About Us

About ADC Drums

How it all began…

ADC Drums was started by the boss, Andy Dwyer, back in 1993. After a few years of retail experience under his belt, including stints at Hessys and Rushworths Music Store in Liverpool city centre, he decided to go it alone.

With a limited budget and a stroke of luck with shop premises, he started out trading from Seel St in Liverpool, until the 2008 ‘European Capital Of Culture’ redevelopment scheme forced the shop to find a new location in 2004. Relocating at the former premises of the iconic ACME Drum Co at number 19 Cheapside, ADC Drums have survived through some stormy economic trading times. Our ‘boom & bust’ recession economy and the onslaught of internet shopping have proved challenging for every type of traditional High Street shopping outlet – not just music retail. ADC Drums actually hold the little-known accolade of being the first drum retailer to open an eBay shop, embracing the internet age when we were still accessing the World Wide Web on 56 kbps dialup. Fast forward a few years and ADC Drums do most of their trading online, reaching out to all areas of the UK and into Europe. They are particularly well known in the European vintage drum community for supplying vintage American drums.

Current 2024 Status

After almost 20 years at Cheapside, the retail unit we have been trading from is under planning permission for new living space. This means, from 1 Jan 2024, ADC Drums will no longer have a traditional retail unit for walk-in customers. Nothing has changed for online shopping though and we will be back with a new shop unit just as soon as the right place appears in the right area at the right price.

Just to be clear, we have not ceased trading! We are not having a closing down sale (Mr Walker, how many times do we have to repeat ourselves?) and we most certainly, haven’t gone bust! The future is as yet unwritten but when it’s ready, the next chapter will appear on this very page.

How we operate & supply goods

With the necessity of needing to have a strong internet presence to survive, ADC found themselves having to drastically change their business model in order to react quickly in today’s fast-moving-online-shopping environment. The days of the early 90s car-showroom style retail are over; people browse, make decisions and buy using their fingertips on tiny screens. ADC have had to tune their operations to reflect the needs of the modern consumer from a small ‘bricks & mortar’ base and as such, no longer operate on the historical, ‘overstock on the bling’ business model.

It is impossible for a small business like ADC trading in an online world, to keep every single product advertised online, in stock at all times. As a walk-in shop, ADC only hold the stock reflecting the needs of their regular walk-in customers. Products offered online are supplied from high volume, fast turnaround distributors, allowing ADC Drums to quickly supply the thousands of products they wouldn’t be able to stock on site. Whilst this may not be to the satisfaction and expectations of the traditional buyer wanting to try everything ‘hands on’ in store, it actually works out better for the price conscious buyer;


Because the business has not tied its cash-flow into expensive price-tag dust-gathering stock, it has the freedom to access fresh products and react quickly to the demands of the modern online shopper.

We also get the regular question asked:

“Can we come and try out the kits in the shop?”

Unfortunately, this is not possible because:

  1. We don’t have retail premises from 1 Jan 2024 (pending acquisition of a new retail unit in 2024)
  2. We don’t hold the stock (see the previous info above)

However, what is on display out of the box can usually be heard and we will do our best to give an idea of what we have in stock sounds like. In the age of YouTube though, most people are able to research what their desired product sounds like with extreme accuracy. Thanks to the internet, buying ‘blind’ is no longer a high-risk strategy, plus there are now better consumer protection laws in place to cover ‘distance buying’.

As Bob Dylan sang, “the times they are a-changing” and in today’s shrinking music industry, the brutal reality is, demand = supply. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, the joy of playing music with a bunch of people isn’t something people should lose sight of and ADC are here to help you make that experience behind the drums, a better one!