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CLE Ratio Drum Kit

I won’t pretend to understand what Michael Latini is talking about when he explains his “ratio” drum-building concept. My eyes glaze over and the sound of Coltrane starts to play in my head. But whatever it is, it works.

CLE stands for “Carol Latini Enterprises” (Michael’s wife). R&D began in 1998 and the production shop officially opened February 19, 2002. Latini manufactures to customers’ specific requests, assembly to finish. His prices are reasonable: between $3,600 and $3,700 for the great loaner set I played, with maple shells and a gorgeous high-gloss lacquer natural wood finish tentatively called “Redbeard.” I measured the drums as a 12 3/4 x 18-inch bass, 4 x 13 snare, 10 x 14 floor tom and an 8 1/2 x 12 small tom. I was way off! The actual sizes are 13 1/2 x 18 bass (8-ply), a 4.875 x 13 10-ply snare, a 10 1/2 x 14 floor tom and a 9 x 12 rack tom (both 6-ply).

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