The Arbiter AT


In 1996 Ivor Arbiter patented the Arbiter AT drum kit. Although the Autotune had never been the commercial success he had hoped for, he decided to have another attempt at the goal of single lug tuning.

The AT or 'Advanced Tuning' system used a completely different principle to the 1970s Autotune. The Autotunes were also very unusual kits in many ways. The shell design, look and the fact that they were fibreglass were all enough to frighten many drummers to death, without the addition of a revolutionary tuning method.


High manufacturing costs and technical problems meant the kits, especially the later ones, suffered from less than ideal quality control which didn't help them sell at their high price tag. The AT kits used a completely different approach. Only the tuning system was unique. The rest of the kits were totally conventional, having popular contemporary shell sizes, beautifully crafted and finished maple shells and good quality 'off the shelf 'hardware. The tuning method is the only 'unusual' aspect the drummer has to cope with.

This time, quality control was very high and the kits seemed to have no weak points. Well, It should have been a world beater...

(Arbiter AT pictures courtesy of Tad Briton.)