Late 30's / Early 40s Slingerland Radio King 28" Bass Drum WMP - Huge Sound!!!!

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  • Item Category: Entertainment
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Dec 18,2011
  • Channel: Online Auction

Hello - be forewarned this drum is not for the faint of heart. Up for sale is a late 30's / early 40's Slingerland Radio King 14x28 bass drum in white marine pearl. This drum is a "players drum" and its meant for just that - playing, and playing it loudly. For its age, I consider the drum in to be in good overall condtion. Stucturally, the drum is sound and round, and it tunes up easily - provided you know what this drum is meant to do: be played pretty wide open (I used a homemade thin "richie ring" on batter only), roar, and be the fundemental tone of your drumset, reinforcing each tom's own resonance through a wide open tuning. This drum was the corner stone of my jelly bean 13-16-18-28 RK kit, this is the last of those drums. I now have a matching 13-16-24 kit, and while I have used the 28 with it from time to time, I just don't play the style of music that affords me the opportunity to lug out the "big beef" anymore, so it needs to go to a loving home and player. The drum sounds amazing and feels amazing - the solid front head moves air like a bass cabinet, throwing out a chest thumping tone that is ear pleasing and physical. From behind the drum, you can feel the bottom end resonate through your leg. For those that play giant kick drums - this is not news to you. This sound is something a modern drum can't do - old, dried out wood, and the mahagony / poplar / mahagony shell with maple re-rings just a combination that provides for excellent midrange focus, with substantial low end fundamental.

I'll be as accurate as I can on the desciption - this is a players drum, not a museum piece. But it does look really good on stage, and gets tons of compliments. But for the collector type that wants to look and not touch, this isn't your drum.

I am confident on my dating. The aluminim cloud bagde and streamlined lugs date this to late 30's / early 40's, but certainly pre-WWII. After WWII, RKs bass drums used the large beavertail lugs.

Condition - overall good condition for its age - the drum can be disassembled and cleaned to a better finish, but I never bothered as the condition was fine for me. The WMP has yellowed as can be seen in the pics, which is typical.

Hoops / lugs are original, all but 4 T's rods are original. 1 of the original T's is bent, but works just fine. Lugs are in good condition, showing typical pitting. Hoops have pedal rash and plenty of wear and scratches. Inlays on the hoops are well secured; black painting on hoops is scratched up pretty heavily. The badge needs to be cleaned.

Shell - there are 4 extra holes that have been plugged (see pictures), and the spurs are not original to the drum. I believe they are Gretsch swing down spurs, but do not quote me on that! The spurs work well, the drum holds sturdy and does not walk while being played. Due note - whomever installed these spurs, installed them on the wrong end of the drum, thus the badge faces the floor when played. I believe this was done as the extra holes, and the crack / tear (see pic #6) in the WMP finish are all on the "badge side" of the drum. By installing the spurs on the opppsite end, the flaws of the drum are not seen as they are facing the floor. Please see the pictures - I have photographed these flaws to see. Modern heads fit nicely on the drum - they are a little bit snug, which typical for an RK drum, but they go on rather easily (and much better than my RK snare) requiring very little effort to seat the head properly. American Vintages would float nicely, but I never found the need to change. I did not measure the shell, but based on how the heads fit and how the drum sits on a tile floor without heads, the drum appears to be in round.

Bearing Edges are very clean, and there is no speration of the re-rings. There is no center re-ring on this bass drum. The interior of the shell is extremely clean - I think it is safe to surmise that this drum has been stored with two solid heads for its lifetime. The condition of the bearing edges and roundness allow this drum to be tuned...

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