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Old 04-02-2013, 10:53 AM
Red Menace's Avatar
Red Menace Red Menace is offline
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Default Advice on 30's Leedy snare

First off, I placed this in the General discussion section because it is not a restoration thread. This is the think-tank that precedes the restoration. Apologies in advance for the low quality pictures.

The Story: Took a weekend trip up north and scored this baby off a gentleman who acquired it in 1971 as his first drum. I also proposed to my girlfriend of 3 years it quite the wonderful weekend.

What I know: It is a 1930's 14x6.5 Leedy NOB or COB snare. Looke like a Broadway Standard, they were offered in both Chromium of Nickle finish. From my research I have determined the lugs to be from 1929-1933. The hoops look to be 70's steel triple flanged which are the culprit of that lug splay in the pictures. The strainer is some 70's P-85 knockoff. It is mangled beyond the point of use. This snare was originally outfitter with a Speedway Strainer, which was attached to the shell with 4 screws. The original holes can be seen around the aftermarket strainer, 2 new holes have also been driller for an aftermarket buttplate. The original hardware, the lugs, is still in great shape. One of them is a bit pitted but it is only a cosmetic issue. Aside from a little rust this thing will clean up wonderfully. I have attached the pictures the seller sent me which show the extra holes. I also have some closeups of the "X lugs" and some pics of the shell. I have only removed the hardware and polished the shell a bit. Cleaned up wonderfully.

So... I really not sure about what want to do with this drum. I has been mangled beyond the point of a collector's piece and Leedy stuff doesn't command the same prices as Ludwig or Slingerland. I'm thinking I want to fix it up and keep it going as a player's drum. Any advice on where to go with hoops? I really don't care for that splay with the triple flanged hoops. The 70's strainer has the same 2.5" spacing as a Luddy strainer. I was thinking of getting a P-86 to keep it looking somewhat classic. This is the kind of stuff that I love, this snare was made before WWII and is still great shape some 80 years later. The thought of being able to play an instrument that was made in the early days of Jazz just gets me all giddy.

I welcome any thoughts or suggestions on this project.

Much thanks to Cooper's Vintage Drums for their superbe documentation of Leedy Strainers and Lugs.

Pics...

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Edit: reside the pictures I took.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:19 PM
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larryz larryz is offline
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Default Re: Advice on 30's Leedy snare

Totally cool snare. I just sold a 1930s Leedy Reliance snare to Guitar Center of all places and actually got a nice return for it...in cash. More than I expected, based on tons of research of previous sales etc all over the internet. The market for such an old snare no matter how rare is somewhat limited. AMore of a historical piece. If you play hard I would be nervous, but eh.... Sounds likle a keeper to me after all but you could the the waters.. thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:36 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Advice on 30's Leedy snare

Leedy was an innovative drum company back in the 20's/30's/40's.One of U.G.Leedys designs was the "floating head" concept.Leedy recognized that many drums of the day, had tight fitting drum heads/flesh hoops,where the flesh hoop used to bind on the shell,because most drums of the day were oversized.

Thats why modern drum heads sometimes won't fit vintage drums.

He went in the opposite direstion,and made his drums,undersized.This eliminated the problem of head/flesh hoop binding,and allowed for better and more accurate tuning and resonance.Leedy rims/hoops were made in the corresponding size,and were by industry standards,undersized also.

That's why you have so much lug splay with modern rims.He also pioneered the self aligning lug insert,which we still use today.In order to elinate your splay,you'd need to find some 30's/40's vintage rims.

Difficult and expensive and considering your drum has been altered,and no longer collectable...just not worth it.Just play it like it is.

Leedy for the most part is the least collectable among collectable American drums,with some exceptions.It's a shame the drum was altered,none the less.

Steve B

Last edited by tamadrm; 04-04-2013 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:46 PM
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opentune opentune is offline
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Default Re: Advice on 30's Leedy snare

Nice find. Just needs a little TLC. Those rods are awfully rusty.
And most importantly, how does it sound?
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:19 AM
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Red Menace Red Menace is offline
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Default Re: Advice on 30's Leedy snare

Quote:
That's why you have so much lug splay with modern rims.He also pioneered the self aligning lug insert,which we still use today.In order to elinate your splay,you'd need to find some 30's/40's vintage rims.
The heads that were on the snare when I bought it were actually a little snug. I have heard of some people cutting a notch in a modern head to get it to fit over a modern drum. I was also thinking about getting a pair of these. Moreso for the sound and the look. I suppose I'll still have a bit of splay though.

http://www.drumfactorydirect.com/ind...oducts_id=5750

Quote:
Sounds likle a keeper to me after all but you could the the waters.. thanks for sharing.
Thanks Larryz. I actually saw your post at Vintage Drum Forum. I don't think I'll be able to get as good a deal as you did because I only have the original lugs.

Quote:
Nice find. Just needs a little TLC. Those rods are awfully rusty.
And most importantly, how does it sound?
Hooo yea. Those lugs squeaked a bit when I took them out. Thus far I have only given it a little tap right after I bought it. It sounded really good. It has a worn out, dirty coated 2-ply with a big ol' piece of tape on it and a gummy reso with 42-strand wires which I gave to my fiancÚ's dad.

I'm thinking of going with a Luddy P-86 and a die-cast Luddy buttplate. The new holes that were drilled are all the right sizes.
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