Shortly after the launch of the XP8, eight ply, all North American Maple shell ply series of drums in 1979, the reissue of the Rogers wood snare drum brought to us the XP10 series of snare drums. The production list of snare drums from 1965 had over a half a dozen various models. The production list for 1975 had two, Dyna-Sonic and SuperTen being the only offerings from Rogers. Available in 5x14 and 6.5x14. Dyna-Sonic was COB, SuperTen was COS. Rogers had discontinued wood shell snare drums in 1972, primarily due to lack of sales. The late 70's and early 80's, however, wood shell snare drums steadilly gaining in popularity. Into this market, Rogers launched the XP10.
The XP10 (a nomenclature from the Rogers Japanese Catalogs) was launched as Dyna-Sonic and SuperTen, in three sizes, 5x14, 6.5x14, 8x14. For the first time since its introduction in 1972, the SuperTen was also offered as a wood snare drum. Production numbers are unknown. Unfortunately, the only method for even being able to estimate how many drums were made depends on how many drums we see for sale over time. That is a relatively low number compared to metal shelled offerings of the Dyna-Sonic and SuperTen during the late Big R period. I have had discussions with John Cermenaro (Production Manager at Rogers Drums during this era), who stated very few 5x14 drums were made, with the majority being the 8x14 size. What I have observed in the market over the past 18 years confirms the rarity of the five inch drum, and that the overwhelming majority were eight inch drums. The 6.5” drum has always been hard to find. The five inch drum, nearly impossible.
In my collection, I have seven XP10 snare drums. The Dyna-Sonic is represented by two 6.5x14 drums with sequential serial numbers, and one 8x14. I also have two 8x14 SuperTen, a very special 6.5 drum that was built for Gina Schock of The Go-Go's, and a very rare 5x14.
The drums were available in one finish, Natural Maple. Over time, this color has morphed into a beautiful Honey Amber hue that has survived well over the past 35 years. Drums that have been moderately well cared for over their lifetimes will have unchecked lacquer, with beautiful uniform coloring throughout. Once heads and lugs are removed, the lighter, un-aged, natural maple finish will be present. The Beavertail lugs on these drums used a felt gasket to protect the lacquer from the stress points inherent with lug to shell contact. In the ten drums I have owned, and the ones I have observed for sale or in the hands of others, spider checking from the lug attachment points has not been an issue on any. Two colors of felt were in use during this production period, green, and black. I have a suspicion felt color may be an indication of where the drum might have been built, as there were a number of production line relocations during the late Big R period. This is something I continue to research, and perhaps may never solve.
Drums built early on, had the internal dampener. Later drums were built without it. The classic Rogers Swivomatic Throw-off and Butt give this drum a very balanced, professional appearance. With the beginning of the XP8 period, the dampener shaft knob and attachment process changed. The knob style changed from smooth chrome on top, to a textured surface, and a rivet going down into the shaft was added. Over the years I have seen a few Throw adjustment knobs missing from the shaft, however I believe this was more of a cost-cutting measure with the new part being less expensive to produce.
Topped off with Rogers hoops, which long had been unique with the shoulder profile at the screw holes, these drums look professional. Sometime in 1982, the top flange flattened at the bend. Flat Top hoops were in use on all drums to the end of production in 1984.
Internal fasteners are finished with a gloss black paint, and finishing washers give a nice balance to the interior. Hex head screws and star washer hold the Butt and Throw. Interior finish is natural maple.
These drums bring absolute pure enjoyment to play. The sound and response they give is uniform from drum to drum. They feel good. Edges are uniform, well leveled, and snare beds are slight. Significantly more snare bed on this drum than there were on the 1960s wood Dyna-Sonics, but still slight compared to more conventional snare drums.
I would definitely recommend these, in any size, but, especially as a 6.5x14 drum. If you find one, grab it. Chances are, if someone is selling it, they just dont know.