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The Contemporary Drum & Hardware Giant

Don Lombardi, founder of Drum Workshop
John Good, original drum designer/builder of Drum Workshop

DW in the 1970s: Shattering invisible traditional walls

Most of today’s biggest names in drums and percussion have a 50-year (or more) head start on DW. Very few contemporary companies that got started as late as the 70’s or 80’s actually become titans themselves. DW is one of the rare few that shatters invisible traditional walls.

1972 The “Drum Workshop” was founded on not much more than extreme passion for drums, imagination, and desire to elevate the modern drummers’ experience. The ‘Workshop’ started out as a simple lessons and learning center, founded by Don Lombardi. Lombardi struggled without the income the typical mom and pops lessons plus retail model brought. Adding sticks, books, accessories, and a couple used drum kits greatly improved the Drum Workshop income, and chances of survival.

1977 The retail side of the ‘Drum Workshop’ unlocked a passion for creating and improving percussion related products, long overdue for an overhaul. The first DW product is an original Drum Throne/Trap case designed and built by student and part time salesman John Good. The DW throne/Trap kit took off with unexpected success. Design creativity came naturally to the pair of passionate drummers. With DW’s sudden and steady income flow and a small loan, Lombardi gathered the funds to buy Camco drum companies specialized tooling and machinery.

1978 Drum Workshop has now grown from a small lesson’s studio to a percussion manufacturer. The drumming words new dynamic duo- Dom Lombardi (The dedicated founder) and John Good (the mad scientist) now have the keys to unlock their limitless imaginations.

1980’s DW Hardware

The fast, quiet, and adjustable DW 5000 bass drum pedal and 5002 double kicker took the drumming world by storm. Other high performance hardware upgrades like the two leg 5000T high-hat stand and cable driven 5502LB high hat stand quickly propelled DW to the top of the drum hardware world. The original pair of kickers grew into the 5000 series of hardware, an endless horizon of new ideas, and improvements on ideas of the recent and distant past. As far as drum hardware is concerned, DW owned the 80’s.

The DW Drums Legacy

Lombardi and Good began experimenting with drum shells through the 80’s. The pair quietly began manufacturing completely home-grown DW drum kits. At first, the kits were used exclusively at the DW showroom, to demo DW’s constantly growing line of hardware. It didn’t take long for DW’s ‘demo’ sets to attract a lot of attention, when noted players like Mick Fleetwood, Jim Keltner, Chad Wackerman and Tommy Lee insisted on buying the kits, right off the floor. The time seemed ripe to grow beyond drum hardware, into drums, but it’s a gamble.

Are the first few DW kits a lucky fluke, or a product good enough to compete on the world stage? Don Lombardo and John Good decided to see what Musical Instrument retailers, and the drummers of the world had to say at the 1989 Anaheim NAMM show.

History tells us that Don and John were right, but nobody expected DW to take a years’ worth of orders on the first day.

The operation moves to a larger 1,500 sq. ft. space to allow for drum production and expanded prototyping.
The first ever cable-operated, remote Low Boy and 2-leg hi-hat stands are introduced.

Today’s Drum Workshop

DW drums sets are precisely well matched, easy to tune, dynamically sensitive, versatile, and did we mention stunning to look at? DW Shell-packs feature beautifully stained woods or artfully crafted outer plies, but that’s only the beginning. DW’s creative circular lugs and suspended mounting systems add visual and sonic appeal. Even if you’re not a drummer, you can’t help but notice how every part of a DW kit flows together, like a Supercharged Hemi engine. Every piece of any DW kit is carefully crafted to work together with efficiency, comfort you can see and feel, and most importantly, a perfectly matched timbre.

1999. DW added Pacific Drums & Percussion to the DW family. ‘DW-PDP’ offers a complete range of drums and hardware that mirrors DW’s custom shop drums at a price that is as inclusive as DW’s mission.

Performance is the driving force behind everything DW and DW PDP offers.Everything from a Collectors series kit, right down to a factory dog-bone clamp is designed to deliver Pro performance. Although all DW and DW PDC drums and percussion are built to pro standards, they are built with ALL Drummers in mind. The fact is, The Drum Workshop was founded to inspire, excite, and unlock potential in anyone with the desire to grab a pair of sticks and mount the throne.

Drum Workshop innovation is ongoing, and fierce.Check out kits of previously unheard-of drum shell construction techniques, sound enhancing grain configurations, perfectly matched shells, creative bearing edge types, finely tunable hoops, lugs and rods, zero tonal impact hardware and more. For a dedicated musician, improvement is a never-ending journey that’s full of surprises. The same is true for the aptly named ‘Drum Workshop.”