Drum companies that don't make their own shells

SpinaDude

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OK gang, I will post the updated list here and truly apologize to SpinaDude for so blatantly hijacking his thread!! He asked "What companies DON'T make their own shells?" and I turned it into what companies DO! Sorry my brother, I'm normally am very good about not doing that but I flat ran away with your thread, my apologies.

But since were this far down the rabbit hole I will post what we have so far with a bit more clarification... So far we have identified 20 companies that produce their own plied or single board, steam bent shells. I went with these two types of wooden shell construction as we started out talking about wood shell drums specifically and both shell types require very specialized machinery designed for this single purpose. Several stave, segment and hollow builders also use high end CNC mills to produce shells but it is not actually necessary as many skilled woodworkers can produce those types of shells on very simply shop machinery. Heck,
I can produce a stave or segment shell in my garage shop with minimum tools assuming I had the skill set, which I don't have by the way.


We have not deviled into other forms of shell making (Metal, acrylic, Fiberglass, Composite, etc) this is just a wood list and were pretty strong already. All the major brands seem to be producing their own shells in house with the exception of Gretsch, even if it is just for their flagship models and have balance made in Asia. While most of the custom builders and boutique builders look to Keller for their shell source, there are other options in the market as well like Nordic.

So with that in mind, here are the ones we've listed that DO produce their own WOOD shells in a facility they actually own... (again, not counting stave, segment or hollow wood shells OR metal, acrylic, fiberglass, composite )

Ludwig
Sonor
Tama
Yamaha
DW
Pearl
C&C
British
Cadeson
Craviotto
Cask
Stone
Chicago
Eames
Noble & Cooley
Dixon (so Rogers?)
A&F
Mapex
Salt
BSP / Dynamicx
Evetts

Many others actually do produce their own metal snare drum shells from Dunnett & Oriollo to AK and Q as well as a slew of alternate shell drums. But this list is for those that manufacture their own PLY wood or single steam bent board shells. I claim no inside info and have learned a ton already from everyone's input to this list. Think of me as the club secretary ... just trying to keep the notes straight and organized.

It would be fun to start a thread with a master list of all the manufactures and the different types of shells they produce... but this one is very specific.

Ward
Dude, don't apologize, this is great!! I'm learning a ton from you guys. Alla youse as we say in Jersey.
 

D. B. Cooper

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OK gang, I will post the updated list here and truly apologize to SpinaDude for so blatantly hijacking his thread!! He asked "What companies DON'T make their own shells?" and I turned it into what companies DO! Sorry my brother, I'm normally am very good about not doing that but I flat ran away with your thread, my apologies.

But since were this far down the rabbit hole I will post what we have so far with a bit more clarification... So far we have identified 20 companies that produce their own plied or single board, steam bent shells. I went with these two types of wooden shell construction as we started out talking about wood shell drums specifically and both shell types require very specialized machinery designed for this single purpose. Several stave, segment and hollow builders also use high end CNC mills to produce shells but it is not actually necessary as many skilled woodworkers can produce those types of shells on very simply shop machinery. Heck,
I can produce a stave or segment shell in my garage shop with minimum tools assuming I had the skill set, which I don't have by the way.


We have not deviled into other forms of shell making (Metal, acrylic, Fiberglass, Composite, etc) this is just a wood list and were pretty strong already. All the major brands seem to be producing their own shells in house with the exception of Gretsch, even if it is just for their flagship models and have balance made in Asia. While most of the custom builders and boutique builders look to Keller for their shell source, there are other options in the market as well like Nordic.

So with that in mind, here are the ones we've listed that DO produce their own WOOD shells in a facility they actually own... (again, not counting stave, segment or hollow wood shells OR metal, acrylic, fiberglass, composite )

Ludwig
Sonor
Tama
Yamaha
DW
Pearl
C&C
British
Cadeson
Craviotto
Cask
Stone
Chicago
Eames
Noble & Cooley
Dixon (so Rogers?)
A&F
Mapex
Salt
BSP / Dynamicx
Evetts

Many others actually do produce their own metal snare drum shells from Dunnett & Oriollo to AK and Q as well as a slew of alternate shell drums. But this list is for those that manufacture their own PLY wood or single steam bent board shells. I claim no inside info and have learned a ton already from everyone's input to this list. Think of me as the club secretary ... just trying to keep the notes straight and organized.

It would be fun to start a thread with a master list of all the manufactures and the different types of shells they produce... but this one is very specific.

Ward
Great list and idea. I am a little curious as to why you limit the list to multiple ply drums?
I guess you would have to think about the purpose of the thread or list. If it's meant to be a resource for folks when they're shopping with hopes of finding out who's doing it "right", then material/type should be of little concern. I mean, look at Hendrix drums. It looks like a lot of thought, love and craft go into making those drums.
Im failing to see why tooling (which is kind of what you're breaking it down to) should be the filter for a master list.
Again, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just feel that if you're creating a definitive list, why do you want it to only include wood ply drums? It would seem to me that companies like Oriollo, Jenkins-Martin and Hendrix would be at the top of my list if I were to buy new.
 

Tommy D

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I believe Taye make their own shells and hardware along with shells and hardware for other companies. At least this is what they used to do. Is Taye still around? I would love to get a set of studio maples with the wood hoops.
 

slinginit

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Coming into the fray a bit late (see my INDe kit). Should distinguish between manufacture/make versus design. INDe, for example designs the specs for how the shells should be made. Similarly, they design/engineer their hardware to spec and someone manufactures it.

Another arc could be for hardware companies like Gibraltar. They have their own design across a wide range of stuff (pedals, stands, racks, thrones, etc.), then manufacture somewhere else. I think hardware whenever I see a Gibraltar ad (I have some of their stands too).

Guess my point is the "ownership" is in the design/intellectual property.
 

Fat Drummer

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Great list and idea. I am a little curious as to why you limit the list to multiple ply drums?
I guess you would have to think about the purpose of the thread or list. If it's meant to be a resource for folks when they're shopping with hopes of finding out who's doing it "right", then material/type should be of little concern. I mean, look at Hendrix drums. It looks like a lot of thought, love and craft go into making those drums.
Im failing to see why tooling (which is kind of what you're breaking it down to) should be the filter for a master list.
Again, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just feel that if you're creating a definitive list, why do you want it to only include wood ply drums? It would seem to me that companies like Oriollo, Jenkins-Martin and Hendrix would be at the top of my list if I were to buy new.

No, thats not being augmentative at all, and it's a good question. I choose the orgional list criteria for no other reason than I took SpinaDude's starting thread to be dealing with standard ply construction shells. I have no stance in the outcome of the list at all, in fact I have already stated that I'm a 70/30 kind of guy (that traditional wood drum sound = 70% bearing edge, heads and tuning with 30% being the shell construction, type, density and species) when it comes to standard wood drums. But the driving key word was always "traditional" wood shells same the same.

Therefore I choose the wood drums that REQUIRE specialized equipment to produce to simply establish a working commonality for the list. Stave, Segment (block) and hollow log style drums certainly CAN be produced with very high tech, specialized machinery but does not have to be. However on the other hand, if you are going to produce ply or steam bent shells you MUST have specialized tooling (it does not even have to be high tech, but it is extremely specialized all the same). So that was the reason on the original list.

As I had stated in post #63..."I went with these two types of wooden shell construction as both require very specialized machinery designed for this specific process. Several stave and segment builder also use high end CNC mills to produce shells but it is not actually necessary as many skilled woodworkers can produce those types of shell on very simply shop machinery. We have not deviled into other forms of shell making (Metal, acrylic, Fiberglass, Composite, etc) this is just a wood list and were pretty strong already." So I feel I have covered the original hypothesis.

So this list has already been changed in it's broad view by Tornado when he asked in #76, "I wonder if those who do steam bent single ply only should be in a different category. It seems to me that the capability to produce plywood kind of stands alone...or does it?" I thought that made a lot of sense so I pulled the list back to just the plywood shell manufactures that sell under their own brand.

So that's how we got to this list as it is now. All the conversations over the past few months seems to have focused on plywood shell drums being the same so I went that same direction. As I mentioned earlier in a post, I'm just helping keep a list, I don't even have the knowledge to compile it on my own... this is just a running tab of all the names I and other people can think of that have been vetted to bear out that indeed building shells for their own release.

Great conversation. Hope that helps with where my brain was at in starting this specific list. We are not even touching on Metal, acrylic, Fiberglass, Composite, Stave, Segment, Hollow trees, etc... that would be a cool list though to see everything divided up by types of construction. But you never really hear arguments that a Black Beauty sounds exactly like a steam bent Radio King sounds like an Oak Stave snare sounds like an Fiberglass drum... people are OK agreeing that material matters, all the discussion seems to focus on plywood drums and thus the list.
 
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Fat Drummer

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Coming into the fray a bit late (see my INDe kit). Should distinguish between manufacture/make versus design. INDe, for example designs the specs for how the shells should be made. Similarly, they design/engineer their hardware to spec and someone manufactures it.

Another arc could be for hardware companies like Gibraltar. They have their own design across a wide range of stuff (pedals, stands, racks, thrones, etc.), then manufacture somewhere else. I think hardware whenever I see a Gibraltar ad (I have some of their stands too).

Guess my point is the "ownership" is in the design/intellectual property.
Yep their is that HUGH discussion here on DFO based around those very issues, what makes a durm company unique and seperates the custom builders from the bespoke manufactures. Very interesting on it's on but I did not see that as the discussion in this particular thread.
 

Fat Drummer

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I believe Taye make their own shells and hardware along with shells and hardware for other companies. At least this is what they used to do. Is Taye still around? I would love to get a set of studio maples with the wood hoops.

Good add... it looks like they are still producing, they had a good footprint at the 2019 NAMM though they seem pretty quite in social media thus far this year. They are on the list!!

Canopus
Ludwig
Sonor
Tama
Yamaha
DW
Pearl
C&C
Mapex
British
Cadeson
Stone
A&F
Chicago
Eames
Taye
Noble & Cooley (at least the Walnut Classics)

Dixon (so does that include Rogers as well?)
 
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robbie

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Very interesting thread. You guys are obviously experts on this subject. I have a question: I have an old set that has "non-standard" shells; ie., the company made their own shells in house, but these drums do not conform to what they ever sold on the market and I'm dying to know who made them (I'm thinking Jasper or Keller).
Should I ask here or would it be better if I start a new thread? Not trying to hijack the subject...
Thanks!
 

Fat Drummer

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Very interesting thread. You guys are obviously experts on this subject. I have a question: I have an old set that has "non-standard" shells; ie., the company made their own shells in house, but these drums do not conform to what they ever sold on the market and I'm dying to know who made them (I'm thinking Jasper or Keller).
Should I ask here or would it be better if I start a new thread? Not trying to hijack the subject...
Thanks!
Ah, what the heck... hijack away! After all, that is what I did and we've been several directions already!
 

peacepipe

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Canopus definitely makes their own shells, always, in-house. And I consider them among the very best drum manufacturers on the planet. Full disclosure, I'm an endorser (partial, not full-pro with free gear...not sure if they even do that) but I love their stuff with all my heart. Each piece/drum is made with SUCH meticulous care and highest standard, and most important, they SOUND great.
They definitely outsource some (if not all) of their hardware. They are a midsize co. and would probably go under if they had to craft every single piece in house. Is there ONE single drum company producing ALL their own shells, drums, parts, hardware, all at their own headquarter factory?
Interesting subject!
Stay safe and PLEASE be a responsible American/world citizen and wear your FACEMASK when out in public--Thank you.
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Fat Drummer

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Welcome aboard Greg, thats a good add that we missed... they are on the list, thanks!

The PLY SHELL list...

Canopus
Ludwig
Sonor
Tama
Yamaha
DW
Pearl
C&C
Mapex
British
Cadeson
Stone
A&F
Chicago
Eames
Taye
Noble & Cooley (at least the Walnut Classics)
Dixon (so does that include Rogers as well?)


18 and still counting... OK foljks, who else are we missing?
 

robbie

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Ah, what the heck... hijack away! After all, that is what I did and we've been several directions already!
Ok cool.
(Sorry I've been at work and I didn't get an email that you replied - better check my settings)
Here's the shell. 9-plies. The last two are hard to pick out in this picture because of the head & they are very thin.
Keller? Jasper? The drum dates from 1977.
Thanks!

20191130_180804.jpg


P.S. it's a Slingerland
 

Fat Drummer

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Hu... very interesting indeed. Your right, that would be VERY non standard for Slingerland in 1977. They introduced the 5 ply shell in the early 70's and had made that the primary shell design by the late 70's but I personally dont ever recall reading about a 9 ply shell at any point in their history.

And while under Gretsch much later they did use Jasper shells on the HSS designed "Lite" series but according to the Rob Cook books those were still only 6 ply. You got me, I would like to see a LOT more photos and hear why you date this kit to 1977 specifically. There IS an answer, I just dont have one with the single photo and info available thus far.

What a fun mystery, I would encourage you to post this as a stand alone thread in the vintage section so the Slingerland experts (am am decidedly not one) can dig into this with you. They may not be reading this thread and would miss the opportunity to help.

Col drum, lets see more!
 

robbie

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Hu... very interesting indeed. Your right, that would be VERY non standard for Slingerland in 1977. They introduced the 5 ply shell in the early 70's and had made that the primary shell design by the late 70's but I personally dont ever recall reading about a 9 ply shell at any point in their history.

And while under Gretsch much later they did use Jasper shells on the HSS designed "Lite" series but according to the Rob Cook books those were still only 6 ply. You got me, I would like to see a LOT more photos and hear why you date this kit to 1977 specifically. There IS an answer, I just dont have one with the single photo and info available thus far.

What a fun mystery, I would encourage you to post this as a stand alone thread in the vintage section so the Slingerland experts (am am decidedly not one) can dig into this with you. They may not be reading this thread and would miss the opportunity to help.

Col drum, lets see more!
Thanks for the reply. I know some but not all the answers. I purchased the kit new in '76 (I know...I'm a geezer :) Noticed I couldn't get wrinkles out of the head. Took drums apart & discovered bearing edges on toms were all fubar. Sent shells back to Slingerland & this is what they sent back. All with consecutive serial numbers. I've included the letter I received from Larry Linkin, Slingerland's President at the time (check out the cute and cuddly picture of Buddy in the lower corner ..LOL)
I've got Rob Cook's book somewhere and the only thing I recall reading is they farmed out some parade drums to another company, but wouldn't say who. I honestly didn't pay any attention at the time. In fact i hardly used these drums on any gigs until around 2000 when I took them out of hibernation. Here it is decades later and I'm trying to find out what I've got. I sincerely appreciate your interest and help.
 

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D. B. Cooper

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Thanks for the reply. I know some but not all the answers. I purchased the kit new in '76 (I know...I'm a geezer :) Noticed I couldn't get wrinkles out of the head. Took drums apart & discovered bearing edges on toms were all fubar. Sent shells back to Slingerland & this is what they sent back. All with consecutive serial numbers. I've included the letter I received from Larry Linkin, Slingerland's President at the time (check out the cute and cuddly picture of Buddy in the lower corner ..LOL)
I've got Rob Cook's book somewhere and the only thing I recall reading is they farmed out some parade drums to another company, but wouldn't say who. I honestly didn't pay any attention at the time. In fact i hardly used these drums on any gigs until around 2000 when I took them out of hibernation. Here it is decades later and I'm trying to find out what I've got. I sincerely appreciate your interest and help.

Hold the phone.

You sent your drums back to Slingerland to have the edges re-cut and they sent you back different drums? And with 9-ply shells?!
 

robbie

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Hold the phone.

You sent your drums back to Slingerland to have the edges re-cut and they sent you back different drums? And with 9-ply shells?!
Yes
Actually, they sent back the same type drums (size and finish), but with 9-ply shells
 
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Fat Drummer

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Thanks for the reply. I know some but not all the answers. I purchased the kit new in '76 (I know...I'm a geezer :) Noticed I couldn't get wrinkles out of the head. Took drums apart & discovered bearing edges on toms were all fubar. Sent shells back to Slingerland & this is what they sent back. All with consecutive serial numbers. I've included the letter I received from Larry Linkin, Slingerland's President at the time (check out the cute and cuddly picture of Buddy in the lower corner ..LOL)
I've got Rob Cook's book somewhere and the only thing I recall reading is they farmed out some parade drums to another company, but wouldn't say who. I honestly didn't pay any attention at the time. In fact i hardly used these drums on any gigs until around 2000 when I took them out of hibernation. Here it is decades later and I'm trying to find out what I've got. I sincerely appreciate your interest and help.

DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!! That is about the coolest Sligerland story I have EVER heard!!!! You HAVE to start a new thread and get more info now... what an amazing kit and story! Thanks for sharing!
 

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