your thoughts on Slingerland radioking snares?


New member
I've recently spotted a Radioking snare, and I'm seriously considering purchasing it, although I havn't played it as yet. Are these drums all they're cracked to be? Or should I move on. Has anyone owned and used one live and in the studio? What are the things to look out for when buying one.

Thanks all.


New member
Slingerland produced drums for a very long time. The RadioKing name was in use for literally decades. That said, good snare drums, played by some of the greatest players to ever live, including Rich and Krupa. To be perfectly honest about it, you need to consider that individual drum yourself, rather than depend on the reputation of the name, especially if you have little experience with Slingerland drums yourself. Thats a good idea for any vintage brand. The thing that appeals to a vintage afficionado about a particular brand, or even the things that make certain drums popular among vintage players and collectors, might not be what you are looking for. That is why it is a good thing to see and play a drum you arent exactly familiar with yourself. I own several Rogers Dynasonic snare drums.... its a great drum, but not one that appeals to everyone today.


New member
ThePloughman gave a really thoughtful and useful answer to the question, but I'd like to expand on it with more specifics...

A Radio King Snare is probably a solid steam bent maple shell, but not always, as there was an era when the Radio King was a plywood Mahogany shell. There is also a range of Snare Throwoffs that were available through the decades, some worked very well, others are so problematic they cannot be considered as useful for modern playing.

The Solid Maple shell is the most collectable, but ONLY if the shell is actually round, and MANY of them are not round. The "three point" throwoff is the one to have, with the alternative being the "Clamshell" which is very cranky to get adjusted, and it doesn't throw-off completely more often than not.

Here is a photo of a Radio King with a Clamshell Throw-Off:

Here is a photo of the more desireable three-point Throw-Off:

But as ThePloughman stated... you need to check out the drum yourself and in real playing situations before you can decide if this particular drum is the right instrument for your particular applications. Many people have purchased Vintage Black Beauties, Radio Kings and Leedy Elites withought taking into consideration that these are OLD DRUMS and they may not be particularly suited for the specific needs of a modern player.

In other words, don't buy it just because it's a vintage Radio King... Buy it if it's the right tool for the job.


New member
Hey thank you both for that. This is the real beauty of this forum above and beyond the "my kit is better than yours". Zen you are a real font of knowlegde.

I have had a recent discussion on drums with one of the UK's foremost producers just recently(he really does know his onions). It was an interesting discussion in which he brought up about Radio king snares. He said that he has recorded several over the years of various ages and never been disapointed with the result. He said that they tended to have a nice upper mid to the sound that made it easy to blend in the mix. He also added he loved Luddy snares and really loved Blak Beauties. He actually recently bought one himself.

This made me feel stronger about the prospect of adding a RK to my arsenal and have recently put a deposit down on one being sold by a Vintage drum dealer, of which I have had several dealings with over the last 8 years and have never been "done". I already own some luddy snares (400, 402 and a Downbeat) so I think I'll wait for the BB move. Zen, I made sure I questioned him over the roundness issue and the bearing edge condition.

Once again many thanks.