Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Rogers Brass Lug Dynasonic

The Rogers Dynasonic Snare Drum was, depending on who you  talk  to, the epitome of American Snare drum manufacturing.  It was  the flagship snare drum for the company and it was advertised as :"the drum with the smile built in." Ads also stated that the,  " Rogers Dyna-Sonic's got  it! You get it, too ". This referred to the drum's pinpoint definition, choke free sound, and, according to Rogers, simple snare adjustment.

The drum quickly became identified with Rogers main endorsers. These included  Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Cozy Cole, and Jack Sperling. Indeed, Rob Cook, author of the Rogers Book, talks extensively about Ben  Strauss, the head of the company, consulting with Buddy Rich to build the most sensitive snare drum possible.

The whole idea was to have the snares wires float against the snare head, rather then be pressed up against it.The metal bridge allowed this to occur and added stability to the whole snare mechanism. The feeling among Rogers engineers was that the snare wires would vibrate more freely, thus be more sensitive. Or at least, that was the theory.

The pictured beauty is 50 years old. She is  one of  finest examples of an early Brass Dynasonic. She has the heavy brass shell, the drawn brass lugs and the swivo-matic perma tension strainer. Collectors refer to this strainer as the clockface strainer. She also has the original steel " Tall Hoops." that early Rogers drums were fitted with.  The lugs, though beautiful, tended to crack and they were a weakness with this drum. She still has her original snare head. This model came in 5 x 14 and 6 1/2 x 14 sizes,  in either a wood or brass shell.  List price on this cupcake was 150.00, a princely sum in 1962. It was clearly one of most expensive snare drums of its time.

Later models substituted the steel beavertail lugs  for the brass ones. Many of these later models were made and it's not difficult to find them at  very reasonable prices.  But this only applies to the brass models.  The wood shell models are much rarer and very, very expensive.This sweetheart is not as rare, but you don't  see them everyday, particularly at this age and in this condition.

One thing is for sure about the Dyna. No other drum created as much controversy as this one did at its inception. You either loved it, or you hated it. And as for its simple snare adjustment? For many drummers, this was the joke of the century.

 And the arguments continue to the present day.  Pointless discussions about snare tension, head selection, and the like abound  wherever drummers gather.  The real story is this. The Dyna is versatile and can be used in a variety of musical settings. Finicky yes, but one great snare drum,

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