A shout out to the dealers


"Uncle Larry"
It occurs to me that we talk endlessly about drums, and outstanding service is frequently mentioned. But have the dealers and boutique builders ever been honored formally? Gretsch this Ludwig that...how about Shane this Steve that.

Thanks guys. I can't imagine it being an easy thing to pull off, and I imagine that personal passion is probably the main driving force I'm guessing. Because margins are razor thin anymore, and dead easy internet comparison shopping being the nightmare of dealers I'm guessing, thanks for all you guys provide. It's taken for granted that if I have money to spend on gear, there will always be a place to spend it. But it can't be easy being the dealer or builder who offers the personal service still. So thank you thank you thank you again.

I never bought from Shane of Drum Center of Portsmouth but I very much appreciate him showering us with his awesome and no doubt resource consuming relevant and professional product demos. I especially appreciate all the different individual mic captures in addition to the full mix, I get a lot out of the room mic capture. And his personal participation here is great, he's just one of the guys. So thanks Shane. Shane is probably the first major dealer who came here to us on his own, and actually comments frequently, which you cannot ignore.

Same with Steve Maxwell. His videos are great too. Where would the drummer internet world be without the Steves and Shanes of the world?

I really appreciate the service Mycymbal.com provides, hearing the exact cymbal I can buy.

And to all the boutique builders out there, Jeff from Carolina, Francois from Unix, Andy from Guru, the folks at Precision drum, Roy Burns, Gary Gauger...these are all great guys who do it from their heart.

It would be nice to hear some props for the people and the dealers you deal with that make all this happen, if you have any.
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Platinum Member
Yea, Larry, we can tell this is thinly veiled(tm) love for a different type of "dealer", you degenerate.

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I've bought two snares from DCP and the service has been great. Their video production quality is getting better and better. Smart business and a great marketing tool. The drums presented in the videos are not overly processed and reflect an accurate representation of the products. They also offer some hard to find drums that some drummers may not be aware of. The 10th anniversary offerings are awesome. Two thumbs up from me!!


Platinum Member
I buy from Cascio Music frequently. They almost always have what I want in stock, and they have great prices.

I've had Precision Drum Co. cut quite a few bearing edges and do some shell cut downs for me. They're always super easy to work with and do amazing work with a very short turn around time.

Sweetwater is becoming my new go-to retailer. I've been constantly knocked out by their customer service and they also ship super quick.

I haven't been as lucky with DCP, but I do appreciate their videos.

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Big Thumbs up for Steve Maxwell. I won't bore you with the details , He goes the extra mile.Here is a set made up of mostly orphans , he was great in helping put this together. one of my favourites sets.


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Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Nice thread idea Larry! I've bought 3 snares from Shane and Tony up in Portsmouth as well as several cymbals and a bunch of other items, terrific guys and an amazing shop if you get a chance to visit in person.

Another great dealer for Sonor is Sam in California at Sam I Am studios. Buying drums from him was a pleasure.

For builder, I can't speak highly enough of Curt Waltrip of Joyful Noise Drum Co. An exceptionally caring and knowledgeable person who wants you to be completely satisfied with the drum he builds for you.
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Platinum Member
This is precisely why I bought my new Ludwig club date kit from my local drum store in Wichita Ks. Midwest Drum and Percussion from Matt Jansen. He's got a great store, and gives great service, with really good prices.


Staff member
Great thread idea Larry. The negative stuff is quick to surface, & often disproportionate to the good stuff. Those chiming in here will help others identify areas of good service too, so super useful.

As for that Guru bunch of losers - continually refusing to build drums due to some spurious health excuse = totally unprofessional - avoid! 🤪


Gold Member
I acquired complete Sonor & Tama Starclassic kits from Skins ‘n Tins. They place special orders for me without a deposit (brass mighty hoops! Sonor 18” floor tom!) and let me take cymbals home and try ‘em out. They also went to bat for me when my Gibraltar throne lock-nut broke three time and the lifetime warranty was in effect.

Two snares (Tama SLP Aluminum & Starphonic Bubinga) from Drum Center of Portsmouth, along with great deals on Paiste cymbals. Their “barn” is a great place to visit and make noise.

As for Sweetwater, I received a marketing email about the sale of drum samples for use in recording software. I replied telling them I’m only interested in deals on actual drums & percussion instruments. One minute later a sales rep called with a killer deal on a Tama Starphonic Aluminum snare with case. And their return policy is about as perfect as it can get. It’s also a fantastic place to visit, unlike any music store or online retailer I’ve known (World-class recording studio! Fully equipped coffee shop! Salon! Cafeteria Restaurant!)

Pro Drum Shop in Hollywood is a favorite of mine to visit and talk about trends and learn what’s noise and what’s valid info. They definitely have their hand on the pulse of the local music biz. And they have the largest array of niche items I’ve ever seen.


Junior Member
For you UK dogs
https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/products/drumspercussion Manchester has a lovely shop and Joel in the drum dept is super knowledgeable and helpful and helped me get the right pedal.
https://adcdrums.co.uk/ Liverpool The friendliest and most down to earth guys. Talk you out of wasting money and provide help whenever they can. I've not bought drums or cymbals here, but all my skins, sticks, hardware and accessories pieces that I don't get from FB comes from here.


Platinum Member
When I know exactly what I want, I'll order big box.

When I don't know or understand what I want, I go to a dealer.

When I wanted a bunch of giant sized cymbals, I went to Shane. Great price on a 15/18/20/24 set of K's.

When I wanted to order a custom GW, I ended up using CME as they had the most direct communication with Ron.


Junior Member
Terry and Liz at Skins N Tins drum shop in Champaign, Illinois are the first people that this thread brought to mind. They go the extra mile all of the time. I don't travel through Illinois without stopping to see them.

Darren and the gang at Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center just outside of Washington DC are another group of people who really take personal interest in helping their customers.

Lou and David at Pittsburgh Drum Exchange also get the "personal" part of personal service. They are a newer shop, but great people.

Darth Vater

Senior Member
drumcenternh.com I've bought two kits from them.
chicagodrumexchange.com one kit and several other items
cymbalfusion.com one kit and my cymbals
drumfactorydirect.com about every spare part, hoop, heads and accessories you could ever want.

All good people and a pleasure to deal with.


Senior Member
I’ve bought from and been very happy with:

Sweetwater ( current kit and cymbals)

Chicago Drum exchange: (current hardware, and lots of misc)

Cascio Interstate
Cymbals, hardware, PA speakers (my only problem is that a lot of Ludwig and Gretsch stuff ships from the factory...slow)

PA, mics, hardware, misc

Forks Drum Shop
A snare drum

I’ve bought used stuff from Guiar center, but I usually call and ask for a member of management and order over the phone due to several online issues.

I guess I don’t feel too bad about buying from online retailers, as the nearest music stores of any note are 200-300 miles from home.