Originally hand built by Weimer in his Hamburg, Germany workshop, Trixon drums proved popular enough with jazz drummers in Europe that the company opened a factory in Hamburg/Bramfeld, which produced Trixon drums from 1956 until 1965. Trixon quickly gained popularity with American jazz drummers of the 1950s and had several major artist endorsements, including Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton. There are photos of Ringo Starr playing Trixon drums during the band's early days in Hamburg, before his endorsement of Ludwig drums in 1963.
Karl-Heinz Weimer with a
Trixon Speedfire 700 drum set
with Speedfire Tom Rack
(from 1961 product brochure)
Trixon began exporting drums to the United States in 1965, which required a new and larger factory, opened in 1966 in Hamburg/Reinbek. In 1967, Trixon began producing drum sets in collaboration with the Vox Musical Instrument Co. bearing the Vox logo. To meet demand, Trixon opened a new facility under the name Trixon, Ltd. in cooperation with the Irish piano company, Rippen Ltd. When Rippen collapsed in the early 70's Trixon was also closed down, due to intense competition from Japanese drum manufacturers.
After the company was dissolved, Karl Weimer continued to provide repair service and spare parts through his music store, Music City in Hamburg, one of the largest dealers of music instruments in Europe. Karl Heinz Weimer died in 1997, after handing over the remaining Trixon business, including the warehouse containing the remainder of unsold stock to a partner, Arthur Oeschger. Oeschger tried to rebuild the Trixon brand and produce custom instruments with the remaining stock and molds, but a fire in 1998 destroyed the entire inventory, ending all production of Trixon instruments. Arthur Oeschger died in 2000.
Trixon Telstar 200 drum set
(from 1964 product brochure)
In the late 1950s Trixon produced its most recognizable product, the ellipsoidal bass drum, dubbed the "Speedfire". Resembling a cylinder flattened on one side into a trapezoidal-like shape, the drum was designed to be fitted with two bass drum pedals side-by-side. The interior of the drum was divided into two sections, and the unique shape of the shell allowed each pedal to produce a different pitch. Another innovation was the "Telstar" series, which featured conical shaped tom-toms and bass drums, tapered so one end was narrower than the other.
While it is clear that Trixon was highly focused on unique visual appeal, from the oddly shaped drums to the myriad of finishes ranging from normal sparkle wraps to the wild and outlandish "croco" wrap finishes, it must be mentioned that the drum shells were excellent and these are very good sounding sets.