Greetings vintage drum lovers,
This month's featured set is the only Rogers kit that is in my collection. I was told when I got this kit that I really didn’t need any more Rogers drum sets as this is the one to have. I have always been a fan of Rogers drums. I’ve played many Rogers drum sets over the years and always thought they stood out because of the pure genius of the Swiv-O-Matic hardware. I have also run into many drums sets from various manufacturers that have had the Rogers tom mounts put on in place of the stock tom mounting system. Needless to say, it’s still a joy to use this unique hardware.
This set is a 1962 Swing Time No. 1816-Outfit. This set consists of a 14x20 bass drum, 8x12 tom, 16x16 floor tom and 5x14 matching snare. I bought this set because this set is finished in the very rare and amazing Mardi Gras Pearl. I could not believe when I saw this set, how vibrant and brand new it looked despite its age. It's in truly amazing shape - a time capsule as we like to say. The colors are extremely bright and there is no fade at all. All the chrome is completely pit-free and very shiny. I have been told by fellow collectors that this is one of the most vibrant Mardi Gras kits they have seen.
The set has the 3-ply Jasper shells and flat bearing edges, which were originally designed for calfskin heads. I have read that, starting in 1963, Rogers switched to Keller shells and a new sharper bearing edge. Another cool thing on this set is that both the floor tom and tom have “tall boy” hoops which were also designed for calfskin heads.
As you can see in the photos, the set is also equipped with the early infamous Bread and Butter lugs. As all Rogers fans know, these lugs were prone to cracking under tension. I am pretty fortunate in that this kit has only a handful of slightly cracked lugs with extremely fine line cracking and nothing major. Upon reading more of the history of Rogers drums, I found this was quite the problem and what led to the introduction of the beavertail lugs. With that in mind, this kit was tuned fairly well when I received it so I have left everything as it was. And the drums sound great! The bass drum has a very deep punch and the toms also have a nice tone to them. This kit is used for select gigs only where I keep my volume fairly low and tend to use mostly brushes, though I have laid into them of course. The batter side heads are Aquarian American Vintage Medium and are almost new. I very much enjoy using the Swiv-O-Matic hardware and can understand why some folks may have opted to change to it. The positioning of the tom and the ride cymbal is quite easy.
This set is a prized addition to my collection by another one of the great American Drum companies of the 20th century. Rogers drums are truly unique sets to own.
Until next time, PLAY those drums!'