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As its name implies, the 14"x61⁄2" Utility snare drum was a basic student workhorse snare from Leedy’s extensive snare drum range. It has the bare minimum of six double-ended tube lugs and flat plate steel hoops, the top one of which is stamped ‘Leedy Utility Model’.
The drum originally came fitted with the small and primitive Utility snare strainer, but this obviously proved too flimsy for a previous owner who swapped it for a relatively recent and reliable Ludwig P-85 with steel snare wires.
The unusually sized 11"x7" mounted tom has single-flanged hoops and paired single-ended Beaver Tail lugs, as on last month’s late-’40s Leedy. The self-aligning Beaver Tails were introduced in 1939 and would identify Leedy drums over the next 30-odd years.
The flange on the steel hoops increases stability and is better suited for pushing down on the flesh hoop of the calf batter head.
A twin-ratcheted mount allows the tom to be positioned at any angle, although it is still clamped to the bass drum hoop and lacks any means for sideways extension.
Vintage Gear continues each month in Rhythm Magazine.