Snare of the day

Ludwig Acrolite

Today we are featuring a classic late 1970s Ludwig Acrolite snare drum.


These snare drums have always been regarded among drummers as a studio favourite. I remember English drummer Bob Henrit (Argent, Kinks) telling me that his go to snare drum in the studio, during the 1960s and 1970s was an Acrolite. He may take other snare drums into the studio, but if the drum sound wasn’t working, he could always reach for his Acrolite and it would sound great. People sometimes talk about these drums like they’ve recently become really popular, but they’ve been loved for decades.

This particular snare that we have at the shop is in original condition. A previous owner has engraved his name in the top hoop, but that doesn’t affect the sound. It still sounds great! More details and images on Nick Hopkin Drums website.


Featured Drum Kit

Ludwig Vistalite ‘Big Beat’

This stunning 1979 ‘Big Beat’ Vistalite has just gone online at Nick Hopkin Drums.


22×14, 12×8, 13×9, 16×16 and matching snare drum in blue.

This 1979 Vistalite set recently arrived at the shop, and its a real head turner. The shells are in great cosmetic condition, with no issues – no cracks, no splits, no crazing. There are a few minor scratches from use, but hey, this kit is nearly 40 years old.

It’s so nice to see a set like this still complete with the matching snare; all drums have pointy Blue/Olive badges and serial numbers that suggest 1979 to date. The back rods and claws on the bass drum are non-original, and the bass drum hoops are metal with black inlay, but otherwise everything is present and correct. A real stunner to look at, and exactly what you’d expect sound wise from an acrylic kit from the Golden Age of drums. More information and photos on the Nick Hopkin Drums website. This kit is sold with the snare drum and ships worldwide.

Snare of the day

Slingerland Magnum 702 series

Well, its late in the day, but I have some time to sneak a quick write up on a tasty snare we have in store!


If you’re looking for a great Rock snare drum, maybe your search ends here…. an early 1980s 14×8″ Slingerland Magnum 702 series maple snare drum! This 5 ply maple shell snare drum is featured in the 1983 Slingerland catalogue. This drum is in lovely condition, featuring all original hardware including 10 full length lugs,  stick-saver hoops and Slapshot strainer.

The Slapshot strainer has lovers and haters, the latter due to it’s cumbersome nature. Personally, I love any drums where the snare wires extend past the diameter of the shell, it seems that most of the classics do – Ludwig Super Sensitive, Premier 2000, Rogers Dynasonic, Slingerland Radio King, to name a few. This strainer is a little bulky, but is fully functional and with a good set of wires present adds to the sensitivity and versatility of this drum.

That said, I took this up to Northstone Studios with Jayce Lewis a few weeks ago, giving it a trial run – it definitely rocked, plenty of volume, great body with a nice, full sound due to the depth. All in all, a winner.

What a great snare drum, one we certainly don’t see everyday here in the UK. More details on the website.

Snare of the day

Ludwig LM402

Kicking of the week with a classic snare of the day, the Ludwig LM402.

Ludwig 402 snare drum, 1969-70 available at Nick Hopkin Drums,

This model snare drum made infamous by the late John Henry Bonham, the 6.5″ Ludwig Supraphonic. This drum has become a classic, iconic Rock snare drum. There’s a reason for that; it sounds great! These drums are becoming rarer to source in the UK, I think once in the collection they tend to be a ‘keeper’. This one landed fresh from the USA just before Christmas. Blue/Olive badge with a serial number dating it around 1969/70.

This particular drum even has a vintage Ludwig resonant head and snare wires. Original P85 black face strainer, original hoops, rods…. some wear to the chrome due to substantial use, I’d say. It may not be the most cosmetically perfect snare drum to look at, but it sure sounds good.

More information about this snare drum on the website – all items ship Worldwide.

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

Fibes SFT690

We are fortunate to have two stunning Fibes snare drums in stock at Nick Hopkin Drums. Both drums are in amazing condition, with original parts including the snare wires.


First up is a 14×6″ Crystalite drum; this clear acrylic shell is recognised as something of a classic, rarer in the 6″ depth. All hardware is correct and in great condition, the shell is immaculate with no cracks. The SFT snare strainer is complete and fully functional; it comes with a set of original wires which are in great shape. This drum tunes up easily and sounds great!

We also have a 14×5.5″ fibreglass in Brown Marble. This is an original, and rarer Fibes colour. Maybe you have the kit to match? Again, all the hardware on this drum is original; it even has the Fibes rubber bumper fitted to prevent the snare knocking against the tom.

Both these drums sound great, with loads of sensitivity and response from the extended snare wires. Plenty of volume from these shells when required, a lovely bright crisp tone. An alternative to the vintage wooden and metal shell snare drums in your collection.

More details on both drums on our website…

Snare of the day

Slingerland Radio King, 1958

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…