Slingerland kit, which looked more modern and high end. The sound was powerful, precise, and the snare drum (eight lugs, apparently nothing fancy) was a real pleasure to play.

All that to state a very simple thing: Premier kits of that era were “old” from an esthetic point of view, and I am quite sure many players did not like them mainly because of their visual aspect. (I firmly believe most musicians choose their instrument more with their eyes than with their ears …). Compared to other high end kits of that era (Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch, Hayman), Premier kits seemed to be very old fashion, and in my opinion that was the main reason why they were not - and still are not - very much appreciated.

I personally think that this “esthetic problem” never was really resolved until very recent times (Signia, Genista, etc.), and it is a pity because Premier generally are great drums.

OK, enough said. Let me just post the link to an incredible performance were a beautiful Premier vintage snare shows all its beauty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmAT8i1ne_g&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL3B79E72B686A4602
 

muso7

Member
Gee I hate you guys for attaching those old Premier pictures (joking) - I just loved my old Premier kit - bought it around 1971 - 4 piece silver sparkle (with Premier 2000 snare) - had it for several years. It was the only kit I had which simply needed no maintenance and very little tuning. So wish I had kept it.

Kits I've owned since have left me tuning, re-tuning, trying different heads etc..etc until just a few months ago when I bought a second hand 90's (Made in England) Premier Genista kit - just awesome - I've used it in small 4-5 piece groups and big bands - love that birch sound.

Anyhow - vintage Premier absolutely rocks - if you've got one - KEEP IT - or better still, send it to me !!!

All the best

Pete (Aussie) :)
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Those Premier 2000 snares are great. I consider them to be the English equivalent of the Supraphonic, although most I've seen are 14"x5". I remember playing one on an old Premier kit I had when I was at school a few years ago (2005/6?) and the snare was great. Really caught me out because I'd seen a lot of those snares and just written them off as being 'common'.

If I had the money, I'd snap up an old Premier 2000. I really like those snares. It wouldn't be my first-choice snare (I have an incredible snare courtesy of Andy) but it would make a great backup or 'beater' snare when I get a little precious. That and I like snares.
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
I've got a great fondness for Premier. In fact, even though they may not be considered 'vintage' I have a lot of love for early 90s GMS kits after seeing Jean-Paul Gaster use one several times.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I am a vintage Premier drums fan. Their chrome is superior due to the higher voltage they juse in the process compared to that used in the U.S. produced chroming. Premier's drums had a very unique ( at the time sound) , they were very full and resonant to the point of being called fat sounding. This was probably due to the thin mahogany or Birch shells with the Beech reinforcing rings and the full length lugs and diecast hoops. Premier's made in house Everplay heads were also really nice IMHO?
I love Premier drums.

I wish I had never sold my old Genista kit. What a fool. I like my current Sonor but nothing, and I mean nothing, comes close to that sound.
Also, no other drum companies chroming is as good as the old Premier plating.
 

Cleforo

Senior Member
I played a Premier Olympic kit from the 70's (I think?) at a store some time ago.
They sounded amazing, and felt very comfortable to me.
They sounded like very thin shells, I didn't get a look inside (coated heads top & bottom) but they sounded and felt very thin.
It felt as if though the set made me play in a certain way, and man did it feel good.
Looked amazing too. Some blueish/greyish oyster wrap.
I spent almost two hours with the set, tuning, playing all thinkable rhythms.
Other customers and the salesman really praised my drumming.
It felt good, and I knew it was thanks to the drums.
I was in love.

I told them that I would think for a few days and then inform them whether I'd buy the set or not. I was really excited. So were they.
Biggest mistake ever...

The few days went by, and apparently they had sold it the day after I was there.
For 300€.
Never have I been so disappointed.
I had/have never connected with a drum set in the same way.

The lesson of this story?
Don't waste time thinking, just buy it!

Oh, and also, Premier makes great drums.
 

drumer12b

Member
I still have my Premier Resonators from 1985 and don't think I will ever part with them. My best kit I've ever owned and has seen my best- and worst, gigs, studio and rehearsal moments! Here's a pic I took of them right before I "retired" the kit.......eh, but I'm sure like Brett Farve, they may comeback from retirement someday! hahaha....
 

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CLEflyer

Junior Member
I still have my Premier Resonators from 1985 and don't think I will ever part with them. My best kit I've ever owned and has seen my best- and worst, gigs, studio and rehearsal moments! Here's a pic I took of them right before I "retired" the kit.......eh, but I'm sure like Brett Farve, they may comeback from retirement someday! hahaha....
Beautiful kit drumer12b! I had the Premier catalogue in the mid 80's and loved the looks of the resonator line (their most expensive i think). A local store back then was selling a set of used "projectors" (more midrange) that i almost bought. Oddly enough there is a local CL seller who has been trying to sell a white set of projectors locally for the last year with no luck. I've never played a premier set but always thought they sounded great...e.g. Clem of Blondie and Mel Gaynor of Simple Minds (i think that is his name).
 

GrooveSuperfly

Senior Member
I do not either understaind why people dont like Premier as much as some other USA brands I own/owned ?!?!

As allready people siad - Great chrome, nice shells, beuatiful sound. In my opinion better than Luddies from same period. And few other "reputated vintage" brands.
Here is my set from late 60, early 70 with Affrican mahagony shells and 2000 (killer:) )snare.
Sound deep and warm.

 

mikel

Platinum Member
I do not either understaind why people dont like Premier as much as some other USA brands I own/owned ?!?!

As allready people siad - Great chrome, nice shells, beuatiful sound. In my opinion better than Luddies from same period. And few other "reputated vintage" brands.
Here is my set from late 60, early 70 with Affrican mahagony shells and 2000 (killer:) )snare.
Sound deep and warm.

That is a beautiful kit.
 
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