Anyone heard of Ranger?

KoDan

Member
Apologies in advance for this long first post! I've taken a punt on a second-hand kit for my lad. All I can find on the shells is a sticker that says 'RANGER Percussions', they are unfinished wood internally and on the outside looked like they are sleeved with a flat color plastic sheet. The toms have 6 tuning lugs and the hardware looks decent, as good if not better than that on his Pearl Exports. On the inside mounting bracket there is a 'Made in Taiwan' sticker. The crash is an old Royal so I'm guessing there is a Taiwanese connection, however the hi-hats are Meinl, so it could be a mix and match. It apparently came from John Reynolds which was a well know Australian music retailer, and the seller seemed to be genuine, though knew nothing about them apart from where he bought them. Curiously the tom shells have an adjustable 2" felt pad that can be set against the head, I'm guessing this is some form of dampening/muting - I don't recall his Pearls having that (but could be mistaken). The snare outside coating is nice mother of pearl finish - standard 36" diameter 8x tuners and absolutely no branding at all! Kick pedal looks decent, but again absolutely no branding.

At the end of the day I paid very little for the kit, heads look barely used (mix of DXP, Mapex, Ranger and no-name) and it includes spare stands (look stronger than the Pearl hardware), cymbals and a decent throne so I'm not fussed if this just becomes his 'chuck in the car' practise kit. But I'm somewhat amazed that Googling has given me absolutely nothing, so I am curious to know if anyone out there has heard of these :)
 

KoDan

Member
Aha - thanks for that. Shells all look in good condition (tidy & round) so it will be interesting to compare the sound to his Pearl Exports. I'm no expert but the snare seems significantly better, after Xmas I'll get the lad to give his thoughts on the different drums just for the record. For what I paid I'm very happy - always nice to get a quirky story with a cheap buy - but it does also suggest the previous owner got seriously ripped off.

FYI John Reynolds was an iconic drum business here in Adelaide (had been around for over 50 years) that was finally forced to close around two years ago - which is where/when the previous owner says he bought the drum kit for - wait for it - $1700. And whilst the kit might have some 'street' cred, with it's student level cymbals it clearly isn't worth anything near that even brand spanking new from a retailer.......
 

KoDan

Member
Yup that's the exact label! A couple of tuning lugs were broken on the toms and a generic replacement 'Pearl' design lug is a perfect match. As mentioned the only identifying info I can find is the 'Made in Taiwan' sticker on one of the hardware mounts. Do you guys know anything else on these? The wrap on the toms is sun bleached but I'm not sure we will even keep these, the snare wrap is much nicer. As mentioned to my 'guitar' ears the drum sound pretty nice :)
 

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KoDan

Member
Actually looking at the printing on the bass I'm perhaps wondering if this was a kit made specifically for John Reynolds. They were certainly a big enough business back in 60-80's. The finish on the printed letters is close but slightly different between 'Ranger' and 'John Reynolds' so could have been added later, but it does seem a little curious that they would brand it with the Aussie store.
 

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harryconway

Platinum Member
Actually looking at the printing on the bass I'm perhaps wondering if this was a kit made specifically for John Reynolds. They were certainly a big enough business back in 60-80's. The finish on the printed letters is close but slightly different between 'Ranger' and 'John Reynolds' so could have been added later, but it does seem a little curious that they would brand it with the Aussie store.
John Reynolds just probably had their name screened onto the drum head. I don't know when the MIJ stencil kits started getting outsourced/replaced by Taiwan made kits .... but probably not until the late 70's or 80's. Early 60's MIJ kits copied Slingerland/Gretsch/Ludwig/Rogers hardware and lugs, mostly.

The double braced stuff came later .... mid to late 70's, and your Ranger lugs look like knock-offs of the Japanese copying the Rogers Beavertail lug. And the tom mount is a Pearl clone.

There is a following for these kits. As long as you didn't pay to much for 'em, they're not bad kits.
 

KoDan

Member
Cheers mate, yup that all makes perfect sense, especially the screen printing.

The lad is very happy, as soon as he saw the snare he knew it was a 'vintage' kit! He's added a floor Tom, different ride & crash cymbals to his collection and got replacement HH which were on their last legs. Paid $250 for everything and considering the crash cymbal stand is serious Pro level I'm happy with that. Probably could have beat it down to $200 but wanted it for Xmas day :)

In terms of sound, compared to his budget Pearls the snare definitely has more 'pop' and the toms sound more 'dense' with more 'oomph'. He said he hasn't played it enough to really form an opinion except they sound great (smart kid!)

Interestingly the bass is significantly lighter than the Pearl, which for him is ideal as he will use that for his 'in-the-car' practise kit.

He also says its not really a question of better or worse, every drum and cymbal sound is unique. Though more tuning lugs is generally better!

The main goal with this kit was to 'economically' give him some more/different sounds to explore before he eventually buys a higher level kit - so I was glad they did turn out to be mahogany shells (did take a guess there). I realise it's not expensive wood but it's just a different sound to modern budget kits like his Pearl, and I know from guitar experience that there is no substitute to time to bring out the best in timber.

And I do agree that if the price is right (and not too beat up) these are actually quite an interesting drum kit, much more so than a modern Chinese cheapie - IMHO.

Really want to say thanks to everyone, the history is a bit of icing on this cake :)
 
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