Ellis Drum Company

To see a set of Ellis drums you may need to hop on a plane, because they’re only available in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Tim Ellis, a 40-year drum veteran who still performs with Transit Authority, a Chicago tribute band, started making drums six years ago to promote his Twin Cities drum shop. The drums have since become popular with Minnesota pros as a “player’s drum set.” Working out of an 1100 sq. ft. basement under the St. Paul store, Ellis aims to produce instruments that “players rely on everyday, the same way a carpenter relies on his best tools.”

Ellis drums are all custom made – any size, thickness, or bearing edge you want. All the components except for shells and hoops are made locally. The proprietary lugs are machined from aluminum and contribute to the kits’ light weight.

According to Ellis, the hottest seller right now is his Vintage Tweed set, which is covered in the same fabric found on guitar amps from the ’50s and can be ordered with a canister throne to complete the look. Ellis is also particularly excited about his ten-lug-over-six-lug vintage snare design, which has a unique sound.

A standard 5-piece set of Ellis tubs will run about $2,700. If you don’t want to fly to Minneapolis, you can order them online.

Contact Ellis Drum Shop, 524 Snelling Avenue North, Sts Paul, MN 55104; 651-603-0848. ellisdrumshop.com