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MutantMozart 01-30-2020 06:01 PM

Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
I have an odd set of Slingerland drums that appear to be from the 80's or 90's. Trying to figure what I have. The hardware is clearly traditional Slingerland hardware, complete with jumbo size butterfly nuts on the floor tom. The shells are three ply Maple-Mahogany-Poplar or Maple-Mahogany-Something else. The inner ply is clearly a maple ply, the middle ply clearly mahogany, the outer ply I can't really tell. Looks too dark to be poplar, but not sure what else it would be.

The badges are your standard oval shaped black badges with serial numbers, but no city. Inside the drums there are some small round paper stickers with Chinese writing.

What confuses me is that I know the US made Slingerlands of this era used a three ply like what I have, but the stickers seem to indicate asian manufacture which would imply Luan construction.

Soundwise they are pretty thunderous, although not quite as much as my 70's era extra deep Slingerlands with power toms, but very similar character nonetheless and absolutely nothing like even the best of the luan drums of that era.

A very knowledgable Buddy of mine who owns a local drum shop said these were probably Spirit series of the early 90's, but I understood those to be luan shells not mmp. Can anybody shed some light here?

DrumBob 01-30-2020 06:18 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Photos please? Most likely Spirit series made in China.

MutantMozart 01-30-2020 06:32 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Thanks Bob, that's what my friend said, but that answer may be too simple, here is what confuses me. I know that the American made spirits were actually pretty good drums made with 3 ply Maple-Mahogany-Poplar construction, just like mine. But as I understand it, once production went to China they changed construction to all luan shells, which these most certainly are not.

Might there have some sort of interim period between when real Slingerland was having its last gasps and when Gibson bought them out during which they sent some shells to China or something?

slingerfan 01-30-2020 07:16 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
As Bob stated pictures are very useful. If you can't post pictures a more detailed description of the badge (e.g. black/silver, black/gold, USA, no USA) and some serial numbers may be helpful. During the HSS era there were some shells made overseas with wood sourced from North America.

DrumBob 01-30-2020 08:45 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
It's not hard to post pics here. If I can do it, you can, OP.

Upload photos on your computer

Click manage attachments before you post

Click on the photo you want to include and then upload it

You may have to reduce the size. 40% works for me, YMMV.

MutantMozart 01-31-2020 01:32 AM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
1 Attachment(s)
Sorry, I was at work when I posted, had to wait till I got home to take the pics. Anyway in case that serial is hard to read I think it's 940504.

MutantMozart 01-31-2020 11:08 AM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Hmm, just found this on another forum. Most of it does not apply but this part
Quote:

maple-mahogany-maple
explains a lot, my shells are maple on the inside, mahogany in the middle, and the outer layer is quite difficult to discern but it's not poplar (too dark for that) and not mahogany (too light for that). It must be maple as well. It's hard to tell much when you can only see about 1/16th of an inch of it just below the bearing edge, but this does make perfect sense because these sound just like traditional Slingerlands and I think that would be hard to get from MMP.
.
Quote:

What you have is a HHS ERA; Artist Custom Series kit in Bright Blue. Itís a maple-mahogany-maple shell the maple is from the US. Also the covering, isolation, nuts & bolts also from US. But, built in Korea to keep cost down. The sound should almost be close to the traditional Slingerland sound. George King helped in designing of this kit and helps bring back Slingerland during the HHS ERA. These kits donít come up often because they were mainly jazz players that liked the kits and liked the sound at the time. I would say in good condition around $500-600.

slingerfan 01-31-2020 01:22 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MutantMozart (Post 457267)
Sorry, I was at work when I posted, had to wait till I got home to take the pics. Anyway in case that serial is hard to read I think it's 940504.

Slingerlands with that badge are post-Niles imports. That badge and serials 940xxx were used in two different eras. First in the HSS era (early 90's) and then again during the Gibson era (early 2000's). More pictures/info needed to narrow it down further.

MutantMozart 01-31-2020 08:30 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by slingerfan (Post 457278)
Slingerlands with that badge are post-Niles imports. That badge and serials 940xxx were used in two different eras. First in the HSS era (early 90's) and then again during the Gibson era (early 2000's). More pictures/info needed to narrow it down further.

Yeah, I already know this part, original owner said he purchased in or about 1992. What I did not know is whether or not this was before Gibson took over. But the post I found on the other forum which I copied here upthread a bit seems to answer my questions. These are three ply Maple-Mahogany-Maple and the year (1992) seem to point to HHS era. So now, what exactly is the HHS era anyway? What does HHS mean anyway?

jda 01-31-2020 10:04 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
I dunno but they had a lot of Jazz sets (18"s) then and got to be pretty popular (butterfly wings) and all before they fizzled. I think MD reviewed the Jazz Kit.. Are your's 18" bass? If so keep them.. I'll look for that road test..nope didn't find

MutantMozart 01-31-2020 11:22 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jda (Post 457324)
I dunno but they had a lot of Jazz sets (18"s) then and got to be pretty popular (butterfly wings) and all before they fizzled. I think MD reviewed the Jazz Kit.. Are your's 18" bass? If so keep them.. I'll look for that road test..nope didn't find

No, mine is a 22 inch bass but the Floor Tom does have the butterfly wings. Also the toms are deep, not like the jazz kits.

slingerfan 02-01-2020 01:53 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MutantMozart (Post 457309)
Yeah, I already know this part, original owner said he purchased in or about 1992. What I did not know is whether or not this was before Gibson took over. But the post I found on the other forum which I copied here upthread a bit seems to answer my questions. These are three ply Maple-Mahogany-Maple and the year (1992) seem to point to HHS era. So now, what exactly is the HHS era anyway? What does HHS mean anyway?

HSS era is from '89-'94. HSS was the marketer and distributor of Slingerland drums during the Gretsch ownership period. HSS stands for Hohner, Sonor and Sabian. Also, per Slingerland historian Dr. Wenk, the Artist Custom shells are 5-ply. Maple interior and exterior with three plys of white mahogany in the middle. Does your BD have wood or metal hoops?

MutantMozart 02-01-2020 02:10 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by slingerfan (Post 457340)
HSS era is from '89-'94. HSS was the marketer and distributor of Slingerland drums during the Gretsch ownership period. HSS stands for Hohner, Sonor and Sabian. Also, per Slingerland historian Dr. Wenk, the Artist Custom shells are 5-ply. Maple interior and exterior with three plys of white mahogany in the middle. Does your BD have wood or metal hoops?

Good information, no these definitely would not be that model, I think it's an early Sprit model. The BD has metal hoops.

slingerfan 02-01-2020 02:48 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MutantMozart (Post 457342)
Good information, no these definitely would not be that model, I think it's an early Sprit model. The BD has metal hoops.

OK. Metal BD hoops would indicate Spirit model. 940xxx serials are consistent with later HSS era. According to Dr. Wenk the shell construction on early Spirits was 5-ply mahogany. Later HSS Spirit models were 7-ply mahogany with an interior ply of maple.

MutantMozart 02-02-2020 12:43 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by slingerfan (Post 457344)
OK. Metal BD hoops would indicate Spirit model. 940xxx serials are consistent with later HSS era. According to Dr. Wenk the shell construction on early Spirits was 5-ply mahogany. Later HSS Spirit models were 7-ply mahogany with an interior ply of maple.

Someone is wrong about something because these are 3 ply, not 5, and not 7. Anyway I'm not sure I much care anymore. These drums sound great, very much like my old Slingies and way better than my old Rogers. I guess in the end that's all that really matters.

Thanks for everyone's input.

leedybdp 02-03-2020 09:12 AM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
I understand your affinity for Slingerland drums and their sound. I have owned and gigged with more Slingerland drum sets than any other brand. However, I'm trying to get my head around your statement about those Spirit drums sounding "way better than my old Rogers". What kind of Rogers drums did you own? My 1966 Rogers Holiday drums in the Top Hat configuration are some of the best sounding drums I have ever been privileged to own.

MutantMozart 02-07-2020 11:44 AM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by leedybdp (Post 457404)
I understand your affinity for Slingerland drums and their sound. I have owned and gigged with more Slingerland drum sets than any other brand. However, I'm trying to get my head around your statement about those Spirit drums sounding "way better than my old Rogers". What kind of Rogers drums did you own? My 1966 Rogers Holiday drums in the Top Hat configuration are some of the best sounding drums I have ever been privileged to own.

My Rogers were about 1972 small "R" with re-rings and the internal shell was coated with some kind of grey faux stone finish paint and came with a metal dynasonic snare which I never liked, I've always preferred wood snares. Anyhow I'm not sure what model that would have been. Also the hardware was absolute crap. The most idiotic tom mounting system I've ever seen with these big clunky knobs you had to twist down over a thin hexagonal rod that extended inside the drum. Those awful mounts sucked a lot of resonance out of the drums. My Slingies are FAR more resonant, project much better, and just have a tone that to me is much more appealing to the ear. Also as is consistent with the era, the shells are deeper, which is probably part of why they project better. I'd say the Rodgers were warmer, great for a vintage sound. But to me they seemed rather pedestrian and wholely unremarkable. Of course, I'm constructing this all from memory, I haven't seen those drums in more than thirty years.

MutantMozart 02-07-2020 01:17 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
1 Attachment(s)
Found a picture, these are exactly like the Rogers I had back in the 70's.

leedybdp 02-07-2020 02:05 PM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
I'm trying to not be argumentative as sorta like a New Year's resolution. So, I'll just say that your Rogers set must have been a rare exception to the greatness of the Swivomatic era Rogers drums. Swivomatic hardware set the bar very high for drum hardware. Its ball and socket principal is still copied by many drum manufacturers. Rogers raised the bar again with Memrilok tubular-type hardware which is also still copied by other drum makers. I was not a big fan of Dynasonic snare drums mainly because it took way too much jacking around with too many adjustments to get it to sound as good as many simpler snare drums. I also prefer a wood shell snare drum.

MutantMozart 02-08-2020 03:37 AM

Re: Slingerland Drums No City Label
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by leedybdp (Post 457558)
I'm trying to not be argumentative as sorta like a New Year's resolution. So, I'll just say that your Rogers set must have been a rare exception to the greatness of the Swivomatic era Rogers drums. Swivomatic hardware set the bar very high for drum hardware. Its ball and socket principal is still copied by many drum manufacturers. Rogers raised the bar again with Memrilok tubular-type hardware which is also still copied by other drum makers. I was not a big fan of Dynasonic snare drums mainly because it took way too much jacking around with too many adjustments to get it to sound as good as many simpler snare drums. I also prefer a wood shell snare drum.

For me the problem with the swivomatic hardware is that it just did not hold up well. The drums were used when I bought them, I guess they were 5-7 years old, by then they would not hold position very well and it was agonizing to loosen and tighten the part that connects to the drum. Basically they were worn out after just a few years.

I feel it should last much longer, I have 50 year old MIJ hardware that still sets up and holds position like it was brand new. For a high end drum mount system to wear out so quickly is in my view uncacceptable. Now I can't say what abuse the previous owner might have put them through, all I can say is that by the time I owned them, they were certainly still usable but problematic.


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