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…


Snare of the day

Slingerland Standard Concert

This stunning Slingerland Standard Concert model snare drum arrived at the shop just before the Christmas holidays.

14 x 6.5″ 3 ply shell in Black Diamond Pearl in lovely condition with original hardware – Rapid strainer, Stick saver hoops, 16 lugs. Black Brass Niles badge serial number 57646, the interior of the shell is date stamped Feb 1965.

lingerland Standar Concert model snare drum 14x6.5 in Black diamond pearl at Nick Hopkin Drums,

As you can see, there’s some wear to the chrome on the batter side hoop, revealing the brass – the brass hoops adding real character to this drum. The tone is absolutely lovely, that warm vintage sound but with plenty of crack when played with a rim shot.

What can i say? A fairly rare drum in the UK, in fact we don’t come across many Slingerland snares deeper than a 5″. This was purchased from a collector in the USA. and selected for our shop, both due to its original condition and amazing tone.

You can view more details about this drum on the website.

Are 6 lugs the new 8?

With the rise in popularity of the 6 lug vintage snare drum, we take a quick look at some of these drums that were introduced as a budget student range. The Ludwig Pioneer and Slingerland Deluxe Student model, have equally become go-to snares for many studio players looking for a drum with a different characteristic to conventional 8 and 10 lug snare drums. Once overlooked as being ‘low end’ these drums are fast becomming classic snares worth having in the collection of any working drummer.

Here’s a short video of some of the snare drums we have at Nick Hopkin Drums – They are all tuned to about the same (75 bottom, 75-80 on a drum dial) although age of heads and type of wires do add character. Filmed on an ipad with a simple Zoom iQ5 microphone.


A ducco week

OK, I know. It’s been a while since I wrote anything about the shop. We’ve had a busy couple weeks, but now all the drum shows are over for a while we can get back to sharing some stunning vintage drums with you.

This week these 3 ducco delights dropped through our letterbox, and I don’t really want to see any of them leave! They are looking for new stands to sit on and be played and loved though, so take your pic. Which would you play first?



Left to right: Ludwig ‘Barrett Deems‘ model; Geo. Way ‘Studio‘ model; Leedy ‘Broadway‘.

All drums available at Nick Hopkin Drums with International shipping.

Update on life

I’m sorry I’ve been quite on the blog front, but the last couple months have been mental.

I launched  a vintage drum magazine ‘Vintage Drums, Legendary Sounds’ in August. The website currently offers it only in digital format to read online – – demand for traditional paper copies led me to having some printed, and we are on our second batch – available here at Nick Hopkin Drums.  50 pages of vintage drum candy – interviews with Clem Cattini, Hal Blaine and Roberto Spizzichino. Features on Drum Companies and articles about playing, collecting, restoring and recording drums from contributors worldwide.

Issue #2 is currently with our designer being laid out and is packed with more great vintage drums content. It comes out in November and both digital and paper copies will be available directly from the VDLS website.

(photos: Clem Cattini 1967 Ludwig set; Alan White Oasis memorabilia; Staccato Super Furry Animals kit; Steve White’s Slingerland Radio King)

After months of planning, collecting gear and talking to loads of people, last month we had a successful weekend at the UK Drum show in Manchester, where I put together a display of iconic British drums. Here’s a couple pictures of what we displayed….There’s a full write up in Issue #2 of VDLS magazine.

This weekend I’m at the Crash It! Show at Mannheim, Germany. Come and say hello if you are coming.


Snare of the day

Slingerland Radio King 14 x 7″

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…

Snare of the day

Ludwig Super Classic

Today’s featured snare drum is this lovely 1960’s Ludwig Super Classic.


In aged white marine pearl, this drum has plenty of character in the original wrap – a discolouration that may match your drum set if it has spent it’s life in smokey clubs. The keystone badge with serial number 638627 dates this drum around 1968 and its in great original condition. This Super Classic is a 3 ply maple shell in 14 x 5″ with reinforcement rings and a clear interior (rather than the earlier drums that were painted white). All hardware is original, tight down to the snare wires.

This drum tunes up easily and sounds great across the range – at a higher tension it has amazing stick response and plenty of life for a brighter, jazzier vibe; tuned down lower it has that lovely warm, classic American vintage back beat to it, really nice.

If you’re looking for a classic American vintage snare with plenty of mojo, then this would be well worth a consideration. More information on the website.