Vintage View - Davoli
Vintage View - Davoli
Davoli drums were made in or near Parma, Italy by a company formed by a chap called Athos Davoli which was also responsible for the production of amplifiers, rotary speaker cabinets, guitars and very early synths.
It’s difficult to discover anything about the drums other than the fact I remember that Mick Tucker from the Sweet used a double bass drum kit and since they were called ‘Break 72’ they were probably launched in 1972.
The unusual sets had metal shells with oversized bellies like the Duplex drums. These had no nutboxes which meant the tension screws went down inside the drums. Their counterhoops were oversized steel collars with a triple-flanged top edge and these went over the head and extended a couple of inches down the side of the drum.
From a distance they resembled Arbiter’s Autotunes which came out in 1975 or the Leedy/Ludwig’s which came out twenty years earlier in 1951. There was a corresponding collar at the open end of the concert toms to finish it off and make it look more attractive. The head itself sat in the usual way on top of the shell and inside that collar.
The Davoli shells were laminated metal and the company boasted they could be easily welded if anything went wrong. Their outsides were stove enamelled and I’ve only seen sets in Celeste Blue and the red, which if my memory serves was the finish that Mick had.
Along with everything else about Davoli the sizes are difficult to get any info on other than the fact that the bass drum had a 24” belly and took a 22” head. The toms were simply designated small, medium and large but the floor tom appears to be 14 x 16” and the others from an uneducated guess probably have 12 and 13” diameters, all single headed like the other toms with adjustable internal dampers. Eventually though they were available with double heads. The snare is more bog-standard with a 14 x 5” shell (possibly a 13” head?).
If the drums were attractive ,the rack system they were mounted to certainly wasn’t. It looked like what the Americans would call a ''science project'': flat pieces of steel attached to the underside of the bass drum lay flat on the floor with circular metal feet to level it and a series of spigots sticking up for the legless hi hat, snare drum stand and the most peculiar double bent cymbal stands. It looked very like someone had knocked it up in their garage and I’m assuming it was produced in 1972.
The disappearing double tom holder owes a bit to every other manufacturer of the era. They made bass pedals too as well as a ‘Charleston’ hi hat both with two-piece rubber sheathed footplates. The bass pedal had a single post and its expansion spring would appear to have had the ability to swivel above or below the axle.
Again I’ve scoured the internet for information on Davoli and there simply ain’t any. I’ve even tried the Sweet’s website to find a pic of Mick Tucker with the Italian drums. All I can is tell you is he had two of the large bass drums which he placed alongside one another (not at an angle) which I’m guessing had a profound effect on his wedding tackle.
If anyone has any more information about Davoli then we''d be very pleased to hear from you.
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