Slingerland Radio King ‘student’
This stunning Slingerland ‘student’ Radio King arrived at the shop in great condition…
This snare drum dates to around 1950 and is in great original condition. Rather than being a solid shell drum, this student model is a 3 ply shell. It still features those lovely, fat, maple re-rings that help give it that vintage tone. All hardware is original including the brass hoops and three point strainer. Note that these student models don’t have the Radio King snare brackets.
These drums are by no means rare, but it’s the first I’ve seen in a glitter finish, and on this drum the blue glitter is very well preserved. It tunes up nicely, with no flat spots, and sounds great. More information on the website and a short video of the drum in action on my Instagram.
Slingerland Student Radio King 13″
Our featured snare drum today has to be the drum that arrived yesterday, as I personally have never seen one before! It’s a late 1950’s 13″ Slingerland Student Radio King .
This is an original 6 lug, 13″ Student Radio King in sparkling silver. All hardware on this drum is original – stick saver hoops, clamshell snare strainer, even the snare wires. The shell interior is dated twice – April and June 1958!
It has some splits in the shell that have been re-glued, but is still in round and tunes up great. Despite its age the bearing edges are in pretty good shape.
Rare to see one of these drums, particularly in the UK. More information on this at Nick Hopkin Drums.
The Slingerland ‘Super Strainer’ was introduced in 1940 on Radio King snare drums, but is commonly referred to as the ‘clamshell’. It replaced the three point strainer which had featured on all drums until then. It looked great, with its streamlined design and extended throw off lever, but today is disliked by many for its fragility. Its rare to find a Radio King from this era with a complete arm on! However, Slingerland continued to use this strainer on drums up until the late 1950’s, gradually phasing out the three point.
Here’s a late 1950’s Radio Kings with the Clamshell throw off:
Although the extended lever is often missing from earlier drums, most snare throws I’ve come across are still functional without it. Occasionally the bolt holding the arm itself in place has worn out from years of use; the alternative is to replace it with a modern lever, of which we have several in stock. We picked these up when we were in the USA in May and they work a treat. Although they look nothing like the original, they really do work allowing these great drums to be played again.
We have several in stock on our website with worldwide shipping, as well as a couple of fine Radio King Snare drums. One is late 1950’s in white pearl with Nickel hardware the other mid 1950’s with chrome hardware in Blue glitter.
Why not come and visit us to try these snares out and check out the Clamshell throw in more detail. We’re open weekdays and weekends.