this time still working in the drum store, John had access to virtually
every manufacturer's state of the art gear, as soon as it was available,
keeping John on the cutting edge of drum technology for the next
three years. Continuing to do re-wraps, bearing edges, and snare
beds, John honed his skills. In mid 1995 John purchased a new wood-hoop
Ayotte kit, performing the same careful analysis with this kit that
he did with the G.M.S kit. His thought was to take the top two drum
brands and completely critique their products. "With G.M.S.
and Ayotte, I could evaluate and test the difference between straight-shell
drums and drums with reinforcement rings," he said. In John's
opinion those were the two best acoustic drum sounds on the market
at the time. John left San Francisco Drumworld at the end of 1995,
to pursue his goal of making his own drums.
managing at Downtown Rehearsal, John had his own room with his band.
With calls continually coming in for repair services, he simply
set up half of his rehearsal room to perform drum repair services.
Hence, Thumper Custom Drums was born! But before you ask where we
got the name, we'll tell you right now: "Thumper" was
John's nickname during his rock and roll career. You see, John was
never taught correctly how to play drums. He was self taught and,
of course, developed some bad habits. One of those was his bass
drum foot, which he used for a metronome--thus, the thump, thump,
thump, through ballads, polkas and anything else that was being
played. Voilà! his nickname was born.
progression from drum repair and refurbishing to creating custom
drums seemed to be the right path for John. He had always thought
that drums could be made better and less expensive than those which
were being produced by the major manufacturers, so he set out to
make great drums at a fair price.
company slogan would be "high-quality, low-cost drums for the
working drummer." John himself was always a working drummer,
so he could relate to every-day drummers who play for a living.
Therefore, he intended to focus his products to drummers who are,
according to John, "playing in the rock and roll trenches."
outgrowing the facility at Downtown Rehearsal, Thumper moved to
the East Bay and continued building kits. Next, he exhibited his
drums at the NAMM and the Hollywood Custom and Vintage shows. As
Thumper's popularity increased, John placed a few drums in Bay Area
drum stores. In 1999 John submitted two drums to the Nashville Snare
Drum Olympics, winning both first and second place for his two drums.
In 2000 he exhibited at the NAMM show in Los Angeles, to a great
response from buyers and other exhibitors.
2004 the company relocated again to Everett, Washington. The new
facility enables John to operate extremely inexpensively. You see,
we at Thumper Custom Drums are able to keep our costs down because
John's shop is part of his home! He has no overhead, no parking
lot, no neon signs. So when you buy our drums, you are paying only
for the materials and the labor it takes to put them together: no
distributors, no retailers, no middlemen. We feel we have the right
combination of drum-making knowledge as well as access to top quality
drum-making materials, both of which allow us to build great drums
at a great price. John's philosophy has always been not to build
a lot of drums, but to build good ones, and that is why John stands
behind his work. In fact, every Thumper Custom Drum has a lifetime
guarantee. But don't take our word for it. In the proof pages you
will find testimonials from customers and endorsees. Many of these
individuals have volunteered to be contacted, personally, should
you have any questions or comments.