Affordable "vintage" kits

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
What should I be looking for if I want something vintage-ish in the sub $500 category? Is there anything that qualifies? I want something that can easily sound "old" to contrast my current kits. Old can be 50's jazz to 70's thud. I suspect the drums in those era's are not terribly different, just heads and tuning.


What do you think?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I was going to say Ludwig Standard kits, but then I looked at the price. They're going for $750 to $1500, insane for what used to be a budget kit.

Ludwig Rocker kits would be worth checking out though. Particularly the older ones that were made in the USA.

Also, some Slingerlands from the 70s and 80s may fall into your price category.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
You’d be better off waiting for something that’s in rough cosmetic shape, but just really needs some cleaning, etc.. If I were getting a vintage kit, it would be something pre-1964, and probably a Slingy, Ludwig, or Rogers. Thin shells with re-rings, hopefully, and a 24 or 26 kick.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
You’d be better off waiting for something that’s in rough cosmetic shape, but just really needs some cleaning, etc.. If I were getting a vintage kit, it would be something pre-1964, and probably a Slingy, Ludwig, or Rogers. Thin shells with re-rings, hopefully, and a 24 or 26 kick.
I would not mind a little rehab project.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I would not mind a little rehab project.
You just gotta keep daily searching the local Craigslist and such. Least around LA .... and "killer" deals last a matter of hours, before one of the many drum guys grab it up. Yeah ..... for that kinda money, if you're looking at American made drums, they're gonna be "ridden hard and put away wet" or have modifications (non-factory/different manufacture spurs, tom mounts, extra holes, etc.)

I recently picked up a 5 piece Tama Royalstar (early model, with 10 lug bass drum) for just under $200. Same shell as the Imperialstar, I believe, but without the reinforcement rings. It was on eBay (local pick-up only).

You probably can find a MIJ stencil kit for under $500, in decent shape. They can be quite fun.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Two years ago I bought a 1968 Pearl kit - 12,14,20 in a blue onyx wrap. Cheap kit but sounds great tuned medium low with coated heads. Had to clean up the chrome a bit, but now it shines like new.
I use it exclusively for the 50’s band I’m in. Looks and sounds the part. Good value.

* Note: I’ve tried to upload a photo for the last 30 minutes. Giving up now...
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
In my head I want something I envision as indi/ vibey ala Ben Folds five which of course means I am completely wrong about what they use. :) lol
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
You can't go wrong with Premier. XPK is a great intermediate set and very affordable on the pre-owned market.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
If you are diligent and ready to instantly jump on a listing, you should have no problem picking up a vintage Slingerland kit in your price range. Slingerland kits of equal quality will typically sell for about 20% less than a comparable vintage Ludwig kit. I've seen numerous nice Slingerland kits sell for less than $500 (even as low as $350!). These kits sometimes include period hardware.

Now is a great time to buy. The drum market is saturated with new and vintage kits, and prices have fallen dramatically over the last year. Lots of people tend to scoff at this reality, but a fast survey of the "Sold" listings reveal the rapid decline in selling prices.

So my advice for a vintage kit in the $500 range is Slingerland.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
I’ve just read up on what the definition of Vintage is because I saw kits mentioned that I didn’t consider to be vintage at all. Vintage is over 20 years old, therefore 1999 and anything earlier. Suddenly I feel very old!
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
90's Made in England Premier XPK is in your budget. I've seen several Tama Made In Japan vintage kits on Reverb and eBay recently also in your budget.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Anything with 3-ply an re-rings would probably do you just fine.

There was a set of Luddies here for $500, but I think they are gone now.
 

jdsg

Member
+1 on 1970's Premier kits. I have a couple from the early '70's. African mahogany with beech re-rings. Got a player's kit (22, 13, 16) for $300 and a five piece with 2000 snare in absolute mint condition for $700 Canadian. They sound as good, if not better, than my '61 Ludwigs.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I've gotten a few kits below 500 bucks, partly due to luck, but also partly due to Craigslist savvy and some wheelin'-n-dealin'. I got a Ludwig Standard 22/12/13/14/16 for $450 in fairly crummy shape, but it polished up great and sounds amazing, got a late 80s/early 90s Gretsch USA Jasper-shell kit 22/10/12/13/16 for $450 due to dumb luck and the fact that I got there first. They're not museum pieces, but they sound incredible, get used all the time, and I'm glad to have them as musical tools.
 
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