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XP10 Dyna-Sonic Member
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Registered: 06-2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6271
John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 1

Recently, through the power of Google and the Internet, I tracked down John Cermenaro, the last Rogers R&D Manager, an important figure who is featured in the Rogers Book. John was very considerate to answer some questions I posed to him about Rogers in general, and the Gina Schock coliseum mystery snare as well. John gave me permission to publish his comments on the site. Also, I sent him links, and he has promised to visit--and hopefully will become a contributing member!

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John, if you're reading this, please join us in celebrating the glories of Rogers drums and the camaraderie we've found here on the Rogers [sign in to see URL] thanks for taking time to answer these questions.

Mysteries :

Gina Schock Snare:
TT-There are [sign in to see URL]" rounded areas on both top and bottom bearing edges (see diagram). What was the intended purpose of the variance in shape?
JC-I don’t recall. Maybe a picture would help.

TT-The hoops have approx. 1" length areas on the inside with green felt tip marker. What does his signify?
JC-I don’t recall. Maybe a picture would help.

TT-Is the snare assembly an original Rogers part? (see diagram)

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JC-I presume you’re talking about the close up of the snare wire removed from the drum. Yes, that’s original. String looks original, too.

Before I joined Rogers, they soldered the snare wire to the plates. Obviously it’s cheaper to glue them on, so a manufacturing engineer (Fender in Fullerton had an actual manufacturing engineering dept) came up with a new method. We’d lay the wires on the end plate, lay a little ribbon of glue (looked like soft rubber and was pre-cut to length) on top of the wires, then lower the hot plate down on top of it to melt the glue. It was a custom-built machine (called a “tool” in manufacturing lingo). It worked well enough if the operator had a feel for the dwell time before removing the snares from the tool. If it didn’t work, the glue held the snare wire together but not to the end plate. It’s remarkable to me that it ever worked at all. As a drummer, I’ve had a number of snare wires come off their end plate rendering them useless. I think I have one or two of the old soldered versions which I am very happy with. PureSound makes an aftermarket replacement, and I need to call Yoav to get a couple. While I’m on a roll here, I’ll mention that I always wondered why the DynaSonics used a frame that was smaller than 14” long. It puts the end plates of the snare wire directly on the head, which means that snare wire does not contact the head all the way across the full surface. BUT, Rogers made 15” DynaSonic marching drums. The 15” snare frame extends beyond the edges of a 14” head giving full contact. So I’ve been using those. Of course, now I need replacement snare wire which I’m sure there’s no source for (unless PureSound decides to make some).

TT-Is there any known use of the drum on stage or in the studio?
JC-For this drum in particular, not that I know of. Need to ask Gina, and I don’t know how to get in touch with her.

TT-Did Gina have a matching tobacco sunburst kit? If not, why was tobacco sunburst chosen for the wrap?
JC-If she did, I didn’t build it, and I think all the drums she got from us came thru me. I’m quite sure she did not. This drum has a paint job looks like a variation of the one I built for myself, which is “Tobacco Sunburst” but without the black. Mine is pictured in Rob Cook’s book, top of page 57 1st Edition, 53 2nd edition. The darker color where the slots are is that same red that you see along the split on Gina’s drum.

It’s not a “wrap,” it’s lacquer paint.

TT-Did you actually hand build this drum?
JC-Yes. At the time I was the one and only R&D engineer, and I was responsible for all the drum manufacturing (drum line shown on page 54 1st Edition, 50 2nd edition, in Rob’s book). I had a small shop in the Fender/Rogers/Rhodes R&D building (the same building where Leo started Fender, which is now a bar). It was a bit like having your own toy factory.

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TT-How was the split shell crafted, ie, did you slice a 6-1/2" snare down the middle, etc.?
JC-I can’t recall the steps that went into building this one, but remember I had access to the Fender guitar and amp manufacturing facilities. This either started out as two short shells, or I split one. The edges at the split are likely the edges as they came to us from Keller. The sawed edge would have been reshaped into bearing edges on the router (picture of Adun doing that on page 54 1st Edition, upper left (50 2nd edition). Rene was a fantastic painter. He did the lacquer finish (page 55 1st Edition, upper right, 51 2nd Edition).

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Last edited by tommykat1, 1/21/2008, 4:57 pm
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