DW buys Slingerland!

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
The problem is, will people embrace Slingerland drums if they're made in Asia? Because that's the reality we live in now.

Back when Slingerland was still big, products were Made In the USA. But now, making things in the USA is super expensive and it's very difficult to compete. Asia has almost completely taken over manufacturing. Slingerland could make future high-end drums in the USA like everybody else, but what about their lower to mid level drums?

Speaking of what makes a Slingerland a Slingerland. To me it's the thin shells with re-rings, like some of you have said. But re-rings are arguably outdated.

DW cannot possibly use DW methods to manufacture Slingerland shells without them sounding like DW. All the DW lines sound similar to me, no matter what wood or layout is used. For better or worse, that's the DW sound. Even if DW made thin shells with re-rings and Slingerland lugs, it would still sound like DW.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
If they went 3 ply with re-rings, and due care was taken with all other elements, there's no reason why they couldn't get pretty damn close.
Andy, does the glue used affect the drum sound? Do drum manufacturers use proprietary glue? (I'm of the belief that the answer to both is "yes").
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Yup. Kinda like the new "Rogers" snares that are upwards of $795.

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 .
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Re-rings are not dated. It's just that not many shells are made that thin anymore. But, Sonor makes several thin shell snares that use re-rings. The Sakae Trilogy model is a thin shell with re-rings. Yes there are shells with re-rings, but the vast majority of shells these days are thicker so no re-ring required. That's part of the reason most shells today sound different than vintage: they're thicker.

FYI I just bought a Sakae Trilogy shell. Thin shell with re-rings. It's hard for me to find my sound in a snare. Think NOLA and crushed rolls that are easy to pull off. Crushed roll used as fills in a smokey dark jazz joint. And little to no ring. You can play them quietly and they still sound good. One of tests is a crushed roll played very quietly. Some snares are so articulate that you can't get a good crushed roll doing that. I tune the resonant head loose which helps eliminate ring. Snares loose too. The batter head medium tuning so I get a good bounce. Birch snares can't do it they're too sharp, bright, and articulate. Thick shells can't do it. Maple and mahogany and aluminum shells do it best. And very thin if wood. I have an old Slingerland 3-ply with re-rings that can do it, but the Sakae actually does it better. I have an Acrolite that does it perfectly. It's actually my recording snare now because it has zero nada ring. The Sakae still has a bit of ring (no damper: why don't they make snares with internal mufflers anymore). But another Acrolite couldn't do it. Same heads side by side. I played a cheap under $90 steel shell snare at Guitar Center that did it, too (I should have bought it for a spare. Pride got in the way lol). Bottom line: I try a lot of snares to get my sound, and if the Slingerland was reasonably priced and a thin maple shell with re-rings and good hardware (the Sakae throw is great) I'd certainly give it a try. Not because it said "Slingerland", but because of the shell construction.

The problem is, will people embrace Slingerland drums if they're made in Asia? Because that's the reality we live in now.

Back when Slingerland was still big, products were Made In the USA. But now, making things in the USA is super expensive and it's very difficult to compete. Asia has almost completely taken over manufacturing. Slingerland could make future high-end drums in the USA like everybody else, but what about their lower to mid level drums?

Speaking of what makes a Slingerland a Slingerland. To me it's the thin shells with re-rings, like some of you have said. But re-rings are arguably outdated.

DW cannot possibly use DW methods to manufacture Slingerland shells without them sounding like DW. All the DW lines sound similar to me, no matter what wood or layout is used. For better or worse, that's the DW sound. Even if DW made thin shells with re-rings and Slingerland lugs, it would still sound like DW.
 
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force3005

Silver Member
Remember. It's where the wood is sourced and back then 5 ply set-up today would equal an 8 ply set-up today because the ply's are thinner then back then. A 3 ply would equal a 5 ply today. Everything evolves, machining technique, engineering and QC standards. And it does not matter where the shells or shell hardware is made, as long it's equal to what DW has spec out. Things have changed over almost 40 years. Give DW a chance to bring back Slingerland's name and drums.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Andy, does the glue used affect the drum sound? Do drum manufacturers use proprietary glue? (I'm of the belief that the answer to both is "yes").
Proprietary glue - not usually. Why reinvent the wheel?.

Sonic difference - not really, unless it's a substantial volume of high mass adhesive such as a resin. Most wood glues reduce to almost no mass in curing. Generally, there's too much emphasis placed on glue influence in my opinion / experience. In terms of materials, quality of wood stock has a far bigger affect, and even that is often nuance rather than night & day.
 

justadrummer

Junior Member
I'm sixty years old, I started playing drums in 1969 when I was ten. I became a serious gigging drummer in 1975 when my older brother's band lost their drummer. Admittedly I'm old, but to me Slingerland drums were something special.

Back then Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch, and Rogers all had a distinct sound and identity. Slingerland was the top selling drum company from the late 1930s, thanks initially to Gene Krupa. Their market dominance ended with one television broadcast in February of 1964. Ringo played Ludwig, sales of Ludwig took off like a rocket.

In 1975 virtually every drummer that I met either had a set of Ludwigs, or wanted a set of Ludwigs. There were exceptions. In the Summer of 1975 I was visiting California with my mother, six months before she passed away. We went to Knott's Berry Farm on that trip. By happenstance the Buddy Rich big band was playing on an outside stage that day. I got to see Buddy behind his Slingerlands, and I was a Slingerland guy from that day on.

Slingerland made multi ply wooden snare drums and metal shelled snare drums, but their solid steam bent maple shelled snare drums were really something special. They were the inspiration for drums made by Craviotto, Noble & Cooley, DW, and others. I can't wait to get my hands on a new Slingerland Radio King solid maple snare drum.

In the 1970s Slingerland was still the number two selling brand. Danny Seraphine of Chicago played Slingerland, Neal Smith of the original Alice Cooper Band played Slingerland, Nigel Olson from Elton John's band played Slingerland, and until the early 1980s Neil Peart of Rush played Slingerland drums. (Neil Peart was never an official endorser by the way, it is the brand that he chose to buy and play.) A weird coincidence is that Danny Seraphine and Neil Peart are DW endorsers. The last time that I saw Neal Smith play, he was playing DW, and I believe that Nigel Olson plays DW drums these days as well.

In any case in the late seventies Pearl, Tama and Yamaha started giving the big four American companies, Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch, and Rogers some very serious competition. By the end of the eighties Rogers was gone, Slingerland had been sold a couple of times and was a shadow of it's former self. Gretsch and even once mighty Ludwig did not enjoy the sales that they once had.

In 1991 I had a major motorcycle accident. By the time that I was able to even think about drums again it was 1992. A friend of mine and I went into a local drum shop in Pittsburgh and I saw my first set of DW drums. DW at that point was well known for their drum pedals, the DW 5000 pedal was very well respected. I still remember my conversation with the shop owner that day. The set of DWs on the floor were gorgeous, but the idea of an American drum company taking on the Japanese powerhouse corporations was unthinkable. I was impressed with what I saw and heard of DW that day. If I had gotten a settlement from my accident, I'd have likely bought a set of DWs. As it was I bought a set of used Slingerlands. Every time that someone complains about DW, I'm reminded how at one time the American drum industry was almost extinct before their success story took off.

My favorite Slingerland drums were built from the late 50s through the 60s. Their thin three ply shells, rounded bearing edges, and "stick saver" hoops added up to something special to me. My first "good" kit was a set of Slingerlands. Since then I've owned seven other Slingerland drum sets, and a lot of their snare drums. They didn't sound quite like Ludwig, or Gretsch or Rogers back in the day. If DW makes a good recreation of 1960s style Slingerlands, they will have something special to sell.

I get that Singerland is not known by a generation of drummers. Whether or not you like DW, few would dispute that their drums are high quality. They have the experience and expertise to create something special with the Slingerland brand. The Lombadi family apparently have always had a high regard for Slingerland drums and their legacy. I think that they are uniquely qualified to resurrect this once proud brand. DW has the marketing muscle to reestablish Slingerland, I'm rooting for them. I can remember when DW was an underdog in the drum industry, I'm looking forward to watching this play out.

Slingerland was not a budget brand, and I don't expect that they will be under DW. I started saving up for a set of new Slingerlands three days ago when the news broke. I fully intend on ordering a set as soon as production starts.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The problem is, will people embrace Slingerland drums if they're made in Asia? Because that's the reality we live in now.
Asia doesn't necessarily have to be involved. PDP is no longer made in Ensenada. DW figured out how to make $900 drum kits in the US.
And I think it would be a mistake for the initial new Slingerlands to be anything but top tier drums.

Gretsch USA $3,000
Tama Star $4,000
Starclassic $2700
Pearl Reference $3600
Masters $1700
Yamaha Ab. Maple Hy. $3500

DW doesn't have to be involved with the shell making. After all, they don't make Gretsch shells. And new Slingerlands don't have to be made in Oxnard, either. Plenty of places would probably welcome a new start up manufacturing plant. Heck, Niles, Ill. (pop. 30,000) might even be do-able again.

They wouldn't even have to mold their own shells. Come up with a proprietary formula (or two) and have Keller make them. As long as it's not a standard Keller shell. Then throw on their own bearing edges. I think two shell offerings wound be optimal, to start. A straight shell kit (4 pc.) that comes in at $2,100 - $2,600 ...... and a re-ring shell kit (4 pc.) somewhere between $2,900 - $3,600.
 
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paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Proprietary glue - not usually. Why reinvent the wheel?.

Sonic difference - not really, unless it's a substantial volume of high mass adhesive such as a resin. Most wood glues reduce to almost no mass in curing. Generally, there's too much emphasis placed on glue influence in my opinion / experience. In terms of materials, quality of wood stock has a far bigger affect, and even that is often nuance rather than night & day.
Just on glue , I have my own theories on it's influence but man the last 2 Ludwig sets I had reeked of the stuff. not good. deal breaker right there!
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
If they went 3 ply with re-rings, and due care was taken with all other elements, there's no reason why they couldn't get pretty damn close.
What I meant by saying DW shouldn't use the same process to make Slingerland shells, I was referring to their "Cool Tempered Shells" process. If DW uses this method to make Slingerland 3-ply shells, they're going to sound a lot like DWs. I also think it's in the realm of possibility that using the same DW glue could make them sound more like DWs, but I know it could be imperceptible.

They'll either have to invent a new process for making Slingerlands, or use the old process. I don't think they can use DW's recipe.
@cbphoto


And I think it would be a mistake for the initial new Slingerlands to be anything but top tier drums.
Maybe Slingerland could do what Bugatti did with the Bugatti Veyron. Come back after a decades long hiatus and only make ultra-exotic drums that cost a fortune. :LOL:

But yeah, they should come out with handcrafted USA-made Slingerlands first.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff 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.
As did Harley Davidson.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Justasadrummer, I enjoyed reading your post (glad you made it through that wreck!)

My first kit was a Slingerland and if DW were to put the name into production and create the classic sound of the three ply w/ re-rings and not have those big turret lugs, add simple & strong functioning hardware, gig-friendly colors then they could have a real winner on their hands.

Make them affordable to the working drummer.
 
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Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
A vintage Slingerland 3 ply kick drum is 5mm and uses a re-ring. Modern Neusonic is 6 ply and 5mm thick. Sakae 3 ply Trilogy shells are 3mm, hence the re-ring. Sonor DeLite is 9 ply and only 4mm thick and uses a re-ring. So yeah it's the thickness of shell modern shells are thinner with more plies. Thanks, Force 3005 !!!!

Remember. It's where the wood is sourced and back then 5 ply set-up today would equal an 8 ply set-up today because the ply's are thinner then back then. A 3 ply would equal a 5 ply today. Everything evolves, machining technique, engineering and QC standards. And it does not matter where the shells or shell hardware is made, as long it's equal to what DW has spec out. Things have changed over almost 40 years. Give DW a chance to bring back Slingerland's name and drums.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
Just wondering, but is this again the sort of news of the same importance like Sabian's new logo..lol..?

I only ask, because i allready counted 3 threads now about this news..

Which honestly makes little sense to me, since..:

* People who really are only into the old Slingerland drums most likely allready own one..

* People who really are only interested in buying an old Slingerland set have still plenty of vintage sets to choose from..

* People who are not interested in Slingerland anyway, will not even care if DW makes them or the butcher from the village..

But, again like always, to each his own..
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Just wondering, but is this again the sort of news of the same importance like Sabian's new logo..lol..?
I don't think so. For me personally, I want a vintage Slingy kit. I had one when younger and just fell in love with it. It's like the old guy who wants the 69 Camaro because he had one in HS. The new one is a technical masterpiece compared to the old, but doesn't hold the same nostalgic value. I would love Slingerland to make a comeback through DW so a newer generation of drummers can fall in love the same way I did without having to "settle" for something old. As those of us with kids know, they don't like or appreciate old
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
I wonder if DW will work a deal/buy the company that owns the "original" Slingerland shell molds. Then they would much closer to the original Slingerlands.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I wonder if DW will work a deal/buy the company that owns the "original" Slingerland shell molds. Then they would much closer to the original Slingerlands.
I don’t know what difference that would make. As long as the number of plies, the thickness, the wood type, and the re-rings are the same, I don’t see how there could really be a difference.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I wonder if DW will work a deal/buy the company that owns the "original" Slingerland shell molds. Then they would much closer to the original Slingerlands.
That would be Stone Custom Drums. Their Niles line is about as close as you can get to the real thing right now. Perhaps DW would do the world a solid and let Stone Custom build the new Slingys. They have the molds and build the shells to the same standards and specs, the hardware is correct, even the badge is the same.

And please for gods sake don't put Slingerland by DW anywhere on it.

Marketing :)
I'm surprised to hear you say this Andy. What if DW bought Guru, did their own shells, then put the Guru name on it? Surely they would be different, even if esthetically the same. If not, why spend so much time on just the shell?
 
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