Vintage Drum Dealers


Senior Member
I have a question about purchasing vintage drums.

Would it be safer to spend the extra money and buy from a dealer like Steve Maxwell or Jollity Drum Farm, as opposed to purchasing from a private seller, if one isn't knowledgeable enough to spot a fake vintage drum set, or one that isn't all original?

I think I could inspect a set for delaminating and out-of-round shells easily enough, but I don't know enough to determine the year of manufacture, or if a set is factory original or pieced together from orphans, or to spot lugs, mounting hardware, etc. that have been changed from the original.

I also trust both of the dealers I mentioned to be honest, based on the positive comments I've seen posted about them on this forum. Could someone name some other vintage dealers that have good reputations in the business.

Also, I know the editor of Not So Modern Drummer has a book on vintage drums. Does anyone know of any other good resources for learning about the subject?

Thanks in advance,


Silver Member
Would it be safer to spend the extra money and buy from a dealer like Steve Maxwell or Jollity Drum Farm, as opposed to purchasing from a private seller, if one isn't knowledgeable enough to spot a fake vintage drum set, or one that isn't all original?
Absolutely! I can't speak for other shops but my experience at Donn Bennett in Washington is that orphans wil be priced accordingly as well as all original kits in rare finishes.

You could possibly save a little buying from a private seller but you could also overpay, especially if it's not as advertised. Go with the pro! This is a good site for research


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Try for the most dedicated group of vintage guys.

Steve Maxwell is more likely to have a higher percentage of unmolested gear, because he doesn't take in any junk, You also pay well for his discretion. Revival in Portland has some great stuff, not always pristine, but they'll tell you. No monkey business there. Pro Drum in Hollywood is the same, they'll tell you what they know about their used gear. Bentley's in Fresno, Donn Bennett's, Fork's, etc, would all be good places to send your 'want' list.

Shops in general will be more honest about their gear, because their reputation in the music community is more valuable to them, than someone who's selling on ebay or Craigslist.

That's not to say you can't find some gems on ebay, it all depends on the seller's reputation. Not their ebay score, but their status in the music community. Mike Curotto, Gerry Porter (Hazelshould on ebay), etc. They'll be straight up when it comes to what they're selling.

When I start selling my vintage gear in 8 years (age 65, per my wife's wishes...) you'll be able to trust me, too. :)



Platinum Member
Would it be safer .....
Yes, it would. Name dealers have a reputation that they want to protect.​
I've dealt with Bobby at Jollity ..... and he's a straight shooter. The guy's at Pro Drum, also.​
Now, the downside is, this tactic hits your wallet. You pay a premium price. But you know exactly what you're gonna get.​


Platinum Member
If you know what you want (say, a 60s era Ludwig...), a little knowledge beforehand when you go to check out a kit from a private seller will go a long way. *Most* people who sell vintage kits aren't looking to screw you over, but beware of the people who don't know what they have, especially if YOU don't know what they have, either...


Platinum Member
Revival Drums in Portland is good. I guess if you're going to approach your instrument purchases like a collector, you need to accumulate some knowledge by seeing a lot of old drums, and seeing what new, vintage-looking parts look like. Usually the difference is obvious to anyone with a semi-experienced eye. People who are trying to foist something do not waste a lot of time, money, and energy making perfect forgeries; all they need is for the things to be reasonably passable to someone who barely knows what he's looking at.


Platinum Member
The best thing about buying from Steve Maxwell,Jolity,Pro drum shop,ect is like Bermuda said.Their passion is drums,vintage drums, their reputation means everything to them,and it's the best in the business.

If you're not knowledgeable about vintage gear,it's worth the premium to buy from them and not guess if you've been ripped off.There are plenty of counterfiet drums floating around out there,that have fooled collectors,so a novice who meets an unscrupulous seller has no chance.

Recently,a Canadian vintage Rogers dealer, was caught selling counterfeit drums.This guy made thousands of dollars before being exposed.

Go with the pros.

Steve B


Senior Member
Thanks to everyone who has replied to this thread. You've all pretty much confirmed what I was thinking. I'll stick with a pro shop for a vintage kit. The prices I've been seeing for the kits I'm interested in are still cheaper than a DW Collectors or Yamaha RC kit, and have more the sound that I'm after.


Platinum Member
If I could afford it yes I would definitely opt for one of the shops mentioned above . If on a budget and you're just interested in a vintage players kit and are willing to accept some condition issues then ebay or craigslist may be better. The vintage Ludwig sound will be the same more on less on a well-worn kit vs. a museum quality kit costing 3x as much. Do you homework though (free) and ask questions (also free).

Bermuda - the marriage or the drums in 8 years...what will it be? Joking, but I can't wait. I'm counting the days and saving the money.