October 29, 2011
Vintage Drums are in Danger!!
Over the years, EBay has brought many opportunities to vintage drum enthusiasts. It has provided a very lucrative market for sellers., allowing drums to have a marketplace that otherwise could have sat on local shelves for years, provided buyers with access to all of this, and in general, has boosted the vintage drum market across the board. I have used it extensively since I joined in 1999.
I remember in those early days, parts and orphan drums were fairly scarace. The quality of parts that were available, often were not collector quality. However, this is something that has changed dramatically over the past few years. A proliferation of collector grade parts is the standard today on the EBay marketplace. Primarily this is due to the number of sellers who routinely buy complete sets, or complete drums, either on EBay, or from local purchases, and proceed to part these out to the last nut, bolt, and screw.
Good quality parts is not a bad thing, however, the source of these parts makes it a bad thing. Collectable and Rare drums are being destroyed every day in the EBay marketplace because these unscrupulous sellers, and thoughtless buyers have no consideraton for their actions, or just simply do not care about the future of vintage drums. Sellers are only concerned with profit. Buyers care about little else than obtaining that near perfect Swivo-Matic mount, or other necessary part, in order to complete a project, or replace less desirable parts on an existing set. Any given day on Ebay will reveal hundreds of auctions by Drum Strippers. Essentially it has become what Pick and Pull outlets were to the automotive recycling industry.
Careful examination of the "other auctions" by any one of these sellers usually reveals that the sum of several groups of parts each represent a destroyed vintage drumset. Sometimes the shells are also auctioned off with a promise of combined shipping. And some sellers haven't even tried to hide the graveyard of stripped vintage drumshells they have amassed. Others have made no bones about destroying any shell they feel is too big to ship.
And yet, parts are still being bought.
I believe that if the vintage drum collecting community does not begin to take notice of these practices, then at some point, the bottom is going to fall out of the vintage drum market. As more collector grade drums are destroyed, more drums unworthy of the classification are going to be dressed with those parts. It will get more and more difficult to determine what hardware is original to a drum and what is not. Parts will be replaced that should not be replaced. Or, they will be replaced by parts from the wrong era.
Just my thoughts on this matter.
Do Not Buy From Drum Strippers.
xp10 snare drums
Big R Period
XP10 Ten Ply All Maple
Approximately in 1973, and perhaps slightly earlier, Rogers Drums discontinued the maple wood shelled Dynasonic due to the low number of wood snare drum sales, and quite possibly, the cost of producing those drums versus the cost of producing the brass shelled Dynasonic. The wooden drum naturally required much more hands on work. The brass shell was made, chromed, and essentially was assembly only once it arrived at the factory.
1979 seen the introduction of the XP8, eight ply, all North American Maple shell, manufactured by Keller. In November 1980, John Cermanaro joined the Rogers Drum Company in the R&D department. Quality was excellent, edges were well done, Natural Maple, California Wine and Tobacco Sunburst Maple lacquer finishes, and the expansion of the memrilock system. Photos taken in November 1980 by JC show several prototype hardware parts, and the next great Rogers presentation.... the XP 10 snare drum. What is significant about this R&D photograph is that someone was messing around with the idea of bringing back a wood shelled snare drum in 1980. The Monster Set Poster was photographed in April 1981, to demonstrate the versatility of Memrilock Hardware. The snare drum featured in this poster is an XP10 Rogers 6.5x14 Dynasonic. At the November 1981 PASIC show in Indianapolis, Rogers introduced the XP 10 snare drums to the world. Displayed at the Rogers booth are Dynasonic and SuperTen snare drums in 5, 6.5, and 8 inch depths.
There is no seperation in the development history of the XP10 Dynasonic and SuperTen snare drums away from each other. They have a very similar shell design, bearing edge design, and were introduced simultaniously into the market. Establishing a baseline for dating founded upon serial numbers is dependent upon observation of drums still in the hands of original owners, or purchased from original owners, variations in contruction, including lug isolator gasket felt color, presence or absence of dampener, and serial range of the drum. It is necessary to know as much as possible of a drums history in order to accurately establish a date of manufacture. And, even then, we are limited to a production run for these snare drums that spans 1981-1984. As for the use of serial numbers for dating, this is very accurate, and will become more accurate as we continue to learn more. I believe it will be possible to date drums to within a few months of actual manufacture.
My Personal Collection
Currenty I own three XP10 Dynasonic Snare Drums. All of them are 6.5x14. I purchased my first XP10 Rogers Dynasonic in 2001. This drum was in fantastic condition, flawless, original, and I believe, virtually unplayed. It came out of Reno, Nevada. This was the first drum of this type I had ever seen. Little was known at that time about these drums, simply because so few had been seen. And, even now, ten years later, fewer than 75 of these drums in all sizes have been up for sale on ebay. I have only seen one in the wild, a 6.5 SuperTen.
This drum has the flat top late issue Rogers hoops, black lug felts, no dampener, rivet top throw off knob, badge is slightly askew, brass grommet, and Dynasonic Lug Locks. Serial Number is D122346. I believe this is a late issue drum, made towards the end of Rogers production, late 1983-early 1984.
In 2010, I purchased Dynasonic D122347 from a San Diego, California dealer. Provenance on this drum is unconfirmed, but according to him it was owned by Doug Clifford of CCR.
Construction of this drum is identical to D122346. The snare wire set on this drum are Puresound Dynasonic replacements.
My third XP10 Dynasonic is also a 6.5x14. This is Serial Number D114608. This drum came to me from its original owner who purchased it in Canada in 1984. It has black lug felts, flat top hoops, rivet top throw off knob, no dampener, brass grommet, and lug locks. There are two extra holes in the shell at the first panel to the left of the Snare Butt Mount from the original owner adding an aftermarket two screw dampener to the drum shortly after he aquired it. This drum has its original wire set. This drum dates to mid 1983.
XP 10 SuperTen
Currently I own four XP10 SuperTen snare drums. Two of them are 6.5x14, and two of them are 8x14. These four drums have a much broader range of serial numbers than my Dynasonic XP10 drums.
This drum has original round top hoops, no lug felts, dampener with rivet top knob, chrome grommet, and rivet top throw off knob. The only snare drum I currently own with which to compare it for construction details is a 6.5x14 Dynasonic naked brass with serial number RD980347, which has the same round top Rogers profile hoops. I estimate these two drums to be early to mid 1982.
January 26, 1983
Gina Schock Superten
This drum is inscribed on the interior by John Cermenaro, for Gina Schock of The Go-Go's. This is a 6.5x14 Superten that has green lug felts, Dynasonic lug locks, dampener which is missing the felt arm, rivet top knobs on both the dampener and throw off, flat top hoops. The dated inscription and serial number of this drum, have made it an excellent baseline for 1983 numbers. And, as an added plus, puts a division between early and late XP 10 construction. Two drums were built for Gina Schock in January 1983. The second drum is a one off split shell SuperTen in a reverse Tobacco Sunburst finish. It is also inscribed by John Ceremenaro, and dated. That drum has the damperner knob present, and is missing the felt arm. It is believed they were removed by the artist.
This SuperTen came to me from Palo Alto, California, I found it on a Craigslist ad. Drum is equipped with original flat top hoops, dampener with rivet top knob, rivet top knob on throw off, green felts, brass grommet, unoriginal wires. Dampener was removed from the drum when I got it, but the seller had saved it. Drum was being used in a studio environment.
I aquired this 8x14 from a member of the Rogers Owners Forum. It has flat top hoops, no dampener, black felts, brass grommet, and rivet top knob. The finish on this drum has not mellowed to the same shade of honey maple as all the others. It is slighty blonder. I estimate mid to third quarter 1983.
That is a comprehensive rundown of my seven XP10 snare drums.
1982 SuperTen RD978862 No Felt Dampener Round Top Hoops
1983 SuperTen D101526 Green Dampener Flat Top Hoops
1983 SuperTen D102587 Green Dampener Flat Top Hoops
1983 SuperTen D110701 Black No Flat Top Hoops
1983 Dynasonic D114608 Black No Flat Top Hoops
1983/4 Dynasonic D122346 Black No Flat Top Hoops
1983/4 Dynasonic D122347 Black No Flat Top Hoops
Drums From Other Collections
This 5x14 recently sold on Ebay. Serial Number RD980514. Green felt, rivet top knobs, hoops appear to be round top, chrome grommet. Hoops are unknown, but should be round top.
There are several other drums we could look at, but they all display the same characteristics as other drums in the same serial ranges. The exceptions being, drums that have replacement parts, drums that have had felts removed, and possibly drums that have had felts replaced with felt of a different color.
For dating purposes here is how I estimate them:
1981 Drums below the RD960000 range
1982 Any drum below D100000. These drums may all possibly bear an RD lettered serial number block.
1983-84 Drums between D100000 and aprox D125000.
The Chrome Grommet......
This appears on drums below the Gina Schock January 16, 1983 date. Serial D101526. Drums above this number range have a brass grommet. However, some a chrome grommet is on at least one drum in the D109xxx range. NOTE: Chrome grommets did not go out of use, because toms and bass drums still show them on serial numbers much higher.
Some RD badged drums do not have felts.
Superten and Dynasonic snare drums prior to somewhere between SN D1093xx and D110701 will have green felt. And somewhere between those two numbers and up, will be black felt.
Badge grommets below D101526 and D102587 will be Chrome, and those above will be brass. (see above note)
Rogers Big R Dating Guide
The Rogers USA Drums Big R Period 1975-1984
Dating Guide For Snares and Drums
Present day knowledge of the Rogers Big R period has long been fraught with myth, misinformation, assumptions, and lack of sufficient research. There are no extant records for production numbers from year to year, neither for the period as a whole. A number of dating guides for Rogers drums have surfaced over the years, some more accurate than others. Successive attempts making use of their predessors, building upon them, adding to the trove of information, and thankfully, making their efforts public without restrictions. I know there is much work currently being done by others to provide more accurate dating for the Cleveland, Dayton, and pre Big R Fullerton eras.
I did not begin keeping track of serial numbers with the goal in mind to eventually write a dating guide. My interest was purely personal in the beginning. As time progressed, the more drums I observed, the more I tended to disagree with the information that was available.
Ive worked at this for several years to make these determinations concerning the Big R period. Many people have contributed to these findings, as well as drums observed on EBay, pics I robbed off the internet from many un-named, and for the most part, unknown sources, drums I own, drums I have physically seen, and well, I cannot even begin to exhaust the list, or even begin to thank all of those to whom thanks is owed. I gleaned information from any and every source I ran across. A special thanks to all the members of The Rogers Owners Forum.
The Big R Period
Serial numbers repeat
A few years ago, this was an accepted fact... Rogers used the same serial numbers over and over in the Big R period. This is simply not true. Numbers do not repeat. Number sequences on five ply drums never appear on XP8 drums. There are No XP8 drums with five digit numbers. These only appear on early 1975 transition era Dynasonic and SuperTen snares, as well as general production drums., toms, bass, and floor toms. There are no XP 8 drums with beginning 6 or 7 six digit numbers (D6xxxxx or D7xxxxx). There are no five ply drums with “No Serial USA” badges. There are no five ply drums with RD badges. There are no five ply drums with badges in the D9xxxxx or D1xxxxx six digit ranges. And, there are no XP 8 drums that bear a serial number range found on five ply drums. This is very significant. By itself, it proves that serials did not repeat.
Serial number sequences are undependable
In fact, the opposite is true, the sequences are dependable for dating. Again, special thanks to the ROF for the dogged determination of its members to achieve accuracy. The proliferation of sales on ebay over the past ten years, has given access to thousands of drums. It has been a great laboratory for observing specific hardware on snare drums, observing the construction of drums, by carefully isolating what number sequences appear uniquely on five ply shells or on XP8 drums, and by carefully disregarding drums that were out of place due to replacement parts, I can say without a doubt, that serial numbers are a dependable means of dating the manufacture of a specific drum. And that holds for whether it is a bass, tom, floor tom, Dynasonic, or SuperTen.
Dynasonics nor SuperTens enjoyed a unique badge numbering system during the Big R period. They did have a unique numbering system during the entirety of their Oval Badge production run. During the Big R period, drums were badged as they were built. A tom, a bass, a snare, a tom, a snare..... etc. So how many specific snare drums were actually built is a question that cannot be answered by observing serial numbers.
The SuperTen Rogers Snare Drum
1973-1984 Chrome Over Steel 5x14, 6.5x14
1981-1984 XP10 Ten Ply All Maple 5x14, 6.5x26, 8x14
I am not exactly sure what the highest number for an oval badge SuperTen is. This is an area where more research is needed. I believe I have observed drums well into the 4,000 range. I know numbers started in 1973 with a unique SuperTen badge that probably began with number 0001. Drum number 0007 sold on Ebay a couple years ago, and was a rusted out basket case. Our only source to determine how many SuperTen snares were built, is buy observing numbers on Oval Badge drums that come up for sale. We can only estimate, through observation of drums, how many Big R era drums were built. It is a number that is impossible to nail down.
What I have found by observing SuperTens for sale, as well as consultation of Rogers USA and Japan issued catalogs is that....
The 5x14 SuperTen never had a Big R “transition period.” The concluding number for the Oval Badge era... was the last Oval Badge Drum built, and the beginning number in the Big R period was the first Big R SuperTen built. From 1975 through to the end of production, or until shells ran out... the Big R SuperTen was built on an Oval Badge Period shell. The badge was never relocated to the Big R Period location.... two panels to the left of the throw off. All other Big R era built snare drums, did have the badge move to the new location. The only exception to this badge relocation was the 5x14 COS SuperTen. The badge remains in the Oval Badge location, with the Oval Badge mounting holes, for the duration of production. Catalogs as late as 1983 confirm this. The 5x14 SuperTen is the same through out the duration of the Big R.
The 6.5 SuperTen did run out of Oval Badge shells in 1976 or 77 and subsequent catalogs show the badge in the new Big R location. I cannot date this, simply because too few 6.5 drums have been available for sale.
The Dynasonic Rogers Snare Drum
1975-84 Big R Period Chrome Over Brass 5x14, 6.5x14
1981-1984 XP10 Ten Ply All Maple 5x14, 6.5x14, 8x14
Relatively few construction changes to the Dynasonic are evident during the Big R period, not nearly as many as the period form 1961-75. There was the Gretsch shell, the seven line, and in 1967/68, the five liner. Changes in the frame, changes from B&B lugs, changes in the first gen beavertail lug, the second gen beavertail, hoop anomallies, shine of the chrome, but …...during the Big R period, there are only three major changes that can be observed in the COB Dynasonic... 1. Badge Relocation, 2. A brief period of shells with no Dampener, and the introduction of the XP 10, all maple ten ply keller shelled Dynasonics and Supertens.
C-Clip Lugs were introduced on late issue Fullerton Oval Badge Drums. The Big R period bottom hoop was introduced on late issue Fullerton Oval Badge Drums. And the Big R snare frame as well. These are changes that were already in place when the Big R badge was introduced in 1975.
In 1975, Oval Badge shell stock was used with the new Big R badge covering the screw holes for the Oval Badge. These unique shells range until the high 14,000 serial range of Big R badges. I have seen some above this number, not many, with the highest as number D22641. Again reminding you that these five digit numbers are only found on five ply drums with speckled gray interiors. This is the First Generation Transition Era Big R Dynasonic.
Beginning with Dynasonic snare drums in the high 14,000 range and continuing well into the 40,xxx range, a shell is used that has no dampener. These are all five digit drums, and you will see them with five ply shelled sets bearing five digit serial numbers. These no dampener drums are unique to 1975/6 and are Second Generation Transition period drums. I have observed a number of drums on e-bay lately, five digit numbers, no dampener, and all parts are with a few replacement exceptions, early Big R construction.
Initially, a few drums showed up with no dampener and it was like, Cool, custom order, no dampener. As I observed more and more drums showing the same anomally, and all within the same serial range, I began to see this as less of an annomally and more as a manufacturing blip caused by a mistake in the initial Big R shell order. I sat on this theory for quite a while before publishing in a post on the Dynasonic forum, because I knew it was a bit radical, and did not really fit with everything we formerly believed on the Big R period. However, the more drums I observed, the more I was sure this no dampener shell was a unique early Big R period anomally. No drums that I have observed in the above mentioned serial range have a dampener, with the Big R badge in the new location. The thing that solidly clinched this for me was the observation of a double bass set, five ply, gray speckled interior, with all drums in five digit ranges from the 15K into the 30K ranges. This set also had its original Dynasonic in a five digit, no dampener, within the serial ranges represented by the overall set.
1976 Six digit numbers beginning with D6xxxxx.
1977 Six digit numbers beginning with D7xxxx-D72xxxx.
1978 Six digit numbers running from approximately D73xxx-D74xxxx. Also 1978 seen the introduction of Memrilock Floor Tom Legs and Mounts replacing the Fullerton Cast Swivo.
1979..... XP8 Eight Ply All Maple. Movement of the Badge from left or right of the mount to a 180 degree position opposite the mount. I still need to see some original owner sets and snares to more accurately determine numbering.
1980 A special thanks to Tommy, who solidly established the No Serial Badge as being 1980/81, that fairly well explains why we've never seen six digit numbers beginning with an 8. If there are, I haven't seen them.
1981/82 seen the reintroduction of six digit serial numbered badges with a beginning number of D9xxxxx, as well as RD badges. This is a sequence I am still trying to research, as there are D 96xxxx numbers and RD 96xxxx. So I cannot yet know if there are repeats here or not, or, if the RD sequence isolates a range within the 960000 numbers.
1982 moving into 1983, numbers roll over into a six digit beginning with 100,000.
1983-84 sees numbers ending with the close of production somewhere around 125,000.
Approximately in 1980, the knob on the throw off changed on all snare drums, as also did the dampener. We see the introduction of a rivet top knob that is used exclusively for the remainder of production.
In late 82 going towards 83, I believe there was a hoop change. The shoulders still have that characteristic Rogers profile, however the top flange of the hoop gets much flatter. I have seen this hoop only on a very few drums, and those few are all very close to, or, above the D100000 range.
Dampeners were discontinued from XP 10 snare drums sometime after January 1983, probably as a cost saving measure, and quite possibly, stock was running out. I cannot confirm that dampeners were discontinued from Dynasonics and SuperTens as yet. I observed drum number D114590, a COB Dynasonic built after January 1983, from the number...... and it has a dampener. So I know that close to the end, it is still present. The dampener could only be eliminated by a shell not prepped for one, and I do not believe CBS would have ordered new shells with old ones in stock to replace a part that cost less than replacing the shells.
I welcome anyone, and everyone, to make input on this little essay. I certainly do not claim it to be the end all, and recognize there is great room for advancement in what we know, and for correction of any mistakes or observations I may have made.