The back-story: Just recently, I made up my mind to make a video that featured many of the brass drums on the market, because I really believed that people cared how these drums compared with each other. The video was shot and revealed, and met with great response and some excellent feedback, so the next logical question was, "what are we comparing next?" It was at this time that we decided to do an aluminum video, and to my surprise was contacted by Vukan at Oriollo drums. I didn't know much about his drums, but had seen some pictures of his spun aluminum on Facebook and was impressed with the look and feel of them. He said to me, "We have to get a phantom in your next comparison video!" and I was thrilled to oblige. We agreed that the phantom would claim a spot in the comparison video, but I also liked the idea of doing a product demo on the drum itself. Vukan had three shells on hand, asked me which one I liked (hard to choose, I liked them all!), and had the drum in the mail early that next week. Arrival/Unboxing: There was little things about receiving this drum that really caught my attention. This is the first drum I have ever received in the mail (out of many) that had Styrofoam inserts cut out to the shape of the drum to really hold it in place while shipping. It's nice to know that when you are ordering a drum all the way from Serbia, its going to be protected until it gets to you. I unpacked the drum and was ready to go. How it's made: The same attention to detail that was in the shipping is in the details of how this drum is made. It is easy to see how much thought and care Vukan is putting into his drums. First off, the finish of the drum…wow…I have seen a few anodized metal shells here and there, but this drum is a work of art. It is really an eye catcher on the stand. One of my favorite things about this drum is how Vukan carried the anodized finish into the interior of the drum. It just makes me smile to look inside and see the finish in there. Vukan has developed his own lug design which he makes in house, and they are functional, unique, but also have a classic elegant look to them which I really like. He sent this drum with standard triple flange hoops and a beer tap strainer. I setup my strainer by tying knots into the cord and then hooking them in the strainer, similar to the way joyful noise does their strainer, so it's easy to remove the snares if I want to change the reso head. I will say, this is very tricky to do with standard snare cord and much easier with a thicker dress shoelace. The beer tap is small and looks great on this drum. Its smooth and functional. The edges are butter smooth and everything is as it should be on a high quality drum. No build issues on this drum. It looks great with single flange too! The Sound: My first experience really playing this drum was a right after I got it in the mail. It practically went from the box to the gig. I used it in a large auditorium with full PA and in-ear system. In the past, I have used my Gretsch aluminum and a joyful noise luminary and had issues with the drum feeling dead or causing some troublesome ring with the Gretsch…but the Phantom jumped right in and performed much better than I expected with such minimal time to dial it in. There are sound and feel qualities that really cause me to gravitate towards this drum. This drum feels very alive. Its incredibly sensitive, the most sensitive out of the five I recently demoed. The rolls on it are incredibly smooth…and you can hear this in the comparison video. It's articulate and breathy and reminds me of the reasons I like drums like the Joyful Noise TKO. It also has a very prominent and punchy crack that cuts really well. It has a little more ring than some of the other aluminums I have owned, but always a musical ring and never a dissonant ring when tuned correctly…and I welcome it…ring helps create energy in a mix, and its easy to tame, but difficult to create in a drum that is not producing it. IMO, a wide-open drum should ring a little bit. The phantom sounds full, but I will be further experimenting with a two-ply emperor, a common practice for me on shallower drums, I think this will add more low-end to the sound, while still retaining its sensitivity…making it exceptionally balanced across the eq spectrum. Summing it up: So there are a lot of aluminum drums on the market, and a lot of choices. I currently own three aluminum drums including this Oriollo, a Gretsch SSB, and an acro. These are all great drums, but the phantom does something for me that the others don't...and it's for this reason it's my favorite aluminum I've played. Aluminum can have a very broad and wide sound, and often there isn't very much breath and high end sparkle for lack of a better word to that sound. Aluminum works so well for so many because of its low natural pitch, but when I sit behind the phantom, it is almost like It sounds like an aluminum but plays like a brass. It is so full of energy and sensitivity…and having owned extremely high end aluminum drums that I didn't even end up liking…for Oriollo to be offering this drum at this price point ($419) is pretty great to me. Check out the phantom in action here: and here: And check out Vukan's drums at www.oriollo.com!