K&S Drums is Karl Fabas and Steve Rowen. Rowen, a lifelong musician, and Fabas, a master glassworker, starting discussing the idea of a musical instrument made from glass in 2008.

 

 

 

Their initial research found that several others had tried to create instruments from the material before, but that no one had ever constructed a true all-glass snare drum shell.  Other attempts had been made using a brass cage-style design, with glass sections serving as windows. Acrylic drums, on the other hand, are essentially plastic; not only do they tarnish with age, but they have always sounded dead. A glass shell  had the potential to sound “alive”, will never warp, will not yellow, and is impervious to temperature and humidity that affect traditional wood shells. As a result, both were curious enough as to what a snare drum made from  the beautiful – and if properly engineered – very, very strong material, would sound like. And so it began.

After several years of research and design, the two proudly announced  the world’s first multi-panel design drum, and the first musical instrument whose shell is built entirely from structural glass.

The result is a phenomenally responsive musical instrument.

Like the interior of a cello, piano,  guitar or any other acoustic instrument (or professionally-designed recording or listening environment), drums have always been built to avoid flat structural surfaces. This has historically made sense, as flat surfaces generate “slapback” – unwanted collision of audio frequencies colliding against one another.

However, Fabas and Rowen discovered that for a snare drum, whose desired tone is a short and stacatto burst, proper use of flat surfaces brings a huge benefit.  After the drum head is struck, the violence and chaos created within the shell as sound waves collide off of its 10 diametrically opposed surfaces is partly responsible for the drum’s incredibly pleasing, entirely unique - and loud – tone.

The glass itself, with much higher density and reflective properties than the plywood used in traditional snare drum construction, is the other half of the drum’s unique and musical sound. Because of the extensive research done during the design process, K&S drums have ZERO of the ring one might normally expect from glass. K&S drums can be also handled and played just like any other drum. No matter how hard a drummer hits, the drum will not be harmed. Like any musical instrument, they are not designed to be abused (they will break if thrown down a flight of stairs, as would an electric guitar), but have already been on the road with touring musicians and are proven road ready and road tough. K&S offers the most comprehensive warranty of any drummaker in the business.

In addition, because they’re built of glass, Fabas and Rowen recognized early on that drums could be personalized by etching any design, no matter how complex or detailed, onto the drum itself. This creates an opportunity for drummers to make their snare drum an entirely unique and personal work of art.

In the summer of 2010, Rowen and Fabas starting shipping a few drums to some of the most influential drummers in the world. The feedback they received was overwhelming, and immediately, K&S drums started showing up on top recording sessions, live tours, and televised events.

Today, all drums are handmade by Fabas and Rowen in Watertown, Connecticut. The two craftsmen are extremely proud of the instruments they build, and in the ability to bring a lifetime of joy to the most discerning musicians in search of a truly unique and signature sound.