View Full Version : A word about drum appraisal
01-19-2006, 11:53 PM
I see that a lot of people are asking for appraisals on various drums. I have given what I thought were reasonable appraisals based upon what I have seen similar drums selling for over several years of watching the internet (mostly Ebay).
My opinions may or may not reflect exactly what the "market" is doing at any given moment...but some things have seemed to remain fairly consistent. For example:
Drums with some sort of association to a famous drummer almost always bring in a higher appraisal. Like a Buddy Rich model snare drum or a vintage kit that's in the same exact configuration as what John Bonham played.
Drum kits which are considered "matched" are those with similar badge numbers and dates stamped on the interiors. Some drums used paper labels on the inside. To the best of my knowledge, there were no numbering systems that were really accurate, therefore, a "ballpark" range of numbers may still be considered as a matched kit. Kits that are considered as matched command a higher appraisal value.
Appraisal is a guessing game, really. A rare finish such as pink oyster pearl or peac ock pearl in good shape will garner a higher appraisal than a similar drum with a more common finish -even if that drum is in excellent shape. In other instances a common drum such a Ludwig Supra might go for a lot of money IF there are competetive interested parties bidding against each other. Sometimes a common drum may be just the missing part to an otherwise complete kit. In short, it's all about the desire.
I can never be sure as to the accuracy of any appraisal I make and my "area of expertise" is really limited to a small segment in the world of vintage drums, but I will try to be of help when I can.
A lot of great information is already at hand here. Be sure to browse the front page and look at the sections for serial number identification as well as all the other "self-serve" help that can really expedite tracking down all the mysterious drums out there.
I'm here to help when I can.Burger Kin
01-20-2006, 06:22 AM
Something that baffles me is that collectors seem to all want the same vintage drums. I like to buy the unique or unusual vintage drums, like a Jedson, or (Sweedish) Imperial, or a few 30's or 40's student drums I've not only never seen before, but cannot even find a photo of those. I find these more interesting than the Black Beauty or 'whatever' odd pearl wrap Ludwig that EVERYBODY wants when they show up. Why does it seem nobody is interested in these oddball drums? Seems to me they are AT LEAST as much a part of the history of the drum making industry as the famous drums. For example, I find it interesting to see & own a drum that George Way developed BEFORE he became settled in his well known career with the big companies.
01-20-2006, 10:19 AM
I've know quite a few collectors, including myself, that have collected oddball drums. I think most collectors with more than a few drums, have items that are "interesting, " if not valuable. You just don't hear about them that much...
I've collected '60s import drums in weird finishes, Ludwig "standards", Duplexes, pre-Leedy Conns, Premier Olympics, etc...you're not alone in your appreciation of these guys...
01-20-2006, 11:15 AM
I also like the strange drums! I really love my 1999 Arbiter AT kit. I like my Peavey RP1000 snare drum that looks like a spare tire -also from the turn of the century. Appraisal of those kinds of drums is REALLY difficult because the collectors are so specialized.
Some reasons why drums made by Ludwig and Rogers and Gretsch and Slingerland are more collectible (even though they may be more common than the so-called "weird" drums) is because many are either no longer made at all, or made in a different way (different specifications) -such as the Ludwig 3-ply shells or the Gretsch Jasper shells or the old Rogers shells. The Ludwig Company is still in business, but the drums they sell now are unlike those they made during America's jazz era and formative rock era...and the same can be said for those aforementioned companies as well. Brand-identity is very high up on the drum collectible front. "Weird" drums, while interesting, lack the brand-identity facet and that's why common drums can be more collectible than even very rare drums from unknown (or lesser-known) origin. There just isn't the provenance, I guess.
Another reason why these older drum companies' drums are more collectible is that whole kits and various configurations are available to collect -as opposed to companies that concentrated on snare drums.
When Ludwig came up with a reasonably efficient bass drum pedal design in the early 1900's, the drum KIT soon followed and finally evolved to a point that peaked in the early 70's (as I observe it, anyway). Most collecting is done amongst the "Big 4" Amercian companies...those being Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch and Rogers. These companies all offered distinctive drum kits until the import drums took over and the way business was done changed.
I also find it peculiar how many of the "weird" drum designs were from decades in the past. Trixon is one that comes to mind. Everything (as far as weirdness) seemed to level off in the 80's when electronics made their debut. Anyone remember the Linn Drum? HA! Simmons SDS-5, anyone? ;)
Then, in the 90's acoustic drums were resurrected again, but, again , the weird designs never caught on. Now, there are builders who are building drums to be LIKE old drums! Go figure!
01-20-2006, 12:36 PM
Good topic and a very valid issue in the "Vintage Community".
This is also a topic on the main web site so I decided to provide my take on the topic, but it was too long to put in the forum and I added it to the main web site.
It discusses the issue of a "Professional Appraisal Service" and not what O-lugs, myself and others do on this forum to help people find out what their drum is worth.
It is really for the "un-drum educated". I routinely get people thinking that a drum ( which I know is a 60's Japanese copy) is very valuable and they want to make sure it is appraised for insurance purposes.
It is rather lengthy reading.
Click Here (http://www.vintagesnaredrums.com/appraisal_service.html)
01-20-2006, 01:30 PM
Yes, I just wanted to be sure that everybody knows that I am not a professional appraiser and that I only offer my opinion as a guess as to what a particular drum might be worth if it were to be sold at auction -based upon my own observations. In other words...I could be wrong! FYI
Some people have PM'ed me and e-mailed me asking for appraisals and I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not a real doctor -I only play one on tv! ;)
01-20-2006, 02:43 PM
Here is an auction I just happened across. I saw the larger number of bids and knew there was a bidding war going on over this. I would have never given an appraisal of anywhere near what they have bid it up to so far...currently at $295.00 at the time of this posting....
it could go higher! More than one person wants this drum...
see what I mean? Ya just never know!
01-20-2006, 03:09 PM
Yes, I agree and that snare is in rough shape. There are so many factors from a buyers perspective that it is impossible to figure out. Maybe the high bidder remembers his dad playing a drum like that and will pay whatever it takes to get it, and another bidder has been looking for that badge and lugs for years and will also bid high.
Is that really an indication of the value? No way, so you are correct
O-lugs in my book not worth the money.
01-20-2006, 04:30 PM
Here is another prime example of what is happening. This person has never sold on Ebay before and the set belonged to his grandfather.
Before emailing me he had contacted 2 or 3 different dealers and posted it on another forum and got some private offers. They ranged from $500 to $900.
So I decided to tutor him and personally suggested he contact a specific dealer and put the set on consignment.
He decided to put it up on Ebay. I suggested not to put up a reserve and he decided to put the reserve of $1500 and in the last second or two it hit the reserve exactly.
Because of the originality and completeness I thought that a dealer would have done much better on selling this set to its clientele. We all look at dealer prices and wonder how they get it, but they do!
The reason is they have a specific clientele many of which never search Ebay, they never even look online, they want a specific condition and originality and money is not an issue for what they want and what they have to have.
If a dealer sold this I would estimate between $2000 and $2500 for those drums. Would the average collector or searcher for deals pay that much?
Probably not!!! How could a dealer ask that much?? Well, that is why they are a dealer and they have built their business and have their clientele. Once you become a customer and are happy you expect a certain level and professionalism. You expect that from any business you buy from no matter what it is.
I have purchased items from dealers and been more then happy with the quality.
Sorry for another soap box, just another perspective.
01-20-2006, 04:37 PM
Well good! So I'm not the only one who likes the un-ordinary vintage drums. If you get a chance, post pics of those odd balls - I'd love to see them!!
As far as appraising, I didn't think a monetary value could be assessed on those; it's true that they're worth what someone will pay - just find the right someone! :)
01-20-2006, 05:01 PM
I was close to purchasing this drum on Ebay. The company has a long history, but this is the first vintage example I have seen.
Plus it is an Italian name on a Swiss drum. They are still in business!
Click Here (http://www.giannini-drums.ch/)
01-21-2006, 01:15 AM
I think one reason that people dont often collect the stranger stuff has already been touched on in this forum, if not in this very post. People tend to collect what they know. And often times its what they played in the beginning. So how many Trixon kits were produced compared to Ludwig Club Dates or Classics? Relatively few Im guessing. So the chances that people were playing the oddball drums as first kits is probably also going to be relatively small. And most people arent as diehard as most of us (even though Im new I feel like Im part of the family already...warm fuzzy!) who hang out here. Most folks want to go out, get a piece (of drums!), and stick it in their collection with a minimum of hassle. Very few, I think, will spend weeks trying to find the handle that fits that MicroSensitive throw off that happened to be a part of an experiment at the factory when they used left hand threads for 18 minutes and then changed back because Bob in QC thought it was a bad idea etc. You have all heard the stories. My Gretsch fanatic friend and I were talking today about the stands that belong with my project kit. Flat based Ludwig 1400's. Ringo Starr used these so they are 75 bucks each on Ebay. If Freddy Fastknuckles from the Immaculate Weedwhackers would have used them, I could buy them by the gross for a nickle. But no, Ringo had to use them, so they are retardedly expensive. Either way, the stranger stuff has its place. Usually in our hearts as a lot of the stuff didnt sound that great, henceforth the rarity of it cause nobody wanted it. Or we like it because its flat out cool and nobody else on the block has one. So Viva la Oddballs! And Thanks for letting me vent.
01-21-2006, 05:42 AM
And a fine vent it was ZigZag77! Some very lucid thoughts mixed with a bit of levity... not to mention pretty accurate IMHO. Nicely done!
01-21-2006, 11:13 AM
LOL! Yes! Excellent!! I love it!
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.