Category: Drums

  • Bill Platt Signature Snare Drum From Tama

    I haven’t spent much time frequenting orchestra pits, but if this new snare from Tama is typical of the gear classical percussionists get to play, I shall have to dust off the tux, dress shoes, and fancy stick bag. Here we have a brass-shelled beaut that belongs to Bill Platt, who was the principal percussionist (aka “chief buzz-roller”) at the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops.

    The drum has a couple of interesting features that I haven’t seen on a drum-set snare. First up are its “freedom lugs” and claw hooks, which when loosened can be tilted back to release the drumhead. This allows for quick head changes without completely removing the tension rods. Very cool.

    The drum also has three different sets of snare wires that can be individually adjusted for different sounds. Also very cool.

    Not sure how those two features would actually translate to louder kit playing, but I’m definitely intrigued, especially about the freedom lugs. I would imagine that rock drummers for example have more of a need to change heads than classical percussionists do. Perhaps though the lugs aren’t as sturdy or hold tuning as well for heavy-sticked playing.

    Not sure, but gimme gimme.

  • DW Turns 50

    Drum Workshop is 50 years old this week, and they are celebrating with a bunch of live events in Santa Monica, CA. Because most of us sadly are not in or around that particularly delightful beach-adjacent locale, you can also sign up for live streams of the events. Today’s clinic features DW co-founder Don Lombardi and drum superstars Terry Bozzio and Thomas Lang. After you sign up, check out at the link above the really swank timeline of DW’s history as a drum and hardware maker.

    The 50th anniversary drum set is drool worthy as usual (perhaps “DW” actually stands for “drool worthy”?). It’s a 6-piece shell pack made of persimmon and spruce. Sizes include 8″ x 10″ and 9″ x 12” mounted toms, 12″ x 14” and 14″ x 16” floor toms, an 18″ x 22” kick, and a 6.5″ x 14” snare. The shell hardware is an “antique gold” that I really dig. Looks great with the “burnt toast burst” lacquer finish. Only 100 kits will be made, so get your wallet ready.

  • Roland Celebrates 50 Years With New Concept Drums

    Roland turns the big 5-0 this year, and they are celebrating with a new e-drum concept called the D-Flux. The triangular pads look a lot like Roland’s Alpha drums, the company’s first foray into electronic bangables way back in 1985.

    Roland Alpha Drums circa 1985

    The D-Flux, however, will build on all of Roland’s considerable experience and success with the sounds and mesh pads of its venerable V-Drum series. The really interesting part of the new D-Flux is its take on the kick drum—now essentially two horizontal belts that purportedly replicate the dynamic feel of a drumhead.

    I’m intrigued for sure. The triangle-shaped pads do make sense in terms of saving space (you can nestle them right against each other), but I still profoundly love the look of Roland’s gold-standard V-Drums, especially the Acoustic Design series. It could just be that my old-ass eyes can’t see the future very well.

    The D-Flux isn’t for sale yet or perhaps ever, but it is supposed to be out on a “global tour” where some lucky drummers can get sticks on it.

    Roland has also put together a retrospective of their e-drums. Though clearly a marketing piece, it’s still a good read if you are interested in some of the major moments in the history of electronic drums.

    More pics and a vid of the D-Flux below.

  • Premier Turns 100 and Unveils New Drums

    Premier has been making drums since 1922 (interestingly, the same year that saw the creation of Gummy Bears, the malted milkshake, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby), and for a good bit of time in the ’60s, Premier was the drum of choice for first-rate stickstuds like Mitch Mitchell and Keith Moon.

    The company fell on less stellar times and was eventually purchased in 2021 by the British gear retailer Gear4music…which seems, frankly, quite weird and worrisome. Kind of like if Ludwig was acquired by Guitar Center. Would that be a trustworthy union? Would they actually continue to make good drums, or would they just produce some cut-rate percussion pablum to bolster profits?

    We haven’t a clue what Premier’s P&L statements look like, but the company has just released some new gear that does inspire faith. Brace yourself for the drum porn!

    First up is the Artist Club 100, a 4-piece compact kit finished in classic British Racing Green. Sizes include the following:

    • 20″ x 8″ bass drum
    • 10″ x 6″ rack tom
    • 13″ x 11″ floor tom
    • 13″ x 5.5″ snare drum

    Next up is the Genista 100SE, a 6-piece, all-birch shell pack with a tri-band finish. The lugs on these guys are unique and cool. The kit includes the following sizes:

    • 22″ x 18″ bass drum
    • 10″ x 7″ rack tom
    • 12″ x 8″ rack tom
    • 14″ x 14″ floor tom
    • 16″ x 16″ floor tom
    • 14″ x 5.5″ snare

    And finally, we have the Della-Porta 100 snare drum. It’s handmade in the UK and limited to only 100 units. The shell is walnut and comes in one size, a 14” x 5”. 

  • The World’s Largest Bass Drum

    …is 55 inches and is called Big Bertha II. The first Big Bertha was a measly 34.5 inches.

    The new drum was custom made for the University of Texas’s Longhorn Band. Clearly it is brought out to terrorize visiting teams.

    But the real question here: what could Bonham have done with this big-ass beaut?

  • Anderson .Paak Snares From Ludwig for Sell on Reverb

    This here is one seriously sexy drum menage a trois. Anderson .Paak partnered up with Ludwig to create a signature snare line called the Pee .Wee. It includes a 5″ x 14″ and a 6.5″ x 14″ that you can buy right now exclusively at Reverb for $799 and $849, respectively. Each drum is limited to only 250 units, so time is not on your side if you want a piece of .Paak to…ummm…bang.

    The drums look quite cool—nuanced and textured and playful and a little unexpected in the really good way, just like .Paak’s music. Check out the images and the great promo video. I hope more companies and artists do similar marketing vids in the future. It’s nice to see and hear the drum in action and get some laughs along the way.

  • Ringo’s Ludwigs Sell for Over 2 Million Bucks

    Got a few extra millions in Apple stock or Bitcoin? Well, you are too late, you rich bastard, to put in the winning bid on Ringo’s original 1963 Ludwigs. The famous kit was purchased yesterday by the owner of the NFL Colts for $2.25 million.

    Happily, you can still purchase your very own set of new Black Oyster Pearl Ludwigs for only 3 grand or so, but there is absolutely no guarantee you’ll ever record a hit song like “Can’t Buy Me Love” or “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

  • New Mapex MPX Birch Snare

    It’s 13” x 6”, it’s limited edition, it’s lacquered in a super sexy and slightly dangerous “Transparent Midnight Black,” and it can be all yours for only around 150 bucks—a great deal just in time for Christmas.

    It would make a particularly bitchin’ side snare for a Raven kit if you or the drummer in your life is lucky enough to have one.

  • Mapex’s “The Raven” Drum Kit

    More new gear from Mapex, and we definitely ain’t complaining. Nicknamed “The Raven,” this new kit is part of the Meridian Black series for good reason: black shells inside and out, black hardware, and black heads.

    The shells are a hybrid maple and birch that Mapex says “crank out low and dark tones.” Sizes include a gigantic 22″ x 20″ kick, 14″ x 12″ and 16″ x 14″ floor toms, and a 12″ x 8″ rack. The snare is 14″ x 6″.

    Only a limited number of kits will be made available in North America, so we might have to fight it out—Lord of the Flies style—to get one.

  • Tama’s New Mike Portnoy Signature Snares

    Hmm, the “new” part on Portnoy’s 12-inch snare appears to be a badge that you can read if the drum is upside down. There is also a legit new 14-inch model with the same funky badge. No word yet on pricing, but hopefully it’s exactly the same as the old model. Paying more money for a new badge totally blows.

  • PDP’s Blackout Snare Drums

    PDP, the company that pretty much turned the drum industry on its head by first offering affordable maple-shell drums, has just added some new snares to its line of inexpensive bangables. The Blackout series features, as you likely guessed from its cryptic name, a super slick black-on-black maple lacquered shell. Models are available in the following sizes: 6″ x 10” (retail $218.99), 4″ x 13” (retail $272.99), 5″ x 14” (retail $272.99), and 6″ x 14”(retail $272.99). Each drum also comes outfitted with a side-to-side throw-off, oval lugs, and Remo heads.

    These snares look so cool, we’re going to go ahead and start a rumor: when is the full Blackout kit coming?

  • Mapex Horizon Fastpack for Drummers on the Go

    Drum roadies, beware. Mapex has just introduced its Horizon Fastpack drum set, a portable kit that aims to set the standard for great-sounding, easy-to-load-in, and easy-to-load-out drums. The set includes a 20″ x 12″ bass drum, 8″ x 6″ and 10″ x 7″ rack toms, a 12″ x 12″ floor tom, and a 13″ x 5″ snare drum. The shells are constructed using a combination of basswood and birch plies for outstanding tone. The drums are also outfitted with a durable, high-gloss black covering, and the mounted toms feature Mapex’s Isolated Tom Mount System (ITS). Some 310-series hardware completes the kit.

    But what use is having a “portable” drum set if you don’t have something to lug it around in? Mapex thought about that too and put together a complementary set of Fastpack drum bags. The bass drum and snare fit into a padded rolling bag with wheels. The 8”, 10”, and 12” toms fit into a padded bag with a convenient shoulder strap. A durable, easy-to-carry bag is provided for the hardware too.

    So what we got here from Mapex’s Horizon Fastpack appears to be a kit that lets you actually spend more time making music with your drums and less time moving them around and setting them up.

  • New Pearl Limited-Edition Mahogany Shell Pack

    Ah, just in time to take advantage of recession-era economics, Pearl has unveiled a limited-edition shell pack that retails for $3,399—or about 1,100 extra-value meals at McDonald’s. But, hey, who needs food when you can score a sweet 4-piece in African mahogany? The available drums, all finished in a red mahogany fade, include a 22″ x 18″ bass drum, 10″ x 8″ and 12″ x 9″ toms, and a 16″ x 16″ floor tom. The toms feature chrome super hoops, aluminum optimount tom holders, and Remo clear ambassador heads. Only 30 of the shell packs will be available in the U.S., so start tightening your belt.

  • Get a Free Rack Tom From Ludwig

    In honor of its 100th-anniversary year (and perhaps in concession to depression-era economics), Ludwig is announcing the “6/4/5 Program,” which allows up-and-coming players without a whole lot of cash to get a bigger kit. For a limited time, all new Epic, Element Lacquer, and Element series 5-piece sets will include an additional rack tom for free. Three “6/4/5” shell packages are available in each series, with MSRPs ranging from $755 for the Element series, $1,045 for the Element Lacquer, and $1,270 for the Epic line.

  • Steven Adler Gets a New Drum Set

    We knew all that face time on Celebrity Rehab and Sober House was going to pay off for Steven: he just scored (err…um…) a new kit courtesy of Rikki Rockett’s Rockett Drum Works.