Premier Drum Company name only?

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Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  Mark [Admin] on Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:33 am

A guy I was talking to from Aussie the other day told me that premier had shut it's main factory in england and almost all production is now done in Asia does anyone know if this is true of not?
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Premier Drum Factory

Post  drumtechnz on Sat May 03, 2008 12:43 am

I was fortunate to visit the factory in Leicester in Sept 06, and although they have down-sized, occupying only half the original premises, they were still, at that time, manufacturing the top-of-the-line Premier Series in-house. All other lines were being based from Asia, imported, and distributed from the warehouse. I expect the foreign markets would have been serviced direct from Asia for economic reasons. They were setting up a Premier Museum in the factory, and had a number of very interesting and rare kits and items from their long history.

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  Paradiddlemadness on Sat May 03, 2008 3:28 am

Didn't Yamaha own Premier during the 80's as Premier had gone through financial difficulties?
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  Mark [Admin] on Tue May 06, 2008 2:23 am

Yeah, they did buy them in the late 80's and updated all the hardware some would argue that some of the best drums were made during that time. I have a circa 83 premier black shadow that is outstanding in terms of quality. I still really like the genista and signia series but I think the one thing that has always shot premier in the foot is the fact the keep changing the badge and drum series never allowing the brand to be built up. They need to bring back the 'P' badge!
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Premier Yamaha

Post  Bonham on Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:00 am

Mate Im pretty sure Premier is now owned by Yamaha, I bloke I know in a drum shop has just been through the factory as well as the Paiste factory. I will find out during the week & get back to you, cheers.

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  firetomysoul on Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:46 am

hope not, i like my premier even if it is old and people disregard it as cheap and nasty. Its still original compared to the thousands of Pearl poo-exports and tama swinging-poo-stars around. and its undeniably retro with its over square toms Very Happy
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  BP28 on Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:28 pm

I've got an old kit that I sold to my dad in 1981 in return for a one way to australia (but I've got it back now). It had previously been used in Palmerston North by Bill Pink at the Steeple - at the time the top Jazz gig. It's so old that the toms are pre metric sizes, and will only take old premier skins - but it still sounds FANTASTIC!!!

B.

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  Mark [Admin] on Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:30 am

BP28 wrote:I've got an old kit that I sold to my dad in 1981 in return for a one way to australia (but I've got it back now). It had previously been used in Palmerston North by Bill Pink at the Steeple - at the time the top Jazz gig. It's so old that the toms are pre metric sizes, and will only take old premier skins - but it still sounds FANTASTIC!!!

B.

Pics!!!!!!
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  BP28 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:40 am

It's still in Palmy and I don't get their often, but will certainly do so next time I can.

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  granstar on Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:22 am

Check out 6 for Yamaha details

http://www.premier-percussion.com/history.asp

Anytime anyone mentions Premier, i can still feel the weight of my snare on the sling and the tension lug digging into my leg (no fancy leg rests or carriers in my day) Laughing
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  BP28 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:22 pm

I had a look at the premier history and recognised a number of the photos . I used to collect drum brochures and should still have my old Premier ones somewhere.

The kit I am talking about is pre lokfast which I thought made it 60's, but the website said lokfast actually started in 1967. Perhaps it took untill the 70's for that series to arrive here. The toms are about 11 & 3/4" and 16 & 1/4" from memory, so probably a round value in centimters (not pre metric as I previously said, but pre standarisation to inches by all the manufacturers). Someone has put a Rogers swivomatic cymbal mount on the BD so it is not in original condidtion anymore unfortunately.

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Premier Yamaha

Post  Bonham on Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:56 am

Top of the line Premier are still made by Premier in the UK however their OEM, overseas market cheaper line is now made in Asia. Yamaha bought Rogers out not Premier so you wont see Premaha's or Yamaprem's in the shop just yet! I own a late 60s Premier Rosewood finish 4pc & it smokes anything new you can buy today.

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  Mark [Admin] on Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:10 am

Yamaha brought premier in the 80's about the time their hardware got heaps better lol. I think they sold ownership again in the 90's but the yamaha/premier relationship saw some of the best kits IMHO.
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Yamaprem's Premaha's & Heads

Post  Bonham on Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:22 pm

I heard from a few people that the workers formed & company & bought the Premier side of it out, I will get onto a contact in the UK & see what info the plonker can give us! Hey what do you lot with vintage kits reckon the best heads to get the true sound from the shell are?

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  Mark [Admin] on Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:45 pm

Depends on the kit, can't go wrong with coated ambassadors on most kits - some kits sound better 'tamed' by a twin ply head like a emporeor or pinstripe.
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  BP28 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:36 pm

I generally prefer thin heads on old kits so they sound as close to the way they would have originally. But really old kits would have had calf heads, and possibly even hand lapped (is that the term - I haven' thought about this for a long time), so they could have been any thickness. Though you don't see many that old around any more!!

Funny thing with drums - and this is just my opinion - that the basics of design have not changed over time. It's still a membrane stretched over a cylander. And if it's good materials, phyiscally well designed, an old drum will sounds just as good as a new one. The differences will be just fashion and cost (choice of the materials driving the sound and end user price) and functionality (heavier hardware etc), and also if new technology allows for the use of new materials, which in turn drive fashion, cost, and functionality. One thing (again just my opinion) is that technology advancements have made the construction of many items more consistent. So whereas in the past there was a gulf between the premium equipment and everything esle, and the premium equoiment was very expensive, these days the 2nd best equipmwnt is of very high quality, and reasonably priced. You will have to spend a lot extra to get a small additional improvement.

Cheers,

B.

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  firetomysoul on Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:45 am

what suprises me is withall the advances in materials made over the last 50 years, nothing still beats a maple kick and snare, i know they did the old composites in the 80's, but other than that the only remaining memoir's is the masterworks carbon ply, which again apparently takes on a very unique sound.

Why not more foray's into the synthetics?
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Tuff gear, Premier, eh

Post  Bill Pink on Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:37 am

BP28 wrote:I've got an old kit that I sold to my dad in 1981 in return for a one way to australia (but I've got it back now). It had previously been used in Palmerston North by Bill Pink at the Steeple - at the time the top Jazz gig. It's so old that the toms are pre metric sizes, and will only take old premier skins - but it still sounds FANTASTIC!!!

B.
Good grief, I can barely believe they are still intact, after my best destructive efforts What a Face I initially used two Premier kits for the Steeple gig, blue sparkle kit upstairs in the house bar and a white pearl kit down in the restaurant which had been owned formerly by Barry Young. Can you please advise which kit you are referring to? Thanks

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  granstar on Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:51 am

Good comment, i feel too many tend to get hung up on the shell. For most drummers, unless you are a professional or studio recording big time, it's the fitting of quality heads and proper tuning that primarily make any drum (with decent bearing edges), sound great.

Drummers need to realise that trying to imitate a drum sound heard on mixed and stardusted recordings, is going to be miles away on a live kit in an acoustic room.
Shell difference is not going to make a big difference, heads will.
The best way to improve a cheap kit, is fit decent heads, you'd be surpised at the difference.

Perhaps there is too much influence from glossy mags about shells with all the hype.


Last edited by granstar on Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:55 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : i hate spellin misteks)
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  firetomysoul on Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:23 am

i disagree, having sat a maple star classic 22x18 next to a birch star classic 22.18 with the same heads there is a noticble difference that can be noticed
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  Mark [Admin] on Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:09 am

yep, a thin shell DW or ayotte with re-rings will sound markedly different than a 6ply yamaha birch drum regardless of head choice. Thin shells with re-rings tend to have a long sustain (note) and are therefore great for the studio whereas thicker shells with no re-rings tend to have a shorter note and cut more which makes them good for live. Just my 2 cents.
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Steeple Drums

Post  BP28 on Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:03 am

I've just seen Bills message from last year.

The drums where a white marine color and had a rogers swivomatic cymbal arm comming off the Bass drum. The front skin has a ludwig logo on it that is I think of a simialr vintage to the kit, or maybe a little younger. Theres a 20" bass drum, the rack tom is (from memory) a little under 12 inches, and the floor a little over 16". But these are in fact centimeter dimensions for everplay skins.

I was always sure it was a kit that I saw Bill playing in the late 70's with John Carson, so If youre still watching this thread Bill, it would be great to hear you confirm it. I piked it up in 1980 in Wellington from a 2nd hand music store in cuba street that had been there of eons, but is no longer. It was a very cool store as I also bought a ludwig supraphonic snare there, and also remember looking very closely at a set of hayman drums.

The premier kit has mostly survived well, but the covering has yellowed and cracked and peeled over time. I have talked to Bruce King and will eventually get it recovered, but for the moment they are remaining in storage.

Do you still have the paiste flat ride? I sat in on your kit at the Steeple one sunday for a jam and thought it was a beauty - that was probably 1979 or maybe 1980.

B.

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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  firetomysoul on Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:30 am

Just found out premier have gone into liquidation?!

Far out, wait for the price hikes on vintage gear now
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  peterbrittenden on Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:43 pm

firetomysoul wrote:Just found out premier have gone into liquidation?!

Far out, wait for the price hikes on vintage gear now

I'd be interested to know where this information comes from. According to their Facebook page and some of the posts on the Mike Dolbear forum they are distinctly still in business. cheers
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

Post  Mark [Admin] on Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Yeah, they are back and relaunching the genista. But everything is made in taiwan and nothing in england.
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Re: Premier Drum Company name only?

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