Drum Design vs Sound Quality and Functionality

Pan American Drum Company has been making suitcase kick drums for nearly two years. In that time, we’ve seen steady growth in both sales volume and profitability. But running a company that makes percussion instruments isn’t just a function of “build it and they will come”. Long term growth and stability in this spaces require one critical element - INNOVATION.

This is why we are constantly seeking feedback from our customers that are professional musicians. Some of them are famous musicians, some are almost famous, but all of them are hard working, talented people that love music and will never give up on it. Something all of our professional clients have in common is they are focused on sound quality and functionality.

Based on our client feedback, we realized there were some inherent flaws in the traditional suitcase kick drum design. The limitations of this design are as follows:

  • Too Much Tambo - this problem lies in having the tambourine mounted directly onto the suitcase. With this design there is always the issue of hearing the tambourine chime when you hit the kick drum. Is it a bad sound? No. Is it somewhat annoying? Yes. This problem is compounded if you end up with a kick drum that has a tambourine mounted on the side of the case. When the beater hits the tambourine, it pushes the tambourine up against the suitcase (or license plate) so you get a jingle sound followed quickly by the slapping sound of plastic against metal.

  • Right vs Left - the other main issue with traditional design drums is they are made to suit either a right footed or left footed player. This means you have to choose whether you want to play predominantly standing or sitting. If you change your mind, you have to re-wire your brain to hit the kick drum with your left foot instead of your right (assuming you bought a drum in a right footed configuration).

Enter the Center Mount Design…

In August 2019 we began rolling out our Center Mount series of kick drums. These models feature a kick drum mounted dead center into a vintage suitcase and are sold with a full size tambourine that attaches to a Pearl or Gibraltar floor mount that sits right next to the suitcase. The spacing is perfect whether sitting or standing.

Because the kick drum and the tambourine are no longer mounted to the same case, when you hit the kick drum the tambourine makes zero noise. This design completely eliminates the resonant chime when you hit the drum.

As an added bonus, if you want to switch from standing to sitting, all you do is pick up your pedal (already attached to the floor mount) and move it to the other side of the suitcase. It’s that simple. You can hear the sound quality of our center mount drums in the first two videos on the Videos tab. The quality of the product we’re putting out there now is just awesome. These drums have never sounded better but we won’t stop trying to innovate and make them better.

Will we still continue to make traditional design drums? Yes, of course. There’s a market for them and we won’t ignore that. But if your focus is on sound quality and functionality, there is no doubt which design you’ll choose. That’s why about 95% of our Custom Shop clients choose the center mount design. Maybe you should too.