Do People "Relic" Drum Kits?

Jeremy Crockett

Active member
Good morning!

I fully realize that this is a contentious topic on guitar message boards and it is not my intent to start a poop-slinging thread regarding the guitar issue. But, so far, I have not found this Relic-ing business to be a "thing" with drum kits, at least from my extremely limited experience. Indeed, even searching the interwebs produces no useful results.

So, my question (as stated in the title): Have you seen or do you know of any artificially aged drum kits?

To be clear; I am not talking about the natural wear and tear that happens over the years, I am referring to damaging the finish intentionally.

Cheers!
 

someguy01

Well-known member
There are some companies that artificially patina brass for snares but beyond that, no. Most of us like our kits to clean and pristine, not looking like Willie's guitar on a bad day.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
A&F Drum Co. makes rustic kits.

Ankh_Kit_480x480.jpg


 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Sheesh aren't there still enough barn/attic finds and pawn shop scarred-up drums around without having to take new kits and giving them the K. Moon treatment?

Some folks have tried burying fresh cymbals in dirt attempting to give them and aged sound quality.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I know Pork Pie does their patina snare, and they've done things to hardware to make it look old as well.

I'm sort of glad that this trend never really got popular with drums.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
What I did is sort of along the lines of relic drums. My Dad brought a new 1963 Slingerland set for me. I have had them and been playing them for 58 years. About 5 years ago they were in dire need of a new wrap. After I removed the wrap I began thinking maybe these drums should show the mileage I have on them. And I like the raw wood look. And, most importantly, these drums will never leave my possession. So I added a few scratches and some black highlights.

IMG_0756b.jpg

Then I acquired a few more different sized pieces to form a full shell pack. Weathering those new pieces to match.

IMG_0895b.jpg


I also weathered the snare drum. I use these drums frequently for blues and jazz gigs.

IMG_1533b.jpg
 

Thin Shell

Well-known member
A&F Drum Co. makes rustic kits.

Ankh_Kit_480x480.jpg


A&F Drum: Proof that people will pay top dollar for anything just because a company says its products are a Luxury item, Top Shelf, Exclusive, Premium, etc, etc...
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
You can sort of see it here, but when I built this kit, I purposely made it "rough" looking. Heavy wood grain, rope handle & unfinished hardware. As if it's seen some road use.
Might not fit the vintage idea suggested here, but it felt that way to me.
Cut down kit 2.jpeg
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
A&F Drum: Proof that people will pay top dollar for anything just because a company says its products are a Luxury item, Top Shelf, Exclusive, Premium, etc, etc...


I thought I was a fan of A&F.. But their Quality sucks. I paid 1250 bucks for a Chandler Blue Snare, that had a chip in the bearing edge.. The Shells are so radically sharp and thin that its hard to see it lasting a long time even if it didn't ship defective.

Then my A&F raw brass snare shipped with 5 claws that were welded extremely poor and were breaking at the bend.

Customer support was good. I will say that. But it rubbed me wrong that multiple hundred dollar snares pretended like modern craftsmanship and Quality just flat out doesn't exist. We want the vintage look and sound, not a drum falling apart like its a 100 years old on day 1
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
A&F Drum Co. makes rustic kits.

Ankh_Kit_480x480.jpg



I was going to say - only A&F really does that vintage patina thing on whole kits.

A lot of companies do it for metal snares - Ludwig, Gretsch etc. Not a lot on whole kits.

The closet thing I've seen is retro-builds....Like gretsch does the direct to shell mountain on toms with a rail consolette on the bass drum, etc.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
You can sort of see it here, but when I built this kit, I purposely made it "rough" looking. Heavy wood grain, rope handle & unfinished hardware. As if it's seen some road use.
Might not fit the vintage idea suggested here, but it felt that way to me.
View attachment 108469
I gotta ask, what's with the Pearl tom arm, lugs, and spurs, but a Gretsch head?

I dig the little kit, even the color. The head is confusing though.
 

pinstripe

Member
I fully realize that this is a contentious topic on guitar message boards...
Some of those guitar relic threads are truly epic lol

As a guitar player now learning drums it's been interesting to see how the "drum community" thinks about gear. My guess is the lack of a relic trend is because there aren't any iconic drummers whose image is tied to a beat up set of drums along the lines of say Stevie Ray Vaughn and his strat (at least that I can think of). A few other thoughts:

-Drummers don't wear against the finish of their instrument the way guitarists do. Guitar players unavoidably rub against the body and neck causing typical wear patterns that over time became associated with desirable vintage instruments. As far as I know, those kinds of patterns don't happen with drums.

-The actual playing wear on drums is limited mostly to sticks and heads which are consumables that get tossed and replaced, similar to guitar strings. So the evidence of playing gets thrown away rather than permanently registered in the finish as with guitars.

-Most of the wear and tear on a drum finish is from setup/teardown, transport, and storage. People probably tend to see less mystique in that kind of wear so there's less demand to have it replicated.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I gotta ask, what's with the Pearl tom arm, lugs, and spurs, but a Gretsch head?

I dig the little kit, even the color. The head is confusing though.
That was just a custom reso I painted for my actual Gretsch kit. I threw it on here for playing purposes.
I've since changed it out for this:Tubac kit.png
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
With guitars they used to use nitrocellulose finishes that wore off with use, giving that relic look. But I don't know if drums used nitrocellulose finish.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
What I did is sort of along the lines of relic drums. My Dad brought a new 1963 Slingerland set for me. I have had them and been playing them for 58 years. About 5 years ago they were in dire need of a new wrap. After I removed the wrap I began thinking maybe these drums should show the mileage I have on them. And I like the raw wood look. And, most importantly, these drums will never leave my possession. So I added a few scratches and some black highlights.

View attachment 108466
You did a beautiful job on these, Jim. And it pretty much solves the problem of having to match wraps! What was your exact process?
 
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