Were Spaun drums any good?

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
I've had one of their bell brass snares for almost 20 years and have no complaints. I can't comment on their regular drums though. They did make an "affordable" line of drums towards the end of production so make sure it's not one from that line, and paying the price for their custom stuff.
 

charliedrummer

Senior Member
Back in the 90s, I thought they were going to be the next big player in the drum market. They're nice drums, made from Keller shells. I believe they had their own proprietary brass lugs that were very nice. Back in the day they were known for customizing snares and kits, offering many sizes and finishes. The owner was very responsive to email inquiries.
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
Yeah, they looked like a contender back in the late 90s-- several companies like GMS and Spaun and Smith looked like they were going to become a big deal. The build quality was good and yeah-- their brass lugs made the drums look like Canopus. They did go big in the OCDP direction after all that wild customization stuff started happening.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If you can’t get parts because the company is gone, I’d really think twice. Unless you don’t mind using other parts to replace broken ones with. Spaun is not like Slingerland and Rogers where there are entire users groups you can rely on (and even then it might be hard to find what you’re looking for). But if the price reflects that, then maybe take the chance?
 

bongoman

Junior Member
Most (not all) of the Spaun I’ve seen on the used market is in two categories: cheap stuff they mass produced for Guitar Center, like the coke bottle snares; and wildly custom kits with ultra deep basses, weird hoops, and garish wraps.

Neither kind is “bad”, either might even sound great—but the resale price had better be a frikken steal, or I’d pass.
 

SharkSandwich

Junior Member
I had a purple 7x13 maple snare that I played for years. It was a great drum. One of the brass lugs turned green on me but I didn't really mind.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
I've used Spauns for about 15 years now, and no plans on getting rid of them. I'm very happy with the sound and build quality and they're highly customized to my preferences at this point. I also like supporting an independent local builder. Brian Spuan is pretty much a one-man operation in Southern California. I recently got an orphan tom off Reverb, and Brian wrapped it to match the rest of my kit. I was able to drop it off, so I got to meet him and tour his workshop. This video gives you a pretty good tour of the operation.

 

Trigger

Senior Member
From what I remember, they were one of the more legitimate custom builders. I saw some of their kits in a large drum store in Berlin a few years ago, and they wouldn't buy crap, so they must be decent.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
I have recorded on several Spaun kits. I was prejudiced because I don't go for the garish, rocker paint jobs, white or gold hardware etc, but these drums sound fantastic. They don't hold their value, often because the finishes are very particular - like a hot rod car etc.
But they play and record stunningly IME.
A local dealer has been trying to sell a five piece kit for $1000 for a year at least?
These are the archetypal sleeper drums. Buy a kit if you can handle the paint job.
 

Steve30907

Well-known member
Brian is a great dude that will work with you to build anything you want steam bent, stave or whatever ply or bearing edge for a reasonable price. People can get weird when you have a ton of custom options. I think thats why you see some cheesy looking Spaun kits out there.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Have Spaun ceased to trade now?
Don't know, they have fallen off the radar a bit. However, it looks like their facebook and website are still active. So I guess they are still in business, maybe just not near as large as they once were.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If you get an older one from the 1990's/early 2000's that you like, then grab them.

Don't buy them to flip; buy them to play.

A friend let me borrow one of their snare drums (I think it was a shallower drum), and I swear it was one of the loudest snares I've ever played. It had a great tone, but yikes, that thing would pop. Sounded like a 9mm.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
For a while, Fishbone's longtime drummer John Steward played this beautiful green fade Spaun kit. This was taken in 2015, a year or two before Philip "Fish" Fisher's return to the band. I don't know how long John had them, but they sounded fantastic, and being that he toured all over the US with them, he must not have been concerned about hardware longevity (or he brought spare parts along).

chicago-illinois-usa-11th-sep-2015-drummer-john-steward-of-fishbone-F267C2.jpg

This was uploaded by Spaun in 2010. ->

There are videos uploaded by them as recently as a month ago.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
I don't know why hardware would be an issue.
I have different branded kits from the 60's up to the 90's and have never had any hardware issues other than a 1940's Radio King with pot metal lugs that started to crack.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I've used Spauns for about 15 years now, and no plans on getting rid of them. I'm very happy with the sound and build quality and they're highly customized to my preferences at this point. I also like supporting an independent local builder. Brian Spuan is pretty much a one-man operation in Southern California. I recently got an orphan tom off Reverb, and Brian wrapped it to match the rest of my kit. I was able to drop it off, so I got to meet him and tour his workshop. This video gives you a pretty good tour of the operation.

Wow. He's got all the facilities - and I love the red white and blue sparkle wrap.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Spaun Drums looks to be alive and well, just not as visibly “hot” as they used to be.

Does anyone know how the double 45 degree bearing edges affect high/jazz tunings, if at all?

Spaun’s finishes have always been stellar, especially the lacquer.
 
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