This one-of-a-kind kit comes to us from New York City–based drummer Adam Romanowski, who commissioned a budding drum builder for the set in 2003. “My friend Ilya Hamovic started making drums after a short stint working at [the now defunct music retailer] Manny’s Music in New York City,” Romanowski says. “He figured he could probably build the same-quality drums that many top manufacturers were producing at the time.”
Hamovic started out by building snare drums that were eventually purchased by a few top drummers, including Dennis Chambers and Will Calhoun. “That was a good sign that he was doing something right,” Romanowski says. “After he started gaining traction, I asked him to build a snare drum for me. Once he completed the snare, I persuaded him to build this drumset. I always imagined a certain configuration in my head, but I wasn’t able to find it on the market. I asked Ilya, and he agreed to make it for me.”
The kit comprises a 5×14 snare, a 7×10 tom, a 10×14 floor tom, and a 20×28 bass drum featuring maple shells with brass fittings. (Romanowski will use various auxiliary snares, depending on the gig he’s playing.) The hardware is made by DW and includes the company’s 5000 series hi-hat stand and 9000 series double bass pedal.
According to Romanowski, Hamovic built a total of only four drumsets under the Custom Works manufacturing label, and each was unique to the customer who ordered it. “Nowadays Ilya builds custom motorcycles,” Romanowski says. “He’s a true artist!”
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