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Smack something home-grown: here’s our list of the 6 best drum makers in Australia

It’s true, electric drums might give you instant access to a variety of sounds. You can adjust the volume manually, or play them using headphones, while others even have built in recording devices.

As wonderful as it may sound, the fact is as technology advances, we’re becoming lazier and more dependent on avoiding doing the dirty work. But when it comes to drums, the dirty work is more than half the fun of the playing experience. Undeniably, there’s just no replicating the feeling of a classic drum kit, where the volume can’t be turned down and noise complaints are a given. The intent is often to have no mercy when smashing the symbols and an electronic kit may not always provide the desired effect.

Whether you’re intermediate or advanced, a lover of all things instrumental or a percussive connoisseur, we’ve searched the depths of the drum making world and scaled internet reviews to find the top six Aussie drum makers kicking around right now.

Image: Fake Plastic Tunes

Priding themselves on individuality, carefully selected materials and hand-made production processes, here are 6 of the best drum makers in Australia.

Sleishman

Sleishman have been making drums for over 30 years. Don Sleishman started out as one of Sydney’s most popular drummers, with a magic talent for repairing and upgrading the sound of professional drum kits, eventually making the transition from stage to workshop.

Sleishman drums have a free-floating shell system made from North American maple, descried by Drum Magazine as “Crisp enough for busy playing and sensitive enough to capture ghost notes.” Sleishman have been heralded as revolutionary drum makers and praised by many Australians for having unique, high-end drums for a reasonable price.

Image: Sleishman

Evetts Drums 

Handcrafted snare drums and drum kits are the forte of Evetts Drums. Founder and craftsman of this boutique company, Steve Crawley, utilises hand selected Australian hardwoods and exotic veneers, hand pressing the quality drum shells.

Buyer reviews praise their one of a kind sounds, made from a range of unique sounding timbers which can’t be competed against or mass produced. They pride themselves on being able to provide a sonically powerful tone customised to the individual drummer’s needs.

Image: Man of Many

Moody Drums

Moody Drums hail from Melbourne and are very easy on the eye. Moody create hand crafted solid wood drum sets and snare drums made from a diverse range of specialty Aussie woods, such as jarrah.

Much like Evetts, Moody drums are all about the tonal properties, creating drums with unique acoustic sounds that aim to provide high quality tone, projection and sensitivity.

Image: Moody Drums

Red Rock Drums Australia

Red Rock Drums kicked things off in 2008, but began restoring vintage drum kits as teenagers. Red Rock drums have a vintage appeal with a modern sound and functionality. These Aussie drum makers are one of the original stave drum kit manufacturers in the country, obsessed with sound quality as well as aesthetic beauty.

Their kits have a sound that is full, warm and resonate and their stave constructed shells sets them apart from the rest. Red Rock craft their kits out of Tasmanian blackwood, Western Australian jarrah, Fijian mahogany, and New Guinea rosewood.

Image: Mix Down Mag

Blackbird Drums

Blackbird Drums are another vintage-inspired drum maker, using materials tough enough to withstand touring without failing to acknowledge the modern kit’s roots in the 50s and 60s.

Blackbird’s Vintage Series shells are made from African mahogany and North American poplar, while their retro series makes for some seamless acrylic shells with 1970s finishes. These babies deliver an immaculate sound that even drum perfectionists can’t critique, and the price is pretty reasonable.

BlackBird
Image: White Flag Studio

Fidock Drums

Fidock Drums is the project drum enthusiast Stephan Fidock, a master creator of snares and kits. Reviews praise Fidock as an integral drum maker to consider when shopping for drums, providing awesome customer service and a willingness to chat pretty much anything drums.

Fidock kits are handcrafted and are best for sessions or live performances, using solid stave shells, tonal timber and from what they preach, a lot less glue. Fidock drums provide warm, earthy tone and powerful depth, which is perfect for recording.

Fidock