Snare of the day

Rogers Tower

Today’s featured snare drum is this stunning Rogers Tower in Blue glass glitter…

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While the wood shell Dynasonic snare drum ¬†has become the Holy grail and the Powertone more common, the Tower has remained a ‘closet classic’. This particular drum is in amazing, original condition – the wrap is in really great, bright, sparkling condition whilst the chrome hardware shows little signs of wear.

This drum dates to the mid 1960’s (1964-1967) with original grey interior and Cleveland tag. It tunes up with ease and sounds great – a nice bright open sound with great stick response right across the playing surface. To me it sounds like classic Rogers. More information and photos on the website.

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Snare of the day

Ludwig Hammered Bronze

OK, so I arrived back in the UK after an amazing time at Chicago Drum Show, catching up with some great friends and buying loads of stock which will be heading to the shop soon. Back to featuring some stunning snares as they arrive, today’s choice a Hammered Bronze Ludwig…

Ludwig Hammered Bronze 6.5 Snare drum available at Nick Hopkin Drums www.nickhopkindrums.com

This drum comes to us in amazing condition, part of a larger personal collection that was kept cased and well looked after. This is a Monroe badge drum in 14 x 6.5″ with original hardware. The shell is in excellent condition, the drum fitted with original Ludwig heads and wires.

I tuned this drum up medium/high and it just sang – great stick response right across the head and a lovely tone, with a crisp bite when played with a rimshot. Tuned down with a gel it sounds fatter with a bit more warmth than a regular 402. Wow, what a stunner!

This snare is available on the website with International shipping calculated at checkout. We accept all major credit cards alongside Paypal. Don’t miss this one!

Tales from the Windy City

Day 2

So yesterday was hot. Hotter than our summer last year, i think, or it felt that way! Up at stupid o’clock and out for a great breakfast at another great eatery. John took me down Route 66 to Wilmington, which is an old town with a street full of ‘Antique’ shops. I had a good browse and chatted to some great store owners about life and doing something you love with your life – it was amazing talking to people who enjoy the hunt for through junk that becomes someone else’s treasure. I saw some amazing stuff but didn’t buy anything.

We then headed over to Steve Maxwell’s newest Illinois store that I hadn’t been to before, and had a warm welcome from Steve Snr. and Jnr. My friend Mike Curotto had just flown in and was asleep on the sofa, it seemed he had a smile on his face even in his sleep. He awoke, shook my hand, smiled and fell back asleep!

Steve gave us a tour of the building and we just talked at each constantly other about drums, parts, drums, drums and more drums. In the storage warehouse out back I met my good friend David Victor (Craviotto) and so the drum chat continued! Heard about some great new products and developments over here, just inspiring to be around forward thinking people who share my passion for serving our customers with the gear they are searching for, and sometimes the small parts to keep their gear original and playable.

I love these guys, David and Steve both connected with me and backed me when I first opened 5 years ago and still check in and check up on me throughout the year to see how I’m doing. And John has been helping me with business this side since we first connected 4 years ago at my first visit here. Family. We were just missing Andy A to complete the huddle!

There was so much gear at Steve’s shop I didn’t take any pictures, but believe me… if you’ve been to my shop, imagine that in 7000 sq ft and you get the idea. The Museum room was out of this world, but we’ll leave the contents of that for another day…

Checked into my lovely hotel and met up with my good pals Alan and Dave who had just flown in from the UK. Just like old times straight away, and now i’m in show mood. John took us out to a Collonials for dinner, a nice surprise for Dave who knows the menu there by heart as he’s been to about 20 shows! We had a great night talking drums, the ones that got away, good times. Home to bed, catching my good pal Bob Rupp (Sabian) in the lobby, so great to see him here again this year – he always has the booth behind me. Now i feel settled and I’m ready for the show. Surrounded by good friends. That’s what it’s all about.

About to hit a diner, that will be buzzing with friends from all over the World that gather here once a year for the vintage drum extravaganza. A good hearty breakfast to set us up for the day ahead. Look out for lots of drum photos on social media tonight and more stories here on my blog.

 

Tales from the Windy City

Chicago Day 1

OK, so yesterday I spent most of the day in the sky, in a tin can with far too little leg room for a guy who is 6’5″! But I managed to sleep half the way to Chicago and arrived safely, grabbing some American fries and a coffee as soon as I cleared security. Which was really quick and painless this year.

My friend John collected me and we drove across town catching up and talking drums. We went out and ate some great Mexican food and eventually I fell asleep on the sofa still wearing my jacket and boots. A pretty laid back first day catching up with friends, eating great food and trying to beat the jet lag.

I’m awake at 4.30 a.m today so the coffee pot is on and i’m sat listening to the dawn chorus while I catch up on some emails and social media. Once John is up, we’ll head out for some breakfast and head to see my friend Steve Maxwell at his newest Chicago shop.

Check out my blog later today/tomorrow as I catch up with all my pals this side of the pond arriving for the Chicago Drum Show –¬†should be some good drum goodies and stories to share.

Snare of the day

Ludwig Black Beauty 6.5″

OK, so it’s midnight and I’m writing a very late / early ‘snare of the day’ feature on this Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum. Maybe you’re just crashing in from the pub (UK) or maybe you’ve just finished your week in work (USA); I’m sat in bed with a cup of tea listening to Pink Floyd!

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There’s a reason so many people go on about the Black Beauty snare drum. Many owners are no longer searching for that snare drum sound because they’ve found it. Believe the hype! This 14 x 6.5″ sounds stunning and may quench your snare thirst for a little while…

This particular drum dates from the 90’s and is fitted with a super sensitive strainer. For me, this means the drum so much more to offer; the classic brass Black Beauty sound along with great sensitivity of the wires and the ability to finely tune the buzz to get an almost perfect snare sound. I could go on. But simply this drum sounds awesome. Last Black Beauty in the shop, no more en route at the moment. More information on the website

Snare of the day

Noble & Cooley 7″

OK, so we’re on a Noble & Cooley trip here this week, but can you blame us? Featured today is a solid maple shell 14 x 7″……

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This stunning Noble & Cooley drum is available at our shop, brand new in the bag, only played a couple times in store. It features a 14 x 7″ Solid maple shell in a cherry finish, fitted with the classic Noble & Cooley hardware that they believe enhances the sound of the drum. The snare throw is so smooth and allows for unlimited tweaking to get the snares ‘just right’.

And this drum sounds amazing! Just Wow! If you’re looking for a solid shell snare drum with modern hardware, rather than something vintage that may not be so road-worthy, then this is the drum for you. It just sounds awesome right across the tuning range, with great sensitivity.

An older gentleman visited the shop yesterday and played some jazz grooves on it and said ‘wow, what’s this snare’? I laid into it a little, playing some rock grooves with a rim shot and it sounded sublime. So versatile and so lovely.

More information on the website. We also have Noble & Cooley snares available in 4″ and 5″.

Snare of the day

Noble & Cooley solid shell

Our featured snare drum to kick off the week is this stunning Noble & Cooley solid maple shell….

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One of the last drum manufacturers in the USA making solid shell drums, this 14×4″ snare drum is a real classic. Favoured by many players in the studio, this drum has a great crack to it, yet has the body and depth you’d expect from a solid maple shell. Sensitivity right across the head at all tuning, and a focused sound due to the die cast hoops.

Several name players, producers and studio owners rate these drums in their top 5 for studio use. I believe Phil Collins used a 4″ Noble & Cooley snare drum on most of his classic tracks. More info on this drum on our website.