DW now owns Slingerland!


Silver Member
Nothing will replace or replicate the Radio King of the 30s-40s. NOT even the overrated DW folks. I'm sure John Good will have to put his $.25 worth of input into the "new" Slingerland line to secure his fantasized legacy as Royal Poobah of drums. Like exotic veneer wraps and coding the shells with the proper pitch or other chromatic smoke and mirrors. Maybe even "sliding air vents" to help in perfecting transient accoustics. Be nice if DW just took original blue prints, schematics, etc., and manufactured REAL Slingerlands as they were designed. One can only hope. I'm sure they have the talent.


It'll be interesting to see who amongst the former Slingerland endorsers will move over from DW. Makes sense, as I understand Gibson has been dealing with financial woes. The brand is now in better hands, and hopefully, they can come close to replicating that Slingerland sound.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I grew up on Slingerlands. I will have to see what they do and maybe get a set. I would think the better news would be that there will be certain hardware parts that can be directly replaced on old vintage Slingerlands, lengthening their use by (maybe) their original owners! That would be very cool. At least re-production lugs would be welcome!

When I was 8, mom and dad found me a 1940s gold sparkle bass drum, tom, and snare, and then we upgraded to a black new one in 1978. The memories and the present wincing I do now thinking of what I subjected my parents to! Slingerland stuff was great to me, especially when Buddy played them right in front of me at Disneyland!

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Honestly, my favorite thing about Slingerland are their timpani. There’s just something about the sound. The drums weren’t heavy, either. Lol


Senior Member
And now what will they do with the brand? johnwesley already pointed out some interesting issues above, and as an old Slingerland fan I am asking myself quite a lot of questions too, knowing that DW already covers almost all market segments with Collector's, Jazz, Performance, Design, PDP, AND Gretsch.
Which market segment(s) could therefore a new Slingerland production cover? High-end segment and/or semi-pro/entry level segments? And could it make any sense to re-issue older designs (i.e. three plies with re-rings or 80's five plies)? Or is it possible to reinvent these formulas and in the same time keep the original Slingerland flavour? Or will DW just produce modern sets under the Slingerland brand name that maybe just keep the traditional Slingerland lugs?
Well, wait and see ...


Hmm, glad it's DW that snapped them up instead of the countless others who could have made it a disaster. Let's see what they come up with. Reissued Radio Kings, anyone??


Senior Member
DW hasn't made any bad moves with Gretsch (that I know of), so I have no reason to think they'll mess up Slingerland. If anything, Gretsch drums have improved since DW acquired them. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.

Maybe DW will tiptoe Slingerland out into the market like Rogers has done with the Dyna-Sonic. Maybe a reissue of the Radio King snare like @jdavis said. Some crowd-pleasing reissues to test the waters before going big.

Slingerland's biggest strength by far is brand recognition. Most young drummers probably haven't even heard of the Radio King, they just know that Slingerland means drums.

It makes sense to reissue old drums to satisfy the small market for vintage-sounding drums, but to grow they'll have to appeal to people who are under 40.

Drums have changed so much since Slingerland was a big deal. They'll have to develop entirely new lines if they want to appeal to new players. Otherwise they'll just be the Nostalgia Drum Company.


Senior Member
Drums have changed so much since Slingerland was a big deal. They'll have to develop entirely new lines if they want to appeal to new players. Otherwise they'll just be the Nostalgia Drum Company.
Not at all. Slingerland's lugs were beautiful. Some of their hardware was really great too, but that is where they'll have to make improvements. I'm sure they'll still have the Set-O-Matic tom holder for the nostalgia factor. The shells they made were pretty much the same formula that everyone's been using for decades.
This was the era I remember best...