What did I just buy?


Senior Member

I came across these recently at an excellent price, so I snagged them. The store I bought them from had them listed as a "Refinished Pearl" kit. Looking at them, I knew they were something different and probably (hopefully) better. I need my friends here on the forum to help me identify them.

The shells are very light. The bass drum is 8 ply, the toms are 6 ply. It appears to be Maple, though I can't be 100% sure. The sizes are 10", 12" 14", 16" 20". The are finished in a cool blue-ish matte lacquer. The bearing edges are flawless on all the drums. All the drums are virgins, including the bass. The mounting hardware on the toms (except the 16") were Pearl I.S.S. brackets with Tama or Gibraltar style brackets (that accept L-arms). All the brackets were cracked. The 16" had a knock off RIMS Floor Tom Suspension type mount.

The drums don't appear to be altered at all. The only evidence of "tampering" on any of the drums is on the breather hole, where there aren't perfectly clean holes drilled on two of the toms. There are no extra holes in any of the drums. The 14" and 16" toms have gaskets on the inside of the drum as well. The lugs are the round, DW style and they are 1-5/8" in diameter, with large rubber gaskets underneath. The hole spacing for the lugs is 1-7/16". The bass drum came with matching wood hoops (matching matte lacquer on the inside and out). All the toms came with 2.3 mm hoops. There are no badges, or even badge remnants anywhere. If you look in the background of Photo 2, you can see the bass drum does have Export Style spurs, but there are no extra holes or alterations, so I would assume those spurs are original to the kit. That's probably why the store had them advertised as a "Refinished Pearl Kit". Based upon my research and my own drum nerdiness, I have a guess as to what they could be:

I think these might be early Keller drums. Everyone knows they make shells, but I believe for a short time in the mid to late 90's they also made complete drums. I did a search for Keller Drums and I had several results that were DW drums (badged DW). The last photo shows a photo resulting from my search on Keller Drums It is a DW looking kit with a badge that I can't make out (perhaps Camco)? Although the lugs on my kit are very similar to DW, they look a little bigger and bulkier. Again, in my (admittedly faded) recollection of seeing Keller Drums, they used these type of lugs. The only other time I have seen these lugs is on Dixon wood piccolo snares (second to last photo-not mine; got it from the internet), which also had the large rubber gasket underneath. Were these lugs available from a supplier in the secondary market (maybe Universal Percussion)? Also, if anyone here has a "regular" DW Drum, if you could measure the diameter of the lugs, I would really appreciate it.

I am very interested to hear your opinions on what you think these might be. Thanks in advance for your response.


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Senior Member
It's highly unlikely that any drum company would sell a kit without badges. This has got to be a DIY project kit.

Someone probably bought Keller shells, sourced the hardware that was widely available at the time, drilled the holes and put it together.

The big question is how does it sound?


Platinum Member
I don't think that they are DW's. The ring pattern is a little bit different on the lugs from what I'm seeing online on Keller-shelled DW's.

I think it's a project kit.


Senior Member
Those aren't keller DW's. My kit is a keller era DW, and those drums don't have the hallmarks of a DW kit that I can see (rerings and order the number printed on the inside of each drum between the lug screws). Those lugs can/could be ordered from the various hardware supply places. My guess is that they were made by someone by buying the shells, hardware, etc. But that's just a guess.


Platinum Member
That appears to be Hayman Vintage to 90's kit with a '90s to '00's Dixon snare.

I think they all sourced the hardware from the same Taiwanese factory.

I have a 1997 Keller shell'd DW kit and before this one, I had an 80's Keller shell'd DW kit. These are not those.

The last picture is from a Camco kit. DW bought part of the Camco heritage (with Tama buying the other part)