My brother might be getting a set of '64 Slingerlands. The sizes are 13, 16 and 22. What should we look for when we look at the kit? Should we take off the heads and have a look at the bearing edges? How else should we evaluate them?
Is $1200 Canadian a decent deal for these badboys?
bearing edges can be reworked. Also keep in mind that older drums often have rounder bearing edges to start with than modern drums
I would be most concerned about old drums being out of round. Was this someone's kit who used it regularly, or have these drums been sitting in cellar for 30 years? If the drums were stored in a damp area they may well have warped. This will make them nearly impossible to properly tune. the heads may even bubble or wrinkle a bit.
look for signs of water stains. true roundness may be hard to detect by eye, but when you are looking at the bearing edges, see how well a new (round) head fits. Maybe you could use a level and a ruler. check the N-S diameter against the E-W diameter
Make sure they ARE 64 model Slingerlands. More than likely a oval black badge with silver lettering. And with no matching snare, 1200 canadian is high. Just make sure the drums are in good condition and have NOT been recovered.
From what I can tell, they are 64. They have a black/brass badge from Niles with a low serial number. They also have the rail mount for the tom.
I agree with the $1200 being a little high. However, if they are in round and are well cared for, it might be worth it. Also, I doubt ebay prices are a good reflection of the price. I mean, you wouldn't want to buy an old kit over ebay b/c you couldn't tell if it was in good shape.
One question, though: Why a level? How will that help?
I would use a level to check that the floor or table is level.
Then if the floor or table is level, you could just see if the the drum sits flat or if it teeters. If it wobbles on a flat surface, that is probably not due to the bearing edge, but due to a warping of the shell.
if the drum is warped but only in horizontal plane, you should be able to tell by using a ruler to measure the diameters in different directions. putting a new head on it might also be a way to check.
So, the drums sound pretty good and appear to be in good shape and in round. However, there is a gnarley buzz off of the kick drum -- it sounds like the springs in the hardware are rattling. I figure that if we spend some time we can get rid of it.... I hope. Adding to felt to dampen the spring rattle is probably a good idea, eh?
64 is very early niles....what year was the last chicago slings? I can't remember off the top of my head, but it was something like 62. Yeah, you might even see date stamps on the inside of the shells. As for packing the lugs....vaseline is messy...cotton balls can get in the threads and mess things up...I like to just take the spring out and replace with some firm, plastic tubing. Just go to a home depot, carry the lug and insert and try a few out and see what works.