Snare of the day

Premier Mayfair, 1927

Today’s featured drum is one of the oldest snare drums in the shop ( i think we have a couple that are a little earlier). The Premier Mayfair made appearances in the 1927 catalogue.

Premier Mayfair snare drum 1927 at Nick Hopkin Drums

This drum features a 14 x 5″ chrome over brass beaded shell. All fittings on this drum are 100% original. The single flange hoops are engraved ‘Premier Mayfair British made’ and come with a full set of original rods and claws.

Complimented with a set of original calf heads, with no issues, and tightly coiled snare wires that are period correct. The snare strainer is original, the only downside being that the lever arm is missing.

Its not often you see a piece of English drum history in a ready to play condition, but we have one in store – its just gone onto the website.

The shell could do with a little clean up, if shiny is your thing; personally I like these drums that are almost a century old, to look vintage!

Kit of the week

Ajax Nu Sound – 20,12,14

This weeks featured kit has just come into the shop, a 1960’s Ajax Nu Sound in a stunning Raspberry Ripple wrap, in somewhat desirable sizes.


Before the vintage drum police get in touch, I know this wrap was referred to as Burgundy Swirl in the catalogues, but everyone refers to it as Raspberry Ripple (a famous vanilla ice cream with a raspberry syrup rippling through it).

Back to the drums. Desirable sizes on offer – 20×14″ bass drum, 12×8″ tom, 14×14″ floor tom. A couple modifications, in that a late 1960’s Premier tom mount and arm have been added (actually much more reliable than the original Ajax). All the A lugs and brackets are correct and in full working order as are the bass drum spurs and floor tom legs (original). The badge has been re attached on the floor tom and some of the bass drum claws are odd, but generally this kit is in good original condition.

There is some wrap shrinkage which was common on these sets, but Wow! What a stunner. I fitted some Remo coated ambassadors and it tuned up like a dream – a lovely, lively jazzy/funky vibe with all drums wide open. Tune them down and you get a real fat thud – the 14″ floor tom has a real dark, warm tone to it that would make anyone look twice.

All in all a fairly rare, lovely example of a late 1960’s English Ajax Nu Sound set. More details on the website, where we offer Worldwide shipping on all products.

Snare of the day

Rogers Dynasonic, 6.5″


Fairly rare to come across a 6.5″ Dynasonic, so I thought I’d share this lovely snare drum today.

Rogers Dynasonic 6.5 snare drum available at Nick Hopkin Drums

14 x 6.5″ Chrome over brass shell with original hardware and Big R Rogers USA badge. The cradle on this drum is complete with a set of wires, fitted with Remo heads it tunes up and sounds great.

Today, as when the Dynasonic was introduced, drummers will either claim it is the most responsive snare drum they have ever played, or will dismiss it as being too fiddly to set up and get a good sound. The basic premise was to have a drum with floating snares which allowed tension without putting any pressure on the head. This would require the shell to have no snare beds, which were believed to reduce volume and tone and create choking.

Maybe you’ve never played one? Come and visit us and change that! Common in a 5″ shell, rare in a 6.5″ – this is the only one we’ve ever had in the shop!

Also available at Nick Hopkin Drums website with Worldwide shipping.

Snare of the day

Ludwig Pioneer, 1965

Let’s kick off spring at Nick Hopkin drums with getting back to the daily blogging. Hopefully, someone out there enjoys these brief snippets of info about some of the amazing stock of vintage drums and accessories we have stacked floor to ceiling?

Today’s featured drum landed yesterday; mid 196o’s Ludwig Pioneer.

Ludwig Pioneer snare drum, 1965 at Nick Hopkin Drums

This 3 ply Mahogany shell snare drum is in great original condition, with nickel on brass hoops and nickel hardware that has aged nicely ie, its got that lovely vintage mojo about it without falling apart or looking scruffy! Fitted with the Ludwig P83 snare strainer and original red felt ‘baseball bat’ tone control muffler, this drum just oozes vintage…White interior and keystone Ludwig badge with serial number 101659 dates this drum around 1965.

Fitted with Remo heads and some brand new vintage stock 12 strand wires (not Ludwig) this drum tunes up really nicely and sounds great. In natural mahogany it looks pretty cool too! More info on the website where you can buy it – we offer worldwide shipping on all items (shipping calculated at checkout).

Snare of the day

Sonor Symphony

This lovely Sonor Symphony snare drum arrived at the shop a couple weeks ago.


Although not particularly vintage, rather nice nonetheless! The drum features a 14 x 5″ brass shell with original single point Sonor tube lugs. Single flange chrome hoops, tensioned with snare claws make it a little quirkier than standard.

This drum tunes up nicely with a set of Remo Ambassador heads. It has plenty of bite, with the added warmth of the brass shell, making this a really nice drum to play. It has a different fell to other brass snare drums that we have in the shop; why not come visit us to try it?

More info about this drum on the website.

Snare of the day

Mercury 14×7″ Maple Solid shell


Today’s featured snare drum comes from a relatively unknown British drum company, Mercury.


From the small snippets of information I can find online, Mercury Drum Co was based in Suffolk U.K. and bespoke snare drums were hand built to order by craftsman Clive Davies. As he passed away some years ago, I cant dig up much more than that. I don’t know if he made his own shells, or if he ordered them in and added hardware. Either way, here’s a lovely 14 x 7″ solid Maple shell snare drum in lovely condition. Fitted with gold tube lugs and hoops to match, and dated July 2007.

Fitted with Aquarian heads and Puresound wires, this drum tunes up nicely and just sings; it gives everything you’d expect from a solid maple shell snare drum in this depth. There’s some good volume in this drum, if required. Like all good solid shell snares, there is great stick response right across the head at all tunings.

More info on this stunning drum on the website.


Snare of the day



Today’s featured snare is a little stunner from Sonor.


This Sonor Delite snare drum is 14×6″ in cherry maple, and looks like it just came out the showroom! All the hardware on this drum is original – die cast hoops, Sonor slot tension rods. The chrome and the shell are in absolutely immaculate condition. Rarely have I seen anything quite like it.

As well as looking like a million dollars, it tunes up nicely and sounds awesome. If you’re into Sonor drums, its rare to come across a Delite snare drum like this. More info on the website.

Snare of the day

Ludwig Bronze Supraphonic

Today’s snare of the day comes courtesy of Ludwig – a stunning Bronze Supraphonic.

Ludwig Bronze Supraphonic at Nick Hopkin Drums

Featuring a 14 x 5″ smooth bronze shell, this drum comes fitted with all original hardware; 10 Imperial  lugs, P85 snare strainer, triple flange hoops and Monroe badge. Serial number is 3395464.

The bronze on this shell is dull compared to others I have in the shop, possibly it’s lost it’s lacquer? Either way it has a kind of aged vibe to it which I really like. Fitted with Aquarian heads and Puresound wires, this drum tunes up easily and sounds great right across the tuning range. Great stick response and a bright open sound tuned higher, a nice fat warm tone tuned lower.

More information and photo’s of this lovely Ludwig snare drum on our website where we offer worldwide shipping on all our vintage drums, accessories and spare parts.


Snare of the day

Fibes ‘Black Beauty’ 

So this stunning Fibes Black Beauty snare drum arrived at the shop yesterday in amazing condition…


This is an interesting drum, to say the least; other Fibes snare drums I’ve seen have either been clear acrylic of a wrap over fibreglass. This is something else; this is a clear acrylic with the black on the interior. This means that the colour never fades and the gloss never scratches. Genius. Quite a rare drum, relatively; it came from a lovely gentleman in the UK who bought it some years ago and has kept it in pristine condition.

All original hardware with just some minor pitting to the lugs, and Puresound wires replacing the originals. It still has the Professional Drum Shop, Hollywood drum head on it which is lovely.


This drum was only here for a day and is already boxed up and heading back to the USA with this stunning Fibes Copper over fibreglass…. we’ll talk about that one another day.


Snare of the day

Ludwig Pioneer early 60’s

Today’s selected snare drum arrived at the shop this afternoon. Its an early 1960’s, pre serial Ludwig Pioneer in a stunning white pearl.


This snare drum actually came into our shop late last year and sold to a local drummer. Today he part ex’d it against something else, so She’s back on the racks again! Nickel on brass lugs, snare butt and bottom hoop; chrome top hoop and P83 strainer. Fitted with a mix of Remo / Evans heads and Puresound wires.

The wrap is in excellent condition and is tight with no issues. 3 ply shell with re-rings and white interior. Keystone badge, pre-serial number – I guess around ’60 / ’61. The drum is in nice shape with some minimal pitting to the top hoop; tunes up easily and gives a nice warm but open sound. Great for studio playing. Get that vintage Mojo going with this tuned medium and a wallet on it!

More information and images on the website.