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  #1  
Old 01-08-2012, 10:12 PM
mono-plane mono-plane is offline
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Default John Grey Autocrats

I have a couple of John Grey Autocrat drums from the 1960's and was wondering if anyone has parts or drums as I'm looking for a few items? These were made in England.

My drums are 11 3/8" x 20", 8" x 300mm, with the matching 4" x 14" snare in Blue Pearl.

I would like to find the following:

- bass drum spurs with brackets
- bass drum muffler assembly (I have one for the rear but the front one is missing
- cymbal arms that attach to the bass drum
- one bass drum T-rod (would consider more)
- slot headed t-rods for the snare and tom
- floor tom in Blue Pearl if possible

Thanks
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Barry (mono-plane)
UPBEAT - Drums For Kids (on Facebook)
71 Black Cortex 22, 14 *wtd 16" ft*
61 Ludwig Super Downbeat 20, 16, 13 w/matching Jazz Festival (Black & Gold Duco)
63 Ludwig Clubdate Blue Sparkle 20, 14, 12 (WTB a nice 12" Blue Sparkle tom)
79 Black Beauty SS 6.5 x 14 (one previous owner players or studio drum) 4 sale
80 Black Beauty Supra 6.5 x 14 (4 sale)

Last edited by mono-plane; 01-08-2012 at 11:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2012, 03:34 PM
calfskin calfskin is offline
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Default Re: John Grey Autocrats

There was a certain amount of cooperation between the British drum companies ,when it came to hardware. The bass drum muffler is likely the same as the older ones that were on Premier and Olympic and Ajax drums. You have more chance of finding one off of a Premier drum.I have seen them fairly regularily----especially in the U.K.
The t-rods on the British drums , although cosmetically somewhat different , only came in a few shaft and thread diameters. They all had similar slot heads and are often interchangeable but there were many different lengths. I have been able to interchange Premier and Ajax. They have 12-24 machine threads and , although I don't have any on hand to verify; I think the John Grey's are the same. Dallas and Carlton and the old Beverley's were different.
Again , the bass drum spur mounts are if not identical , very similar. I may have a set of those but no spurs.
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2012, 04:14 PM
mono-plane mono-plane is offline
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Default Re: John Grey Autocrats

Quote:
Originally Posted by calfskin View Post
There was a certain amount of cooperation between the British drum companies ,when it came to hardware. The bass drum muffler is likely the same as the older ones that were on Premier and Olympic and Ajax drums. You have more chance of finding one off of a Premier drum.I have seen them fairly regularily----especially in the U.K.
The t-rods on the British drums , although cosmetically somewhat different , only came in a few shaft and thread diameters. They all had similar slot heads and are interchangeable but there were many different lengths. I have been able to interchange Premier and Ajax. They have 12-24 machine threads and , although I don't have any on hand to verify; I think the John Grey's are the same. Dallas and Carlton and the old Beverley's were different.
Again , the bass drum spur mounts are if not identical , very similar. I may have a set of those but no spurs.
Hi Calfskin...thanks for your insight. I will see if anyone has some of the pieces that I need before considering other options. But it's great to know that there may be some other options.
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Barry (mono-plane)
UPBEAT - Drums For Kids (on Facebook)
71 Black Cortex 22, 14 *wtd 16" ft*
61 Ludwig Super Downbeat 20, 16, 13 w/matching Jazz Festival (Black & Gold Duco)
63 Ludwig Clubdate Blue Sparkle 20, 14, 12 (WTB a nice 12" Blue Sparkle tom)
79 Black Beauty SS 6.5 x 14 (one previous owner players or studio drum) 4 sale
80 Black Beauty Supra 6.5 x 14 (4 sale)
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2012, 03:36 PM
roger.kelly roger.kelly is offline
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Default Re: John Grey Autocrats

That is a very late Autocrat, just before the re-branding to RM. Consequently it has later RM fittings and NOT typical Autocrat ones. The rectangular mounting plates and the cymbal arm and spurs you seek will be found on RM or (R-M) branded kits. They go for less money than Autocrats, were only made for a couple of years and are not valued in UK so are very rare. Late Broadways can also be cannibalised for the parts you need and note the bass T-Rod will have to be Autocrat or Broadway, not RM.

Rose morris threads are different to all other UK brands, and although others 'work' they don't actually 'fit' properly. Even within the Autocrat and Broadway brands, the shape of the heads of the tension bolts changed over the years, and the thread slightly too, but they still fit.

Late Autocrat shells are not as good as earlier, sublime versions. You can identify them as they have ply re-rings, no internal stamp and painted interiors.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2012, 03:48 PM
mono-plane mono-plane is offline
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Unhappy Re: John Grey Autocrats

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger.kelly View Post
That is a very late Autocrat, just before the re-branding to RM. Consequently it has later RM fittings and NOT typical Autocrat ones. The rectangular mounting plates and the cymbal arm and spurs you seek will be found on RM or (R-M) branded kits. They go for less money than Autocrats, were only made for a couple of years and are not valued in UK so are very rare. Late Broadways can also be cannibalised for the parts you need and note the bass T-Rod will have to be Autocrat or Broadway, not RM.

Rose morris threads are different to all other UK brands, and although others 'work' they don't actually 'fit' properly. Even within the Autocrat and Broadway brands, the shape of the heads of the tension bolts changed over the years, and the thread slightly too, but they still fit.

Late Autocrat shells are not as good as earlier, sublime versions. You can identify them as they have ply re-rings, no internal stamp and painted interiors.

Thanks for the additional information. My kit has two different interiors. The 12" tom and snare have the re-rings with painted grey interiors. The kick has a natural wood interior with re-rings. It has been suggested that these drums were not born together as a set, however I openly asked if these may have been sold as a kit in a transition period? I thinking that there can't be many of these kits around in Canada or Winnipeg where I live, so how likely is it that someone found two these and put them together? There was no original floor tom with this kit but a close matched Blue Pearl Star 14" tom was added at some point. It's a 1960's piece as well. I'm surprised that nobody on the forum from the UK has any parts for these drums seeing as they were manufactured there. Here in my city, there are so many different drummers/collectors with such a wide variety of drums that you can find almost anything but JG pieces.
__________________
Barry (mono-plane)
UPBEAT - Drums For Kids (on Facebook)
71 Black Cortex 22, 14 *wtd 16" ft*
61 Ludwig Super Downbeat 20, 16, 13 w/matching Jazz Festival (Black & Gold Duco)
63 Ludwig Clubdate Blue Sparkle 20, 14, 12 (WTB a nice 12" Blue Sparkle tom)
79 Black Beauty SS 6.5 x 14 (one previous owner players or studio drum) 4 sale
80 Black Beauty Supra 6.5 x 14 (4 sale)
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2012, 05:41 PM
roger.kelly roger.kelly is offline
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Default Re: John Grey Autocrats

Quote:
Originally Posted by mono-plane View Post
Thanks for the additional information. My kit has two different interiors. The 12" tom and snare have the re-rings with painted grey interiors. The kick has a natural wood interior with re-rings.
Indeed, the whole life-cycle of Autocrats was a transition cycle! Specs were changing constantly and never stayed the same for more than 2-3 years!

Thing is the Autocrat bass drums weren't painted, even when the toms and snares were.

In fact your kit - a late one - was supplied as standard with each drum having fittings coming from a different era! This is the reason why people may think later kits are made of orphans.

In 1965 in the typical 12/16/20 kit, the specs would be as follows:

12" - Early 60's spec (5 smaller lugs, 60's hoops, pre-int size, now painted) Model 567 replaced 575
16" - Late 50's spec (16 chunky lugs, 50's hoops, standard size, now painted)
20" - Mid 60's spec ('New' RM Clansman stlye lugs, standard size, 'New' RM mounts, bass drums were never painted inside)

In 1960 a new double ended (Mark 3) lug was introduced and only used on the 12 and snare. The lug had a single point, centre mounted machine screw to attach to the shell. The lug was dropped when the RM brand came out.
A new (Mark 3) die cast hoop was also introduced for 12" and 14" sizes. These hoops have smaller radius 'lug ears' that are solid, where earlier ones were hollow and more oval in shape (Mk 2) or Square (Mk 1). This style carried over to the flagship RM branded models.
At this time the 12" also shell went to pre-international size(!) and went down from 6 lugs to 5 and started to be painted. A big drop in quality.

compare the side-by-side toms on my website and notice the changes in:
lug shape
lug number
dampers
hoop lug-ear shape
also the change in shape of the floor tom leg mounts

look at the RM page for the fittings on your bass drum

In 1965 a new (Mk 3) bass drum lug was introduced, looking like a girl's waist. The 50's version was chunkier and had a thin neck rather than a waist. Also new mounting hardware was introduced, long rectangular plates with a collet in the middle for cymbal arms and bass drum spurs. This design was carried forward to the RM brand. At this time the bass drum also went from pre-international size to standard international size.

Over this period the original and best 3 ply shell with 1-ply re-rings was replaced with a 3-ply shell with 3-ply re-rings and finally a 6-ply shell with no re-rings and silver paint.

Last edited by roger.kelly; 01-17-2012 at 05:54 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2012, 06:15 PM
mono-plane mono-plane is offline
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Default Re: John Grey Autocrats

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger.kelly View Post
Indeed, the whole life-cycle of Autocrats was a transition cycle! Specs were changing constantly and never stayed the same for more than 2-3 years!

Thing is the Autocrat bass drums weren't painted, even when the toms and snares were.

In fact your kit - a late one - was supplied as standard with each drum having fittings coming from a different era! This is the reason why people may think later kits are made of orphans.

In 1965 in the typical 12/16/20 kit, the specs would be as follows:

12" - Early 60's spec (5 smaller lugs, 60's hoops, pre-int size, now painted) Model 567 replaced 575
16" - Late 50's spec (16 chunky lugs, 50's hoops, standard size, now painted)
20" - Mid 60's spec ('New' RM Clansman stlye lugs, standard size, 'New' RM mounts, bass drums were never painted inside)

In 1960 a new double ended (Mark 3) lug was introduced and only used on the 12 and snare. The lug had a single point, centre mounted machine screw to attach to the shell. The lug was dropped when the RM brand came out.
A new (Mark 3) die cast hoop was also introduced for 12" and 14" sizes. These hoops have smaller radius 'lug ears' that are solid, where earlier ones were hollow and more oval in shape (Mk 2) or Square (Mk 1). This style carried over to the flagship RM branded models.
At this time the 12" also shell went to pre-international size(!) and went down from 6 lugs to 5 and started to be painted. A big drop in quality.

compare the side-by-side toms on my website and notice the changes in:
lug shape
lug number
dampers
hoop lug-ear shape
also the change in shape of the floor tom leg mounts

look at the RM page for the fittings on your bass drum

In 1965 a new (Mk 3) bass drum lug was introduced, looking like a girl's waist. The 50's version was chunkier and had a thin neck rather than a waist. Also new mounting hardware was introduced, long rectangular plates with a collet in the middle for cymbal arms and bass drum spurs. This design was carried forward to the RM brand. At this time the bass drum also went from pre-international size to standard international size.

Over this period the original and best 3 ply shell with 1-ply re-rings was replaced with a 3-ply shell with 3-ply re-rings and finally a 6-ply shell with no re-rings and silver paint.
Thanks again Roger.Kelly. These last two posts have been very helpful.

So my little kit is a 1965 or newer then, not very good quality as far as the parts and/or the shells? I know 5 vs 6 lugs will make a difference, I have owned 12" vintage Gretsch toms with 5 lugs and currently own a 19 y/o Nashville Re-issue Slingerland Studio King kit with a 5 lug 12" tom.

So now the question is how do I find the odds and sods to complete the kit?

- bass drum spurs/brackets
- bass drum muffler for the front (I assume front and back are the same?)
- bass drum cymbal arms with fasteners to attach to the existing brackets
- bass drum claw and t-rod
- 12 slotted t-rods for the tom and snare (missing in action)
- possibly a 16" floor tom

This would be a lovely little kit if I can complete it. The snare is quite nice. The bass drum still had the original drum heads on it, bit are done for mind you.

Help!!!!
__________________
Barry (mono-plane)
UPBEAT - Drums For Kids (on Facebook)
71 Black Cortex 22, 14 *wtd 16" ft*
61 Ludwig Super Downbeat 20, 16, 13 w/matching Jazz Festival (Black & Gold Duco)
63 Ludwig Clubdate Blue Sparkle 20, 14, 12 (WTB a nice 12" Blue Sparkle tom)
79 Black Beauty SS 6.5 x 14 (one previous owner players or studio drum) 4 sale
80 Black Beauty Supra 6.5 x 14 (4 sale)
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2012, 04:28 AM
roger.kelly roger.kelly is offline
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Default Re: John Grey Autocrats

Not quite right - 'not very good quality' would be a mistake, it was still a high quality product, not student level. It is just that the earlier, thinner shells were off the scale.

Your snare drum will sound magnificent.
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2012, 10:29 AM
calfskin calfskin is offline
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Default Re: John Grey Autocrats

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger.kelly View Post
Not quite right - 'not very good quality' would be a mistake, it was still a high quality product, not student level. It is just that the earlier, thinner shells were off the scale.

Your snare drum will sound magnificent.
Thin shells rule( except those made of wall panelling or cardboard).
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2012, 11:46 AM
mono-plane mono-plane is offline
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Smile Re: John Grey Autocrats

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger.kelly View Post
Not quite right - 'not very good quality' would be a mistake, it was still a high quality product, not student level. It is just that the earlier, thinner shells were off the scale.

Your snare drum will sound magnificent.
OK, I understand and yes, the snare is a great little drum!
__________________
Barry (mono-plane)
UPBEAT - Drums For Kids (on Facebook)
71 Black Cortex 22, 14 *wtd 16" ft*
61 Ludwig Super Downbeat 20, 16, 13 w/matching Jazz Festival (Black & Gold Duco)
63 Ludwig Clubdate Blue Sparkle 20, 14, 12 (WTB a nice 12" Blue Sparkle tom)
79 Black Beauty SS 6.5 x 14 (one previous owner players or studio drum) 4 sale
80 Black Beauty Supra 6.5 x 14 (4 sale)
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