American Drum Manufacturing Company

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The American Drum Manufacturing Company is a family-owned timpani manufacturer based in Denver, Colorado. Former Denver Symphony Orchestra timpanist Walter Light, who built a custom set of drums for himself, founded the company in 1950 when his colleagues began asking him to build timpani for them.

The company offers four lines of instruments:

  • The Mark XIV is American Drum's top-of-the-line model
  • The Mark XI is similar to the Mark XIV, but the bowls are made of lighter weight copper
  • The Metropolitan Model Type B is the budget model. The bowls are made from the same copper as the Mark XI, but the Metropolitan drums have less features.
  • Continental Chain Tuned is the company's line of chain timpani. They are designed to have similar timbral properties as the pedal drums.

The company also builds cases and covers for their drums and reconditions old timpani.

Since every drum is custom-built, the buyer may choose from different bowl shapes with different timbral properties and make any desired modifications to the frames of the drums. For example, European and North American timpanists set their drums up in different orders. The pedals have to be on the opposite sides of the drums in each of the setups.

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