ARBITER FLATS

Behind the Kit 1998 - Present

This was a fun and easy kit to setup and play. I did a straight swap for this kit, I swapped a Sabian ride cymbal. (I had a spare) I got the kit from Professional Music Technology in Southend, Essex. Know as PMT, it was founded in 1991 by a guy that worked at Monkey Business in Romford.  I used this kit for rehearsals rather than having to set up the Premier XPK kit. From 1998 to 2000 this kit came into its own. I was in a band called The Theos Worship Band, a Christian youth band that was part of the Christian multimedia events called Theos. The members were young people from Romford Evangelical Church. My job along with Simon Edward (bass) and Griff (guitar) was to keep the 'youth' on track and provide a strong, steady rhythm section. Over these years we had many rehearsals (they used to go on a bit!) some weeks were every night of the week! Myself, Simon and Griff were not in our youth, I'm not saying I was old but there was more to life than setting up my Premier XPK  night after night to just sit behind it watching young people argue. So the Arbitar Flats kit was perfect, A complete Kit including cymbals all in two bags. It sounded good for a kit without shells, perfect rehearsal kit. For the Theos events I still bought out the 'big guns' and used the Premier XPK. 

Mr Ivor Arbiter who sold Ringo Starr his first Ludwig kit, the guy who came up with Hayman drums, and then Arbiter Autotune drums. Can you start to see a running theme across my Gear History pages?... Yep, Hayman Drums. Basically, the Arbiter Flats does away with everything that is extraneous on a drum kit. This makes it ultra portable (bags to carry the whole kit and a separate one for the hardware), ideal as a rehearsal kit, or a practice kit.

The thing that makes this kit possible is the ‘V clamp’ that tensions the heads without having to rely on normal hoops, lugs and tension rods. Ivor Arbiter invented this after he noticed the clamps that were used on his yacht to connect pipes together. This clamp tightens around the shell, when this happens the head gets tighter and you can tune your drum with just one screw.

Now, because the tension system doesn’t need a shell for the lugs etc, Arbiter did away with the shell, or rather 90% of it, so the whole drum is probably just under two inches deep. Attached to the side of the shell is a curved plate for the tom bracket, two (tiltable ones) on the bass drum for the spurs and the snare is basically two Flats drums back to back with a snare bed, snare wires and a simple throw off that share a proper shell. All the shells, hoops and side plates are made of black ABS (the stuff used in riot shields – very tough), and that’s just about it. Simple huh?