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Old 09-14-2008, 04:55 AM
brian nevill brian nevill is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: london
Posts: 17
Default Ajax drums

Hi. I'm new to this so bear with me. I've just bought a 14 X 4 Ajax snare from ebay. I've been after a 4" wood snare for a while, and Ludwig Downbeats have proved too costly for the moment. Premier Royal Ace (which I've used in the studio) I like but have had no luck with them either. My Ajax is identical to the one Tony Meehan used in the Shadows (see first LP cover) and he got a great sound! As did Brian Bennett with a Royal Ace. ANYWAY, waffling aside, I'm wondering if anyone knows what wood these were hued from? I know Premier used birch, and wonder if Ajax were the same. It's a light brown with a light varnish (a lot like my 60s Slingerlands I use for most jobs, in look - I know these are maple and doubt B&H used this!).
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:18 PM
davidh davidh is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 78
Default Re: Ajax drums

I have a 1950 Ajax snare drum 8" deep which is also a light wood. I would think that all English drums of that era were birch - Premier at that time always described their shells as made of birch so I suppose that was what people used then in the UK . Maple is to me more an American thing... like maple syrup. I also reckon Ajax are great drums - hugely underrated now - but used then by all the professionals.
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Old 11-19-2008, 04:59 PM
Graemez Graemez is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Darlington
Posts: 2
Default Re: Ajax drums

I have a treasured 1963 Ajax 20/16/12 kit with swiv-o-matic telescopic tom holder, in italian blue pearl! I have owned this kit since 1968, when it was bought second hand from a local club drummer, complete with a Premier 14x4 Royal Ace snare (in dark blue pearl), Formula 602 15" Hi-Hats (branded Arbiter) and flush-base Premier hardware.. all for 40 in old money. The Premier snare (with a slightly bent parallel action snare assembly) never really sounded right with kit however. This year I bought a blue pearl Ajax 14x4 Pipper snare (from Lou Dias - Supreme Drums) and at last the kit is complete... The sound of this classic British kit is just awesome, really breathy jazz tones, but also perfect for those pistol shot Motown breaks! The original mottled calf front bass drum head with the iconic red AJAX decal makes it even more special. The addition of Everplay Extra coated batter heads in the early 1970s was quite a modernisation at the time, but these heads are now pretty well settled in and the tuning has not been touched for about 30 years..! No need, the best recording kit you can imagine. I even prefer the Ajax snare to any of my Ludwig 400s for that unique character tone.
Boosey and Hawkes are still in (the music publishing) business.. maybe they will take note of this Ajax legacy?
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:56 AM
the_drum_dad the_drum_dad is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 443
Default Re: Ajax drums

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Old 11-22-2008, 02:29 PM
brody brody is offline
Vintage Drum Guru
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Chorley, United Kingdom
Posts: 513
Default Re: Ajax drums

Ajax snares are pretty sought after on ebay right now, I've got my eye open for one at the mement, as they'rebecoming more and more collectable. See veryfew full kits though. But yes, pics please!
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:27 AM
IsaacHeath IsaacHeath is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 142
Default Re: Ajax drums

for pics of your set! Don't leave us hanging!

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Old 01-08-2009, 12:15 AM
Black Pearl Black Pearl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1
Default Re: Ajax drums

Ajax drums are terribly underrated and unrecognizable here in NA. I just bought a 4 pc. set from my keyboard player. He had the drums for 20 years. I thought that I should have them and bought them at a bargain price. I am missing some of the hardware and will have to use some of my vintage Ludwig hi-hat, and BD pedal if I gig with them. They're all jazz sized; 14x5" snare, 8x12 tom, 14x14 FT and 20" BD. I'm putting in an order tomorrow for some Black Pearl wrap in order to restore the hoops to match the rest of the drums' finish. I'm quite impressed with the sound of these drums.
I'm trying to work out what era these drums are actually from right now. They've got the silver oval with blue script, Ajax, B & H London, British Made, badges on them. I sent Eddie Ryan a picture. He sent me back a reply saying that he had probably made them himself.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:49 PM
atomicmorganic atomicmorganic is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 879
Default Re: Ajax drums

The Ajax kit on Seattle craigslist is still available. These drums look very good. See my post here titled "Ajax" for link.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:21 PM
grunta57 grunta57 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 20
Default Re: Ajax drums

Hi please go to where you will see I have a similar kit one-sided toms bongos etc silver oval badges with blue script .. Cuban on the Drumforum site has info about them too. He tells me this badge was early 1950's but I think that is based on a Mike Dolmar Drums article on them.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:24 PM
grunta57 grunta57 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 20
Default Re: Ajax drums

This is my 14 x 5 Pipper not sure if it's meant to have a damper though
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