When did drummers start appreciating vintage sets again?

JimmyM

Well-known member
OK, I know some of you still don't, but when I got out of playing drums in the late 70's to stick to bass and guitar instead, the rise of big giant overbuilt sets was well upon us, and all of a sudden, you couldn't give away the best Ludwigs, Rogers, and Slingerlands from the 60's and 70's, let alone anything earlier. Even my buddy Mike the Drum Doctor, who at one time had the biggest set of chrome Slingerlands you ever saw in your life, used everything on every single gig, and loved them more than life itself, moved them on in favor of new-style drums that he built himself out of custom shells. The only ones who didn't were looked upon as "revivalists."

A lot of drummers went back to smaller sets, but I thought vintage drums from the 70's and before were about dead in the water. I actually thought when I joined on here that I'd get a lot of notice that would distract from my lack of skillz because I own a choice 50's Ludwig wood snare, then I find out that everyone and their brother on here owns a choice old Ludwig snare, many of you from way earlier! And now we've got boutique drum makers using those old techniques, the Supraphonic and Black Beauty are once again high end studio staples, and even ringy pingy acrylic see thru drums have made a comeback, fercryinoutloud!

What happened to you all? Drummers used to be so tech-advanced.
 
Last edited:

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
For me it was at the time artists started using vintage drum loops.
Vintage snare drums were always desirable. Throughout the 80's I used and knew other drums who used 1920's Ludwigs, 1930's and 40's Radio Kings, 1970's BB's and Supras. 99% of drummers played brand spanking new drum sets and cymbals.
After hip-hop and the drum loop phenomenon, I and drummers I knew started wanting drum sets from that sampled era (60's and 70's soul and funk).
 

JimmyM

Well-known member
For me it was at the time artists started using vintage drum loops.
Vintage snare drums were always desirable. Throughout the 80's I used and knew other drums who used 1920's Ludwigs, 1930's and 40's Radio Kings, 1970's BB's and Supras. 99% of drummers played brand spanking new drum sets and cymbals.
After hip-hop and the drum loop phenomenon, I and drummers I knew started wanting drum sets from that sampled era (60's and 70's soul and funk).
Now that I think about it, it makes sense, because that's exactly what drove the re-emergence of passive Fender basses and oddball vintage stuff into mic'ed tube amps with darker tones and dead flatwound strings right around the same time.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
In my experience they never went away.
Vintage drum sets and cymbals weren't that much of a thing in the 80's and 90's. Towards the end of the 90's they started to become very desirable.
The fun thing is loop based samples were also recorded with modern drums too, after which it went through analog effects and sound boards before going in the box.

I happen to stumble upon a vintage kit in a shop and loved it right away.

Here is a live show did with the Afro funk band Zitakula:


The kit was a 12/16/20 Blue Camphor Yamaha DT-225.
 

JimmyM

Well-known member
The fun thing is loop based samples were also recorded with modern drums too, after which it went through analog effects and sound boards before going in the box.

I happen to stumble upon a vintage kit in a shop and loved it right away.

Here is a live show did with the Afro funk band Zitakula:


The kit was a 12/16/20 Blue Camphor Yamaha DT-225.
Crushin' the groove, man! Great band!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I think the 80's was the decade that "vintage" was solidly, almost totally out. You could find a Ludwig 3 ply Hollywood kit, for $300. And that lasted until the 90's, and then people started wanting the "vintage" American drums again. And then later, even the earlier Japanese drums stared to be desirable again.

By 2000, Ludwig 3 ply, Gretsch Round Badge, Rogers 5 ply were all big money. Around then, I sold off my Vistalite shell bank, and "made bank";) Slingerland has always trailed the other 3, but even those are fetching more $$$ now, as the secret is no longer secret. They're really nice drums.

Certainly, you could get Supra's and Black Beauties cheaper, in the 80's, but I think they've always been desirable. Their prices didn't fall off the same cliff old drum sets did.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
I also think social media and the singer songwriter wave helpt in a big way.

Young kids seeing drummers like Carter, Timbo, and Aaron using these old drums certainly helpt.

And the singer songwriters with the almost completely deaden sound and single floor tom on the front of the stage.

Acro’s and Supra’s are now reaching such high prices.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I'm a little slow...like um..decades slow. All these new drums to listen to from A to Z and I'm in Limbo hell..ALWAYS searching..thinking why don't kits sound as good as these old sets. Then at some point the lite went on. I no longer needed a psychic..my answer was there all along (for me).
 
Last edited:

JimmyM

Well-known member
I also think social media and the singer songwriter wave helpt in a big way.

Young kids seeing drummers like Carter, Timbo, and Aaron using these old drums certainly helpt.

And the singer songwriters with the almost completely deaden sound and single floor tom on the front of the stage.

Acro’s and Supra’s are now reaching such high prices.
Yeah, and I really wanted an Acro. Still bargain priced compared to the Supra but way more than I expected to see.
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known member
I started off on vintage kits. At the time, they weren’t vintage. They were just older sets and not as “hip” as the current models. Growing up with them gave me a familiarity with the sound, both positive and negative. After cycling through a few decades worth of the latest and greatest, I’m back to playing older and vintage kits. Part nostalgia and mostly sound considerations keep vintage instruments relevant in my music world.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Judging by all the mainstream brands suddenly adding sparkle, oyster, and diamond finishes to their line ups (especially in their entry/mid level kits) I'd say the early 2000s was when the 60s/70s vintage look became hip again. While those finishes have diminished in popularity a bit in the last 20 years the one-up, one-down set up seems to be here to stay. That probably has more to do with drum companies being able to hide rising costs by dropping a drum from a set than anything else though.
 

JimmyM

Well-known member
Judging by all the mainstream brands suddenly adding sparkle, oyster, and diamond finishes to their line ups (especially in their entry/mid level kits) I'd say the early 2000s was when the 60s/70s vintage look became hip again. While those finishes have diminished in popularity a bit in the last 20 years the one-up, one-down set up seems to be here to stay. That probably has more to do with drum companies being able to hide rising costs by dropping a drum from a set than anything else though.
Works for me and Ringo, although it does make jamming with ELP and Rush a bit tough at times :D
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I think the 80's was the decade that "vintage" was solidly, almost totally out. You could find a Ludwig 3 ply Hollywood kit, for $300. And that lasted until the 90's, and then people started wanting the "vintage" American drums again. And then later, even the earlier Japanese drums stared to be desirable again.

By 2000, Ludwig 3 ply, Gretsch Round Badge, Rogers 5 ply were all big money. Around then, I sold off my Vistalite shell bank, and "made bank";) Slingerland has always trailed the other 3, but even those are fetching more $$$ now, as the secret is no longer secret. They're really nice drums.

Certainly, you could get Supra's and Black Beauties cheaper, in the 80's, but I think they've always been desirable. Their prices didn't fall off the same cliff old drum sets did.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I started playing in late 69 I was 9 years old. I have a couple of very inexpensive Japanese kit and by the time I was 12 or so I got a used 5 piece ludwig standard kit. I played that kit till I was 21 or 22 years old. Then I bought a ludwig S L-series kit precursor to the ludwig rockers it was 4 ply poplar and I loved it. Since then I've had a few high end kits Yamaha Tama and Ludwig. I do not miss the vintage kits at all. I personally like the sound of today's drums. The nostalgia aspect of vintage kits are cool though. My Ludwigs are 2019 models and they look like a 60s kit aged onyx is the finish and everyone except my wife loves them. I don't have anything against vintage drums I just like the new drums more.
 

JimmyM

Well-known member
I started playing in late 69 I was 9 years old. I have a couple of very inexpensive Japanese kit and by the time I was 12 or so I got a used 5 piece ludwig standard kit. I played that kit till I was 21 or 22 years old. Then I bought a ludwig S L-series kit precursor to the ludwig rockers it was 4 ply poplar and I loved it. Since then I've had a few high end kits Yamaha Tama and Ludwig. I do not miss the vintage kits at all. I personally like the sound of today's drums. The nostalgia aspect of vintage kits are cool though. My Ludwigs are 2019 models and they look like a 60s kit aged onyx is the finish and everyone except my wife loves them. I don't have anything against vintage drums I just like the new drums more.
I get it entirely. And unless I can get this set of Slingerland shells in my favorite sizes for a better price than new PDP or DW Design maples, that's what I'm going with because I can match the look of my favorite basses with them :D
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think the vintage kicked off in the late 70s when Bun E Carlos could be seen playing old Radio Kings and touting vintage fun with Cheap Trick. Then I remember Neil Peart in an ad reminiscing about “the good ol drums” that led to the creation of Tama‘s Artstars. Then I think what happened was people who couldn’t afford the new stuff just got smart and said “why don’t I just buy the old stuff that has that sound Neil covets so much?” And then I think it took off from there. Of course even at the time Jeff Porcaro and JR Robinson we’re showing up at sessions with snares from the 1920s. So part marketing from the professionals, so to speak.
 
Last edited:
Top