Each of us knows at least one person we think very warmly of and have good associations with although we don’t know them in person. They simply inspire our trust and affection and seem somehow close. For me, apart from my family and friends, one of such people is the late Mr. Zygmunt Szpaderski.
Although I have never met him, nor have I ever played any of the drum kits he made, every once in a while I feel the urge to write something about this good spirit of Polish drummers in the past.
This text is basically a presentation of a jazz kit from Mr. Szpaderski’s shop, which found its way to our store a few years ago. It is one of Szpaderski’s earlier kits, dated at the late1960s. The kit is fully original and complete, it even has original heads and badges with a phone number (!!!). It is one of the two sets in such excellent condition that I have seen in my entire life, which makes me think of donating it to the drum museum in Hungary as they have similar exhibits on display.
The shell sizes are: 8″ x 12″ (rack tom), 16″ x 16″ (floor tom), 14″ x 20″ (kick drum).
All the shells are built from unknown plywood and have enforcement rings painted green on the inside. Each shell has a company badge also including the address and phone number. The floor tom and the rack tom are equipped with heads made from a material resembling synthetic leather. The rims on the toms are similar to Fat Tone Hoops, the tension rod heads have a single slot and are driven by a flat-bladed screwdriver, while the toms are equipped with an internal muffler each.
The finish on the shells is a very nice, cherry red wrap with visible smeared patterns and stains underneath. The whole instrument presents itself in a solid and aesthetic way despite its age.
Obviously, it is no Maple Custom and it doesn’t sound like a million bucks, but I have come across the following opinion on the Internet:
“I regularly play my gigs on a Szpaderski kit and it’s cool. Actually, nobody believes it’s a Szpaderski. Maybe it’s an exceptional instrument, maybe it’s the renovation I have done. Or is it just that Szpaderski ain’t as bad as they say? ;)”.
Exactly, not as bad as they say… Until next time!!!
Text and photos by Mateusz Wysocki
Mateusz Wysocki is known to many Drummers and Drummerettes in Poland from his work at the Avant Drum Shop (based in Poznań, Poland). As of this year, he has started his own business dealing solely with vintage drums, which is called MW-Vintage. He is also an active drummer, currently touring and recording with the band Neons of 101, as well as a lover of all things vintage as far as drum kits, snare drums and hardware are concerned.Share