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  #1  
Old 12-02-2007, 05:45 AM
Iplaydrums Iplaydrums is offline
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Default Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

I came across a clear ludwig vistalite 24" kick and concert toms lately. Not that I really need them... but those drums look so darned cool and I'm really tempted to pick them up. The 24" kick would be nice to have too it if actually has good sound characteristics.

Do vistalites sound any good when recorded or are they strictly for using on stage for looks?

And can anybody help me put a value on the drums? The serial on the kick is 1753050, and the 12" and 13" toms are 1754300 and 1753045. According to what I can find out at http://vintagedrumguide.com/serial_numbers.html they would appear to have been made around 1978-79. The kick is in OK shape, a bit cloudy maybe because of minor scuffs and scratches, but probably a good cleaning would make it look a lot better. The toms are concert toms with no bottom lugs and appear have been reglued along the seams, so they seem useless to me. I'd probably try to just buy the kick. Though maybe I could repair the toms and modify them to take resonant heads (sacrilege to a collector?).

Thanks for your help....
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2007, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

I saw type o negative on halloween. their drummer johny kelly played a bonahm kit. my dad thought it sounded like plastic buckets.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2007, 07:26 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

I played clear Vistalites for 25 years. Check out RCI http://www.rcivistalite.com/ probably the largest collection of Vistalites in the US, maybe the world. Lots of things can affect the price of just 1 drum. Is it a virgin? Rail consolette or flange. 24x14 or 24x16. What size spurs. Condition of chrome, hoops, shell, etc. Would you pay $300 for a new 24" Pearl Export kick? I wouldn't, but that's what they sell 'em for. For the Luddie, without looking at it (but it has tom rash), $200 ballpark.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

I have a set of large vistalites... 24"kick 18" floor and I forgot the tom dimensions. They sounded pretty good to me. They are oversized and rumbled the house like thunder. But I no longer have the hardware so I can't set them up :(
Im trying to figure out where I can buy a tom rack to fit. Or I may just sell them off.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

A drum shop in my area had a couple peices from the versatiles, 70's era. I still haven't had a chance to try them out yet.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2007, 08:26 AM
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criz p. critter criz p. critter is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

I've got a 4-piece Vistalite kit in blue, vintage from the 70s. I agree: they do look awesome. Put all clear heads on them to get the complete see-thru look! But to answer your questions:

The sound: yeah they definitely have a different sound than wood drums, louder and more... I dunno... pushy and aggressive? (how poetic...) An acquired taste, maybe, but for those of us that love Vistas, they sound as cool as they look. A great, great live kit. I'm not saying you can't get a great sound from them in a studio, but I'm sure any wood shelled drums are going to be more versatile for recording, and I personally prefer my Mahogany shells for the studio. Btw, I've read that Bonham never recorded with Vistas.

As to price? There's always a lot of kits as well as separate drums on ebay to check out the going prices. Condition is everything with Vistas. A pristine kit with no bad scratches, cracks, split seams, or problems with the chrome and hardware can set you back, but there's a lot of kits out there that are less than perfect looking, but with no major faults, that make kickass player's kits and are real reasonably priced. Oh, yeah, color is important, too. Blue is very common, and so cheaper, whereas green is the most rare, and can cost a lot. Do a little research in these forums and here: http://www.griptoad.com to learn what to look for and what to avoid.

One thing I'd avoid is trying to add reso heads to concert toms. Too much trouble in my opinion. You have to be real careful and use a special bit when drilling holes in the acrylic. It seems a lot easier to just look for the real thing on ebay.

I got a pretty good deal on mine, found them locally on craigslist. Paid $900 for a 6-piece kit: 24" kick, 2 up & 2 down toms, and a chrome Coliseum snare. Plus all the hardware and 2 DW 5000 pedals! Cleaned everything up and sold two of the toms for $250, bringing my out-of-pocket to $750 for a great kit that I really love.

Check some out, find a kit somewhere to pound on, before you commit to buying any pieces. But be warned... you might get hooked! Good luck!
Chris
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Old 12-03-2007, 05:08 PM
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Cymbalrider Cymbalrider is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

Acrylic kits are loud essentially. Not much in the way of musical. Always wanted to have one though for some reason but never a priority. Ebay has vistalites popping up every now and then so buying toms for it wouldn't be a big deal. They really aren't expensive unless its Bonham amber kit. I would check out eBay and stuff first though. Especially if those aren't in good shape. I like the clear and blue the best though
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:51 PM
tomk tomk is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

Hey Iplaydrums, I've played a set of bonham vistas at my local shop a while ago. The sizes were HUGE and I felt uncomfortable at the least haha. They sounded thunderous though, very punchy and had great projection. More recently though, i saw that kit and it was unfortunate, but the bass drum had a huge series of cracks along a bearing edge and making its way to the centre of the drum. I've read a few horror stories about cracks and stuff happening so I'd be careful. I mean if you take really good care of it, that shouldn't happen. Those drums are something I would never buy unless I had some extra income.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2007, 07:17 AM
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criz p. critter criz p. critter is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

As far as cracks go, you really don't have to worry about them unless you really mistreat the drums, like drop them or jump on them or whatever. They're pretty strong. And if you do get small cracks, or even if the seam somehow gets cracked, you can get them repaired, or even do it yourself with special solvent glues.

The only other thing to be careful about is that you don't crank down hard on the screws that hold the lugs and hardware on. That can cause hairline cracks spreading from the screw holes.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:22 PM
gmrakich gmrakich is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

The first two kits are wood and the third is acrylic...they sound pretty good.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...+maple+acrylic
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2007, 11:03 PM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

I remeber seeing the band across the street's Ludwig Blue Vistalite kit...26" kick, 2 up 2 down...wow, I thought it was really cool....that was in 1981-82.

I played a Clear Ludwig kit some years later at a band rehersal place that was shared with a friends group.
They sounded pretty cool, but he had the bottom heads off. They would have sounded better with reso's on, but that was back in the 80's too, and no reso's was common then.

As much as I'm a "Ludwig guy".....if you (Iplaydrums) are interested in getting a Vistalite kit, & you can check out some acrilic drums and like the sound, check into RCI's shells.

Buying shells, and putting hardware on them is the least expensive way to go..

RCI has great prices, and do all sorts of different size shells, colors etc...They also supply the drum companies, so it's the same shell.

That way, you get what you want, and the shells will be new, with no crack or scratch worries from a pic that was taken at "just the right angle" for an eBay sale.

I was toying with the idea myself, and I added up my sizes (20X26, 9X13, 2-14X16's and 16X18) and it was only like $600 for the shells. I was suprised at how cheap it was.
They do all the drilling and edges, all you have to do is put it together, and that's the easy part.

Acrilic kits are an "aquired tase" a bit. Definetly different than wood, but like anything else, it depends on the tpe of sound you need or want too.
I'd stay away from concert toms though.

Just my 2 cents.

Clear G2's, Emps, and Black dots sound good on acrilic shells. Remo Black Dots sound less "rubbery" than Ludwig's Silver Dots.

Coated & Smooth White Ambassadors sound cool too (as usual), but you loose the "look" factor.

criz p. critter is right, Bonham never recorded any Zeppelin stuff with his Vistalites. He did have an ugly Black and White swirl kit for a bit though that he gave away.

Blue, Amber, Red, Purple & Clear are cool colors I have seen.

The Green is kinda "eehh" (IMO), and Yellow is kinda too light, like you wouldn't see it very well on stage, almost a dingy clear.

Hope some of this helps.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2007, 02:06 AM
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timmdrum timmdrum is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

"I was toying with the idea myself, and I added up my sizes (20X26, 9X13, 2-14X16's and 16X18) and it was only like $600 for the shells. I was suprised at how cheap it was.
They do all the drilling and edges, all you have to do is put it together, and that's the easy part."

How did you come up with that number? I just looked at their website (http://www.rcistarlite.com/sets1.htm) and their smallest tom price is $499...??
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:17 AM
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criz p. critter criz p. critter is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmdrum View Post
"I was toying with the idea myself, and I added up my sizes (20X26, 9X13, 2-14X16's and 16X18) and it was only like $600 for the shells. I was suprised at how cheap it was. They do all the drilling and edges, all you have to do is put it together, and that's the easy part."

How did you come up with that number? I just looked at their website (http://www.rcistarlite.com/sets1.htm) and their smallest tom price is $499...??
I looked them up too, thinking to maybe swap out my vintage Ludwig shells with brand-new perfect shells from RCI... assuming that were actually that reasonably priced. The prices on that page were pretty astronomical, though. Guess that's because they're complete drums with lugs and rims and all.

Here's another link, one of RCI's dealers: http://www.precisiondrum.com/html/acrylic.html You can get just the plain shells there, with bearing edges cut. But they're still kinda pricey. It would cost almost $800 to replace my three shells (24x16/16x16/9x13) with new RCI shells. That's including having them cut bearing edges. And there's no mention on that site about them drilling holes for you. That, as I said earlier, is the most difficult part about building your own.

Then, if you wanted to build a kit from scratch, you'd have to add in the cost of the lugs, tom rims and bass hoops. If you wanted to use vintage (or even new) Ludwig parts that could get expensive real fast.

My point? Guess I'll keep the shells I've got. And if anyone is looking for the most inexpensive way to get some Vistalites, look for 'em used on ebay or craigslist.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2007, 06:21 AM
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criz p. critter criz p. critter is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

Hey, check this out... found this on www.precisiondrum.com too.
http://www.precisiondrum.com/clear-acrylic.gif

That's pretty flippin cool.
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2007, 02:57 PM
gmrakich gmrakich is offline
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

Where do you live and what is your budget?
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Vistalites - do they sound any good and how much $ ?

Looks like Iplaydrums lost interest in this thread....
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