Vintage View - Cadeson
I was looking around www.mikedolbear.com (as is my wont) and found a request for info on Cadeson. Well, in a previous life I was sure I’d written about their drums so didn’t consider myself a stranger to them. This turned out not to be the truth since they’re not on my long list of ‘Drumchecks’ for International Musician. However, I certainly had come across the drums numerous times at the many NAMM and Musik Messe shows I’d found myself at over the years. They were certainly never exactly well-known here in the UK and seem to have enjoyed better success in Far Eastern countries closer to their Taiwan factory. This makes shipping considerably cheaper to neighbouring countries like Japan, Korea, NZ, Australia, Malaysia, Brazil and Thailand. Various European countries are/were important customers for them as well as the mighty USA but of course shipping to them would be at a premium.
So, Cadeson are a family operation based in Taipei City which is in the South of the island where the company was founded in 1985. They make everything in their own factory including shells, stands, nutboxes, screws and even saxophones. Because of this they can’t really be classified as an OEM operation since as far as I’m aware they only make for themselves and even describe themselves as ‘custom drum makers’. They boasted that (unlike most other drum makers in the ROC) from the very beginning, their shells were made from North American maple, but they’ve also made them from birch, basswood and even bubinga. Additionally they’ve put together various amalgamations of any and all of the above woods. Their drums certainly weren’t entry-level products by any stretch of the imagination because they obviously pay a great deal of attention to detail.
Besides their obviously conventional outfits called ‘Stadium’, ‘Studio’, ‘Twist’ and ‘Blast’ they produced some very interesting drum sets in maple, bubinga and walnut. There’s even a set called ''Big Power'' which can be reconfigured into two separate kits for face-to-face teaching with teacher and student facing each other. The bass drum and its ''Woofer'' connect face-to-face so each player has a bass drum batter head facing them, in effect playing the same bass drum!
The ‘Glaze’ series is a 5mm thick acrylic-shelled set with a 20 x 16” bass drum, 16 x 15, 14 x 12, 12 x 9 and 10 x 8 toms and a 14 x 6” snare. The set was unusually hung on a curved rack with equally curved uprights which contained a couple of boom cymbal stands.
The ‘Nagashi Compact’ is Cadeson''s version of a ‘nesting’ set constructed from birch with 22 x 18, 16 x 14, 14 x 9, 12 x 6 and 13 x 5” snare – all designed to make it possible to put drums inside drums (Russian doll style) to make them easier to transport. Cadeson also had a cocktail set which came with a 14 x 24” upright shell used as a combined bass drum (bottom head) and tom (top head). In the fashion of many more modern cocktail kits, there’s a 10 x 5.5” tom attached alongside an 8 x 5” mounted snare.
Another set Cadeson produced was a less salubrious one called ‘Stadium’ which came in two versions with different tom sizes. ''Blast'' came in four different materials - walnut, cherry, maple and bubinga - with regular-sized isolated mounted toms and 18” deep bass drums and a very studio-friendly ‘Nashville style’ 16 x 14” floor tom.