DW buys Slingerland!

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
To be a true Slingerland, it has to be thin plys with a re-ring for me. Built in USA. Anything else is not a real Slingerland. As AzHeat said, Gretsch was dying, but they weren't dead. Slingerland has been dead for a long time so any resurrection is a fake resurrection.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'm genuinely curious as to the standard of what we're calling a product "true" to be.
I would think that it would be the company in control, and the workers involved. Is a FFR Shelby Cobra a Ford, even though the car can be made to exact specifications? Absolutely not.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
So what would it mean for a drum made today to be a "true Slingerland?"
Well certainly .... if Slingerland had continued .... they would have "modernized" just like Gretsch and Ludwig. I think retaining the lug and the stick saver hoop, would be cool. Nothing wrong with either of those. Bass drum spurs need an upgrade, and so do the tom holders.

In many ways, Slingerland was more advanced than either Gretsch, Rogers, or Ludwig. Those three went from one shell ..... to another shell. Slingerland produced the 3 ply shell with re-ring up until '81. They started making the 5 ply shell in '72. Quite an overlap of two shell offerings. And when the 3 ply with re-ring was finally retired in '81, it was replaced with a 3 ply no re-ring shell. So you still had a two shell offering.

What Slingerland didn't have, was a good marketing campaign. The Japanese had landed BIG TIME, in the late '70's. The American big 4 were in trouble, and two didn't survive.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I don't see the big deal.

As mentioned, the Slingerland name hasn't been used with any success in decades, and few drummers really have any familiarity with them.

The last attempted revival of Slingerland, by Gibson, in the 90's. they lined up Greg Bissonette as an endorser, they had Gibson's money behind them, and it went nowhere fast. They also briefly had Tre Cool from Green Day as an endorser and a re-creation of Gene Krupa's kit on the market, and it did nothing for them.

And, as mentioned, DW only bought the name, nothing else.

Even if John Good and co re-create a Slingerland-like shell, it's still a DW shell with a Slingerland nameplate. I mean, DW already makes similar drums in their jazz line and their maple/mahogany lines that were designed to recreate a past era of drum building. The differences are going to be minimal.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
FWIW, the Indian Motorcycle Company went through various hands of ownership and product iterations over the last few decades, including a period where they were using an S&S motor that was a Harley-Davidson clone rather than their own. I didn't consider those bikes to be "real Indians" because they (to me) were nothing more than a kit bike w/ a label affixed to them. It wasn't until they started using their own proprietary engine in 2002 that I thought of them as "real Indians." Since then that engine has been replaced by a newer design and the company has been bought by Polaris -who already owned Victory Motorcycles at the time (and has since retired Victory). The new Indian Motorcycle Company isn't in anyway connected to the company of the past other than a name. One could argue that the new ones are merely a well-designed modern motorcycle with nothing more than a purchased name, but I consider them real Indians. And those Indians from the 90s w/ the H-D clone engines are a part of Indian's history, just as AMF is part of Harley's history.

Does DW need separate molds and staff just to make Slingerland shells if the end result would be the same using the staff and tooling they have now? Most likely not (IMO). Would it add another level of credibility to the product of being "real Slingerland" if it was all separate? Sure, probably.

*edited for clarity and grammar.
 
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Lee-Bro

Senior Member
This just in at the news desk: "Neil Peart announces return to drumming with his new Oxnard Slingerland kit."

Pure speculation obviously as DW could made him a Classics kit to his size specs if he was that into Slingerland. I think it was Neil who said, "I like vintage motorcycles, I just like modern ones more." -or something along those lines.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I’m over the moon with this news, I have a special place in my heart reserved for Slingerland.

Yes it’s not going to be Slingerland as it once was and Slingerland only really in brand name but it’s great to have it soon to be back out there.

I can see them maybe taking the approach of Dixon with Rogers, test the waters with some snares - then potentially start kit production at a later point once the brand has been reestablished. Just a guess though but they do have a lot of work to do to reestablish the brand - especially to anyone born after the late 90’s.

Fingers crossed for some new Radio King snares at some point.

Regardless of what happens and when things happen thank god its no longer with Gibson. As DW have shown with Gretsch/Gibraltar/LP they are good custodians so thankfully it’s back in better hands.

I’m really, really happy with this news.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I think retaining the lug and the stick saver hoop, would be cool.
Question: is there a patent issue with the stick saver hoop? I just cannot figure out why else every drum manufacturer hasn't incorporated that into their kits as standard. I mean with everybody (DW especially) over-engineering things and inventing solutions looking for a problem, I'd say that countless broken sticks and busted knuckles would make it a no-brainer.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
It seems similar to new Rogers. Not any connection to real Rogers except for the name.

This is same as what has happened with bicycles. A company bought the name and brand of old out-of-business classic bicycle brands, then started manufacturing frames in China.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
DW have paid for brand equity, it really is as simple as that. An additional brand brings breadth to their offering, and that potentially expands the customer base.

Personally, I think pre 80's Slingerland shells are by far the best of the US majors at that time. I had a 6 piece Slingerland kit myself, & it served me well. A 3 ply re ring shell offering would be a good way to go - let's see if that happens.

As for hardware, like any hardware at the time, it sucked, so I'm assuming the bigger work item is getting the Chinese suppliers to bang out something that looks similar, but actually works.

I see it like this - Slingerland fans will judge it on how close the new offering is to the old offering, and almost everyone else will judge it primarily on price & finishes. Either way, it's better than the brand sitting on the shelf.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
This is same as what has happened with bicycles. A company bought the name and brand of old out-of-business classic bicycle brands, then started manufacturing frames in China.
I managed a Schwinn bicycle shop for several years and saw the brand fall from pinnacle to gutter. Union labor in Chicago put the Schwinn Varsity (a 45 LB. tank of a bike) over $300 while Taiwanese bikes were flying out the door at 25 LB. and $100 less. Schwinn never recovered. An investment firm in Canada bought the name, and production went to China. Schwinn stores were shuttered and the product was sold at Walmart and other mega-stores.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I don't see the big deal.

As mentioned, the Slingerland name hasn't been used with any success in decades, and few drummers really have any familiarity with them.

The last attempted revival of Slingerland, by Gibson, in the 90's. they lined up Greg Bissonette as an endorser, they had Gibson's money behind them, and it went nowhere fast. They also briefly had Tre Cool from Green Day as an endorser and a re-creation of Gene Krupa's kit on the market, and it did nothing for them.

And, as mentioned, DW only bought the name, nothing else.

Even if John Good and co re-create a Slingerland-like shell, it's still a DW shell with a Slingerland nameplate. I mean, DW already makes similar drums in their jazz line and their maple/mahogany lines that were designed to recreate a past era of drum building. The differences are going to be minimal.

The reason Gibson Slingerlwnd was not more successful was more based on the obscene prices they charged for them . They also forced Slingerlwnd kits on their Gibson Guitar dealers . You want Gibson Guitars , you need to stick this way overpriced Slingerland kit .
 
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