We are very excited to welcome Zebra Drums to our line up of custom brands. We first met Sjoerd who designs and builds these kits at the London Drum Show in 2017. His stand was opposite ours and after the first loud period at the show when visitors get the opportunity to play the kit we just knew we needed to talk to him and get these drums in to the store.
Firstly the kit looks incredible, Sjoerd has designed hardware from the ground up that allows the drum to be completely free floating and the shells are built using a segmented finger joint technique. Whilst the kit is obviously impressive from an engineering point of view, the first thing we noticed from opposite his booth was the sound! Zebra Drums strap line is 'Solid Drums, Massive Sound' and the sound is just that. Acoustically this kit sounds huge, and it's not a loud abrasive sound, it is tonally loud with a beautifully calved frequency spectrum and enhanced lows. The bass drum really punches and the toms have an almost high quality recorded sound. There are numerous reasons for why the kit sounds the way it does so lets dig down in to the details.
Plane Wood Shell
Every shell on this drum set has been carefully made with a strong stave shell construction from a hand picked selection of woods. Very special care is given and much effort is made in creating a stable thin shell without using reinforcement rings. Every shell is glued together with a special fingerjoint. Each size is specifically built based on the diameter which will determine the shell thickness together with unique bearing edges to get the optimum result in tone and tuning range in combination with the free floating system.
Sjoerd will make drums in Walnut, Maple, Birch, Beech, Mahogany, Wenge and Oak too and there is the potential to select other shells. We opted to have the Plane Tree kit first as this was the set we heard at the London Show. It is always great to hear a species of shell that you haven't heard before and it went down incredibly well with the visitors at London. Sjoerd describes the characteristics of the Plane Tree shell as a wood and metal like sound. Having had experience with the Masshoff Kit which has cast steel shells (another incredibly toney kit) we can certainly agree with that characterisation of this shell.
Free Floating System
This system has been designed for sonic purposes but also looks incredible. The sleek design looks both modern and vintage. No unnecessary hardware is blocking the shell from view and in turn, is keeping the weight low too. Every lug stays in the upright position, so that the shell can be easily removed. Replacing the heads is a breeze! This also applies to tuning the drum. Every tom or bass drum can be tuned by just tuning the batter head. This way tuning a drum or replacing the two heads only takes half the time. No more bending over or walking around the kit. Everything can be tuned from your seating position. A lot of drummers ask how to deal with the bottom heads on a kit and there are many theories about how to approach this, on the Zebra kit, what ever you do to the top head is also going to happen to the bottom head and after extensive testing and playing with the head combinations we think this system is fantastic, it's almost impossible to make the drum sound bad.
The free floating lugs with the S.A.S. mounting system are available in either chrome (chrome over brass) or chrome-nickel plating. The kit we have here is finished in Chrome.
S.A.S. (Spring Action Suspension) mounting system
Sjoerd's revolutionary suspension system reacts every time the batter head is struck. It allows the shell to move in only one direction but yet giving the shell all the room it needs to sound to its full potential. It offers a much more stable suspension of the toms and results in a more open sounding drum in comparison to the conventional suspension systems. In combination with the S.A.S. mounts, the free floating system and stave shell construction gives these drums an unbelievable warm tone and offers the absolute maximum in tuning range. Sjoerd also designed a similar system for the floor tom configuration. Every piece of the suspension is custom made. What's more Sjoerd fitted a universal plate (similar to the original Purecussion RIMS mounting plate) to the suspension so any type of bracket can be bolted on this is an incredibly smart decision that will allow Zebra Drums to be fully compatible with any existing hardware rig.
Zebra Drums is a highly innovative product, not only does it offer new methods of shell building and material options, it also offers the best free floating solution we've seen to date on a full drum kit, with no heavy baskets or obstructive assemblies, then it also offers an integrated and universal mounting system. The kit is built with an incredible amount of detail and zero compromise craftsmanship. When we unpacked the kit which came delivered in a huge crate, we found a package inside from Sjoerd with a note (have a look at the last couple of pictures) Well we certainly didn't need the beer to love the sound of this kit but what it underlined for us is what custom drum building should be about - the people who make these instruments. Sjoerd cares about making a great looking and sounding instrument, he cares about the QC, he cares about how it gets delivered and he cares about the person who will own it, we certainly feel proud to represent it and we know that the final owner is going to feel proud to own it. This is a kit for someone who is on a quest for the ultimate tone looking to push the envelope.
Segmented London Plane Tree Shells
22 x 16 Bass Drum
10 x 8 & 12 x 8 Toms with S.A.S. Tom Mounts
14 x 11 Floor Tom with S.A.S. Floor Mounts
14 x 6 Matching Snare
Fully Free Floating Toms and Bass Drum
2.3mm Triple Flanged Hoops
Bass drum claw and the bass drum spur plate are precision cut by a laser cutting machine
Matching Snare Fitted with Tube Lugs & Trick Throw Off - Snares are designed using conventional system because Sjoerd believes snares drums require different tensioning for top and bottom heads
NEW! Thread Locks fitted. Sjoerd's latest innovation is the Threadlock which stops tension rods from detuning. Installed just once, they don't change the look of the drum and no metal to metal contact resulting in smooth tuning, all in one. The London plane kit here has every drum fitted with Thread Locks. It's the first drum set fitted with this latest innovation from Zebra Drums
Hand Made in Holland