Drum Stores That Deserve Our Support

VintageUSA

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I may have missed an earlier post on this, but Memphis Drum Shop is the most impressive one I've ever been in. It combines pretty amazing drum museum with a huge selection of new drum sets and a cymbal room that's the closest thing to an actual music-equipment temple that I've ever experienced. I realize Memphis is far from anywhere, but when you're planning a Pilgrimage to see The King, you must visit https://memphisdrumshop.com/.
Not far from me..........MDS is the most amazing drum store anywhere.
I try to support them when I'm in Memphis.
 

swarfrat

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I'm shocked that anywhere in NC has a store like 2112. It feels like it ought to be an Atlanta/Memphis/Chicago store. Not that I've been to any of of those but Atlanta. But Raleigh isn't really a music town and it's not ALL that big compared to the big metros.
 

Aaronjiski

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Pro Drum shop in Hollywood. I order my Aquarian heads directly from Aquarian and they are always shipped by Pro Drum. I'd rather pay them a bit more and make sure they stay in business. I can't tell you how helpful Stan and Jerry Keyawa are. If I ever order another new drum set, it will be from them.
I’ve been going to Stan and Jerry for years for edges, parts etc. Very cool guys and a staple in the LA music scene no doubt.
 

huitli

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Pro Drum shop in Hollywood. I order my Aquarian heads directly from Aquarian and they are always shipped by Pro Drum. I'd rather pay them a bit more and make sure they stay in business. I can't tell you how helpful Stan and Jerry Keyawa are. If I ever order another new drum set, it will be from them.
Bought my first custom-ordered kit there in 1969 (Camco) and still getting supplies and equipment from them. (Wish I still had that Camco kit though).
 
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My shop - Lefty’s Music / Trinity Cymbals In rural Northern California. We sell Ludwig, Gretsch, Roland, DW, PDP, Zildjian and our own Trinity Cymbals. Tons of deals on cymbals and great deals on Ludwig. Contact me anytime because yes we’re not doing much locally anymore and mostly selling online.
 

Tom Holder

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There's a thread obsessing about what might happen to Guitar Center. While I hope GC continues, the only point of agreement in our discussions seems to be Guitar Center in its current form is pretty inadequate in terms of meeting drummers' needs and desires.

But, what about other current music and drum stores? Let's talk about what they're doing right!

Where I live, nearly all the big independent music instrument stores have closed. However, I feel lucky to have a pretty vibrant Music Go Round that typically has 20 or more drum sets on the floor on a typical day. They're not playable and there's a mish-mash of brands, but there's some good stuff. At any one time, you can also find 30-plus cymbals and there's a good selection of stands and even a few shelves of clamps and other accessories.

Further from home, Raleigh's 2112 Percussion is a Valhalla of new and used equipment... It's been there for 30 years, and I've thoroughly enjoyed every visit there, but I'm not able to get there often since it's more than 90 miles away. Since it's a convenient stop on trips to and from North Carolina's beautiful coast, I do get there more often than I visit my town's GC.

While I can attest to 2112's financial health (which I hope is good), I think it's helped by the fact it's in an old (windowless) building that's closer to an industrial area than high-traffic retail districts, and the parking lot is often cramped... So, I'm assuming lower-than-average overhead. It also sells a mix a new and used gear... which I'm sure some retail experts can bring mixed results in terms of customers choosing used stuff over higher-profit still-in-the-box stuff.

Maybe 2112's unique strategy and its excellent excellent staff could inspire similar drum-specialty stores in surrounding states.
https://www.2112percussion.com/
I recentlly moved from California to Cleveland. A friend told me about Stebal's Drum Shop, just a few miles away in Willowick. What a GREAT store! Everyone that works there is friendly and knowledgeable. They have a terrific assortment of new and used gear, including parts, cymbals and accessories. Cleveland's music community is pretty tight. Everybody seems to know everybody, and while Stebal's is no secret hideaway, it is in an industrial area a few miles east of downtown Cleveland. Perhaps their "nut" is lower than it would be if they were right downtown. I sure hope they stay afloat during this down-time. I buy stuff from them whenever I can.
 

KevinD

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+1 on Alto Music in Middletown (and a few other locations) great drum shop and pro audio (Jon Haber, the president of Alto also has a hand in Black Lion Audio and Avantone mics)
I try to buy there when I can, nice folks and they usually have a wide assortment of sticks (like Regal Tip Jake Hanna model).
Haven't been there for about a year but they used to have a great used gear bin in the back... you could find some great stuff back there ( orphan toms, hoops, drum bags, various hardware attachments etc) and they were pretty flexible on price. They closed the original Alto store in Rockland County a couple of years ago (had been there since the 60s) My assumption is they've been trying to switch to more of an online presence. (as with much of the market) hopefully that is working out for them.

In New Paltz, NY there is a great store run by Chris Bowman, (CHBO Drums) who is a Jazz drummer. He has a wide selection of new and vintage gear. In fact he has (or had, last time I was there pre Covid) the largest collection of Camcos (various eras) that I've ever seen in one place. He knows his stuff about them too. https://www.chbodrums.com/

Also really like the LI Drum Center in Nyack, nice people there too. Not too far from my house, I try to stop when I'm gigging out in town there (good music scene in Nyack- and hopefully that will continue after this stuff is over)

When I lived in LA I used to frequent the Pro Drum shop quite a lot, even if I never bought anything it had a great vibe. I usually get back to LA once or twice a year for work and I try to stop in just to chat. (as noted, Manhattan no longer has places like like that although I do enjoy Maxwell's)

I travel a lot for work to Denver, so I try to get to Rupp's as well, nice folks there too.

Additionally, I have to agree with folks on the Sweetwater thumbs up. I think they are making strong efforts in customer service. They have been helpful whenever I had pre-sales questions, they follow up if I buy something and they send candy ( I like the smarties). Plus they've got the whole Nick DV thing going with the studio and the demos and all that which is cool. Dealing with them is much more personal than the big box types.
 

Stretch Riedle

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It also sells a mix a new and used gear... which I'm sure some retail experts can bring mixed results in terms of customers choosing used stuff over higher-profit still-in-the-box stuff.

Actually, the profit margin is consistently higher on USED inventory than new.
New will get you as low as 25% up to about 40% on most items.
Used often is set at 50%, and even can get as high as 60-70% depending on what it is.

However, used is limited to what walks thru the door from other customers.
New is unlimited as long as we're not in the middle of a pandemic.

Stretch
 

KenROP

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There's a thread obsessing about what might happen to Guitar Center. While I hope GC continues, the only point of agreement in our discussions seems to be Guitar Center in its current form is pretty inadequate in terms of meeting drummers' needs and desires.

But, what about other current music and drum stores? Let's talk about what they're doing right!

Where I live, nearly all the big independent music instrument stores have closed. However, I feel lucky to have a pretty vibrant Music Go Round that typically has 20 or more drum sets on the floor on a typical day. They're not playable and there's a mish-mash of brands, but there's some good stuff. At any one time, you can also find 30-plus cymbals and there's a good selection of stands and even a few shelves of clamps and other accessories.

Further from home, Raleigh's 2112 Percussion is a Valhalla of new and used equipment... It's been there for 30 years, and I've thoroughly enjoyed every visit there, but I'm not able to get there often since it's more than 90 miles away. Since it's a convenient stop on trips to and from North Carolina's beautiful coast, I do get there more often than I visit my town's GC.

While I can attest to 2112's financial health (which I hope is good), I think it's helped by the fact it's in an old (windowless) building that's closer to an industrial area than high-traffic retail districts, and the parking lot is often cramped... So, I'm assuming lower-than-average overhead. It also sells a mix a new and used gear... which I'm sure some retail experts can bring mixed results in terms of customers choosing used stuff over higher-profit still-in-the-box stuff.

Maybe 2112's unique strategy and its excellent excellent staff could inspire similar drum-specialty stores in surrounding states.
https://www.2112percussion.com/
It's 30 miles away and i dont get over there often enough but Drum Center of Portsmouth NH https://www.drumcenternh.com/
Always top notch service and customer support. friendly but never pushy and the new(er) location is a beautiful store with room to spread out.
Iove small drum shops but too many are really claustrophobic. Feels like I'm in garage jammed full of drum gear. Portsmouth DCP treats everyone with respect and love of the craft comes first...regardless if your a 50 year old discovering drums for the first time (like myself) or a seasoned pro. Wish I lived closer! Hate going into GC anymore, they have their purpose, but no longer of interest to me.
 

DrumTransit

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This thread is very helpful. In the Chicago area, I've had good success with the Chicago Drum Exchange and Drugan's. Many others have mentioned Steve Maxwell, who is great. There's also Mike's Drum Shop, but I haven't been there. I also know Rock n' Roll Vintage is a Ludwig distributor and I've seen a few kits there, but it's mainly a guitar store. It's unfortunate what happened to Vic's. A few decades ago, a number of local music stores around here used to carry a full range of quality drums, but that seemed to change in the early 2000s and the stores shifted their stock to mainly guitars and other instruments.
 

coastie

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Bennett was recently interviewed on drumhistory podcast i don't recall him mentioning he was retiring/selling. What's the story there? Thanks

Donn Bennett sold the shop to Rudy. I want to say about 2 or 3 years ago? Rudy kept the Bennett name up until recently and has a new location I haven’t been to yet.
He’s got everything I’ll ever need. I don’t see any real reason to go anywhere else despite the fact that it’s an hour drive for me.
I think Bennett still sells online. I’ve heard thru local sources he’s got a treasure chest of vintage stuff.
I’ve mail ordered from Forks in the past and they’re awesome as well.
 
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markkarj

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For us Canadians, another hearty endorsement here for @Murat and Drummer's Hangout. It's my go-to for anything I need in the Greater Toronto Area, and as far as I'm concerned the number one shop in Toronto and beyond. (Unfortunately my experiences with both Just Drums and Soul Drums have sometimes been less than satisfactory.) Murat is as good a person as you'll ever do business with. My constant purchases are on a bit of a hold right now thanks to COVID times but I'm sure that once I have more income happening I'll be back to pick up more stuff from him.
A third endorsement for Murat among those of us in Canada. I just moved away from Ontario so I likely won't be able to darken his door again. But during my one visit to his shop, it's clear Murat has put so much thought and effort into ensuring every drummer (from new musicians, to semi-pros to those seeking top end gear) gets a good experience. Drumland and Soul were fine when I visited, Just Drums and Steve's were OK.

The community to which I returned has a very good independent music shop operated by a drummer and his son. Long and McQuade bought out another local independent, and vastly improved the quality of gear offered and price point. I tend to agree about Long and McQuade offering a generally strong experience, and having well-stocked drum departments.

Canada's West Coast has seen quite a decline in the range of music shops. I remember a string of them along Granville Street and nearby in Vancouver in the 1990s... Tom Lee Music, Drums Only (owned and operated by Ray Ayotte), Mother's Music/The Drum Shop, Ward Music and Long and McQuade. L&M remains, Tom Lee is vastly downsized, and all the others are gone.
 
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LarryJ

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Of course Fork's in Nashville, but I liked it better when Gary had it. I miss Sam Baccho in the back room repairing old Slingerlands. No one more appropriate to recut the bearing edges on my floor tom.

Must mention Nelson Drum Shop in Nashville
Huge selection of used and vintage gear. Fun to browse.
 

6topher

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Hey! I used to post here a lot but dropped off when drums went from a hobby to a profession for me.

When I'm not touring I work at Baltimore Drum Company ( formerly Mid Atlantic Drum). Our owner Keith Larsen has forgot more about drums than I will ever know. He is the builder of Baltimore & Maryland Drums & a true friend to musicians. Cants say enough about him. Plus! He lets me leave for 7 weeks at a time and I always have my job when I come off the road.

We're a small staff & our web presence is pretty weak, but our store is pretty impressive. We have constricted our hours due to covid & are doing pretty well despite the current situation.

I hope if you're ever in the region you get a chance to check us out. Thanks!
 

RaysDrums

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I guess no drummers from St Louis on here. I started playing a set at 13. I'm 66 now. During that entire time, the best drum shop in St Louis has always been Fred Pierce's Drum Studio. A great drummer and good man. Always has the articles you want, even if you don't yet know what it is you need ;) This is what his Pearl Masterworks set sounds like with a Dunnett Stainless Steel 5.5x14 snare...
Charlie – Johnny Hold Back (1977)

 

Slingwig26

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Village Drum and Music in N. Scituate, RI. Awe store, service, selection and knowledge. Check them out .
 

JDA

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Rite-Aid
Walgreen's
Walmart Pharmacy
 
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