A few thoughts about Canopus Drums
I started hearing about these new "Canopus" drums from musicians around New York. A bassist asked me "hey man, they got a set of Canopus drums down at Cornelia St. Cafe and they sound amazing and open. You ought to check them out.." And, sure enough, the next time I played Cornelia, I was struck by how open and tonally expressive the Canopus were. I made a note of it, for sure.
In 2010 I was in Frank Ascensa's drum shop in the Bronx when I met Eliot Zigmund, the great drummer who was with Bill Evans in the 70s (Eliot is STILL great, he's at the top of his game). I had some old Sonor drums I was having the edges re-cut and I was thinking of buying some new drums. Eliot asked "Why don't you try Canopus? I think you'd like them." He invited me to his house and we played the Canopus club kit in his living room and they just sang beautifully. I was very impressed.
On the way home I stopped off to see my friend Frank Colonnato at the Long Island Drum Center shop in Nyack, NY and there was an amazing Canopus RFM kit sitting there, waiting for me. I played them, they sounded open and full, especially the snare, a beautiful 5.5x14 with die cast hoops and the Canopus Vintage snare wires, it sounded bigger than a 6" deep drum and had more guts than any snare I'd ever owned. It was perfect. So, I promptly stepped outside to call my wife and explain to her how I was going to pull off buying these new drums. "What's the name of them?!?" She kept asking.
The drums sang so much more open than any other drums I'd owned. I found the Canopus to be especially easy to tune and hear the tonalities more specifically. Granted, I had been playing on 60s vintage drums since the early 90s, this was my first "new" drum kit in quite some time, but the alignment and congruity of the Canopus allow them to sing and have tone that no other drums I'd owned ever had.
In 2011, I very gratefully and happily signed with Canopus Drums.
In 2012 I ordered two more Canopus kits, the Club Kit and a "pop" type kit with a 20" bass drum. I enjoyed them immensely and recorded a couple of records using those drums. I used the RFM drums on my album "Suit-up!" in 2013 and took the Club Kit out on scores of gigs, the 15" bass drum always sounded amazing, filling up the room with a full tone.
Canopus Club Kit
In 2015 I switched out my RFM series for a Neo-Vintage M1 kit. The past few years had taught me a lot about bearing edges, hoops, various woods… all kids of nuances about drums I hadn't known. After playing the Canopus kit at Smoke in NYC several times, I found I liked the Neo-Vintage drums a lot because of their tone and feel, which comes from their rounded bearing edges, die cast hoops and poplar wood in the shell design. The perfect kit for me has evolved into a Canopus Neo-Vintage kit with 12" 13" toms mounted from stands, 14" 16" floor toms, 5.5"x14" snare and 18" un-drilled bass drum. Rounded "baseball bat" edges, die cast hoops.
Canopus is doing several things aside from just their drums; the bolt tight washers, their amazing snare wire, the speed star bearing, are all examples of intelligent re-imagining of drum designs. The bolt tights change the feel of a drum, just slightly, taking a bit of the edge off, softening the feel a little bit because the hoop is resting on a bed of leather washers instead of a metal-on-metal. I feel it most in the snare drum. I also feel it gives a slight more depth to the sound of a drum. Their snare wires are the best going, artistry applied to every detail make the wires more sensitive and light, so that the drum breathes. I can't say enough for the snare wires, they are simply amazing! And the Speed-Star, I was shocked at the difference in my vintage yamaha pedals from the early 90s, the re-imagining of the bass drum spring pulley gives a pedal a major upgrade in smoothness, speed and power. You have try it!
The Speed-Star Bearing Rocks!
So that's it, I'm just psyched to be playing drums that are a total joy to play and I don't find myself wanting something more from them, they're opening me up as a player, I can relax into the drum, all the tones are there, the depth is there. I spent 20 years trying to nurse along my 60s vintage drums, carrying them around NYC banging them all up, felt like walking on eggshells. The vintage drums, they always needed work, I was always on Ebay looking for parts, and they never sounded right, even after I had them re-cut. The old drums were cool, still had a lot of soul, but they were limited. I had to move into the present! The Canopus have the soul of a drum from the past, but with all the modern design upgrades of the present. http://www.canopusdrums.com