And they are real diamonds in the rough.
I'll spare you the long version of the story, but the short version goes like this: I'm in Sam Ash talking to Ivan, who has been helping me out with my e-drums. I mention that I'd just finished fixing up a Vistalite kit and he mentioned they had this kit in the back that was pretty beat up but the manager might let go cheap just to get them out of there.
So, he brings out this tom and it looks pretty sad. But my interest is piqued. He gets a manager and we go in back and all have a laugh at this disheveled heap of drums and the absurd price tag on it. (Apparently, someone in guitars bought this and gave the guy way too much money. Someone else seriously thought they could get $700 for what I'm about to show you.) A bit of haggling and a little time away to think about it, and I've got another drum kit for the princely sum of $75.
Anyway, let me show you what I got:
Let's start with the positive. This kit, for whatever reason, had an Acrolite snare with it. Honestly, I'm surprised no one pulled this and put it out by itself. This was also my ace in the hole as this drum is in great shape and is easily worth $75 alone. Plus, I've always wanted one.
Here's the mounted toms, a 12" and a 13". Obviously, both are without heads, but I did get the rims. The 12" has some spider cracks and both drums are scratched and filthy. There's a grimy film on both that I just can't place.
Close up of the 12":
So, these two are a challenge, but here's the real problem child of the bunch:
Where should I begin with this one? It's missing three lugs, some of the others are missing swivel nuts. Half of the T-rods and claws are wrong. The tom mount on tom is probably stripped. It's missing a leg and there's a crack from one of the leg holes. One of the hoops is wrong and the other one is painted over. And inside...
Ugly stuff, but it gets worse...
Two lugs are rusted in place. Did someone scoop this drum up from White River?
There's also two huge Velcro stickers inside I have no idea how I'm going to remove. Moving on...
Hello! Who's this? Are you lost, little Sonor Force 2001 floor tom? No. Some confused soul thought you belonged with this kit. I'm a little skeptical about this one, as 16" amber floor toms can go for some money on eBay. I have to wonder if someone inside the store didn't pull a switcheroo, as I don't even know how one would acquire a random Sonor floor tom. (Know anyone who needs one? I'll cut them a good deal.)
So, anyway, I played around with them a little today. Stripped the shells and did the Weld-On thing on the bass drum. I'm trying to soak those lugs in 3 in 1 oil, hoping the two stragglers will break loose.
I did get the toms cleaned up and to my surprise, they turned out pretty nice. Here's a comparison shot of the clean 12" and the dirty 13". It's kind of hard to see, but I think you can get the idea:
Not flawless, but the cleaned up 12" looks worlds better than the 13". I took a more radical approach to cleaning these up than I did my red kit. Since I figured I didn't have much to lose, I went straight from a cleaning swipe with Novus 1 to polishing with Novus 3. I really only used 2 when I'd buffed as much as I was going to and was getting ready to shine them up.
This approach worked pretty well. While I wasn't able to get every last scratch out, I wasn't expecting to either. I was more curious to see what I could get done than anything else. And I'm really pleased with the final results:
Right now, I'm focusing on the toms as it looks like they're going to turn out well. I've got RIMS mounts coming (again, not so much for sustain, but I hate the 70s Ludwig mounts and I won't drill the shells.) The internal mufflers and logo badges are missing. I'll probably try to score new badges, but I wouldn't use the mufflers anyway, so I'll just leave those be.
Ultimately, I'd like to find a matching floor tom and have another kit. I'm not prepared to pay eBay prices though. (The 16" amber tom is one of John Bonham's drums, so there's a premium on it.) If nothing else, I can use these with the red drums I already have and while they're a bit rougher, hopefully I can get them close to looking as nice as those red ones.
So, I've got a hot date with Brasso soon. (Brasso is my least favorite chemical I use. The stuff is just so noxious, I can't be in a big enough area to not feel like I'm huffing the stuff.) If nothing else, I'm going to have a couple of toms and a snare out of this deal. Starting a new job tomorrow, so I probably won't have time to play around with this for a little while though.
Now playing: Jimmy Woods Sextet - Pazmuerte