As you browse this website you will find out why Natal is unsurpassed when it comes to original design, build quality and ongoing product development. You will also discover Natal’s rich heritage which goes way back to 1960s London, and how that heritage has been reinvigorated by another quintessentially British brand, Marshall Amplification.
Why Marshall, Why Natal?
From those very first amplifiers built in the back of Jim Marshall's music shop in 1960s London, right through to the present day purpose-built factory in Milton Keynes, Marshall Amplification has always supported British design, British innovation and British manufacturing. It's this ethos that has made the Marshall name, and of course the Marshall sound, recognised the world over. Constant research and development, the manufacture of high quality products and the active search for new opportunities are at the very heart of Marshall. This is the reason why Marshall Amplification is proud to be affiliated with iconic British percussion brand Natal UK.
The Origins of Natal
Natal was originally conceived in 1958 by distinguished British percussionist Alan Sharp who unable to find the exact instruments he wanted to play sourced their individual parts and assembled them himself. Alan's new Afro-Cuban bongos were of such high quality that orders began to flood in, from his protégés and contemporaries alike, eventually leading to the foundation of the Natal Percussion Company in 1965. While based in Swinging London Natal enjoyed huge success, especially with its revolutionary fibreglass congas, which found favour with the likes of Santana, T. Rex, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Deep Purple and the Rolling Stones.
Evolution: The Spirit of Natal
Natal’s heritage is no doubt in percussion, but with Marshall Amplification’s vision and commitment to innovation a brand new range of drum kits has been developed from scratch. The aim has been to create drums and hardware that push design boundaries while maintaining the heritage and integrity of the Natal name: the famous ‘Sun’ logo remains; you can choose between stave or ply snare drums; there are thirteen kit configurations to choose from, or custom make your kit from a wide choice of individual shells; the highest quality woods, Ash, Birch, Maple, Bubinga and American Walnut have been selected specifically for their tonal characteristics. Unlike other drum brands Natal uses the same quality components on all drums across all of the ranges: same lug boxes, same tom mounts, same Tri-Throw snare mechanism, same heavy duty bass drum spurs; it is the woods that set the price points. This gives all Natal drums a sense of consistent quality so you don’t have to compromise, regardless of which kit or shells you choose.
Built in Britain
The Natal Stave snare drum, British built, symbolises the synergy between Natal’s roots in percussion, evolution into drum kits and the relationship between two classic British brands: stave snare drums are made like congas from wood staves, as opposed to plies; the Stave snare drum itself embodies the transition from congas and bongos to full drum kits; and all Stave snares are built at the Marshall factory in Milton Keynes. Also British built is the Hand Hammered range of snare drums. Both Stave and Hand Hammered snares have the same distinctive hand polished ‘Sun’ logo lugs, Tru-Tune tension rods and Tri-Throw snare mechanism that you will find on all Natal pro snare drums.
Natal hardware has also been designed from scratch. You can choose between the rugged, heavy duty Professional Series or the lighter, slimmer Standard Series. It is Natal’s commitment to research and development that informs its unique designs. Both hardware series’ features include: non-slip Aluminium Ball Technology for greater hold and durability; the Natal Resonance Mount (NRM) which allows toms to be mounted with zero shell contact; dual boom/straight cymbal stands which feature the Natal Freestyle 360 tilting mechanism. Pro and Standard series bass drum pedals feature fast or smooth cam options, self levelling hoop clamp, the Natal Floating Spring System and a rugged non-slip foot plate.
Committed to Quality
Natal is committed to producing drums and hardware of the highest standard of quality. As well as being British designed Natal drums and hardware are British quality controlled. This means that ply shells, flat metal shells and hardware, exclusively manufactured in Taiwan, are quality controlled by Natal’s dedicated team working closely with all factory departments at every stage of manufacture. This is essential in communicating the high standard of quality required. Being there on the ground, face to face, also builds greater synergy between Natal UK and the production team in Taiwan. This partnership ensures that Natal drums and hardware exceed expectations. Exclusive manufacturing and the ‘hands on’ approach to quality control means that Natal raises the bar in terms of innovative design presented with consistently high build quality.
There are many concepts currently in development for drums and hardware. The Natal creative team is constantly experimenting with new ways of approaching design, of new ways to think about drums and hardware. In 2012 & 2013 there will be a raft of new and exiting products across the whole range and beyond.