Vintage drum musings…

Somehow it’s Friday. For the past two days I’ve had The Strokes debut album ‘Is this is?’ on heavy rotation, taking me back to 2001. I was living in Brighton around that time, helping a friend build a studio, and sleeping in the loft of that building as we did so. Mad times, working all hours, building an empire. I lost the plot somewhere around that time, and ended up moving to Wales via a sleepy village outside Brighton for a couple years where I met my wife. James did really well with the studio and it continues to grow – check it out Brighton Electric. If you’re on the South Coast of the UK, well worth checking out I’d say.

Back to now and I’m wondering if I can track down The Strokes drummer for a chat about recording that album, for our magazine Vintage Drums Legendary Sounds. He’s come up in my mind as I’ve been finalising a piece on Clem Burke for issue 3 and we’ve been talking about the whole New York sound;The Ramones, New York Dolls, Blondie, The Strokes…. We have a lot of other cool stuff in Issue 3, including articles on Charlie Watts and Ronnie Verrell, as well as behind the scenes recording a drum sample library and loads of knowledgeable contributions on vintage drums from a variety of sources. Almost there, looking at End February publishing date.

Looking around the shop I’m just seeing loads of cool snares! Yesterday we sold a nice 40’s Carlton Standard to Chris from White Feather Collective. I’m spoilt for choice to recommend one, but this Slingerland Sound King is one of my favourite drums. 14 x 6.5″ chrome over brass shell that just sounds great at any tuning, more common in the 5″ shell size, these drums are a must have in the studio arsenal.

Slingerland Sound King 6.5 snare drum available at Nick Hopkin Drums,

In an attempt to get the year off to a good start, I’ve been trying to tidy the shop. In doing so, I seem to be discovering boxes and boxes of vintage spares that aren’t listed on the website. Slowly but surely I am photographing and listing these, but it’s a long journey! If you’re still searching for that elusive spare part to complete your project or most loved snare/kit, do drop us a line and we’ll let you know what we have available.

Signing off on a fairly chilly Friday afternoon to update the website and get some orders packed and ready to ship tomorrow.



Snare of the day

Slingerland Gene Krupa Sound King

Apologies if I’ve skipped a couple days. If I did ‘a day in the life’ post you wouldn’t believe how insanely busy I am running this shop! So today’s feature is a 1960’s Gene Krupa Sound King snare drum by Slingerland.


We’ve just had one arrive at the shop, in very good condition, with just some scratches to the stick saver hoops. With all original hardware, this chrome over brass 14 x 5″ drum sounds amazing – a real favorite of mine. Three lines in the centre of the shell and fitted with a black/brass Slingerland badge. Fitted with Slingerland’s Zoomatic strainer which works well; personally I am a fan of these although others aren’t. I think they look classy and are easy to use, and much smoother than standard strainers made by competitive brands of the same era.

You can find more information on this drum on our website. We also have a couple 1970’s drums available, when the Krupa name had been taken away and it was now the Sound King. These have the later Black / Silver Slingerland Niles badge.