Finding the right kit that fits your needs and playing style is such an important part of being a drummer. It can help you define your sound and develop a personal brand.
The problem is that most big companies have their own standard kits. The dimensions and configuration are set in stone, which might not work for everyone. So, if you find yourself in similar shoes, specialized custom drums companies can build custom drum kits for you.
Let’s take a look at some more companies that specialize in custom drums.
C&C Drum Co. is a Missouri, US-based custom drums shop that supplies handcrafted custom drums in the USA, Europe, and Australia. They are one of the more well-known shops with many indie artists backing them.
C&C has taken their most-ordered drums and favorite looks and turned them into retail lines. You can also hand-pick your own drums, but it might cost you a bit more. Also, they have excellent national and international shipping.
2. Pork Pie
Pork Pie drums started when a guy called Bill Detamore started making drums as a hobby. He continued making handcrafted drums and turned it into what is now a company known for making great custom drums.
The company is located in California, US, and their products include USA Custom, Little Squealer, Hip Pig, and Acrylic drums. They also do solid thrones and neat accessories like stick holder, drum keys, and drum bags.
Udrums or the Underground Drum Company has been running shop from Ontario, Canada since 1994. Their specialty includes brilliant-sounding and great-looking snares drums.
Udrum has wood, metal, and acrylic snares. So, if you are living in Canada and are looking to up your snare game, Udrum might make you a satisfied customer.
4. A&F Drum Co.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, A&F Drums blends a vintage look with modern sounds to bring you sleek-looking drums. All of their drums are handcrafted and are engraved by the best-known engraver of all time, John Aldridge.
The drums look fantastic, sound incredible, but are also expensive. A&F calls their drums luxury drums for a reason. They make club kits, single-tension kits, field kits, raw brass, copper, and nickel over brass kits. That’s not all, though. Their catalog also includes custom cymbals of many shapes and sizes. Even square ones.
5. Precision Drum
Precision Drum Company is a family-owned business based out of New York. It was started in 1961 as a custom drum maker, but in the 80s, started to supply Keller shells and added other hardware to their list.
Their range of products includes custom drums, drum shells, drum parts, drum wraps, maple hoops, and other hardware. Just to get an idea of their reputation, they have an endless list of shell buyers, which include Ludwig, Tama, Pearl, DW, Mapex, and many more.
6. Anchor Drums
Anchor Drums is a one-man shop run by a guy called Shawn Skipper in North Caroline, USA. For the last 26 years, Shawn has been fiddling with drums, restoring and building them. He is a perfectionist and takes great care of his craft as all drums out of Anchor Drums go through him.
Anchor takes contemporary sounds and gives them a classic look. The shop has series of wooden drums with custom build options. They also do restoration work.
7. SJC Custom Drums
SJC is one of the most famous custom drum companies today and that’s purely because of their great-sounding drum kits. Based in Massachusetts, US, they are endorsed by many professional drummers. They even have their artist line of drums.
Their products go from “kinda” custom to “ultimate” custom. They have decently affordable drum kits and ship worldwide.
In the custom drums-making business since 2004, Truth Drums have become one of the best brands in the world. From their shop in Oregon, they sell excellent wooden, hybrid, and metal drums.
Truth drums have stood the test of many tours and recording sessions, so you know your dream drums are in the hands of experts.
9. Noble and Cooley
Another company hailing from Massachusetts, but Noble and Cooley have one aspect where they stand out. They have been making handcrafted drums since 1854! Their manufacturing process is very traditional and anti-mass production but works.
They use home-grown wood for their shells and sell a range of incredible snares and drum sets. Some legendary artists and albums have employed the sound of Noble and Cooley.
GMS has been making world-class drums from New York since 1987. They sell custom snares, kits, and hardware, which result in nice-sounding drums. Their drums have been featured by many pop artists and rock drummers.
Odery Drums is a Brazilian company, making great, dependable custom drum kits. They have a ridiculous spectrum of custom drums, which also extend to other percussive instruments like timbale, zabumba, and octobans. They ship everything from shells to hardware internationally.
How Much is a Custom Drum Set?
A custom drum set is a very special possession for a drummer. You carefully build a tailor-made drum kit by choosing your preferred sizes, shells, and hardware. If you add in the cost of just the materials with the labor required for each drum, naturally, the cost of a custom drum kit becomes quite high.
A lot of factors are taken into account in the final price of custom drums. A basic one can start from $2000 and can go anywhere north of $5000. Now, that’s a hefty price considering you can get a high-end off-the-shelf acoustic kit from a more mainstream company for the same.
Using Pre-Built Shells
There’s a debate regarding what is a truly custom drum shop. Some manufacturers like Keller Shells use pre-built drum shells and put together the hardware and the setup. Others like C&C build custom kits from scratch, including procuring wood for shells.
Either option is fine as they are. Custom kits using pre-built shells might take lesser time to assemble as compared to the other. Whereas, if you are employing a company that builds their shells, then your kit can be pretty much whatever you want. It all comes down to you.
Shopping Local when Buying Custom Drums
Custom drum makers are artisans who put a lot of energy, time, and resources into their craft. The whole idea behind custom drums is taking the power away from big companies, and using drums that are made specifically for you.
So, if you have a good custom drum shop within reach, consider supporting them. Or go for a company on the list above. You will feel great by reaching out and the results you get.
Can You Build Your Own?
Theoretically, yes. There are two ways you can build your kit. Either buy a set of shells from Keller Shells and add your hardware or build the whole kit from the ground up, including the shells.
Of course, it’s not easy. Particularly the second option. You will have to dedicate a lot of time learning the process, then collecting the raw materials, and then the actual building. If you’re not an experienced builder, your kit might end up in a blunder.
Every drummer wants to have a sound of their own. Custom kits are a good way to have that. These days, there are plenty of shops that can help you build the perfect kit for yourself. You just have to know what you want.