Stewart “Black Onyx” kits are hard to come by and this was a Kijiji find we picked up in 2014. What really got us on this kit was the fact that it came with a matching 10-lug WOOD snare. Stewart kits typically didn’t come with a wood snare (usually a chrome snare), and when they did…they were usually a 6 or an 8 lug. A 10-lug is a rarity. This kit is still within our collection and doubt it will ever leave our immediate family.
The skins on the kit were all original Stewart, wish is also a rarity for being 50 years old. It’s amazing that these old skins stood the test of time, held up to multiple people, most likely multiple moves and multiple hits of sticks. This kit was my go to kit for a couple of years straight, compared to Ludwigs, Gretsch, Yamaha, Sonor, etc. The warm tone mahogany thick 7-ply shells are among the best drums I have ever heard or played.
With a little time, effort, elbow grease and patience…this kit cleaned up beyond our expectations. Underneath the 50 years of grime, dirt, dust and neglect…these drums hit a sweet spot in the ear.