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  #1  
Old 01-20-2011, 07:22 PM
JPGR
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Default Vintage Vs. Modern

The age old question returns....which do you prefer?

My thoughts on this are that all the top drum companies have kits made in China that all sound the same. Even the USA or Japan made kits are very similiar, this may sound strange, but they are almost too precise in their drum construction. You can take a DW, Pearl, Tama or Yamaha in the same sizes and tuning and would find it difficult to tell one from the other. You take those same size drums and tuning on a vintage Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch or Rogers and you can pick out each company by the sound.

I took a 9x13 Rogers tom and placed it next to a DW 9x13 tom with the same heads and tuning, the Rogers, to my ears, sounded warmer and fuller, plus the Rogers kit was a third less than the DW.
Don't get me wrong, I love new drums, but vintage drums have a vibe you can't find in newer ones, plus the fact that Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch and Rogers were all made in America.

Last edited by JPGR; 01-20-2011 at 09:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2011, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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Originally Posted by JPGR View Post
The age old question returns....

My thoughts on this are that all the top drum companies have kits made in China that all sound the same. Even the USA or Japan made kits are very similiar, this may sound strange, but they are almost too precise in their drum construction. You can take a DW, Pearl, Tama or Yamaha in the same sizes and tuning and would find it difficult to tell one from the other. You take those same size drums and tuning on a vintage Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch or Rogers and you can pick out each company by the sound.

I took a 9x13 Rogers tom and placed it next to a DW 9x13 tom with the same heads and tuning, the Rogers, to my ears, sounded warmer and fuller, plus the Rogers kit was a third less than the DW.
Don't get me wrong, I love new drums, but vintage drums have a vibe you can't find in newer ones, plus the fact that Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch and Rogers were all made in America.
Not to be a prick, but where would the question be?
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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Not to be a prick, but where would the question be?
Good point....read again.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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Not to be a prick, but where would the question be?
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The age old question returns....which do you prefer?
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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The "Which do you prefer" was added after RollingStone000 made his comment (see where it says "edited" ?)
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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The "Which do you prefer" was added after RollingStone000 made his comment (see where it says "edited" ?)
Gotcha...didn't notice. I read and reply in a hurry, during the day.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

I don't "prefer" either. Vintage drums have a sound that is unattainable today (although some manufacturers try to replicate it with similar materials and construction). If you like that sort of sound, fine. If you don't, there are plenty of options.

The drum set is barely 100 years old and the lug-tuned drumset, less than 80 years old. Construction materials and methods haven't changed a great deal: Shave logs into plies, glue them under heat and pressure, attach hardware.

Some instruments go back 500 years or more. The Western trap set is still very recent and has a lot more evolving to do.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

Now that I'm old enough, I used to own vintage kits. I was there! I had a 1977 Slingerland bought brand new on my 12th birthday. I had another 1968 Slingerland that I traded another kit for. I then owned vintage Ludwigs from the 70s (at least two sets were termed vintage). I had an older Gretsch right around 1986 when they started to produce deeper toms - all of these are considered vintage now.

As the wood ages, I guess something magical happens, and as musical instruments, the tone gets more defined or whatever you want to call it. But what I sort of recall in frustration was that sometimes shells were not completely round, and bearing edges were sometimes not flat (you can test this by putting the drum on a glass table). Sometimes I would see other vintage kits where the gluing job for the pearl was just done wrong. And I absolutely hated those Slingerland spurs - my receiver bases constantly stripped out. Not so much so with the Ludwigs, though. But when I saw those Pearl spurs, I was sold and outfitted every old kit with those after that. The Slingerland tom mounting system left alot to be desired as well - that base plate constantly stripped out and at one point the little nub that goes into the tom mount bracket, literally just cracked off one day.

Oh the good ol' days. I think the rise of Japan did nothing but good for the drumming industry. Hardware was better, shells were made better. Replacing heads was no longer a hit-and-miss proposition requiring the better part of the afternoon to get the heads seated right, you could tune drums lower too. I used to take off all the lugs on my vintage kits so I could wrap that spring inside with something to keep it from buzzing - anyone here ever do that? Or worse, go to a recording session and have the engineer go "what's that buzzing sound?".

Of course, the rise of Japan led to all kinds of stupid things too, like hardware that was over-engineered and heavy (I guess DW still keeps with this ethos), and drums that were too deep to be of any use (hello, 20" deep bass drums?). So I think the idea of the vintage kit serves the industry well. Drums remain what they are, just better made.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

I love both! I have new and old drums.
I enjoy playing my old Gretsch with its round bearing edges and its classic sizes.
I like my new drums equally well.
I'm glad that I have both.
I will never sell my vintage Grestch kit! I bought it new in 1974.
The 14x22 bass drum, The 13x9 mounted tom, The 16x16 floor tom.
I love that kit!
I also couldn't do without my newer drums.
All of my newer kits are in smaller sizes for easy transport and play at gigs.

I suggest owning several drum kits from different years and of different sizes and configurations.
Life is too short not to have several kits.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 01-21-2011 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Gotcha...didn't notice. I read and reply in a hurry, during the day.
Good lookin' out. My apologies, I'm at work, it's nothing but digitized text all day. After a while it's starts looking the same.

It would depend. If I was a pro and had the money to swing it, I'd definitely go vintage. There are sooooo many different nuances to old kits. Some for the better, some for the worse. But to have that story behind a kit; and so many options for wood types, and grains, and finishes etc. It's the kind of stuff you can only get from custom drum makers. However, I am reminded of a story from Roots drummer ?uestlove about him djing in some city out of town and he had his crate of records with him. In that great he had a rare original copy of an album that ran him a few hundred bucks, easy. Long story short, he ended up dropping the crate or it fell off a table and that was one of the few records that broke. Ever since then he only carries copies/re-issues.

Although, I do like the consistency of kits now a days. I've read a lot of stories about how older kits end up getting warped or have inconsistent bearing edges (a lot probably from poor maintenance) a whole list of things. With a modern kit you can pretty much slap on any head, and provided you tuned it right, it'll sound good-great. I do happen to recall many older folks mentioning that older drums sound like you're playing on tubs or boxes. I kind of wonder if that's more of a micing issue, or a lack of head selection during that period of time.
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2011, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

I know for the most part hardware has improved, although, I've never had a problem with Rogers hardware, in fact they started the whole ball and socket concept years ago.

Yes, I will agree that modern drums are more consistant in shell construction, but that's part of the problem. Back in the day, each company had their own way of making drum shells and a lot of those older kits were all hand made. These days it's all done by machines, except for the painted finishes and that's why they all sound alike. I like the inconsistency of some of the vintage drum shells, it gives them their own distinct sound.

Rounder bearing edges, different plys of wood and thinner shells with rings also contribute to this..
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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I know for the most part hardware has improved, although, I've never had a problem with Rogers hardware
When I ordered my Gretsch kit back in the mid 70s I ordered Rogers hardware for the mounted toms and the cymbal stands.
This is long before the ball socket.
Rogers always made strong hardware.
I still use the tom hardware and the throne base to this day!
The cymbal stands are long gone. They were too heavy!
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

Ah, heck, I'll chime in. I like vintage better. Modern drums sound too....um....."sterile", I guess you could say. Vintage drums have character.

FWIW...when talking about "thin shells with reinforcing rings", my Ludwig 3-ply kit has a 1/4" thick shell, while my DW kit has a 6-ply shell that's only 3/8". I'm of the opinion that the Ludwigs sound better, though. However, I can tune the DW to clear pitches much easier, and get that polished "studio sound" that I can't with the Ludwigs. But, the Ludwigs still sound so.....um....."rich", warm, and woody!

I also dig the older hardware. Right now, I'm sporting the old Ludwig flat-based hardware. It's so lightweight and mostly compact, it's incredible. Who needs all of this bulky, modern hardware?
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:28 AM
JohnPloughman JohnPloughman is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

Rogers, of course.

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Old 01-21-2011, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

I'll second that!!!!
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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Old 01-27-2011, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

I have to say i like both but the vintage stuff,especially Ludwig does it for me.Vintage drums just have that warm woody sound and just some serious mojo.To me as far as looks..Ludwig lugs are still the most beautiful and in burgundy or champaine sparkle ..just wow.I also like now vintage Japanese drums.Vintage Tama superstars still look and sound amazing and from a construction point of view ,can take anything the road can dish out.
The only thing that jerks my chain is when some "drummers"with about 20 minutes of knowledge and experence say that modern drum are just better.Crap..plain and simple.Take a set of 65 Ludwig classics or Rogers holidays in good condition for a test drive...you WILL change your mind.

Steve B
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Vs. Modern

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The only thing that jerks my chain is when some "drummers"with about 20 minutes of knowledge and experence say that modern drum are just better.Crap..plain and simple.Take a set of 65 Ludwig classics or Rogers holidays in good condition for a test drive...you WILL change your mind.
...or, maybe you WON'T. Everyone is entitled to their opinions on the matter. To make such a definitive statement about something so subjective is what jerks my chain...

Vintage love! :D
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