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  #1  
Old 11-22-2009, 07:42 PM
AZBill AZBill is offline
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Default Stewart Drums

Hey all. I saw another post regarding a query regarding long-ago made drums and it got me thinking. My first kit was a four-piece Stewart kit that was purchased 2nd hand, around 1974-ish. Were they Japanese? Were they crap? I wish I had a picture of them (one of my parents might have one). They were red sparkle wrap with thick shells. I saw a snare on ebay that was selling for $28 (makes me think there's nothing special about them). Just curious.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:05 PM
jonnistix jonnistix is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

Well yes, they are Japanese. As to whether or not they are "crap" is subjective. There are those of us that like the pure funkiness of them. They can be rather difficult to tune, are also hard to find the right heads. But once you learn to work the shells and edges, they can be a great joy, and have a decent sound. What can you learn from them? You learn how to work your rather expensive American Vintage drums without having to practice on them, that's one thing. And the many ways a drum can sound, while working edges and other adjustments to the shell is something as well. So to say they are pure crap is, to me and others, an afront. We prefer "funky".
For some odd reason the snares seem "worthless to most drummers, until they play"The One" and look at the owner, who simply smiles back, and says "Go buy your own for 23.00, learn how to tune it, and then amaze someone else." It makes no sense to me why people disregard these drums as substandard. I have a single ply, a thick 7-9 ply, a chrome and an Acrolite. The single ply sounds like a Gretsch, the thick one, well it sounds like a 37 ply modern, the chrome one is a dead ringer for a Radio King and I would even venture to say it is the prototype for later years, because it is quite well built and looks exactly like a late 60s model. And of course we all know the Acro. So don't turn your noses up until you have played one that has been lovingly restored and properly worked, you might just find a snare for 20 bucks that becomes a workhorse.
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Last edited by jonnistix; 11-22-2009 at 09:05 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2009, 08:16 PM
nemo007 nemo007 is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

I agree, they make great practice drums for restoration. Also, many of the Japanese drums come in really crazy rare wraps.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2009, 11:35 PM
AZBill AZBill is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnistix View Post
Well yes, they are Japanese. As to whether or not they are "crap" is subjective. There are those of us that like the pure funkiness of them. They can be rather difficult to tune, are also hard to find the right heads. But once you learn to work the shells and edges, they can be a great joy, and have a decent sound. What can you learn from them? You learn how to work your rather expensive American Vintage drums without having to practice on them, that's one thing. And the many ways a drum can sound, while working edges and other adjustments to the shell is something as well. So to say they are pure crap is, to me and others, an afront. We prefer "funky".
For some odd reason the snares seem "worthless to most drummers, until they play"The One" and look at the owner, who simply smiles back, and says "Go buy your own for 23.00, learn how to tune it, and then amaze someone else." It makes no sense to me why people disregard these drums as substandard. I have a single ply, a thick 7-9 ply, a chrome and an Acrolite. The single ply sounds like a Gretsch, the thick one, well it sounds like a 37 ply modern, the chrome one is a dead ringer for a Radio King and I would even venture to say it is the prototype for later years, because it is quite well built and looks exactly like a late 60s model. And of course we all know the Acro. So don't turn your noses up until you have played one that has been lovingly restored and properly worked, you might just find a snare for 20 bucks that becomes a workhorse.
Don't get me wrong about the "crap" query; I was just asking; didn't know. It's refreshing (and kind of sad cause I don't have them anynore) to know they were a decent kit. As an unknowledgeable youth, I removed the sparkle wrap and broke out a can of dad's leftover stain and "refinshed?" them. I'd love to have them back and in their original, red sparkle glory. Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:41 AM
jonnistix jonnistix is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

Actually, this is more directged at some of the members who really do think they are useful only as firestarters. I knew you were asking an innocent question. It's just that some of these members are snobbish, as though they didn't have one of these sets as their first kit. I would venture to say a very high percentage, somewhere in the 75 range? And yes, I realize they can be frustrating for a 12 year old to learn on, because tuning can be a bear. However, some of these guys are better artists today because of them. If only we knew as much about workovers as teens, we probably would have few more of these in pristine condition. So, I am teaching the kids I come into contact with the fine arts of working the drum to it's best potential. Maybe then some of these really exotically priced niche builders that charge obscene money ($10K) for 5 shells with some lugs and heads will not have as many unsuspecting kids to take advantage of.
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"Ignorance may be overcome through education. Stupidity, however, is a lifelong endeavor." So, educate me, I don't likes bein' ignant...
"I enjoy restoring 60s Japanese "stencil" drums...I can actually afford them..."I rescue the worst of the old valueless drums for disadvantaged Children and gladly accept donations of parts, pieces and orphans, No cockroaches, please...
http://www.youtube.com/user/karstenboy
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Coffee...16613138379603
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2009, 07:57 AM
Ludwig-dude Ludwig-dude is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnistix View Post
Actually, this is more directged at some of the members who really do think they are useful only as firestarters. I knew you were asking an innocent question. It's just that some of these members are snobbish, as though they didn't have one of these sets as their first kit. I would venture to say a very high percentage, somewhere in the 75 range? And yes, I realize they can be frustrating for a 12 year old to learn on, because tuning can be a bear. However, some of these guys are better artists today because of them. If only we knew as much about workovers as teens, we probably would have few more of these in pristine condition. So, I am teaching the kids I come into contact with the fine arts of working the drum to it's best potential. Maybe then some of these really exotically priced niche builders that charge obscene money ($10K) for 5 shells with some lugs and heads will not have as many unsuspecting kids to take advantage of.
I'm not being snobbish.......I did own one of these as my first set, I think everyone did back in the day....but they ARE crap. Good for nothing but firewood. The shells are cheap, the hardware is cheap, the general poor construction....I graduated to better equipment like everyone else. They just don't sound good without a lot of work, and even then the sound is so-so after all that work....why put that much work into cheap drums when you can START with something so much better? Restore them for the NOSTALGIA thing sure, but as players?

BTW, you should NOT lump the Acrolite in with the Japanese stencil stuff.....apple to oranges....the Acrolite gets the "cheap" rap from Ludwig themselves in a way....its their own fault actually....it was marketed as a "student" snare for years........it is far from it. It uses the same shell as a Supraphonic, so how could it be considered "cheap"? The only difference between an Acrolite and a Supraphonic is two less lugs and some chrome finish. Sonically they are the same.

Last edited by Ludwig-dude; 11-23-2009 at 08:01 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2009, 02:22 AM
jonnistix jonnistix is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

@ L-D I wasn't lumping the Acro in, it's just a rundown of my snares at the moment. Please read through this before forming an opinion. In a sense you are correct. Most of the shells are less than desirable. And I have some fantastic 3 plies that I am about to make up into another kit. I have been carefully culling shells and the ones that have come up next sound fine! Here's the deal, and please, let's not argue. I don't have 1200 bucks lying about to buy a vintage Sling/Lud/Rogers/Gretsch. I come from a background in which I began restoring antiques at about 8 years old. I know more woodwork restoration tricks than most and I know how sound waves travel and vibrate. I also know that for 200 bucks, give or take, plus my loving touch, I can make some of that firewood sound almost, and in some cases indestinguishable from, most American vintage sets. It takes time and know how, but it can be done. I know where you are coming from. These things put a big hickey on the American manufacturers in the day. I lament that fact as well, but I don't carry that grudge, I laid down and went on with life. I'm not saying anything unfriendly about you personally, so please take no offense, but I have read some of your replies to other stuff... Let's agree to disagree about this OK? I value your opinions, and your expertise in the Ludwigs is very advanced. I do not like the way we treat our own when it comes to outsourcing, so let that be known. However, in 1963, not everyone could spend 400-500 to buy Jr those Sling/Lud et. al. These filled a gap that made many great drummers. And you learned more from frustration I will bet than if you had started on your Ludwigs. I am doing this for love, and because I might be stupid, but I do very well with what I have to work with right now. And the last kit? It sounds fantastic! Not all of these drums are crap. A very high percentage, yeah, I concede, but some are diamonds waiting to be polished. And those, my friend, are the ones I am looking for.
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"Ignorance may be overcome through education. Stupidity, however, is a lifelong endeavor." So, educate me, I don't likes bein' ignant...
"I enjoy restoring 60s Japanese "stencil" drums...I can actually afford them..."I rescue the worst of the old valueless drums for disadvantaged Children and gladly accept donations of parts, pieces and orphans, No cockroaches, please...
http://www.youtube.com/user/karstenboy
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2009, 12:40 AM
section2 section2 is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZBill View Post
Don't get me wrong about the "crap" query; I was just asking; didn't know. It's refreshing (and kind of sad cause I don't have them anynore) to know they were a decent kit. As an unknowledgeable youth, I removed the sparkle wrap and broke out a can of dad's leftover stain and "refinshed?" them. I'd love to have them back and in their original, red sparkle glory. Thanks for the info.
, there's a red sparkle Stewart kit for sale in Guelph (about an hour west of Toronto) right now...

http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-s...AdIdZ172140406

I think it's overpriced, but if you're in the market and have a way to transport the drums, they might be worth an e-mail.

Cheers!
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:17 AM
jonnistix jonnistix is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

Over priced. There is no snare listed, so assume it is not present. No hardware, that makes this kit, IMO, worth 200 CND tops. No more. The fact that they put the crap Pearl tom mounts on takes away from the original mystique. And they are Stewarts so possibly 3 ply shells as well, which would be a plus. Hope they find a good at the right price!
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"Ignorance may be overcome through education. Stupidity, however, is a lifelong endeavor." So, educate me, I don't likes bein' ignant...
"I enjoy restoring 60s Japanese "stencil" drums...I can actually afford them..."I rescue the worst of the old valueless drums for disadvantaged Children and gladly accept donations of parts, pieces and orphans, No cockroaches, please...
http://www.youtube.com/user/karstenboy
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Coffee...16613138379603

Last edited by jonnistix; 12-01-2009 at 07:37 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2009, 11:32 AM
the_drum_dad the_drum_dad is offline
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Default Re: Stewart Drums

My first set was also a four piece Stewart originally purchased from Sears. It was a decent little beginner kit but the hardware was very bad, the kick pedal would basically come apart and fall to pieces after about 20 min of play. Then you had to stop and re-assemble. I sold it at an auction in the early 90's for $150 and thought I did well.
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