Vintage Kit Taboos

v.zarate

Gold Member
for me, drums were made to be played. not to sit and look as a collectors item. play the hell out of them. when drums fall apart, repair them! when drums cant be played (in your case) fix them up any way you can, so they are playable.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Yesterday I installed 12.7mm floor tom legs and mounts on the 50's Gretsch 16" FT. I used new Gretsch parts. I was so pleased when I played the tom and it didn't waiver about while the thin 9.5mm legs clicked on the edge of the resonant hoop.
I also made 1/4" thick neoprene gaskets for the bass drum lugs so that the tension rods didn't have to bow around the rim of the head. The drum tuned so much easier afterwards.

That is when I started to feel weird. I was feeling guilt about being so pleased with the results of my mods.
 

JohnPloughman

Silver Member
A lot of it depends on the individual drum and in a lot of instances, the set of drums individually, and the individual owning the drums. Some drums are sacred from being moded under any circumstances. Those are drums with specific history and historical importance.

My drums belong to me, and are mine to do with as I please. Same as anyone else. So, no mods to the 1964 Wine Red Ripple Rogers 4 piece, or the two 1966/67 sets. Those will keep their original dressings. Hopefully, in 25 years or so, if I live that long, I will be able to pass them on to three drummers who will feel the same. If not, they will probably get spray painted some irredescent black by a kid in a Devo throwback band after the estate sale.
 

rmandelbaum

Platinum Member
I personally don't modify anything that is in original condition and collectable. That being said enjoy getting cool vintage gear that is in bad condition or allready modified and fixing them up.

I have an old ludwig pioner snare that somone took the wrap off, i drilled it and added 4 more matching bow tie lugs, staind and clear coated it. Looks and sounds great.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Great insights, I appreciate it. I respect all of your views.
I guess that I am more of a player than a collector. I need to add a personal touch to my kits.
Changing the $ value of the drums really isn't an important factor to me. I need to make them work with me.

The members of the jazz quintet came over tonight. The Gretsch kit was perfection.
The bass drum had just the right tone. The snare and toms were also perfect. The calfskin heads were so mellow sounding. I was one with my precision rhythm machine. The band sounded awesome. The session was great.
I can't place a cash value on that.
Old and New belong together if they are blended just right.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Completely understandable. It just shows you care about stuff.

The feel good part when I modify or make something, is always - 'hey, it turned out good - cool'.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
One could say that modding drums increases the value of un-modded drums.

I wonder what percentage of surviving vintage drums remain in an unmodded state. Are they equivalent to an endangered species?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I wonder what percentage of surviving vintage drums remain in an unmodded state. Are they equivalent to an endangered species?
Think of how many vintage drums would still exist if owners didn't modify/renovate them? Then ask if modifying shows respect to their vintage or not!
 

larryz

Platinum Member
So, no mods to the 1964 Wine Red Ripple Rogers 4 piece, or the two 1966/67 sets. Those will keep their original dressings. Hopefully, in 25 years or so, if I live that long, I will be able to pass them on to three drummers who will feel the same..
Ooh, I'll send you my contact info and hold you to it :)

Anything Rogers ripple is on my bucket list.

I'm of the camp that believes is leaving old drums as they are. I think they're collectable more for the sound than the look.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
every time someone drills a hole or in any way mods a previously unmodified vintage drum it makes my 1966 unmodified RB kid that much more valuable in the collector market

that is both extremely sad and slightly exciting at the same time

these are fading fast and will soon be gone with dinosaurs and the days of tracking to 2" tape

fortunately I have a connection to a pretty sweet honey hole of vintage drums and will soon be picking up a black diamond pearl RB kit (12/14/20 - 6.5 micro throw off ) mint with no mods to add to my collection
 

JohnPloughman

Silver Member
Those Rogers sets I mentioned...... there is nothing to mod. They were perfection 50 years ago. They are today.



So mods..... there is a huge vintage parts market flowered up on ebay over the past several years. Some pretty sad condition drums dismantled and parted out have been seen. And then, there have been some pristine, nearly, if not absolutely yes, collector grade quality sets dismantled and parted out down to the last nut, bolt, and washer. Drum strippers are a thriving business. The only known example of a Rogers 1960s Powertone ALUMINUM shell snare drum was stripped for parts by one of these sellers. I really do believe some drums ought to be sacred from modification due to their historical import. I have seen at least one fake Dyna-Sonic snare drum for sale, assembled from parts stripped from other drums, by one of those same sellers. And that would be the same seller who had nearly a half dozen "pristine" and very rare Rogers 1960s Dyna-Sonic snare drums for sale. So I guess the answer to the question of endangered species, is fastly becoming a "Yes!" How do you trust the originality of a collector grade piece from a disreputable source? And unless a buyer can do an "in person" disassembly of a drum, there is no way to really know if the parts on the drum are indeed original to the drum, and even then, it is impossible to say with surety these parts came with this drum. So you get the drums that are parted up rather than parted out, and they get sold to people who want that drum in that color and now it is in the open market and the drum is forever tainted because it has been "modded" in such a way as cannot be seen. Along comes someone who wants the drum for what it is, who really knows what it was, and suddenly that 3000 dollar collector piece is no longer the collector piece it was. The overall real danger with those kind of mods is to destroy the value of the drums in the hands of honest people.

I agree with the OP, that some mods are necessary to some drums to make a drum perform. I also think some mods are barely an alternative to a bottle of lighter fluid and a match.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
The vintage trap, may be best explained by my opinion about historic housing. So long as you don't hang a ugly noisy AC window unit out of your beautiful (vintage)historic house, you should be OK. I think there is something to be said for keeping the vintage style around, but I'm all in favor of double pane windows and central heating and cooling, as well as insulation and Tyvek . Though, I really despise cheap modern vinyl siding, and laminate flooring, which has no cultural value in my opinion.
 

JackBab

Junior Member
I'm new here so be easy on me!
I own a few vintage kits and all of them are played on a regular basis, as with anything wear and tear takes its toll after a while and things need repairing/replacing.
My dads first "proper" drum kit was bought in 1973 brand new when he was 18, the kit has been gigged hard ever since even being caught up in a stage invasion!
It's also the kit that I played my first ever gig on. To look at it now it looks like it's been through the wars with many battle scars and mods but it's still gigged regularly by the pair of us and probably my favorite kit out of all of them. It honestly dosn't bother me if it's worth nothing as it'll never get sold just passed on to the next gen of drummers to appreciate the sound. The memories and sentimental value to me are priceless.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
I'm new here so be easy on me!
I own a few vintage kits and all of them are played on a regular basis, as with anything wear and tear takes its toll after a while and things need repairing/replacing.
My dads first "proper" drum kit was bought in 1973 brand new when he was 18, the kit has been gigged hard ever since even being caught up in a stage invasion!
It's also the kit that I played my first ever gig on. To look at it now it looks like it's been through the wars with many battle scars and mods but it's still gigged regularly by the pair of us and probably my favorite kit out of all of them. It honestly dosn't bother me if it's worth nothing as it'll never get sold just passed on to the next gen of drummers to appreciate the sound. The memories and sentimental value to me are priceless.
Would love to see a photo of this kit played by both father and son over 40 years. Cool.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Wow, this thread is really moving along. Great responses. I see that this is a subject that brings out passionate feelings.
lets say for the sake of argument that some modifications to vintage drums are OK.
Perhaps we should establish some rules for what an accepted modification is.

My rules are as follows.
Do not remove a good outer finish from any drum. Only refinish the exterior if the original is badly worn.

Only drill when absolutely necessary.

Only add modern hardware that compliments the drums in a tasteful manor.

Plug all holes with color matched plastic plugs that can be removed in the future.

Try and keep the drums so that they can be put back to "Close To Original Configuration".

Save all of the hardware that you remove for future use.

When I modified my kits I followed the above guidelines. (Or at least I like to think that I did)
Feel free to add more rules or comment to the above.
 

JohnPloughman

Silver Member
Wow, this thread is really moving along. Great responses. I see that this is a subject that brings out passionate feelings.
lets say for the sake of argument that some modifications to vintage drums are OK.
Perhaps we should establish some rules for what an accepted modification is.

My rules are as follows.
Do not remove a good outer finish from any drum. Only refinish the exterior if the original is badly worn.

Only drill when absolutely necessary.

Only add modern hardware that compliments the drums in a tasteful manor.

Plug all holes with color matched plastic plugs that can be removed in the future.

Try and keep the drums so that they can be put back to "Close To Original Configuration".

Save all of the hardware that you remove for future use.

When I modified my kits I followed the above guidelines. (Or at least I like to think that I did)
Feel free to add more rules or comment to the above.
I like those rules.

I still have my first drum set. Over the last ten years its gotten quite a break from being played out, since it is no longer my only set. The finish still looks very good, although, it does have a lot of stress checking cracks beginning to show up. Eventually, it will get a complete overhaul, perhaps even some edge work when that time comes. Or maybe not. I just don't play much anymore.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Plug all holes with color matched plastic plugs that can be removed in the future.
Bob, where do you get those?

I'm actually working on the restoration of a Slingerland Super Sound King that I scored for cheap, cheap, cheap. The popularity (or rather, lack of) makes parts very difficult to find so I'm thinking of just going with a P-86 or a P83 that I have lying around.

Now the way my twisted mind works is in a world of binaries when it comes to vintage stuff. I'd love to have a completely vintage snare with all original parts but that is just practical at this point. I want to play this snare, to take it to gigs and put it through its paces, not just leave it on a shelf and admire it. So once the collector's value is shot I might as well go all out. If I'm going to be assembling a player's drum from something that isn't worth much to a collector then I might as well go for it. Just last night I had the idea to put these Imperial lugs on it as the hole spacing lines up. Lunacy? Maybe, but it'll make for one sweet player's drum.
 
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