What should I do with this $100 snare?

mrmike

Silver Member
I picked this up on Craigslist last weekend and thinking about spending another $100 or so having the edges and beds re-done. As far as I can tell it's late 50's 3ply mahogany/poplar. It's a bit scratched up but no extra holes and all the hardware down to the tension rods seems to be original.

So my questions to you guys and gals are-
-is this nickel plated brass?
-will re-cutting edges and beds improve this drum?
-is there a good way to remove random spray paint?
-would you just leave it alone? It does a nice fat back beat but that's about it. slingy 2 .jpg
 

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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Cool drum!

If it sounds good right now, I'd consider every possible change or modification very carefully before moving forward.

Are the edges smooth and even? If they are, I wouldn't get them re-cut just for the sake of doing something.

It certainly looks like nickel plating. A magnet will tell you if it is steel or brass under the hoops. The lugs are probably some form of pot metal so a magnet won't tell you much there.

I'd remove all of the hardware and carefully clean every part separately. I'm not knowledgeable enough on caring for/preserving/restoring vintage wood finishes to be able to tell you more than do more research on how to do that correctly.

I'd inspect the hoop clips very carefully. They're prone to cracking. I'd consider modern replacements so you can set aside the vintage ones for safekeeping.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I'd absolutely leave it all alone other than getting lugs cleaned and tension rods lubricated.
The edges and deep narrow snare bed are unique to these drums. Looks like a 3 ply with inner ply of mahogany.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I agree with the above.

Use a magnet to see if it's brass or steel.
Either do nothing, or completely have the outside restored to it's original condition... No half measures.
Run a finger over the edges to determine if they need to be recut. If you are going to recut them, tell the guy with the router table that you simply need them retouched, and not a full recut. You should only need to take off ~1/32nd to ~1/64th inch of material.
 

mrmike

Silver Member
I do like the boxy sound but the sensitivity isn't quite there. I believe that's due to the really deep snare beds that were designed for calf skin heads. You really have to crank the reso which still doesn't completely remove all the wrinkles.

I have a Ludwig Pioneer from the same era that's also boxy but still has enough sensitivity to play a jazz gig. The beds are deep but not quite as deep. What I like about the Slingerland is the eight lugs and better overall hardware. If I could get it closer to the Pioneer I would be happy with that.

The edges aren't horrible. A very slight wobble on the top and no wobble on the bottom. Maybe I could get away with a retouch on the top but those beds may take a little more wood off to fix. Looks like they are about 1/8 inch deep.
 
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johnwesley

Silver Member
Hard to tell from the photos but appears to be a student model Hollywood Ace in the Radio King line. Depends on the strainer. I had one that was exceptionally nice and responsive. If yours is boxy, change the heads.
 

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mrmike

Silver Member
What kind of heads? I'm using Ambassadors at the moment. Your drum is in beautiful condition btw.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Don't worry about wrinkles on the reso head. Impossible to get rid of around that deep snare bed.
I have a late 50's Gene Krupa Radioking, 8 lugs. It differs by being one ply, but to my ears these older snares don't really like a super high tuning or the whole 'crank the reso' approach.
Better sensitivity might be gotten with 20-strand snare wires if they aren't on there already.
It was a steal for $100 either way.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I have one too! It's a Slingerland Student model with 8 lugs. It came with a matching 22x12" single-tension bass drum. The date stamp says 1958.

Mine has a different strainer though, and I don't think the snare beds are as dramatic as yours.

You got a great deal. This snare usually goes for $200-450 on Reverb. Of course the black paint might bring the price down but it's still a great snare.

I have all the same questions as you. I want to play this snare and actually gig with it, but it's sooo boxy sounding. New heads did not fix the problem. The question I've been struggling with is...

Do I leave it alone to keep it "original", and just never play it ever again because it sounds bad? Keep it in its case for the rest of my life?
-OR-
Get the edges re-cut, risk hurting the value, but ultimately make the drum sound good so I can actually PLAY it?

In other words, do I want it to be Original? Or Playable?




 

mrmike

Silver Member
Exactly! I want to play it and certainly not worried about resale. I'm leaning toward redoing at least the bottom and see what happens. Even if it makes it worse I'm still only out a couple hundred bucks. Your snare is in much better condition than mine and there seems to be some magic in those old Slingerland bass drums. How does the bass drum sound?
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I have one too! It's a Slingerland Student model with 8 lugs. It came with a matching 22x12" single-tension bass drum. The date stamp says 1958.

Mine has a different strainer though, and I don't think the snare beds are as dramatic as yours.

You got a great deal. This snare usually goes for $200-450 on Reverb. Of course the black paint might bring the price down but it's still a great snare.

I have all the same questions as you. I want to play this snare and actually gig with it, but it's sooo boxy sounding. New heads did not fix the problem. The question I've been struggling with is...

Do I leave it alone to keep it "original", and just never play it ever again because it sounds bad? Keep it in its case for the rest of my life?
-OR-
Get the edges re-cut, risk hurting the value, but ultimately make the drum sound good so I can actually PLAY it?

In other words, do I want it to be Original? Or Playable?




Really nice looking Slingys you have there. Personally, I'd want to get them in the best possible playing condition, resale value be damned! If you're not going to do that, then might as well sell it now than have it take up space.

I do wonder about those really off-center vent holes on both drums. Is that just due to a lack of QC back then?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Really nice looking Slingys you have there. Personally, I'd want to get them in the best possible playing condition, resale value be damned! If you're not going to do that, then might as well sell it now than have it take up space.

I do wonder about those really off-center vent holes on both drums. Is that just due to a lack of QC back then?
I think you're right, those are the 2 best options. Make it playable or sell it. I'm leaning towards making the snare playable though, because I really like how the bass drum sounds, and want to keep them together. What good is a drum if you can't play it, after all?

The extra hole was actually for an accessory bracket like this...
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Exactly! I want to play it and certainly not worried about resale. I'm leaning toward redoing at least the bottom and see what happens. Even if it makes it worse I'm still only out a couple hundred bucks. Your snare is in much better condition than mine and there seems to be some magic in those old Slingerland bass drums. How does the bass drum sound?
The bass drum sounds great, especially considering how imperfect it is. Tuning rods are slightly bent, the bearing edges aren't perfect, and the hoops (despite me refinishing them) are imprecise. It shouldn't sound as good as it does. I have it set up with a Remo P3 batter and Ambassador coated resonant (unported), and it has a nice, raw boomy sound, which is what I'm going for. Very Carlockian.

Just have to reinstall the original inlay back on the 2nd hoop and port the bass drum head, then I'll be finished restoring it. Was thinking about getting the DW clamp on spurs so I can gig with it.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I think you're right, those are the 2 best options. Make it playable or sell it. I'm leaning towards making the snare playable though, because I really like how the bass drum sounds, and want to keep them together. What good is a drum if you can't play it, after all?

The extra hole was actually for an accessory bracket like this...
Actually, I was referring to the vent holes/badges. I'm on my phone right now, so I didn't even notice the extra hole until you pointed it out.

Anyway, in the pics you posted, they look to be quite a bit off-center compared to the lugs on either side. On the snare, it seems to be skewed toward the right lug. On the bass drum, it appears to be skewed toward the left lug. Is that actually the case, or are there optical illusions in those pics? If they are off-centered, I'm wondering how that came to be.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
If you were considering having the edges re-cut professionally, I'd send some pics to Precision Drum and ask them some questions and get their advice on how to bring this up to be a modern player snare. I have every bit of confidence they could give you some pointers and (at the very least) give you back a drum with perfectly cut edges and a less severe snare bed.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
You can slap a collarless Remo snare side head on the reso side. It will conform to the reso edge and beds a little easier. That's what I used on my Pioneer.
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Remo makes a clear Ambassador snare side that has no collar. It's intended for marching drums that are typically tensioned high so it takes longer before you bottom out the flesh hoop but it should give you more room to tension the head into those deep snare beds. I've never tried it on a vintage snare like these but it might be worth $12 to try one out.
 

airbus172

Well-known member
I picked this up on Craigslist last weekend and thinking about spending another $100 or so having the edges and beds re-done. As far as I can tell it's late 50's 3ply mahogany/poplar. It's a bit scratched up but no extra holes and all the hardware down to the tension rods seems to be original.

So my questions to you guys and gals are-
-is this nickel plated brass?
-will re-cutting edges and beds improve this drum?
-is there a good way to remove random spray paint?
-would you just leave it alone? It does a nice fat back beat but that's about it. View attachment 90250
clean it up, and it’ll look a bit better. If it sounds good, then why not use it?
 
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