Vintage Drums, what else?!

OK, so I know its been a long time since there has been a blog on the Nick Hopkin Drums website. As the business continues to grow it seems I have less and less time to sit down and write about what I love – Vintage Drums.

That’s not entirely true; last August I launched a vintage drums magazine – Vintage Drums Legendary Sounds – which is gaining momentum and getting great feedback, but all truth told I am spending so much time editing and compiling each issue of that that I’ve let the NHDrums blog slide into the slow lane, with just the occasional post about a particular or peculiar snare drum that has arrived on my doorstep.

What running the magazine has done for me, is open up conversations with loads of drummers worldwide, and start to tap into what’s really happening out there – single handed running a business can be lonely, especially in this digital age, and its easy to become very insular. This past month I’ve been talking on the phone and via email to some really interesting characters, more recently Dave Elitch in LA. I wish we were in the same time zone, so we could physically hang out and talk and play drums, and I may stop calling him at stupid times when he’s still in bed!!! Anyway, Dave is one of those guys who lives and  breathes drums, whether he is playing or teaching and has a huge appreciation for the drums of the past. He recently posted something on his instagram profile which is food for thought, about how technology is advancing so fast that we are losing specific skill sets (not just music) – probably the basis for another whole article – read it here.

Talking to lots of players it’s interesting that most people fall into one of two categories – people with way too many snare drums who couldn’t choose a top three, and people with one or two snares that suit them for everything. Choosing two is hard; What would be your favourite 2 snare drums? I think A black Beauty and something else, although my something else changes every time a batch of snares land at the shop! There are quite often wild card drums, sometimes un-badged or by lesser known brands that sound incredible and would be overlooked by 90% of us. I think I need to start a video series on ‘would be contenders’!

The shop seems quiet at the moment although a steady stream of gear continues to flow in and out at regular intervals. In this fast moving digital age it seems vintage is starting to become ‘hip’, whatever that means. Old stuff is getting cool, and expensive! My mission since opening almost six years ago, has been to share my passion for drums with others and educate younger people where I can. A lot of younger players, are priced out of investing in a vintage snare or kit, at the moment. Talking with Bob Henrit yesterday, he commented that the state of the music industry today means the majority of musicians who would have been ‘pro’ ten years ago are now ‘semi pro’ at best, and/or skint. I still believe that the old ones are the best, so if you are a younger player looking for that sound that you have in your head, or you heard on your favourite record – but are on a super tight budget – give me a call or drop an email and I’ll do my best to advise. There are other good guys out there too, who know what they are talking about, who I can put you in touch with if needed.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Drums! We have some classic snares in store as always and are just negotiating a rather lovely consignment of drums that should be here soon – probably in a month or so, just after the Chicago Drum Show. Watch this space as i endeavor to get a blog up weekly. Back to editing Issue #4 of the magazine now, which  needs to be with the designer in 3 days!

If you were unaware of the magazine’s existence, all 3 issues are available in traditional print and digital download from this lovely website – Issue 4 is out Monday 11th June – www.vintagedrumslegendarysounds.com

 

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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.

Snare of the day

Rogers Super Ten

Featured snare drum today is this lovely Rogers Super Ten

Rogers Super Ten 6.5 snare drum available at Nick Hopkin Drums www.nickhopkindrums.com

This drum is fairly rare to come across in the UK, a 14 x 6.5″ chrome over steel shell with all original hardware. If you’re looking for that classic American Rock low tuned thud, then this drum could be your answer. The internal dampener/muffler is nice, just touching the head slightly reduces the need for gels on the batter head.

Tune it up mid-high and you get great stick response and a lovely crack!

Many seek the Ludwig 402 as their go to 6.5″ snare drum, and overlook other worthy contenders such as this. More photos and info about this drum on the website.

Snare of the day

Rogers Dynasonic, 6.5″

 

Fairly rare to come across a 6.5″ Dynasonic, so I thought I’d share this lovely snare drum today.

Rogers Dynasonic 6.5 snare drum available at Nick Hopkin Drums www.nickhopkindrums.com

14 x 6.5″ Chrome over brass shell with original hardware and Big R Rogers USA badge. The cradle on this drum is complete with a set of wires, fitted with Remo heads it tunes up and sounds great.

Today, as when the Dynasonic was introduced, drummers will either claim it is the most responsive snare drum they have ever played, or will dismiss it as being too fiddly to set up and get a good sound. The basic premise was to have a drum with floating snares which allowed tension without putting any pressure on the head. This would require the shell to have no snare beds, which were believed to reduce volume and tone and create choking.

Maybe you’ve never played one? Come and visit us and change that! Common in a 5″ shell, rare in a 6.5″ – this is the only one we’ve ever had in the shop!

Also available at Nick Hopkin Drums website with Worldwide shipping.

Snare of the day

Rogers Tower

Today’s featured snare drum is another from the Rogers drum company, a Tower in blue sparkle.

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This mid 1960’s snare drum is in great condition, the wrap in excellent shape with no dull spots or fade to the colour. The chrome is also in excellent condition and all hardware is original.

The drum features the Sta-Tite snare strainer with the V facing downwards dating the drum somewhere between 1964 and 1967. Grey interior and Cleveland tag authenticate the originality of this drum.

Fitted with Aquarian head sand Puresound wires, it tunes up easily and sounds great. More information and images on the website.

Snare of the day

Rogers Dynasonic 8″ Maple

Today’s featured snare drum is another first through the shop in the 5 years we’ve been open. An early 80’s  Rogers  Maple Dynasonic.

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This drum was the last of the Dynasonics, appearing in the 1983 catalogue. It’s fairly rare to see on the market, especially in the UK – this drum being a 14 x 8″ shell.

Featuring the Rogers USA Big R badge, all hardware is original; ‘Beaver tail’ lugs with black plinths, snare frame with a set of wires, ‘clock face’ strainer and internal tone control muffler.

This drum is in great condition. A couple minor scratches to the shell, and a dent in the badge, that’s all. Tunes up nicely and sounds great. Seldom seen in the UK. More info on this drum on our website.

Snare of the day

Rogers Super Ten

OK, so we had a stack of Rogers drums land at the shop on Monday, so today’s featured snare drum is a Rogers Super Ten.

rogers-super-ten-6-5-snare-drum-available-at-nick-hopkin-drums-www-nickhopkindrums-com

The Super Ten snare drum was manufactured between 1973 and 1983 and offered as a chrome over steel shell in depths of 5″ and 6.5″.  This particular drum is a 14 x 6.5″ in great condition. Original hardware throughout; 10 lugs, Rogers hoops, tone control muffler, clock face snare strainer. Fitted with Remo heads and 42 strand snare wires, this snare tunes up nicely and has great response tuned higher and a big, fat warm sound tuned low.

A great sounding drum, a nice alternative to the popular Ludwig 402. More information on our website where we offer Worldwide shipping on all products.