Vin­tage GEAR trixon

Show-stop­ping Ger­man Trixon kit was de­signed for the great Amer­i­can band leader Lionel Hamp­ton

Rhythm - - NEW GEAR - Words: Ge­off Ni­cholls p ho­tos: James Cump­sty, Si­mon John Show


Trixon’s 1964 cat­a­logue fea­tured a cheesy pic­ture of Bill ‘Rock Around The Clock’ Ha­ley ‘crown­ing’ his then drum­mer Dave Holly, who is sat on a throne be­hind a kit like this one (al­beit in a dif­fer­ent fin­ish). Trixon col­lec­tor ex­traor­di­naire Dave Prince (prince­drums. com) was Googling this very pic­ture when he no­ticed a sim­i­lar kit for sale in the UK. Not only that, but the seller claimed the kit may have been played by Dave Holly in the 1960s.

Al­though the kit was not in the best con­di­tion, Dave was suf­fi­ciently in­trigued to travel to Black­pool in 2015 to view it. Dave re­calls, “I could see that the orig­i­nal (TX14 Aqua­ma­rine Sparkle) wrap had faded so that the three rack toms were dif­fer­ent shades and they would also re­quire new calf heads. The floor tom wrap had also faded and was torn in places. And the chrome had pit­ted quite badly, es­pe­cially on the rack tom as­sem­bly arms.”

Nev­er­the­less Dave bought the kit. “I couldn’t be­lieve that I had found the rare Trixon Speed­fire model 0/700-3 that I’d been search­ing for for years.”

Trixon of­fered 0/700 Speed­fire sets from 1956 to 1970 in var­i­ous guises, al­ways de­fined by the flat-egg bass drum. As Dave ex­plains, this set is the 0/700-3, the ‘3’ de­not­ing three mounted con­cert toms. The drums have Trixon’s ob­long, ribbed ten­sion cas­ings, which took over from the teardrop lugs (seen last month) from around 1963.

The logic be­hind the ex­tra­or­di­nary bass drum (patented by Trixon in 1956) was to join to­gether two bass drums of dif­fer­ent di­am­e­ters. There’s a sim­ple wood par­ti­tion in­side and the flat bot­tom hoop al­lows for two ped­als.

The three con­cert toms are 13"x8¼", 9¼"x7" and 8"x6½" and ar­ranged the ‘wrong’ way around so the top hoops are level when mounted over the slop­ing bass drum.

Ad­ding depth, there is the 20" di­am­e­ter ‘Lionel Hamp­ton At­trac­tion’ floor tom. Its ‘V’ shaped legs pass through the lower cast hoop and slot into the bot­tom lugs, pro­vid­ing an ex­tra strong base. Nim­ble jazz show­man Lionel Hamp­ton could safely jump onto the tom. Next is the 0/701 bass drum, which mea­sures 26"x18¾" and is 13" deep. And com­plet­ing the set is a rare 14"x3" Bop snare drum and orig­i­nal snare stand.

The whole set is such a mag­nif­i­cent rar­ity that Dave de­cided, “to get the kit re-wrapped in blue sparkle and also to re-chrome the rims and both rack tom arm as­sem­blies in or­der to bring the whole set back to life and match­ing once again.

“I have played this drum kit live with a wild and rockin’ band called Norm and the Night­marez and the toms sound full, the rare Bop snare has a great rim-shot to it and the 20" floor tom has a big full sound, be­ing so large. And the drum kit is a real show-stop­per on stage.”

“The toms sound full, the rare Bop snare has a great rim-shot to it, and the 20" floor tom has a bi g full sound, bei ng so large” Owner,Dave Prince

Circa 1963/4

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