Handmade solid steambent drums and bare shells

For over a decade Ian Witt has been seeking to the most tonally versatile drums possible. Leaving all the modern fads and advertising hype behind, he came to a simple conclusion, more wood and less glue and completely hand made makes for a better sound. These shells embody all the character of vintage shells. Other shells may carry vintage in their name, but no other shell on the market can truly recreate the warmth character and openness of the truly great vintage solid shell drums.

Erie hand crafts every one of their own shells at their shop in barberton Ohio out of mostly regional woods from Amish country. They are all made from a single ply of 1/4" thick hand selected wood with reinforcement rings added. Most other modern steambent shells are bent thick and sloppy, then they are lathed to thickness and dimension. Our shells are bent to thickness, more closely following the natural grain in the wood and much closer to the techniques used over 60 years ago.

What truly sets these shells apart, the shell is determined by the wood, rather than the drum by the order. We do not take custom orders any more. When you take a custom order, you are forced to find wood to fill that order. If you can't find the perfect piece of a particular wood to fulfill that order, you are forced to compromise because of deadlines and such. When we make drums, we are not forced to compromise what we will build. We go to the mills, and we look around for wood that looks like it wants to be a drum, the perfect grain color etc. And that is what we make our shells out of. After making over 1000 drum shells, we work by intuition to make the perfect shell. Every shell is different, unique, and tweeked by hand in the building process based mostly in intuition and experience. There may be more technically perfect shells out there, but there are not any more tonally perfect shells out there. Our methods allow every shell to be all it can possibly be. The fatness, character warmth and openness the many find impossible to find.

Over the years we have spent thousands of hours talking with customers about the specific tones they are looking for, in recent days we have come to realize that in all truth,when you make a shell as versatile as ours, people just have never heard what they are looking for yet. Our shells are not one trick ponies, we have death metal drummers playing on our bop kits, we've demoed the same snare at a jazz gig, took it right to an industrial show in the same tuning, and both loved it.

So to sum it up with our shells, the woods the boss, we bring you the very best of 1930's technology, and no cold sounding lifeless shells here.

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