Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Builders I Recommend

The following list of builders is based on firsthand experience - each of them have built snare drums or kits for me, and I higly recommend their work:

Dan von Gartzen of Raven Drums, Oviedo, FL. Dan built my first custom snare drum, the 6x14 maple shell with curly maple and walnut veneer, and went on to build my bubinga jazz and bop kit. His work is excellent, especially his artistry in veneers. He has apparently scaled back on building, but is gauging interest in a Bonham style/sized kit.

Tim McKenzie of McKenzie Drums out of Charlotte. Tim built the following drums and kits for me: Vaughncraft 4.5x14 Maple, Vaughncraft 5.5x14 Mahogany (with hoops by Stellar), Vaughncraft 4.5x14 Rosewood, Vaughncraft 6x14 Myrtle (originally built for Rob Richards, but I managed to acquire it), Vaughncraft 6x14 Magnesium Radio King Clone, and a Vaughncraft 6.5x14 Leedy clone in Vaughncraft Mahogany. Tim also built my Keller Vintage Mahogany Slingerland Clone Kit.

Kevin Smee of Bowie Custom Drum built my Rosewood and Olive Ash snare drums using Vaughncraft shells. Kevin gets the fastest turnaround award. He is quick (amazingly so), and his prices are, perhaps, too low. His workmanship is top notch.

In my next post I'll cover a few more builders from whom I've gotten single snare drums, my sources for parts like the new Leedy three-point throws, and where I occasionally have wraps, bearing edges and snare beds done when my primary builders are busy.

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