Those are the only two initials you will ever need to know when talking about custom metal snare drums and they stand for one man…Adrian Kirchler. A craftsman of the highest caliber and one of the nicest folks on the planet, his snares are known throughout the world, from major symphony drummers to jazzers and modern rock players alike. I happened to hear about him a couple of years ago while speaking with a friend of mine about having recently scored an old 1920’s Ludwig “Stipple Gold”, made of the same 2-piece brass shell the original Black Beauty’s were made of. The one I got had been refinished with all of the original stipple finish removed down to the straight brass shell and it looked & sounded amazing.
Ludwig Stipple Gold, 1920’s-era — 5.5 x 14.
Probably one of the best drums I’ve ever owned and aside from a few extra holes, there were a couple of issues that needed to be addressed. First of all, I noticed that several of the brass hoop clips (also, original from the 20’s) were cracked and in need of replacement but that wasn’t too big of a problem. I just wanted the drum to have some kind of regular hoops on it, as my knuckles were coming down hard on the tops of the lug screws, which stood up over the top of the 10-lug hoop fairly high, making it difficult for a backbeat drummer like me.
In addition to that, the throw-off wasn’t really working either and that’s when my friend recommended I check out AK’s website, as he not only makes his own beautiful drums but handcrafts reproduction parts for snares just like mine. Of course, as you can guess…once I went to his site and saw this truth for myself, I began an email dialog with Adrian and realized I needed to place an order for not only a repro throw-off but some of his custom brass hoops as well. He did not disappoint…
AK handmade throw-off, exact replica of the Ludwig P-338
AK 4mm, solid brass single flanged hoops with a copper hand-rubbed finish. Gorgeous!
These parts aren’t easy to come by and since AK is all alone in a small shop in Olang, Italy, which sits at the northeastern tip of the country, there is a bit of a wait but he let me know right away that he’d get to them as soon as possible. I realized quickly that there were many others ahead of me, who were also waiting on much bigger prizes, so I did my best not to hurry him along, as it’s best not to rush perfection. It was well worth it too, as the package arrived just last night and so I wasted no time in getting everything on my drum. Check it out…
I cannot tell y’all how amazing this drum sounds with these hoops and I can finally play this drum out with out any issues. This is art!
Wow, I am amazed and cannot wait to get this baby on my next gig.
Stay tuned, y’all…