Need help identifying snare drum

J-W

Well-known member
I was practically given this snare sometime around the mid 90's and was told that the shell is a TAMA Superstar as the badge would indicate, but that it had "cheap aftermarket hardware" on it. It was originally finished in transparent red, but I stripped it and sprayed it with the same black tinted clear polyurethane that I had used on an oak dresser a year prior, but it ended up coming out green instead of the greys I had hoped for. I never really used it because I robbed the die cast hoops off of it to be used on another drum (they now reside on my LM411), and never got around to completing it. I don't recall painting the inside, but I can see some of the red along the inside of the bearing edge. I don't think the inside was red when I got it, but it's been so long ago, I may have painted over it with black since I don't like red, and I just don't remember. My gut tells me it came this way, but who knows?...
Anyway, I'm curious if anyone knows what I've got here. The lugs look like either Pearl (or knockoffs since they said cheap hardware?), and it looks like a knockoff of a TAMA (Mastercraft ?) roller strainer. Does the shell appear to be a Superstar or is it too just a birch shell that someone slapped a badge onto? I believe I am the one to replace the vent grommet when I refinished it. That's something I would definitely do. It also looks like it's missing an internal muffler of some sort, but it doesn't look like any other re-drilling took place.
Regardless, I think I'm going to put it back together to see how it sounds, but am curious as to what I've actually got here.
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Those are in fact Pearl style coffin lugs. Those thing can be found everywhere from actual Pearl drums to stencil kits to modern beginner stuff. I'm not sure if there is a way to determine if its real or not. I cant help with the throwoff.

FWIW I dig the green.
 

J-W

Well-known member
I'm taking their word that the lugs and strainer are just knock-offs, but I'm really curious about the shell. I haven't found any pics of Superstars that look like the factory hole spacing would accommodate these coffin lugs, but I don't know much about Tama snares. I'm hoping maybe the hole spacing and interior finish might help identify it.

I hated the green when I did it, since I wanted it to be grey, but now that I've rediscovered this drum, I don't mind it so much. I stopped before finishing the drum, though. I would have put a few more layers of clear, then sanded it smooth and polished it, had it come out the right color.
It's not a good picture, but here is the dresser and the color I was after.
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roncadillac

Member
It is in fact a Tama Superstar. The butt Is original, the badge looks original but the grommet is wonky, the pearl/pearl knockoff lugs are not original. The strainer looks original however I've only ever seen those boxy 80s Tama strainers stamped with "Tama" on the front so maybe it's also a knock off. The 'empty' holes are for the factory internal adjustable muffler. Take a look at this drum for example: https://reverb.com/item/40695361-ta...Kcx-mcR6fC0uC5bLHa3FY9J3fWMwSBbxoCjVIQAvD_BwE
 
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SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
I was practically given this snare sometime around the mid 90's and was told that the shell is a TAMA Superstar as the badge would indicate, but that it had "cheap aftermarket hardware" on it. It was originally finished in transparent red, but I stripped it and sprayed it with the same black tinted clear polyurethane that I had used on an oak dresser a year prior, but it ended up coming out green instead of the greys I had hoped for. I never really used it because I robbed the die cast hoops off of it to be used on another drum (they now reside on my LM411), and never got around to completing it. I don't recall painting the inside, but I can see some of the red along the inside of the bearing edge. I don't think the inside was red when I got it, but it's been so long ago, I may have painted over it with black since I don't like red, and I just don't remember. My gut tells me it came this way, but who knows?...
Anyway, I'm curious if anyone knows what I've got here. The lugs look like either Pearl (or knockoffs since they said cheap hardware?), and it looks like a knockoff of a TAMA (Mastercraft ?) roller strainer. Does the shell appear to be a Superstar or is it too just a birch shell that someone slapped a badge onto? I believe I am the one to replace the vent grommet when I refinished it. That's something I would definitely do. It also looks like it's missing an internal muffler of some sort, but it doesn't look like any other re-drilling took place.
Regardless, I think I'm going to put it back together to see how it sounds, but am curious as to what I've actually got here.
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I’ve owned a number of Tama snares and always looking at vintage, never seen a Tama throw like that one. Probably aftermarket.?
The vent hole grommet holding the Tama badge appears to be larger than factory.
But I dig the drum and the fact that you are reviving it after all these years!
 

wraub

Well-known member
I got nuthin' to add, but I do like the color, quite a bit, ;)
 

roncadillac

Member
Another indicator that it's definitely a Tama shell is if you look closely at the second picture (the close up of the strainer) you can clearly see the shell ply 'seam' is diagonal and not vertical. As far as I'm aware Tama was the first to do this. DW is famous for that now but they started after Tama was already doing it.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I know not all snares have snare beds but this one doesn't look to have one-was it a tom converted into a snare maybe?
 

J-W

Well-known member
Another indicator that it's definitely a Tama shell is if you look closely at the second picture (the close up of the strainer) you can clearly see the shell ply 'seem' is diagonal and not vertical. As far as I'm aware Tama was the first to do this. DW is famous for that now but they started after Tama was already doing it.

Ah! I forgot to mention the diagonal seam. I'm glad you caught that.
I also forgot to get a better pic of the inside showing the hole spacing on the lugs. All of the Superstar snares that I've seen (much like the reverb listing you linked) have the double sided lugs, so whoever modified this must have used the existing inner holes for the coffin lugs and then drilled the outers.

Thank you for all of your help, guys. It looks like it might be worth putting this thing back together. I found a pair of triple flanged hoops in my stock pile and all the tension rods, so I just need to get a set of extended snare wires and I should be good to go. I have some standard length wires from my Coliseum snare that I may try, but I'm not sure how they'll work with this particular strainer.

Again, thanks to everyone for your help. Much appreciated! (y)
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Another indicator that it's definitely a Tama shell is if you look closely at the second picture (the close up of the strainer) you can clearly see the shell ply 'seem' is diagonal and not vertical. As far as I'm aware Tama was the first to do this. DW is famous for that now but they started after Tama was already doing it.

Dang. Good eye, my friend!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I know not all snares have snare beds but this one doesn't look to have one-was it a tom converted into a snare maybe?
That roller style throwoff compensates for that. The cord/strap goes under the rollers which pulls the wires taught against the head in a similar way that the Rogers Dyna-Sonic did. A snare bed is almost unnecessary.
 

roncadillac

Member
Ah! I forgot to mention the diagonal seam. I'm glad you caught that.
I also forgot to get a better pic of the inside showing the hole spacing on the lugs. All of the Superstar snares that I've seen (much like the reverb listing you linked) have the double sided lugs, so whoever modified this must have used the existing inner holes for the coffin lugs and then drilled the outers.

Thank you for all of your help, guys. It looks like it might be worth putting this thing back together. I found a pair of triple flanged hoops in my stock pile and all the tension rods, so I just need to get a set of extended snare wires and I should be good to go. I have some standard length wires from my Coliseum snare that I may try, but I'm not sure how they'll work with this particular strainer.

Again, thanks to everyone for your help. Much appreciated! (y)

Totally! Franken-bastard of a drum it is... It's a REALLY cool drum none the less haha. That will be a fat meaty monster. Keep us posted.
 

J-W

Well-known member
Totally! Franken-bastard of a drum it is... It's a REALLY cool drum none the less haha. That will be a fat meaty monster. Keep us posted.

It's weird that I came across this and suddenly took an interest in it again after all this time. I suppose because after my LM411 I never needed another snare, and I doubt this will top that one, but it'll still be interesting to see how it performs.
I'll definitely keep you posted.
 
That roller style throwoff compensates for that. The cord/strap goes under the rollers which pulls the wires taught against the head in a similar way that the Rogers Dyna-Sonic did. A snare bed is almost unnecessary.
Isn't there are a snare bed? Looks like it in the first and second picture, but pictures can trick you. Anyway, good luck restoring that snare - whatever it is.
 

J-W

Well-known member
Isn't there are a snare bed? Looks like it in the first and second picture, but pictures can trick you. Anyway, good luck restoring that snare - whatever it is.

I believe it does, but to be honest I didn't pay much attention to that. I'll check when I get back home.

But like MrInsanePollack said, with that roller throwoff, it might not need one. That makes me wonder what the results of not using extended snares will be if it doesn't ?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
That makes me wonder what the results of not using extended snares will be if it doesn't ?
You dont need extended wires with this, only a longer cord/strap. The cord/strap pull the wires taught horizontally, and the rollers lift up to seat them. Its really a pretty cool system. I had the Pearl version until about 12 or so years ago.
 

J-W

Well-known member
You dont need extended wires with this, only a longer cord/strap. The cord/strap pull the wires taught horizontally, and the rollers lift up to seat them. Its really a pretty cool system. I had the Pearl version until about 12 or so years ago.

While I may not need extended wires (I'm going to try it with regular 14" wires), based on further inspection, and what I've read today about the Mastercraft roller system, I believe the system was designed for them. Like you said, the rollers are under spring tension and will drop down vertically when the throw is released, like a short-throw, less-Rube Goldbergesque SuperSensitive system, but that also allows for longer wires so that only the strands make contact with the head theoretically making the drum more sensitive. Some might even say "super". ;):)

I found a few posts on other forums regarding these, but here is one from right here just to keep it in the community. :)


Apparently it looks like snares for the Pearl free floaters will work as replacements, so I may go that route if this all checks out, but like I said, I'm going to try 14" wires since I have them. Come to think of it, I may have an old one from my supersensitive that I might be able to rig up to fit just to see if the longer wires make any difference.
 
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