When you thinkof who’s making top-shelf handcrafted drums, a small company out of Central Europe might not come to mind first. But maybe it should. Since 2005, Slovenia-based Bone Custom Drums has been building high-quality and completely customizable kits and snares for all types of drummers.
Bone Custom Drums states on its website, “You dream it, we’ll build it.” That’s a refreshing business motto. Most custom drum companies offer a short range of options that can be mixed and matched, or they specialize in a certain style of drum. Bone is able to offer just about anything a drummer could want, down to shell construction (type of material and number of plies), size, hardware, and finish.
For review this month, we received a six-piece drumset with a 17×20 kick, 15×14 and 15×16 floor toms, 6×10 and 7×12 rack toms, and a 5.5×14 snare. The shells are a hybrid of maple and carbon fiber.
Look and Build
This is a stunning drumkit that combines features of modern and vintage drums. Every detail, from the precisely cut bearing edges to the heavy-duty vent holes, is paid the same amount of attention and respect. The finish is a clean-looking natural maple with a matte lacquer and black nickel hardware. That color contrast is echoed by the shell construction, which has an interior layer of shiny, black carbon fiber. When viewing the kit from the drum throne, I was reminded of the painted interior of some vintage drums but with a more modern, sleek aesthetic. The classic beavertail lugs also contribute a bit of vintage vibe.
The drums feature black nickel-coated tension rods, and the hardware is insulated with gaskets to reduce vibration and contact to the wood. Bone-branded Evans drumheads include clear 2-ply batters and clear single-ply bottoms on the toms, a 2-ply coated batter and a thin single-ply clear bottom on the snare, and a clear 2-ply batter head with a black single-ply ported front head on the bass drum. Other nice appointments include a Trick GS007 three-position throw-off, black nickel Gauger RIMS mounts, and an extra-wide front bass drum hoop, which adds a more modern look when viewed from the front.
The tones these drums produce are punchy, articulate, controlled, and warm. While maple is a popular wood for drum making, the addition of the carbon-fiber inner ply enhances the low end and adds more punch and focus. The choice of heads and 2.3 mm steel hoops also contribute to the focused sound of the snare and toms. I usually add a bit of muffling to toms, but these required no dampening and sounded full and fat even at finger-tight tuning. They opened up and sang nicely at medium and higher tunings as well.
I also usually add muffling to bass drums to reduce rumble. When tuned low, this kick had minimal rumble and a pleasant, warm tone. Bass drums of this diameter (20″) sometimes sacrifice low-end power for punch, but this one had more depth than expected. You wouldn’t know it was a 20″ drum unless you saw it.
The snare was my favorite piece of the kit. It was very warm, dry, and responsive. At low tunings, it produced a lot of fatness. At medium and high tunings, it remained on the drier side but had enough overtones to lend character. It also had quite a bit more crack than I expected, most likely due to the addition of the carbon fiber on the inside of the shell. This snare maintained a consistently buttery feel throughout its tuning range. Even when tuned high, it felt like I was playing a larger drum at a low tuning.
The Bone Custom maple/carbon fiber drumkit was a pleasure to play. It’s clear that the makers take great pride in the instruments they build. Their meticulousness makes all the difference. The hybrid shells and heavy-duty build resulted in a punchy, focused, warm sound that would be right at home in a variety of musical styles, from rock to metal, funk, and fusion. If you’re looking for a truly custom drumset, don’t overlook Bone Custom Drums.