Radio Kings on Ebay

Tama, Pearl, Yamaha, Premier, Mapex etc.

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loop
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Post Sat Nov 11, 2006 4:05 am

On ebay there are always plenty of Slingerland snares, each of varying vintage, model, and condition. How would one identify a Radio King among other model snares? What are the odds of any old "vintage 60's Slingerland maple snare" auction being a Radio King?

I've heard varying testimonies on the value and rarity of these particular drums. How much is the average Radio King worth? How much have you paid/would you be willing to pay for one?

Also, on a more general level, is ebay usually the best place to find vintage drums? Maybe it's just me, but it seems that high prices combined with shady sellers could make for quite a gamble when buying.


loop
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Dale
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Post Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:45 am

loop wrote:On ebay there are always plenty of Slingerland snares, each of varying vintage, model, and condition. How would one identify a Radio King among other model snares? What are the odds of any old "vintage 60's Slingerland maple snare" auction being a Radio King?

I've heard varying testimonies on the value and rarity of these particular drums. How much is the average Radio King worth? How much have you paid/would you be willing to pay for one?

Also, on a more general level, is ebay usually the best place to find vintage drums? Maybe it's just me, but it seems that high prices combined with shady sellers could make for quite a gamble when buying.


loop


I really don't know. But just yesterday I was reading an article in MD featuring Bun E Carlos talking about buying vintage drums. He seemed to think that Ebay wasn't a great place to do it. Apparently there is a circle of collectors who deal via word of mouth. Perhaps you could write him a letter, addressed through MD and ask him.
Last edited by Dale on Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:44 am

The Radio King snares are 1 ply steam bent shells...amazingly valuable, but not worth the money in my opinion...it's still a fairly shoddy made drum for the money...You can score a Craviatto or a Noble & Cooley for a fraction of the cost (still uber expensive, but about 1/2 of a real radio king snare). Those snares will have the same shell construction & are built alot better in my honest opinion...now there is the missing "vintage mojo" that people will bullshit you about, but I assure you; you'll be much happier with the above mentioned snares. No worries about popping lugs, rods etc. No worries about playing a $1500 snare drum that's fragile. My father has one that he has owned since the 60's...it sounds great, but I have a Noble & Cooley SS maple that sounds every bit as good, if not better (subjective of course).

The problem with Ebay is, you never know what you are going to get...If you are going to buy a vintage piece, make sure it's from a reputable seller with super high feedback...a word to the wise also when dealing with Ebay....in this day and age, you will NOT find a gem in the rough any more. The sellers are generally 100 times more educated than in the early years of Ebay...so if you see a Radio King going for under $800...chances are it's not real, or the bidding will adjust accordingly as the auction comes to a close. Be prepared to spend at least $1000 bucks for a mediocore conditioned Radio King.

Good luck either way...but in the back of the Modern Drummers (in the classified section) they list a good number of vintage drum shops they list. There is also a publication called not so modern drummer (I think that's the name) that may be a decent spot to check out.

Sorry to have gone all around the world for that answer. But brass tax for me is: I wouldn't pay anymore for a Radio King snare, then it cost to purchase a nice Noble & Cooley or Craviatto snare...so about $500-650 dollars.
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