Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fibes SFT 690 Snare Drum

As I mentioned in my last blog, Drum companies over the years have tried different combinations of shell size, snare strainers, wires, and tensioning systems to build their drums. The one constant was the make up of the shell. It was either wood or metal.

In 1966, the Fibes Drum Corporation was born and fiberglass was used for shell construction. This was truly a first, and drummers took to Fiberglass and sales took off. I remember the first time I saw these drums. It was at Mr. Kelly's, a Jazz club in Chicago. There was Buddy Rich sitting behind a set of Fibes drums driving his band like nobodies business. I remember the snare drum, in particular, stood out. Buddy must have felt that way also. because he used the Fibes Snare Drum even when he was endorsing Slingerland. The cover of his Live in London LP on RCA clearly shows his Fibes Snare Drum.

Buddy wasn't the only player who endorsed Fibes. Jack Sperling and Alan Dawson played them, along with Billy Cobham of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Well, I thought, if these drums are good enough for Buddy and these other great drummers, then I had to own one.

The pictured SFT 690 Snare Drum is one of four that I own. The drums came in various wraps with the strangest being the Fivel finish. This Beauty has the Black fivel wrap. It's really more of a sprayed on finish than a wrap. The drum is very sensitive and is a great all around snare drum that can be used in any situation.

Unfortunately, the Fibes Drum Company is no longer with us. After going through various owners and even a few name changes, the company " gave up the ghost." Perhaps it will reappear someday, but its place in drum history is assured.

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