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Monthly Archives: January 2014



    Wowza!!  First off, look at the one on the left. It's a mid 50's, mahogany/poplar/mahogany Concert King, 8x15"!!  Yes, eight by fifteen!!  If you're looking for a huge, warm, and deep sound, this is the drum. And in addition to the unbelievable sound, this drum looks like it just rolled of the Chicago assembly line yesterday. It's very usual to find nickel plating in such good condition. By comparison, the faded gold sparkle Radio King that's second from the right has a typical level of wear on the nickel parts–you can easily see the difference in the photo. This drum is huge in every way.

    And speaking of the gold sparkle Radio King, here's it's deal:  Norman and I will be tearing into it soon. It needs to have the glue rings steamed out and reinstalled due to the common separation that occurs between the shell and the rings.....if you're really interested in this process check out the previous Main Drag blog post,  http://www.maindragmusic.com/blog/the-restification-of-a-radio-king-snare/ . Anyhow, this drum will sing when it's done and maybe we'll do another story from beginning to end on this one.

    As for the 6.5x15" blue sparkle beauty, it's an early Sound King mahogany/poplar/mahogany that's had it's three-point strainer replaced with the much more efficient Rapid Strainer, leaving behind two extra holes and much player-frustration as the three-point mechanism was not the best. This drum is pretty remarkable in looks and sound and has lots of bottom without any of the throatiness that some 6.5" depth Slingerland drums exhibit. The chrome is really, really clean and the shell is perfect.

    Lastly but not leastly, the red sparkle 5.5x14" Radio King hails from the very early 60's as well. This is a single-ply maple shell that embodies all of those perfect Radio Attributes, body, warmth, projection, sensitivity, etc. that have inspired accolades for decades. This is a perfect all around snare. It's even got a nicely registered strainer that allows a full-off snare position without the buzz that so often accompanies this mechanism. A teeny little difference in the placement of the strainer and butt in relation to the snare bed causes problems and was a common quality control oversight Also, the throw-off lever is a much better aftermarket reproduction made of stainless steel, unlike the original brass unit that was prone to failure. The plating matches the strainer perfectly. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

    Three of these fine archaeological specimens are currently on the floor at the store. The gold sparkle Radio King will be in the shop for a few days until we can sort out its problems, but if you want to see it stop by and ask really nicely and maybe just maybe we'll take you back to the shop and you can have a look. After that, it too will be out there for your perusal and possible purchase. Come on down and say hi and check them out!

  • Korg Volca Bass - fatter than a whale sandwich


    The Korg Volca Bass is so thick, we might need to expand the door to get it in.

    It's an analog groove box that can blow the digital pretenders back to 101010ville and still be aggressive enough to take on any others that dare to try to enter the room of boom.

    We have them in stock now - have a look - http://www.maindragmusic.com/korg-volca-bass-analog-bass-machine.html

    And check out what some folks are doing with this mean little machine.

  • A Gretsch Set Done Right!

    A 12/14/20" Round Badge set came in to the shop looking pretty rough with lots of extra holes, and was the victim of much abuse in the hands of players over the years and also some crappy repair and modification work. So we stripped it, doweled the superfluous holes and threw a nice warm colored White Marine Pearl around it, and recut the pencil-style bearing edges.  In short, a typical day's work.

    But sometimes the little things are the ones that get us excited. We managed to source the original type tacks used to attach the badges and they look sweet. The previous repairs included attaching the badges with screws and glue, so this was a nice detail and reusing the original parts wasn't an option. Another small detail was that we used the DW style wrap joint where the seam occurs and back cut the outer layer down from the edge so that there's only one layer of wrap underneath the hoop of the head. Many of you know that lots of old Gretsch drums had a pretty tight diametrical relationship between the head and the shell. This really helps.

    These drums turned out great, sound wonderful, and look fantastic!


    The DW-type seam.


    The correct pencil edge.


    The correct badge tack.


    And two of the finished drums.

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