A New Brand With Historic DNA
At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we put a value on new sounds. We also value drum manufacturers who are passionate about the art of drum making. Enter British Drum Company.
Keith Keough is one the leading drum builders in the world. Around 2012, his company was purchased by the Premier drum company, and Keith was tasked with continuing to make his world class instruments, only now with a Premier badge on them. And he managed to do so.. The woodwork, the sounds, the history of the brand, everything ticked the boxes for fans of the storied brand.
If you want to test the level of commitment of a drum enthusiast, ask them about Premier. If they light up or if they appear sad; you know you have a bonafide, long suffering drum nut on your hands. There are things Premier brought to the marketplace that were so incredibly ground breaking and timeless; many of them going largely unnoticed by the uninformed public.
Following the tradition of excellent instruments and poor management, the partnership with Keith (as well as UK production of Premier drums) ceased abruptly in 2014-15, leaving us unsurprised but accepting.
Undeterred, Keith and a small group of British craftsman rolled the dice and began British Drum Company - a group of people that share the same passion to improve the lives of the drummers that support them whilst being able to humbly nod to the art deco stylings of the Della Porta ethos. At a quick glance, their handcrafted drums appear to be a sharp, well made kit in a crowded marketplace. Upon closer inspection, the similarities end there: The shells are laid up in a cold press, completely opposite of the majority of other drum makers. The thicker plies are pressed into a thinner shell that remains a bit undersized, creating that intoxicating stick attack. The "b" in the British Drum logo is reminiscent of the "P" in the Premier logo, as well as the “B” in the Beverly drum logo. (Beverly was a lower cost line of Premier drums for a spell, much like PDP is to DW).
As we enter 2020, British Drum Company is hitting their stride with a wide range of gorgeous snare drums. Each instrument has its own unique voice, bringing NEW SOUNDS to the marketplace.
If ever there was a wood-shell snare that truly does it all, it’s the Merlin.
The Merlin’s 20-ply shell consists of alternating vertical and horizontal veneers of two sonically superior hardwoods – maple for focused warmth, and birch for direct brightness. The shell is then expertly finished with a black tulip outer veneer inlaid with a tasty double pinstripe of maple.
The Merlin’s response spans the sonic spectrum from warm and resonant, to focused cutting projection and everything in between. Simply tune it into your comfort zone, or higher for even more crispness and cut, or down for a funkier, drier sound. Available in 14x6.5 or 14x5.5.
Meet your new workhorse! The British Drum Co. Maverick snare drum is constructed of 10 plies of cold-pressed North American maple for maximum versatility! The drum is finished with an outer ply of Eucalyptus wood, ten chrome Palladium lugs, triple flanged hoops, and BDC's new Palladium strainer, all of which make quite an impression even before you hit the drum! With its rounded 30-degree edges, the North American maple shell will speak clearly and fully at any tuning range, making you want to play long after your band's set has ended! You can get this drum in either 14x6.5 or 14x5.5.
A classic 1.2mm chrome-over-brass with a difference. The Bluebird shell is 14" x 6" deep with double-beads to focus the sound and combined with our Palladium hardware create subtle nuances that boost the synergy between the shell, the heads and the snare wires to produce a musical rather than metallic sound.
The Bluebird also delivers superb response sensitivity across whole batter head meaning you can play well defined rimshots, while side-sticking will be tight and cutting. This broad response sensitivity also means accuracy brush work takes on a fuller and richer dimension - digging in delivers more punch - rolls are articulated and cut clearly - and accents can be seriously ripping.
Above all the Bluebird is designed to cut through in any situation. Even raging guitars can't bury this drum. And it's not a matter of having to play harder to be heard; this chrome beauty cuts through the chaos with ease.
While its 6.5" depth and cherry inner and outer veneers accentuate the warmth of its response, the key ingredient of the Big Softy Snare Drum is its kiln-dried ochroma core. This surprisingly light hardwood has a micro-pore grain structure that filters out higher frequencies, so bigger, warmer and funky sounds are achieved without de-tuning. You can crank up its batter head to a responsive rebound rate for you sticking and still play big and funky back beats.
The Big Softy is one of our favorites, and we think you’ll agree.
The Portsmouth Limited Edition snare drum is something very special indeed. Created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Drum Center of Portsmouth, this spectacular snare drum is inspired by the UK city of Portsmouth. This is the home of the British Navy’s Royal Marines, who have selected the British Drum Co. to build their new marching drums. Crafted from English Fumed Brown Oak, these drums and their home inspired them to create a namesake for DCP.
Handcrafted in the UK, the Portsmouth is a 14” x 7”, 10-ply shell with 45° round-over bearing edges. It boasts a wealth of features including vintage style mini-claws, gold- plated tension rods, a handsome badge identifying the edition number and beautifully crafted, hand-cut pinstripes of the English Fumed Brown Oak and English Pipped Oak veneers, which also feature on the contrasting reinforcement rings.
The Portsmouth sounds deep and rich but is also crisp and responsive across a wide tension range. It has an intimacy when played softly but projects its voice when you play hard! The Portsmouth snare drum oozes desirability. It is a fantastic example of drum-making craftsmanship and is a worthy instrument to celebrate DCP’s first decade.
The 14x6 Archer is crafted entirely from English Yew, a rare hardwood that projects a rich, warm tone with fast attack. Traditionally, Yew was the preferred timber of the longbows favoured by medieval English archers. Its durable flexibility tempered with robust strength offered supreme power and reliability - qualities which British Drum Co. endeavoured to incorporate into the Archer.
The 10-ply shell sports 30º round-over bearing edges and a variety of eye-catching features including vintage style mini-claws, gold-plated tension rods and a beautiful golden badge embellished with green sycamore.
The Archer is capable of a wide range of complex tones, from a warm, Maple-like clarity right through to a lively and potent brightness. With an understated confidence and stylistic flexibility, the Archer will be at home in a wide variety of musical situations.
A British twist on the Iconic Acrolite. This stylish, elegant snare drum delivers a dry, controlled sound with a sensitive response over a wide dynamic range. The Aviator enables articulate sticking from graceful ghost notes to a full-throated roaring backbeat. This drum offers you the full range of crisp, clean sounds to suit all types of playing.
Crafted from a seamless 1.2mm solid aluminum shell, Aviator looks stunning with its sophisticated anodized surface, beautifully complemented by British Drum Company’s stylish Palladium hardware. The cool, understated aesthetic of Aviator is highlighted by the subtle inverted central bead, presenting a stunning shadow line around the shell. The cosmetic appeal of Aviator is delicately enhanced by an element of warmth courtesy of the Cherry veneer insert integrated within the iconic British Drum Co. badge. Available in either 14x6.5 or 14x5.5.
At the heart of this very special limited edition snare drum is a spectacular shell made from 3000 year-old bog oak. The bog oak, carbon dated to approximately 1000BC, has been crafted into a 6mm thick 10-ply shell. The Duke also sports 2 plies of bog oak reinforcement rings and round-over bearing edges to further unleash the naturally warm and dark sound of this incredible wood.The Duke features ten lugs, single-flange chrome plated hoops, mini butterfly claws, 24ct gold-plated tension rods and is British Drum Company's first snare to feature the smooth-action Palladium Mk II snare strainer.Production has been limited to 50 pieces worldwide, so don't hesitate! Get your hands on one of these beauties from the Drum Center of Portsmouth today!
New Sounds. It’s what makes us tick at DCP. We have been champions of British Drum Company since their inception, and we are happy to spread the word of their mature growth to anyone with willing ears.
British Drum Company Drum sets are also magnificent, and we carry the full line. Get your Brit-Fix at Drum Center of Portsmouth!