This stunning late 1950’s Slingerland Radio King snare drum arrived at the shop this week. What can I say, one of the nicest sounding Radio King snare drums I’ve had in the shop for some time – some just sing when you hit them!
Finished in Black Diamond Pearl, this 14 x 5.5″ solid maple shell is in lovely condition. The previous owner had this drum restored 10 years ago – the bearing edges were re-cut, as were the snare beds. The shell interior is date stamped 21 JUL 1958 and is in great condition, with original hardware fitted; twin felt internal tone control/muffler, Sticksaver hoops and Clamshell snare strainer and butt end. The lever on the strainer has been updated with a modern replica arm, which functions great (the original lever comes with the drum).
Fitted with Remo heads and Puresound wires, the drum tunes up easily and sounds like a dream. A wet one. More information on the website…
This Stunning 14 x 7″ Solid shell Radio King just landed at the shop…
What can I say? Highly sought after 7″ Solid maple shell in a cool Red/Yellow Duco with original Nickel hardware and hoops. Black / brass Chicago badge dates this drum late 1950’s (’56-59). Some wear to the paintwork, but this drum looks and sounds way cool.
Fitted with a new Remo Hazy Ambassador and a set of Puresound wires as the originals were a bit worn out; I left the batter head as it has cool song notes and lyrics written by a previous owner. This drum takes regular heads, tunes up easily and sounds #Stunning! More information on the website…
This drum represents the last of the Solid Shell Radio Kings and came to us in near immaculate condition…
This snare drum dates to the HSS era of Slingerland (1989-1994) and represents the last range of Radio King. This snare drum is a one piece maple shell in Marine Pearl wrap, vintage hoops and original Slingerland hardware.
It tunes up nicely and has all the characteristics you’d expect from a solid maple shell; Volume, stick sensitivity right across the head, warm full bodied tone. It is in absolutely lovely condition and would suit a player or collector.
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.
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.