Vintage drum gear: Deri Dixi Kit
Deri Dixi Kit
The Germans certainly had a thing about odd-shaped drums back in the 1950s and 1960s. Trixon is famous in the UK for this but Sonor also experimented with odd shapes as did various other European companies including another German company, Deri.
The name Deri was an acronym derived from the surnames of its two founders Max Deibel and Karl Rimmel. Rimmel drums went on to become successful right into the 1980s, although we’ve never unearthed a set for Vintage Gear.
Karl Rimmel started as far back as 1935 with a shop in Kempten, an ancient riverside town in the Allgäu region of south-western Bavaria. It was not until the 1950s though that he obtained sufficient finance (apparently via a lottery win) to establish a modern workshop factory, which led to the oddity you see here today.
We are again indebted to keen collector of Germania, Dave Prince, for this extremely rare find, which has survived in great condition for well over half a century.
Dave reveals it is a Deri Dixi model kit,from between 1957 and 1959, and would originally have included a conventionalsnare drum and floor tom.
“I bought it from Germany in September 2010,” he says.“The bass drum, which is constructed inthe normal fashion from plywood with reinforcing rings, measures 28"x20"x18".The four toms are made from a hardpressed red composite with diametersof 6½", 7½", 9½" and 10½".”
Unlike Trixon’s more familiar Speedfire, which had an elliptical bass drum with aflat bottom to accommodate two pedals,the Deri is a perfect oval, designed for a single pedal. The four single-headed toms are mounted from two disappearing rod mounts on thebass drum and are joined in pairs by wooden blocks, bongo style.
According to Dave, “Max Deibel passed away in the early 1960s and apparently Deri ceased production in 1960. According to an ex-worker at the workshop there were only around 50 of these sets produced in total.”
Deri drums could be supplied in various finishes, including thin silver wrap, lacquers in natural, ivory, blue or black; grey or red pearloids; red, silver or gold sparkles; black or white with tinsel (aka ‘Lametta’). Dave’s kit is Red Perloid.
It’s refreshing to know that Dave routinely plays several of his vintage kitsin his West London-based band, Serious Charge, which specialises in playing’50s and early-’60s British rock’n’roll.
However, the Deri proved tricky, ashe explains, “I have only played thebass drum live as it sounds fantastic,very full and extremely loud.
"The four toms are more suited to a calypso/bongo sound and still have the original Stabil plastic heads on them. I had to dismantle them and attach a single rack tom for the 1950s sound.”