To make great music, musicians need great gear. Drummers need unique voices in their arsenal – especially their snare. With this mentality in mind, Schinbein Drum Company only builds unique and custom snare drums for discerning clientele; every drum is unique just like our customers.
You design it, we build it. Want a 15 x 13 16th century-style French provincial field snare? No problem. Want to replicate your grandfather’s black beauty, but with a more reliable snare throw on it? Of course! That’s what we’re here for: one-off, hand-built creations.
A Schinbein drum stands out from the competition, both sonically and aesthetically. Our signature orange vents let you know that your hand-built drum is backed by our promise that nothing leaves the shop unless it's as close to perfect as humanly possible.
We refuse to compromise on quality. If there is something that we don't make in house, rest assured it has been made by some of the finest craftsmen in the world, because if the hardware doesn’t match our shells in quality, the drum simply doesn't leave the shop.
Oh man. This one is the pinnacle of my craft thus far. It’s weird, it’s big, it’s unforgiving, it’s utterly unique and absolutely one of a kind—just like the drum’s namesake, Butchie the three legged cat in our house who is 100% in charge of everything. Like Butchie, this drum is on three legs and is larger than life and mostly white. That finish though, that started out with a black aniline dye rubbed in then sanded off leaving every other ply dark which was rather bizarre. Over that, I put 7 white wash layers, then three wipe on polyurethane layers. I had no idea it would turn out so interesting. It’s flawed in all the best ways.
The basic design idea of this drum was to more or less break every rule I could find about what makes a snare drum. Is it the size? This drum is 16” in diameter. Is it the shell construction? This drum is segmented. Is it the shell material? This drum is made out of regular construction grade plywood soaked in an epoxy resin to strengthen it. Is it simply that it has snares on the bottom and sits in a snare stand? While this drum does have snare wires, it is on floor tom legs. I broke every rule I could think of. It even has too many lugs; 12 double ended ones. BUT, how does it sound? “The low end on this drum is literally like taking maple syrup on a pancake with some cheese then deep frying it because it’s got that low end fatness and the sharp bite of the crack— It just sounds beautiful; wet, warm, ooh… you know you just want to munch on it.” -Richie Jarvis in a Review on his I Am Drummer YouTube Channel (here) Yeah, he’s crazy…
I’m not even sure if this counts really. I mean it is a shell that I made right? So, Ryan decided he wanted a Tasmanian Oak Stave insert made for his 14 × 5 Free Floater. The bearing edge is fully rounded on top and flat to fit the FF rig.
I’ve since done half a dozen of these for various people, and I have even done a shell for a Sleishman snare as well.
I love doing these, they make perfect economical sense for me as I don’t have to buy any hardware ;)
Love the combination of glossy black hardware on a matte black shell. That’s actually where the name comes from, it literally translates from the Japanese as “Black Black!!” Which is also a fantastic chewing gum from there with caffeine, ginkgo and oolong tea extracts. Also, Burakku Burakku did a bunch of ads with JCVD, the muscles from Brussels himself; YouTube it, you’ll not be disappointed.
This drum though, was made as a present for the teacher of the young drummer for whom “Bruce 2: The Legend Of Curly’s Gold” was made. Talk about the best drum dad ever!! As a side note, I really like the look of these particular lugs. They work really well with die cast hoops as they match the dog ears on the hoop almost exactly. I should make more drums that include these!
This one was made for a friend and client who is from my hometown; Windsor, Ontario in Canada. James is primarily a jazz drummer so was after a rather traditional shell but with an interesting spin. So we took the very old school 3 ply shell with re-rings concept but made it so that there were two thin ply per timber choice rather than the traditional single fatter ply, and used different timber choices than they would have back in the day. The shell itself has an inner and outer layer of maple with a layer of walnut in between. The reinforcement rings are six plys of maple. This drum is beautifully warm and resonant yet still very sensitive and lively.
This is the only drum I’ve ever made twice. The second time I made this drum, I called it “Bruce 2, The Legend Of Curly’s Gold” and it went to the son of a friend of the original designer of this drum. Then, Bruce was brought back in for a facelift. The lugs were swapped out for some old school beavertails, and the hoops were swapped for some 4mm Chrome Over Brass ones. The shell however remained the same. This drum is named in honour of James’ Dad, Bruce.
The customer for whom this drum was made is a diabetic. He is actually rather proud of it and owns it entirely. So much in fact, his Instagram handle is Diab.e.tus. If anyone has ever lived in North America for any amount of time, they have probably seen Wilfred Brimley’s ads for Liberty Medical…
The bearing edges are a bit strange on this one. The batter side is a fairly stock “vintagey” rounded 45 where the apex is about a third of the way in, in spite of using a 6mm radius round-over bit on a 12.5mm thick shell. In fact, the outer on the batter side and both the inner and outer cuts on the resonant side have the same 6mm radius cut and third of the way in. The back cut on the batter side is a fairly sharp 45 degrees starting roughly halfway though the shell leaving a bit of a flat spot (roughly 2mm wide). The resonant side (if you’re keeping score) has a roughly 4mm flat spot which is sanded over by hand. Technically the edge is more ovular than round…
“I had an idea for a particular finish I wanted to try. Or, rather, I was curious to see what would happen when I did some bizarre things to all the stuff I put onto a drum shell. I went to the craft store and purchased a vial of Glitter. I put it in everything, the dye, the sealer, and the oil I used as a top coat. Interestingly, the glitter really only took to the grain patterns and was removed from everywhere else when I sanded between coats. What was left was a finish that looks like galaxies and stars swirling around out in space. Pretty cool.” -Phil Schinbein
We’re not really sure what Phil’s talking about here, but we do know that this 15×8” monster of a snare drum is fantastic. It’s so epic both in size and sound. We sold it to Harrison Staley of “Cabbages and Kings”:. In spite of some extra leg work trying to find a case to protect his new-found awesomeness, he is another happy customer.
This is our first Brickman shell, to create this shell we built up rings of small wooden segments much like laying the bricks for a well. The resulting shell has more projection and better tone than a ply shell, yet is more stable than a stave shell; best of both worlds. This is our favourite construction method.
Another thing we did with this one was to leave the interior fairly rough to the touch. The resulting drum sounds very warm and focused. Leaving the interior rough reduces the high harmonics in the fundamental pitch created by striking the drum. What’s left is a snare drum naturally EQ’ed for blues, rock, or anywhere really where a tight focused sound is warranted.
The drum is named after Reggie Jackson who just nailed it with this quote, “I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.”
There was an advertisement on the television for a beverage called Oak. The actor had a silly “Strayan” accent and a penchant for over-ennunciation. The next drum I made had a Tasmanian oak shell. Originally, I was trying to think of a play on words having to do with the old joke about people from Tasmania having two heads. Hoak is probably a better name; wouldn’t want to offend my bi-cranial neighbours…
This “little rippa” has left the nest and is out making its fantastic and surprisingly loud way in the world. Interesting point for this drum is the full round over bearing edge top and bottom which, when combined with it’s diminutive size, helps create a rather unique almost martial sounding drum.
This snare drum was built from the ground up to be simply awe-inspiring. To date, “1001 Cubic Inches of Awesome” is one of the most insanely high-end drums we’ve built, and the best part is that we have no idea how it sounds: we’ve never hit it!
Why, you ask? Simple! If we were to tune it up and smack it around, someone at the shop will most definitely snatch it up, which would be bad because this baby was built to sell!
This custom-built snare drum was hand made for Dr. Richard Wise, the hardest working man in the Melbourne scene, a monster of a player; seriously, look him up.
This model is a variation of “Butch’s Baby”, this time with Gold coloured hardware. Who knew black, brass and orange would go together so well: it’s like a classy Hallowe’en party!
He may be loud and a bit over-bearing at times, but he always has your best interests at heart.
He will help you get the job done, no matter what is needed.
Big brother is watching.
The world needs more awesome big brothers, like Chris Schinbein of Woodhaven, Michigan, USA, who designed this drum (and happens to be siblings with owner Phil Schinbein). We’ve had the pleasure of touring with this custom snare and it is absolutely amazing. Another favourite around the shop!
“Butch’s Baby” is a solid, everyday workhorse that happily takes abuse as well as you can dish it out. She’s always there, waiting for whatever gig you bring her to, and she won’t let you down.
This build was a commission for Mr Walter “Butch” Deal of Alaska, and was a lot of fun to make. Worth a special mention is the R845 strainer from the indelible Mr Dunnett. We love that strainer: it’s so elegant.
“Just received my titanium snare drum. Wow what a nice piece of workmanship. Well built and looks great too.”
It will be getting a full test and workout at Octoberfest this weekend at the cuckoo. But so far very impressive. Thank you Phillip for making such a musical instrument. Best wishes for your continued success.
Nice words provided by Robert Molnar, Melbourne, VIC
Sound familiar? After you decide to buy a new snare drum, you end up disillusioned because you can’t find the right option. So you compromise, buy a snare that you don't love, and fall into a dark depression.
Yes! You don’t HAVE to settle for second-best, and you don’t have to spend $1000s to go custom. Just follow our patented process* and you’ll soon be on your way to snare drum greatness:
*Process may not be patented. Cat available for extra charge.
We'll work with you to build your dream snare. Here's what you can expect of our process.
We start with a massive round of emails and phone calls, back-and-forth between you and our builder, squaring away every single little detail of your drum, from the shell material to the finish and everywhere in betwixt the two. That’s right: betwixt.
Once we’re both happy that we’ve created the drum you want, we go to work and create wonders out in our workshop. And sawdust.
Once completed, if you live in Melbourne like we do, we’ll hand-deliver your hand-built drum to your doorstep. If not, it goes in the post, packed safely, securely, and with just as much love as went into building the thing.
Our discussions don’t end just because we’ve been paid: you’ll hear from us a month later asking how it’s going. At this point you’ll likely be gushing about your new snare drum, and will never need to buy another one again (unless, of course, you want to – they make excellent gifts, even for non-drummers!*).
*May not actually make excellent gifts for non-drummers.
We don’t do pre-made drums, nor do we carry a stock of ready-to-buy snares.
We do, however, have a standard hardware package that we’ve created to best suit the needs of our clients, and it’s one we prefer to use. Deviations are obviously possible, but we’ve found it’s usually easier to have a starting point from which to deviate.