Older custom drum companies

timmdrum

Silver Member
Seems to be a mess of older custom companies' sites still online, but looking like they haven't been updated in a while... MRP, GMS, Spaun (doesn't look as dated), Medicine Man, etc... Seems their presence in magazine ads and generally out & about has diminished also. Anyone out here on Drummerworld with some inside info on these companies' statuses? Are they still kickin'? I'm happy to see Noble & Cooley and Pork Pie still going strong.
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I have no inside info on status, but I think it's worth considering context. Many of these companies are very small, or even just one person. Often, finding time / resource to update the website, on top of all the other tasks to be performed (including other non crafting activities such as accountancy, shipping, social media, etc, etc) proves to be very challenging. This could maybe explain some of the latency you're seeing.

In my specific circumstance, the website was taken down as soon as there was no good business reason for it to exist. I do still maintain a social media page to satisfy owner interest, but that's it.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
I believe Spaun folded some years ago. No loss given their hideous finishes. One kit was intentionally intended to look like mud. I believe that GMS is still up and running.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I saw Brian Spaun wandering NAMM, but I don't know what's up with his drums. They were pretty good. I had been to his shop and they took great care with the shells.

It's hard to keep track of the small builders... Truth, Shine, Smith, Aleggra, Montineri, Baltimore (Maryland?) Drum, etc. I think some are still around,. Joe Montineri is but I don't know how much he's pushing his product. Impact is gone, those were the drums I played for 21 years!

Bermuda
 

Ransan

Senior Member
Ayotte, Spaun, Orange County (sigh), and D’Amico were my first glimpse of craftsmanship for drums.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Ayotte, Spaun, Orange County (sigh), and D’Amico were my first glimpse of craftsmanship for drums.
I think OCDP is still around, but maybe only making drums with imported shells...? Or is that what they always did?
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I saw Brian Spaun wandering NAMM, but I don't know what's up with his drums. They were pretty good. I had been to his shop and they took great care with the shells.
Is Spaun done? spaundrums.com is live, nice & modern looking (albeit with copyright date 2017 at the bottom),
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I loved Ayotte drums, and it looks like they are still going...in fact, I might be starting to save up some money to get at least a snare, if not a whole kit in the future...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Eames drums are still going strong in Saugus Mass. I got a kit from them in 1982, still have it. Joe MacSweeney makes the drums on equipment purchased from George B Stone and Sons drum makers. Eames has been around since 1950.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
GMS is kicking and still as awesome as ever.
I'll be receiving a "made to order" 20x16 kick drum from them in the next week. :)
I even sent them a snare drum of mine to have them do bearing edge work.
They're a great company with the best lug design in the business (IMO).
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Eames drums are still going strong in Saugus Mass. I got a kit from them in 1982, still have it. Joe MacSweeney makes the drums on equipment purchased from George B Stone and Sons drum makers. Eames has been around since 1950.
holy crap...I would want a drum off of one of those machines just for the touch to history!!!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
One cool touch that Eames does is they stamped my name near the inside reso edge of the wood on all the shells. You can't see it unless you look inside. Really great bearing edges when new. It's a polyed shell inside and out, not lacquer.

One day I will refinish them. The bass drum is a concert tom lol. At the time, 1982, (I was in a New Wave band ha ha) I never imagined myself wanting a 2 headed bass drum. I was all about the single headed with a blanket and 10 lb weight tone lol. Plus it was less lugs for me to buy.

So I need to refinish them, drill the bass drum reso side, get some new lugs, and get better fasteners for the lugs. I was broke and used what I could scrounge from my dads garage lol. They really ovaled the shell lug holes because I had an undersized screw with a small head with no washer ha ha.

The finish and lugs...I used Gretsch lugs and the finish is like the dark walnut brown Gretsch finish. It's really beat up quite badly though. Hopefully the edges are OK. The GB Stone molds at Eames have been going since 1890. Pretty cool. Joe MacSweeney's name...the guy I drove up and met who built my set, I can't see it on the website. I do see Mark Kohler's name. I hope Joe is still with us.

For clarity, Stone Custom Drums, in Indiana, uses the old Slingerland molds. That's what they say on their website.
 
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RobertM

Platinum Member
There’s a new builder/owner at Eames, and GMS and Pork Pie still have the founders building the drums. Ayotte, Allegra have new owners/builders. Baltimore Drum, from what I heard, folded back around 2005-ish or so. Blues Alley in Washington, DC, still uses a Baltimore Drum kit as their house drums.
 

TomR

Junior Member
There’s a new builder/owner at Eames, and GMS and Pork Pie still have the founders building the drums. Ayotte, Allegra have new owners/builders. Baltimore Drum, from what I heard, folded back around 2005-ish or so. Blues Alley in Washington, DC, still uses a Baltimore Drum kit as their house drums.
Baltimore Drum Company is still around. You can read the history of the company on BDC's website: http://midatlanticdrum.com/baltimore-drum.html. The relationship with the investor who was brought in soured and it took some time for Keith Larsen to right the ship.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I'm glad to hear GMS is still around. I also don't really hear/see much about them anymore, but when I was young the level of detail and craftsmanship in their drums really made an impression.
 
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