John Cutbill, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wanted a kit that was portable and had a small footprint, although he didn’t want to sacrifice the functionality and sound of a typical full-size drumset. So he sketched an initial design of what would become this month’s featured set, and he refined his idea with assistance from Allan Harding, manager of Vancouver’s Rufus Drum Shop, and Jay Deachman, a Drumeo instructor and drum tech.

Cutbill tells MD that Harding called the team at DW to ask if they could make a kit based off his original ideas. “Their initial response was ‘No, it won’t work,’” Cutbill says. “Discussions followed with more detailed sketches, and finally the DW team got excited and said, ‘Let’s do it!’”

The final DW Custom Collector’s Series set features maple and mahogany hybrid shells in a Black Oyster FinishPly wrap, and the kit includes a 5×12 snare, 5×10 and 6×12 toms, a 5.5×16 floor tom, and a 6×16 bass drum. DW Doobie Bars support the floor tom above the bass drum, and the toms and ride stand are attached to the bass drum and floor tom with DW Dogbone arms and clamps. Cutbill uses DW 6000 Series Ultralight hardware and the DW 5000S Sidekick bass drum pedal. And the drummer’s Paiste cymbals include a Signature Traditional Light crash and ride, as well as Sound Edge hi-hats.

“The snare and toms sound deceptively full despite their smaller sizes,” Cutbill says. “There was a challenge in separating the resonant overtones between the bass drum and floor tom, given their size and proximity. Jay’s decades of drumming and teaching experience were put to the test as he tried numerous variations of heads, dampeners, and tunings.” The final configuration for the bass drum features an Evans EMAD Coated batter and a G2 Coated resonant head with a KickPort FX-2BD resonant port and an Evans SoundOff mute pad. The floor tom has an Evans G12 Coated batter with a KickPort FX-2FT batter port and a G1 Clear resonant head.

Cutbill says that he can fit the set into three cases, and it can be packed and carried by one person. “It’s a unique setup for sure,” he says. “But it sounds great!”

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