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Ray Ayotte Returns to Ayotte Drums

Article by Sean Mitchell // December 01 2013
Ray Ayotte Returns to Ayotte Drums

Ayotte Drums is proud to announce that Ray Ayotte has returned to the company he founded 30 years ago. In his new role as Ambassador to the Ayotte brand, Ray Ayotte will also be involved in product development and marketing.

“Ray Ayotte’s impact in the world of drum-making is immense. We now have the opportunity to bridge the Ray Ayotte era with the new era for Ayotte Drums. We are very proud he’s come home,” said Jean-Denis Beaudoin, owner of Ayotte Drums. 

“I am stoked,” said Ray. “When I step into the Ayotte Drums booth at the 2014 NAMM in January, it will have been 15 years since the last time. This interim has provided me the opportunity for rich experience which I would not have been able to attain any other way. I can bring more now to Ayotte Drums than ever before. I have been to the factory in Bedford a few times and very much like what I see. Jean-Denis has assembled a solid enthusiastic team, capable of making world-class drums and drumsticks.” 

Ray Ayotte‘s unprecedented return comes a few months after the newly restructured company reintroduced itself to the market. Under new management after a few years of operational challenges, Ayotte Drums has now made a comeback that is welcomed by drummers worldwide.

In 2011, after having been out of the market for a few years, Ayotte moved to the province of Quebec to setup operations in Bedford. The location offered proximity to suppliers and talented craftsmen. In vain, the previous owner of Ayotte Drums had to declare forfeit leaving the operation in a hold. Local businessman and entrepreneur Jean-Denis Beaudoin got involved and bought the assets of the 30 year old Ayotte and put together a new team of employees and partners. 

Re-launched to the market at last January NAMM show, Ayotte is making a big impression on the players, dealers and trade people. On site was a display of Ayotte sticks, stainless steel snare and drum kit. It had been more than 10 years since the last presence of Ayotte at the show. 

The company now offers three series of high quality drums: the Classic, the Velvet and the Bedford series. With the Classic series, Ayotte offers the same high-end custom drum line that made its reputation in the early years-- six-ply shells with reinforcement ring and dressed with inlaid wood hoops on all drums. In the Velvet series, the eight-ply shells and full face wood hoop is offered in a limited choice of colors and finishes. Finally, the Bedford series is a triple-flanged version of the Velvet, offered in a choice of four colors in preconfigured shell packs. 

Ayotte also returns with its classic choice of 13 maple and hickory sticks. Drumsticks are made of select hickory and rock maple from Quebec. One of the most important differences in the Ayotte line is that some of the drumstick models are quite different than anything offered by any other company. In addition to the standard “7A, 5A, 5B and 2B” sizes, Ayotte offers some nicely designed sticks meant for jazz, rock, funk, shuffle playing. 

It took a whole year for the new team to restructure the company. The main focus of the restructuration being put on re-establishing customer service and product quality. The new management had to address a heavy list of customers that had been left behind. The company had to deal with those unhappy customers individually and offer reparation often having to give the ordered product at no charge.



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About the Author
Sean Mitchell

Sean Mitchell has been an active participant in the drumming industry for over 20 years. He has studied under Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge and Drumming's Global Ambassador Dom Famularo. Sean is also a songwriter and regularly performs with his wife (and singer) Jill Mitchell. Sean proudly endorses Aquarian Drumheads.

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