Critics' Pick

Best New Place to Buy Gear

Vic's Drum Shop


June 20, 2012

Open since October 2011 in the Music Garage and run by industry veteran Victor Salazar, former general manager of the Drum Pad in Palatine, Vic's Drum Shop seems determined to make up for all the years the city didn't have a dedicated drum store—and in grand style. The shop's eight rooms (a ninth, for drum hardware, should be open by the time this is published) contain a dazzling quantity of inventory: the kit showroom holds 130 complete drum sets, any one of which can be set up and played; the two cymbal rooms shine with close to 1,500 models, all of which customers can test; and the stick selection boggles the mind, with 800 varieties in stock. One room is devoted to electronic drums, another to snare drums (more than 125), and still another to world-music and Latin percussion. Even if all you need to do is replace your heads, you've got 2,500 kinds to choose from. And the service! When I went shopping for a double kick pedal this winter, the staff dug one out of a storeroom to let me try out two different cams on the model I wanted—and while I spent more than half an hour comparing them on a practice pad, nobody put any sales pressure on me at all. By the time I made my choice, Vic's was closing, and when I couldn't figure out how to transport the pedal's unwieldy case on my bike, Salazar volunteered to hop in his van once he'd locked up the shop and drive my new toy to my practice space.


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Yeah... ask Vic's former employer, the Drum Pad, how they feel about his new venture. Totally turned on one of the truly great guys in the business, who gave him a huge break and literally bailed Baltimore-Colts style, stealing several of the DP's employees in the process. Stay classy, Vic!

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Posted by Fair drumming on 06/22/2012 at 11:51 AM

Victor has been a legend in the drum industry for twenty years because he is passionate about the music community. I applaud his courage for going out and building his dream.

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Posted by drummergirl on 06/29/2012 at 1:44 PM

That's all well and good, drummer girl. I agree Vic is very "passionate" about the music community. It's just too bad his "passion" apparently didn't extend to the Drum Pad, who gave him his start and supported him all the way to the point where he turned on his former employer, taking with him employees and vendor contacts/info.

Was that part of his "dream," as well...?

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Posted by Fair drumming on 07/05/2012 at 12:56 PM

I dunno about the word "steal" to describe people switching jobs voluntarily. The employees in question must have decided they'd rather go to work for Salazar's new shop than stay at the Drum Pad, for whatever reason. Should they not have done so? Should he have refrained from even offering them the jobs?

I'm not informed about the situation myself; I'll admit that. I've been a customer at both stores, but that's about it. I can say, though, that your inflammatory language reads as "guy with an ax to grind," not "brave exposer of perfidy."

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Posted by Philip Montoro on 07/05/2012 at 1:43 PM

People leave businesses all the time and open their own. Is Vic supposed to pass up an amazing opportunity because someone has employed him? Never mind that the shops are 30 MILES APART! He owes no one anything. I am sure the Drum Pad would have liked him to stay, but that's not how life works. You don't need permission of your employer to leave your job and open a competing business.

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Posted by Hamlet23 on 01/03/2013 at 10:39 AM
Showing 1-5 of 5

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