Holy Grail of the Drum World?


Senior Member
So, as a musician I watch, follow, read etc many musicians and always find classic gear discussions really interesting whether it is trying to find and buy classic Neve Consoles or the constant search for real '59 Les Pauls or '57 Fender Bass guitars........

So what is the drum equivalent? I know people seek out classic old Zildjian cymbals and people wax poetic for days about the Ludwig snares of the '60's but.......

Just curious......

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Some people have a longing for these items...
Slingerland Radio Kings
Transistion badge Ludwig snare drums early 1960's
1970's Sonor Horst Link Signature drums
these are a few that come to mind


Platinum Member
The only thing that comes to mind is the old Gretsch Jasper shells (maple/gum combo), and several of the others that have already been mentioned. However, so much of the old gear is primarily coveted by jazz cats, but there are exceptions.

One thing I love about vintage 3-ply kits is that you can get an old 3-ply kit in great shape for about the same price as a new set...especially when comparing how much old guitars sell for.


"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
For me personally, as wrong as it sounds, I don't count mass produced drums as a Holy Grail...for myself personally. IMO the age of those drums are more responsible for the sound than the craftsmanship. I'm not stating this as fact, just how I feel about it. In my mind, a handmade drum that is/was loved, and was built with no compromises fits the bill more. Obviously, I am a big solid shell proponent so I'm very biased.


Diamond Member
I do think it is personal in a way....

my "Holy Grail" drums tend to be more from the marching/military world. Old school rope tension drums; Civil War era stuff;


Platinum Member
By nature of drum sets being made up of different parts made by different manufacturers, I don't think it's possible. Plus drummers are a lot more over the map and open to sounds that don't come from classic makers or aren't made in traditional ways. But if anything is considered the most classic, it's probably Ludwig snares and Zildjian cymbals, yeah.

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
There are two categories which often overlap...
Items that have become rare - either they weren't made in huge numbers, or there weren't many to begin with and many have been lost, destroyed, thrown away.
Items that are valued by the best musicians for their sound and performance.
If you consider guitars - the older made models are getting rare and they are prized by great players for their sound. the same with synthesisers, and studio microphones, outboard.
All the same factors apply to drums and cymbals. They are rare, have proven to sound amazing, or both.


Senior Member
Cool discussion, glad I wasn't the only one with thoughts on it. Agree with much of what has been posted so far.

There is rare for the sake of rare, and then there is rare that also has a distinctive sound characteristic that hasn't easily been duplicated and is coveted to a certain degree.

I also think due to the nature of drums being a more physical instrument in general and harder to store properly over decades I think many early mass produced but great sounding instruments are in rough shape today and therefore clean examples become coveted.

Interestingly there are so many "classic" instruments in the drum world that it is hard to point at a small number of "Mount Rushmore" items like the '59 Les Paul, early Strats, etc.


Silver Member
add to the fact the standard Avedis Zildjian 20" ride cymbal was available to the masses from Max Roach and Buddy Rich to the the drummers of small towns all across the globe.
Much legendary music was made from on-the shelf instruments


Platinum Member
Fibes fiberglass snare drums.

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
This is a helpful forum for such topics. Unfortunately, I learned too late about Sljngerland snares with 3 lines. I passed one over a couple weeks ago then read that they're a COB?