Vintage 1960s Hayman Vibrasonic Gold Ingot Pacemaker Outfit (12/16/20/14)
Well, well, well, isn’t this a little different from the usual slew of Ludwig tubs!? And yes, before you say anything, we know this isn’t strictly a Pacemaker Outfit. Hayman were a little ahead of the times when it comes to buying drums in a modular fashion. All the companies did it but heavily pushed pre-made sets. Hayman’s philosophy was more, “Tell us what you want!?” Well the previous owner of this kit clearly did! 12″ x 8″ rack, 16″ x 16″ floor tom, 20″ x 13″ kick (yes, 13″ deep, very British) and a matching 14″ x 5.5″ snare – tasty! Gold Ingot too! Great finish.
Hayman Drums, some argue, are the best us Brits had to offer at the time. We certainly agree with that statement. Hayman kits stand head and shoulders above other old British drums at the time in terms of the sound. Very American sounding. Born out of losing the U.K. Ludwig dealership rights, Ivor Arbiter saw an opportunity cut into the market: a set of drums based on Ludwig design, that sounded American too but made in the U.K.. They look good, they sound bloody good – so what’s not to like!? Thin, three ply Birch shells with reinforcement rings, sprayed with multiple layers of Polyurethane or ‘Vibrasonic coating’ meant the natural resonance of the drums featured an enhanced projection and attack. Just tweaking that Ludwig formula, coupled with what was seen as contemporary good-looks, led to a swift rise of Hayman drums to prominence.
The snare drum has the CRACK and cut of a metal-shell, the kick has all of the rumble and then the toms sing and BOOM just like you’d hope. Seeing, or more importantly, hearing these Hayman drums certainly brings a tear to our eyes. Pretty tidy, all original, cymbal arm still included and even the original tom heads intact (just about) – this is quite a set of drums.
As mentioned above, these drums are in pretty good nick. They’ve been gigged so there’s some gigwear, to be expected from a fifty year old drum kit. The kick spurs, t-rods and some of the lugs show their age but we haven’t even ran a duster over this kit, it’s been well looked after – and well played! We’ve thrown some fresh heads on the snare and toms but we had to leave those original Hayman heads on there. There’s only really two things worth mentioning in terms of this kit’s condition: a good bit of pedal rash on the kick hoop – obviously – and, there’s an additional hole underneath the snare thro. We can guess that there was maybe a different strainer fitted at some point but it was unfortunately one question we forgot to ask the previous owner since there is a pristine, original George Hayman thro covering it so perfectly. But that’s it, the rest of the kit is all good; cymbal arm, tom legs, the 2232 tom tom holder – all original, solid and tidy. The bearing edges are all tidy – original rounded 45 degree, similar to that which Ludwig employed in the 1970s themselves. So, aesthetics, tone, hardware, it’s all good. The only other thing worth mentioning, well known to Hayman collectors, is the interior of the drums. That Vibrasonic coating. Polyurethane dries hard. A miscalculation by the makers of these brilliant drums: wood is like a living thing. It ages and responds to the whims of it’s environment. Spray anything inflexible onto that kind of surface, it will crack. Every Hayman Vibrasonic drum features cracks in the white Vibrasonic coating on the shell interior. This doesn’t effect the sound of the drums, is not fragile and will not get worse. We understand that many of you will already know this but we feel it’s always worth the full explanation for the uninitiated. So with that aside, that’s get down to the detail!
Rack Tom – Great condition. Yes there’s a little age on this drum when you get up close but there’s nothing we can really point to – we did say it was tidy! And there we go, description complete! The things that are good about this drum are worth talking about. Lovely, original, rounded 45 degree bearing edges. Original Hayman Baseball Bat Damper, slotted tension rods, original hoops and interior serial number sticker tidily intact! Original ‘George Hayman’ batter head, made by Remo, pretty worn but still singing and worth keeping hold of. We’ll throw in a new batter for this and the floor tom, anyway. Badge reads ‘George Hayman Vibrasonic PAT PEND.’. Serial number #A 1113. Ready to go.
Floor Tom – Great condition. Similar to the rack tom. A little age showing on the hoops. Hole in that original Hayman batter head but again, we will throw a new batter head in. Everything else about this drum is great, Vibrasonic interior, bearing edges, Hayman Baseball Bat Damper, slotted rods, etc.. Same badge as the rack, and the rest of the drums. Solid floor tom boxes, original legs, serial number #426651. Boom’n!
Bass Drum – Great condition. A little more ware than the other drums. It has similar types of wear on the hardware as the other two – the odd scuff, ding, mainly on the t-rods, but again, nothing serious. The odd scuff and ding. The hoops haven’t been touched up or anything. There are three small pin holes underneath where the rack tom hangs – invisible until you get right on top of the kit (as can be seen, or as can *not be seen on ‘Money Shot 2’). Remo heads are old and the batter has traces of mole skin – an old boy trick. As we mentioned before, there’s a brilliant bit of pedal rash on the batter hoop, even the inlay is good and chewed! After that, we’re all good; original Vibrasonic interior, solid spurs and rail, tidy bearing edges. No serial number in this one unfortunately. Another thump’n tub!
Snare Drum – Great condition. Again, similar to the rack tom. As mentioned before, there’s an extra drill hole underneath the strainer. Everything else about this drum is right, Vibrasonic interior, bearing edges, Hayman Baseball Bat Damper, etc.. Same badge again. Smooth thro, smooth damper, serial number #A 0888. Crack’n!
- 12″ x 8″ 196os Hayman Vibrasonic Gold Ingot Rack Tom #A 1113
- 16″ x 16″ 196os Hayman Vibrasonic Gold Ingot Floor Tom #426651
- 20″ x 13″ 196os Hayman Vibrasonic Gold Ingot Kick Drum w/ 2232 Tom Holder & 2231 Cymbal Arm
- 14″ x 5.5″ 196os Hayman Vibrasonic Gold Ingot Snare Drum #A 0888
Taking all of the features into account, this drum kit sits roughly in 1969. The very first Hayman drums were badged ‘George Hayman‘, the brand was quickly shortened to just Hayman. Initially the shells were composed of Mahogany but again, were swiftly change to Birch. These are ‘George Hayman’ drums with Birch shells. These two hallmarks, combined with other features, such as the first generation bass drum claws, put this around 1969.
The best Hayman finish? We’re certainly into it! You’re looking at the whole package here. Warm, boomy vintage American tone, British built, good looks and a far more sensible price tag than some vintage drum sets can command. Tidy, good looking and brilliant sounding – these drums tick every box. Brilliant drums.
Non-UK buyers, please contact us for shipping and payment options.
***This listing is for shell pack only. No other drums or hardware, other than what is listed above, is included with this lot.***