Adrian Kirchler (AK Drums) is a master snare drum maker and restorer. He’s particularly well known for creating drums modelled after those made in the 1920s/30s. As well as making drums under the AK name, he’s also made drums for Craviotto and Ludwig.
I’ve been a big fan of Adrian’s work since about 2007 when I first picked up one of his creations for Craviotto.
In 2008, when I was younger, single and had more money to spend on drums, I asked Adrian to make me this drum. It wasn’t cheap and was admittedly a total extravagance but even eleven years later it was still worth it as far as I’m concerned.
Adrian hand builds all of his drums and makes most of the parts as well. Many of his drums are arguably works of art, this drum included.
The drum itself is a two-piece brass shell design, with 24k gold plating on the shell and hardware. The hand engraving – which I asked to be based on one of the original Ludwig Triumphal snare drums owned by noted collector Mike Curotto – also includes my name. Heads are a Remo Skyntone batter and a clear Ambassador snare side and the wires are by Puretone.
The drum plays as intended – like a vintage snare – although admittedly I don’t think I’ve ever gigged it. I do, however, play it at home but most of the time it sits in a display stand in my front room where I can enjoy it every day.