Here’s a kit that only occasionally do I come across in original condition; A Premier B202 in ‘Golden sun’ finish. This particular set was bought new in 1970 and remained with that owner until a month or so ago.
The finish on this set is ‘Golden Sun’ and is fairly rare, or at least, rare in good condition. The condition of the wrap on these drums is good, with just a couple of scuffs and blemishes. The wrap is reminiscent of 1970’s lampshade material – kind of like a fabric with a weave running through it. It was also available in ‘Silver Star’. The colour coating often wears away, leaving lots of white patches. The shells on these sets are usually African mahogany, with beech reinforcement rings. By the mid 70’s most sets that Premier produced were birch, with the occasional shell left over from past production runs.
This set is 22,12,16 with all drums standard head sizes. The toms feature die cast hoops ,Tone control dampeners and slot head tension rods (with the thread disappearing into the lug insert – a nice design feature not replicated by anyone since). The tom is mounted on the bass drum via an internal ‘dagger’ tom arm which allows for greater positioning than the tom arms of the 1960’s. The bass drum features 8 lugs, with disappearing bass drum spurs.
This set came in with a ‘2002’ snare drum – the wooden model of the ever popular 2000 with the internal parallel action flobeam mechanism. Like the 2000, the wires extend the full width of the drum, allowing for maximum snare wire/ head contact for greater control and sensitivity.
Last year we had another of these sets in time-warp, immaculate condition. This kit was a B303 in 22,13,14,16. It was a typical Premier hybrid kit, with some of the fittings dating to the late 60’s and others to the mid 70’s. Either way, it looked and sounded stunning. One of the other striking features on this kit is that the sell sizes and fittings suggest mid 1970’s although by then Premier has pretty much phased out this wrap and were settling on sturdier fittings.
In 1972 Premier had introduced the 13x9” tom, but most sets we come across still feature the 12x8 and 14x8 toms. So it’s nice to come across a set with mahogany shells in an early 70’s colour with a 13x9 and 14x10 tom. The hardware on the set is a mixture of early and mid 1970’s; disappearing spurs on the bass drum and the older style floor tom leg mounts. Die cast hoops on all the toms with slot tension rods and tone control dampers. The bass drum mount for the tom post is the later oval 392-50 socket, which redefined mounting toms for Premier players and remained staple for years.
The set came with a wooden shell ‘Hi Fi’ snare drum again with a mahogany shell and with the Golden Sun wrap in lovely condition.
Last year I came across an article with Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) sat behind a similar kit (22,13,16) which he’d borrowed from Premier’s vintage vault in Leicester. He’d used it on the last Arctic Monkeys record.