How could I not? This is the news of the day.... Rogers Drums USA is back. And what a comeback indeed. I was not at the Chicago Drum Show to witness the unveiling in person, however, through a few close friends from the Rogers Facebook Groups who did attend, I did get to view pictures, and get their thoughts on the event.
Rogers is back. Maxwell's Drum Shop is now taking orders for the new Rogers Dyna-Sonic. As the decals and brochure give us to know, Rogers intends to once again become a leader in the industry. At the beginning of the year when the RogersDrumsUSA.com website was “prematurely” launched for a few hours, the buzz it created on the Facebook groups was unprecedented. Hundreds of comments, dozens of threads, and reactions spanning everything from “Oh No!” to ecstatic elation. I was with the latter grouping of people.
For nearly thirty-five years we have hoped and dreamed of a resurrection of Rogers. But, in reality, there was no faith it would happen. When the brief effort by Yamaha during their ownership of Rogers resulted in less than satisfactory results, and the brand was quietly laid to rest, it looked as if that was the end. Then came the rumors which proved indeed to be true, a new owner had acquired the rights to Rogers, most thought that was as far as it would go.
We caught a brief glimpse of theDyna-Sonic several months ago, one with Bread & Butter lugs, and one with Beavertails. In addition, a snare frame patterned after the third generation 1960s issue, IE. single screw butt, with single screw at the tension assembly. A Dampener also patterned after the 1960s with black felt and the larger triangle frame for the arm. Beavertail lugs, and most surprising.... a Bread & Butter lug that was not stamped from brass or steel, but cast, and most importantly using the 1 5/8” hole center of the original. This is something I am very pleased with. For many years different methods have been tried with varying levels of success to repair and/or reinforce original BB lugs. I also experimented with a few of my own that either would not function properly or were not cost effective in their execution. My difficulty was accomplishing a reinforcement that would allow free function of the swivel nut and spring assembly within the casing. I could not be happy with having the swivel nut become basically a solid, immobile part of the tension process. I found having it so, creates stresses to the shell, by transferring more pressure inward. On a wood drum, not so much of an issue. On a brass drum, the result is deforming of the shell surface at the lug.
It is very pleasing to the eye, feels solid in your hand, and looks exactly like an original BB lug. The swivel nuts are retained in the casing by a neoprene (?) tab that inserts below the bottom of the nut, preventing it from falling into the case. The current DW Turret lugs use the same type of design. I reviewed a DW Tru-Sonic back in January, and disassembled the drum as part of the review. The design is amazingly simple and there are no issues with function. I would like to take one, mount it to a wooden block and do a pull stress test on the lug itself to find how much stress is required to cause a failure. I have yet to mount these on a drum, as I am awaiting the remaining six lugs to arrive.
Having seen the lugs in person, I was amazed. They are a perfect duplicate of the original with all of the design flaws in the drawn brass design wiped away. This is a brand new modern lug design that appears capable of taking the stresses of tension without random failures.
I purchased 10 of the Jim Petty reproduction chrome/steel lugs a year ago. They were immediately installed on a G Shell, First Generation Rogers Dyna-Sonic, drum number 1171. Tuning on this drum with a Remo Coated Diplomat and Remo Ambassador Snare Side …. two over two and a half turns above finger tight. The drum has been played many times, with positive results. The lugs have functioned without fail for a year. While stronger than the original design, being made of steel rather than brass, no fundamental changes in the design were made.
The new Rogers Drums USA Bread and Butter lugs, do correct these inherent design flaws. The casting of the new lug is flawless. The chrome finish is perfection, and the lug is identical to the originals. They do, however, look better. Joe Thompson, I believe, would have approved of this improved design. At $14.00 each, they are very affordable, $140.00 to replace lugs on a Dyna-Sonic, $112.00 for a Holiday or early Powertone snare drum. Performance that has been somewhat hampered by repaired lugs, or ended completely by compromised originals will no longer be an issue. Modern snare drum tuning with any available head choices will have no problems. I have a 1961 G Shell, Seven Line Holiday that has not been played yet. I eagerly await delivery of the final six lugs to put this drum back into service.
As for the new Rogers Dyna-Sonic, Maxwell's Drum shop is taking orders currently for an expected delivery sometime in September 2017. The price on this drum in either 5x14, or 6.5x14 is $799.00 plus shipping. I called the Chicago store on May 25th and spoke to Steve Jr, who was very helpful and facilitated my order immediately. I am paid in full, and eagerly await delivery.
Rogers drums is back with a vengeance!
- Rogers USA 2017 B&B Lug on Early Dyna-Sonic
- Lug Exploded View
Photos courtesy of Paul G. Ross.