At Noble & Cooley, we make only professional drums, primarily by hand, in our factory in Granville, Massachusetts. Everything we do, from the wood choices to the shell designs and configurations, to the finishes and hardware choices, we do solely for the purpose of making drums that look and sound beautiful. Our drums vary in price, not because of differences in quality, but because of the costs involved in building a particular drum or drum set. Some of this is due to the materials used. As an example, gold plated hardware is more expensive than chrome plated hardware which adds to the cost of the drum. Larger drums use more wood, chrome and brass than smaller drums.
Mostly however, it is the time involved in the construction, and our drums take a lot of time to make. The solid shells have to be softened in small batches for up to four hours in the steam chest and then have to cure for as long as three months before we can start turning them into drums. We cut our bearing edges to 45 degrees internally, then do an external round over and then sand them by hand and test them on a table ground to 1/10,000 of an inch tolerance. All of our opaque finishes are hand painted, not wrapped. While wraps can produce some cool finishes, they can dampen the tone so we choose to hand finish instead. Each coat of paint has to dry on the rollers for two days before it can be sanded and the next coat applied. A sparkle finish could have as many as nine coats of paint meaning just the finish on the drum could take eighteen days. Our natural oil and stains are hand rubbed onto the shell but there are fewer coats, resulting in faster throughput. Therefore, while some would say that the natural finishes we create are signature Noble & Cooley, we actually offer these for less than the painted finishes because they cost us less to produce.
Our approach to manufacturing drums is not exactly a recipe for mass production. We are OK with that. There are a number of companies who make really nice mass produced drums which can be sold at lower prices. We think this is great.
It’s just not what we do.
We want to build you a drum set that you are proud of, that is unique and special, that allows you to fully express yourself musically, that will provide you with profound musical experiences, that you will want to own forever. We want the drums we make to be yours and yours alone.