Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Rogers Wood Powertone Snare Drum

Every Drum Company in the 60's had its "workhorse" snare drum. It was usually a drum that was competitively priced and one that was offered as standard equipment on the majority of drum kits one could purchase from a specific company. For the Ludwig Drum Company, that drum was the Ludwig Supraphonic 400 ( See blog dated Jan. 5th). In the case of Slingerland, both the Radio King ( See blog dated Feb 27th.) and the Gene Krupa Sound King ( See blog dated June 29th) shared the limelight. And in the case of the Rogers Drum Company, it was the drum you see pictured here--- the Rogers Powertone Snare Drum.

Both the wood shell model and the metal shell model were featured in Rogers catalogs. Indeed, in the 67-68 catalog, the wood shell Powertone is standard on the Headliner kit, the Cozy Cole Constellation kit, and the Dave Clark Londoner kit. The metal shell is standard on the Rogers Timbale-Twin double bass outfit. The Rogers Dynasonic is also featured, but that's a story for another time.

The wood shell model came in two sizes, 5 x 14 and 6 1/2 x 14. The finish choices were either pearl, lacquer, or mahogany. The drum came with 8 Self aligning lugs and 20 strand wire snappy snares. The pictured Beauty is wrapped in the Black Onyx Pearl wrap. This Pearl finish was only available for few years in the 1960's. In addition to Black, Blue Onyx and Red Onyx were also offered. These wraps were exclusive to Rogers and only Slingerland sold anything that was remotely similar. Indeed, the Slingerland Blue Agate pearl wrap does resemble the Rogers Blue Onyx in a side by side comparison.

The shell was a composite of maple and poplar. Early models were 3 ply, but later models were 5 ply. Both had maple reinforcing rings. Originally, the interiors were sprayed with a flat gray sealant. Later models show a light gray speckled treatment.

This drum has skyrocketed in value over the last ten years. But the metal shell model has not kept pace. In any case, the Powertone is extremely versatile and over the years more and more drummers are discovering what a fine snare drum it is.

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