I Don't Want A Round Badge Kit

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The title says it all.
I have a 60's Ludwig WMP kit that I love. I have a 65 Slingerland kit in Black Pearl that I love.
I have been toying with the idea of buying a Round Badge kit for many years now, but I just can't bring myself to do it.
I don't get it. I simply don't hear or see anything in vintage Round Badge drums that makes them so desirable that I just have to have them.
Is there something wrong with me? What is the allure?
As far as quality is concerned my 65 Slingerland kit wins hands down for the 60's time period.
The precise 3 ply shells and the COB hoops along with the quality lugs and snare hardware make it stand out beyond the reach of Gretsch, Ludwig, and Rogers of the day.
Slingerland nailed it and still lost the race. Funny how the world works.
I keep on playing and looking at vintage Gretsch kits whenever I can, but I just can't like them to the point that I would buy one.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think the allure is that a lot of the jazz greats played on them, and they left a certain recorded legacy that kind of set the mold for the jazz tone. Just like 18" bass drums, they fit in cabs better, so that's what was used. If loading in and out and transporting around the city wasn't a concern, I wonder how many of the jazz greats would still opt for an 18" bass drum.

I will say I'm a big fan of non vented drums now. Old Gretsch round badges aren't vented. I don't have any first hand experience with old Slingys, Rogers and Gretsch kits to speak intelligently about them. Luds and Gretsch seem like they are the most sought out, while Rogers and Slingys seem to be less in demand.

Played some round badges lately Bob?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Funny that you mention vents Larry. I added vents to the toms on my Slingy kit. I played the kit for a month without them and I decided to put them in. I first added a vent to the high tom and a few weeks later I vented the floor tom.
I played three round badge kits in the past four months.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Funny? You mean funny like a clown? Do I amuse you? (said like Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas") Lol.

Mainly I like the feel of the non vented, it seems more springy. Not sure it makes a tonal difference, but it satisfies my sense of efficiency. Meaning any escaping air can't activate the reso head, so I feel I am getting the most tone per strike. Plus when I take the head off, the air in there is the same air as when I last put the heads on. That's quite important you. know. The more you use the same air to move your heads, the better tone it makes. Really!
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I don't notice a sound difference without vents, I notice a performance difference.
The drum feels better to me when I play it with vents.
I don't like the spring feel that you mention that seems to build up.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Caddy I contend that it was choked from the mount not the fact that it is non vented. Thoughts?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Just like 18" bass drums, they fit in cabs better, so that's what was used. If loading in and out and transporting around the city wasn't a concern, I wonder how many of the jazz greats would still opt for an 18" bass drum.
The cab ride seems to have not been a concern for Joe Morello, clearly one of the greats who used and preferred a 22 over those same years. He is on the record somewhere saying he "just didn't get why so many jazz drummers used 18's".
Wasn't the 18 really a Gretsch thing? for many 40's 50's and 60's Slingerland 'jazz' sets did not come with 18's but fairly large bass drums.

I agree with you, a lot of the mystique of a drum set was associated with amn era or genre (and vice versa). Gretsch RB's are indeed hallmark of the halycon jazz days. In the same way Luds are kinda the hallmark of 70's rock. Sure other drums were made, and were great, but Luds show up in a lot of pics of that era.
 

camcoman

Senior Member
Caddy I contend that it was choked from the mount not the fact that it is non vented. Thoughts?
+1 on that Larry. I addition to the mount Gretsch RB's, the floor tom legs are almost completely straight, & the leg brackets were so shallow the the legs actually made contact against the bottom rim. I did some restoration work on a friends set & put on the Pearl suspension feet & it opened right up. Also I think the die cast rims darken (perceived by some as choking) things a bit.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Funny? You mean funny like a clown? Do I amuse you? (said like Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas") Lol.

Mainly I like the feel of the non vented, it seems more springy. Not sure it makes a tonal difference, but it satisfies my sense of efficiency. Meaning any escaping air can't activate the reso head, so I feel I am getting the most tone per strike. Plus when I take the head off, the air in there is the same air as when I last put the heads on. That's quite important you. know. The more you use the same air to move your heads, the better tone it makes. Really!
That's crazy talk Larry. Pretty soon you'll be telling us our badges need to be facing a certain way in order to be good players......
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
As far as quality is concerned my 65 Slingerland kit wins hands down for the 60's time period.
The precise 3 ply shells and the COB hoops along with the quality lugs and snare hardware make it stand out beyond the reach of Gretsch, Ludwig, and Rogers of the day.
Slingerland nailed it and still lost the race. Funny how the world works.
I agree with this Bob. I played a 60's Slingerland back in the late 70's, & it was certainly the better made of the choice of 60's era kits I had available to me.


I think my feelings on venting are well known. Non vented works well on certain constructions, on others, not so well re: tuning range & high dynamic choking.
 

jodgey4

Silver Member
"I Don't Want A Round Badge Kit"
Those words. Is it possible to use them in a sentence together like that?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I have been toying with the idea of buying a Round Badge kit for many years now, but I just can't bring myself to do it.
And that's fine. Be a pretty boring place, if we all liked the same kits .... and disliked the same kits. I can appreciate someone having a nice Rogers kit, or a Slingerland kit ..... without having to run out a spend $1500 so I can have one too. As for me, I'll probably keep my Round Badge and my 3 ply Luddies long after all my other kits are gone ..... but that's just me.​
 

larryz

Platinum Member
The round badges are the best badges of all time from any of the makers. The cool factor. I'd take a RB kit any day if or when I can afford them.

But you are correct in that Slingerland nailed it in the 60s and still lost the race.

Good quote by the way.
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
I dig the sound of the Rogers kits of the same era vs the Gretsch but that is just me. There are plenty of modern kits that have thin shells and no re rings.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
It's all good. I can bring myself to purchase a great deal of kits - even those I could comfortably afford.

I could never afford a Round Badge Gretsch as much as I would personally like one so I don't even window shop.

I've played a good many vintage kits many times from the 50's/60's including Gretsch, Slingerland, Rogers, Camco, Ludwig and even Kent.

I don't own a single vintage kit other than the remains of my Dad's 1941 Ludwigs and in all probability, that will never change.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Although I'm a Ludwig guy,I have to agree that QC took a nose dive at Ludwig from 64 to 68,and then in the late 70's again.That's what happens when you only hire a few new workers and are running 6 days a week,24 hours a day and turning out 100 sets a day.That didn't include hardware, tympanys,marching drums,xylophones,marimbas,bells,traps,drum sticks....ect..They STILL weren't keeping up with orders.

Slingerland stuff turned around in the mid 50's with sound king lugs,and again in 62 when they dripped the "clamshell "strainer and butt,in favor of the Zoomatic.I would put Rogers a close second,and neck in neck with Gretsch, and Camco.

Just a point of info,later Gretsch round badge drums WERE vented,and secured with a grommet.I guess they ran out of tacks.

Slingerland only started venting and putting badges on their toms around 65.Till then, only bass drums and snares had badges.

I think the thing about Gretsch was many respected jazz players used them,as well as a few noteable rock players like Charlie Watts and Mitch Mitchell.That "Great Gretsch Sound was primarily due to the Maple/gum/maple Jaspar shells that so many used,including Rogers and Camco.Little know also, was that at one time(If PFOG reads this,he will be stunned),Leedy,Ludwig & Ludwig and Leedy & Ludwig,also used Jaspar shells.Only WFL and Slingerland made their own......Surprise!!!

Steve B
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
Its amazing how far we have come with drums. Looking at what was considered passing quality for Ludwig back in the day would never fly today. I am having to do some work on my 67 Club Dates to get them sorted but wow they do have "that" sound.
 
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