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Square key head tension rods for toms and snares (and in rare instances bass drums).

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Carlton tension rods
Carlton slot head tension rods, circa 1960s or early 70s
Carlton tension rods
A noticeably oversized tall slot head with a wide slot. Possibly used on other UK brands.


Duplex 30s tension rods
Duplex tension rods from a 1920s or 30s snare drum. 12-24 threads, very similar to 1910s Ludwig & Ludwig.


Gretsch tension rods, 1950s-60s. Similar to concurrent Slingerland, matte finish and taller washers
Gretsch tension rods, 1970s-80s. Very similar to Slingerland from the same period.

John Grey

John Grey tension rods
John Grey tension rods, probably 1960s or 70s
John Grey tension rods
Medium height slot head with a slight dome and a shallow but wide slot cut. Likely used on other UK brands as well. 12-24 threads.


Leedy slot head tension rods, 1900s
Leedy slot head tension rods, 10-24 threads. Early 1900s.
Leedy slot head tension rod 10-24 1920s
Leedy slot head tension rod, 1920s
Leedy slot head tension rod 10-24 1920s
One of several slightly different head styles they employed in this era. 10-24 threads.
Leedy 30s 10-24 tension rods
Leedy tension rods, late 1930s. 10-24 threads. These fit some of the last box lugs that Leedy produced.


1912 Ludwig & Ludwig tension rod
Ludwig & Ludwig Band & Orchestra Dum tension rod, 1912
1912 Ludwig & Ludwig tension rod
These very early and very rare tension rods are the only 1/4-20 rods Ludwig ever produced on concert drums. They are likely the same as those on the very first Ludwig Metal Drum snare from 1911.
Ludwig & Ludwig 1910s tension rods
Ludwig & Ludwig 1910s tension rods and washers
Ludwig & Ludwig 1910s tension rods
This head style would be used throughout the Conn era but with a thicker, stepped base.
Leedy & Ludwig Conn era tension rods
Ludwig & Ludwig/Leedy & Ludwig tension rods, late 1920s-50s. Found on other brands as well and perhaps made by an outside company.
Ludwig & Ludwig 1940s tension rods
Ludwig & Ludwig tension rods, late 1940s. Tall square head with no slope at the base, unlike most Conn-era Ludwig rods.
Ludwig tension rods
Ludwig tension rods, 1960s-70s.
Later rods were very similar with taller heads.


Pearl tension rods 1960s MIJ
Pearl tension rods, 1960s-earl 70s. A spartan style used on a wide variety of stencil brands.


Premier tension rods
Premier slot head tension rods, 1960s-70s
Notable for a short threaded section wider than the upper shaft.


rogers tension rods
rogers tension rods, 1950-early 60s
rogers tension rods
Bread & butter lug era. Matte plating, with a diamond-shaped indent on top
rogers tension rods
rogers tension rods, 1960s-70s. Similar to Ludwig but with a steeper pitch on the head


Slingerland 1930s Artist model snare tension rods
Slingerland tension rods from an Artist model snare drum, 1930s
Slingerland 1930s Artist model snare tension rods
Tall square head with a slight taper, no band below the collar.
Slingerland Radio King tension rod head styles
Three different styles of Slingerland Radio King tension rods, 1930s-50s.
Slingerland tension rods 1950s-60s
Slingerland post-Radio King rods, 1950s-60s. Earlier versions were taller, later ones had rounded heads.


Sonor slot head 1/4-20 tension rods
Sonor slot head tension rods from a teardrop lug tom. 1/4-20 threads. Very similar styles are still in use today on their top lines.

Star/Hoshino Gakki/Tama

Star/Hoshino Gakki tension rods
Star/Hoshino Gakki/proto-Tama tension rods, 1960s. Star was alone in using the 5mm-0.9 thread for their toms and snare rods.
Star/Hoshino Gakki tension rods
Another Star tension rod style, presumably later. Shinier finish with a slope at the base of the head. These are still 5mm-0.9 thread.
Star tension rods
Four styles of Star tension rod heads, all are 5mm threads. 1960s and 70s, their precise chronology is unknown.
Tama 80s tension rods
Tama tension rods, late 1970s-90s. By this point the company was called Tama, and they used standard 12-24 threads on their tension rods. This style is similar to a ton of other brands including Ludwig and Rogers.


Trixon tension rods, 1950s-60s.
Trixon tension rods
These are a fine metric thread


wfl tension rods
WFL tension rods, 1930s-40s. Likely made by Walberg & Auge.
WFL tension rods
These WFL rods have a similar contour but a slightly shorter head height. They are likely from an earlier drum.
WFL tension rods
WFL tension rods, 1950s
WFL tension rods
This became the Ludwig design after Conn sold the Ludwig name
Yamaha tension rods
Yamaha tension rods, 1960s-?


Zicos tension rods and lug inserts. 1/4-20 threads.


Zim-Gar tension rods
Tension rods from a Zim-Gar center lug floor tom, 1960s or early 70s. These ones are 6mm threads, 12-24 examples exist as well.