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Old 08-24-2005, 05:46 PM
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Default Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

Hello! Can you tell me anything about "Hinger Touch Tone" snare drums? What little I've been able to acertain is that the Hinger Touch Tone Corp. was started by Fred Hinger, and he appearantly made very few snare drums. I saw one recently and passed on it only because I'd never heard of it.
Can you elaborate?

Last edited by Webmaster; 08-24-2005 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 09-01-2005, 01:40 PM
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Steve Maxwell Steve Maxwell is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

Hinger Touch Tone was a company that specialized primarily in the Hinger Tympani. Great instruments. But, Hinger also made snare drums. In fact, Al Duffy, who was one of the very first, (if not THE first), true custom drum builders, was part of Hinger for awhile. Al previously had been doing his custom work out of Frank Ippolito's Pro Percussion in NYC. I used to go there in the early 70s and study with Papa Jo Jones and then I'd hang around for a few extra days and watch Al working in his section of the shop. While Al was at Frank's he began experimenting with fiberglass/acrylic shells. In fact, Al Duffy used to build Billy Cobham's snare drums. (Pick up Billy's 70s album titled "Crosswinds" and listen to the snare drum. That drum is a custom made fiberglass snare built by Al for Billy. I wish I had that snare drum in my hands today). Anyhow, Al eventually left Frank's and went to work for Hinger. He helped them design their snare drums, among other things. Their snares were great all-around instruments well suited to many applications from jazz to rock, to classical percussion. At one point they built a snare that actually had a two piece shell that was open all the way around the center. That one was pretty strange, and I'm not really sure that there was any sonic advantage to it. Anyhow, if you can find one of the more traditional Hinger Touch Tone snare drums I would recommend that you buy it. I have been looking for one for a long time. I think, if you are lucky, you might be able to get one in the $400-$500 range.

Al Duffy eventually left Hinger and went on to Pearl where he was in charge of R&D for quite awhile. Unfortunately Al died (around 1985 I think), and he was much too young to go. Probably only about 50 yrs old or so when he passed away. Don't remember exactly. Al was also the first guy to adapt the old Camco BD pedal with a chain drive. He was a true innovator and many folks don't know about him. When he worked in Frank Ippolito's place he would order raw shells from Slingerland. Then he would cut the bearing edges and do custom staining of the shells. He was the first builder that I ever saw that used gold plated hardware. When I was in the shop one day he had a Slingerland double bass kit on the shelf ready to go. The kit had two 22s, a 13 and a 16 and a matching SD. The kit was being built for the then-current drummer on tour with Diana Ross and the Supremes. The kit was a walnut stain with gold plated hardware (lugs, rims, tension rods, Ts, claws). Truly stunning. Doesn't sound all that special today, but in the early 70s something like this had never been seen before.

Also, Al was a very cordial, considerate man. I used to spend a lot of time asking him questions because I was fascinated by the entire process. He always took the time to answer every question and he never seemed bothered by it. The man really loved his work.

In my shop today, I always remember how Al treated me when people come in and ask questions. Al took the time to pass along his knowledge and he encouraged others to do the same thing.

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Old 10-11-2007, 04:16 PM
bmuskus bmuskus is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

Hi Steve,

My name is Bob Muskus and I own a Hinger Touch Tone (the metal pipe version ) #136 (+ or - 1) that I bought from Fred in 1973. I am not looking to sell it because it is just too much fun watching peoples reaction when I ask them "Could you hand me that snare drum please". I am intrested in their collectability these days. I am currently having it "restored" meaning removal of some light rust and poliching of the hardware. I am also looking for replacement snares, the plastic coated wires, and would be interested if you or anyone has any information on how I could get them. Do you have any info on the value of these drums these days. I think my original purchase price was $350 back in '73.

Bob Muskus
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:48 PM
tj1002 tj1002 is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

Hi Bob:

I hope you are answer these types of queries. I just acquired a 6 1/2 inch concert snare and I would like to find another original double lug for it. Any ideas of where to obtain one? Also, I noticed that the top triple-flanged hoop had Taiwan stamped on it. Does your hoop also have "Taiwan stamped on it? If you
cannot answer these questions, could you refer me to someone who might be able to?

Many thanks, Ted Neumann

Last edited by tj1002; 01-17-2009 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:11 AM
vintagetone vintagetone is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum

Is anyone familar with a recent sale of a two piece Hinger snare? I have an opportunity to buy one of these very unusual snares. Any documentation of the sale of one of these?

Last edited by vintagetone; 09-01-2009 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:58 AM is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

i'll just add a few comments to Steve's posting. i was around in the days that Steve mentions re: the creativity of Al Duffy and his work at Ippolito Shop and with Fred Hinger. Al and I were partners for many years and remained good friends until his untimely death. i believe he was 56 or near that at the time he died.

i can attest to the creative thought and work. it was constant! i have the original Camco converted pedal. i still use it. i have thought of donating it to the PAS museum but it still works fine and i use it - so the donation will have to wait.

i also have one of the fibre shells that Steve mentions. i seem to remember that it was a Blaimire - not sure of the spelling. i had Sonor snare throw put on it and all of that still works too. great sounding drum, stays round, records well.

i also have a Hinger snare that Al made for me. It is also synthetic fibre shell, has rather crude rims, and the tendency for the snare head to break rather easily. This has been a problem from the beginning of ownership but the issue seems worse now. The problem seems to be at the snare bed. The mylar heads will not mold to the shape of the snare bed and perhaps the newer mylar heads have a slightly deeper collar than when I acquired this drum? I have tried Remo and Evans and same problem. Does anyone know of a vintage head with lower collar depth at the snare bed? Or other ideas? i don't want to go to natural skin. It is too much constant watching with changing climate conditions in Western NY.

This is kind of a trip down memory lane. I hope to get to NYC in Spring and to the shop. Maybe bring a drum or two along with me.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:38 PM
drumthumb drumthumb is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

Oh, gentlemen . . . . I've just seen a beautiful Hinger Space-Tone . . . for $2,200 ! !
I wish I could find one for $500!

Since I'm here, does anyone remember a brass shell, 12-lug, dual throw-off orchestral drum called the "Hermann Drum?" Custom made in New York, if I recall in about the late 1970's early 1980's?
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:22 PM
don hennig don hennig is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

I owned a Hinger snare made from a steel conduit. Hinger showed it to me when I was studying timpani with him. At the time I was a percussionist in the U.S. Marine Band in Washington,D.C. This must have been the late 1970's. He brought this drum out to show me and said he was making more ( I think this one was # 23? ) He had these aluminum hollow rounded at the ends snare drum sticks that he played the drum with. It had a fantastic, crisp full sound. ( Hinger was an excellent percussionist. In fact, before becoming the principal timpanist in the Philadelphia Orchestra he held down the principal percussionist position with that organization ) The snares on the drum were a combination of uncoated and coated steel cables. I think that it had 10 lugs that were machined for the drum, but the snare strainer was a Camco. Hinger told me later that Camco wouldn't sell him any more of their strainers, so he started making his own. After playing the drum for a few minutes I was sold! I bought it on the spot and used that drum all through my tenure in the band. The drum weighed like 60 pounds!! The Hamitilton snare stand was the only one that could hold that drum! When I left the Marine Band I sold the drum to Ken Harbison in the National Symphony. I guess he still has it. I wish now I hadn't sold it. Not sure what it is worth now.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:59 PM
drummingbulldog drummingbulldog is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

My drum instructor in high school was a Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra player and he had a Hinger. That drum was awesome. He had cable snares on his and I just remember really being in awe of that drum. He had great hands and I watched him practice on it. It sounded fantastic. He used it on a jazz recording session and when I heard him play it for that I didn't like it so much but I wasn't into jazz at that time either so... it was probably me.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:06 PM
John Wagner John Wagner is offline
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Default Re: Hinger Touch Tone Snare Drum - web site visitor

I have a Hinger snare (pipe shell - very heavy) that I bought from Gordon Peters in 1980. I was going for my masters at Northwestern University and Terry Applebaum told me Mr. Peters was looking to sell. I hoped on the EL, went down to Symphony Hall (downstairs I think), and met Mr. Peters there. James Ross was also in the room. Gordon said he really liked the drum, but it was just too heavy (I believe it weighs around 45 pounds). He sold it to me for what he paid for it - $100.00 I still have it and it's still a great sounding drum. But, Gordon Peters was right - I never use it because it's just too heavy to lug around. I would need a cart to move it. Can anyone venture a guess as to how much it would sell for today? John Wagner, Suffern, NY
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