The Skeleton Key

The Tumbler Key

The finest in vintage inspired drums. From Ludwig and Slingerland 3ply shell construction, to Jasper and Keller shell configurations of Gretsch, Rogers and Camco. These models are built with a love and respect for the birth of the modern drum kit. We reproduce the shell configurations of our favorite vintage drums, right down to the same bearing edges. Our Era Specific edges can attain the character of a brand within a few years of model changes. I have stored and cataloged so many shell and bearing edge samples, that I could probably tell you when a particular employee changed. This informs our inspiration when we build a Skeleton Key model. 

These kits are built in small batches of 3 to 5 kits on particular theme and they're all about character.

 Check our store and see if something inspires you.

If none of our Key Drums open your lock, it's time to call the locksmith. Locksmith models are built entirely by my hands, to your order. While this can be more expensive than purchasing a Key, with a Locksmith there's no door that can't be opened. If you have a design in mind and don't see it in our store, give me a ring at

503-847-3088

Or

​Email for a quote at kirschdrums@gmail.com

The Key To Your Sound

Built with birch construction and the original Recording Custom style, full round over edges. ("painted edge" era) These drums are built without reinforcement rings for a focused and woody voice with a natural gate that makes them perfect under microphones both in the studio and live.

People say many things about birch and I honestly can't agree with most of it. Birch and maple are nearly identical. They are nearly the same density and color. The one difference in birch is that within that density is small, almost human hair size cavities. This essentially acts on that maple-ish density, like a felt pad on a drum head or piano string. It gently shortens its maple like character. But the real magic of birch rises out of connecting it to the heads and really activating it. It's a big present midrange projecting sound. Where maple is digital and expands from highest highs to lowest lows with booming sustain, birch is analog, rolled off on bass and treble and compressed. These are my personal favorite drums. To me, they're scratchy and cozy like old vinyl.  And like a tube amp, they're warm at low volume and break up if you push em. They go from lap dog to angry doberman depending on you how you play em. They're ready to tumble. 

When it comes to modern drums, there are a lot of beautiful shells with cool looking parts. In reality, it takes so much more than this to make an instrument that tunes, sounds and feels the way it should. An instrument that's flexible, reliable and inspiring to play. As a drummer and a builder, I've played, built, restored and tested just about every possible configuration and brand. This knowledge and experience, along with the experiences of thousands of customers, goes into the building and design of our three workhorse models. Each of these fill a key area in any drummers sound. These drums are hand built in small batches of five to ten kits and snares, by myself and my team. These small runs give us the ability to create unique pieces that meet my sound standards and visual quality requirements, of a custom order, while keeping the price attainable. 

The Locksmith

Simple and pure maple shell without reinforcement rings. They're a modern, open, resonant sound with the widest tuning range of all our models. With our minimalist hardware design, these medium thickness maple shells sing in a variety of settings and respond to a dynamic touch.

Our best all-around kit. 

The Cylinder Key