show off your snare


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Senior Member
Last week I found a Tama Starphonic 40th Anniversary Steel on our country's equivalent of Craigslist.

After playing around with it this week I fell absolutely in love with it.

It has a 5mm cast steel shell with integrated reinforcement rings (which makes it even thicker than the Bell Brass and Lars Ulrich Signature) and from everything I could find out there were only 40 of them built back in 2014. Apart from that I could not find any real info on it, what was the motivation behind the drum to make it so thick, why it's a Starphonic and not a "classic" model like the other 40th Anniversary reissues and so on... and also, why doesn't Tama have anything comparable anymore in their lineup? They at least kept a variation of the Bell Brass over the years (the current one being a Starphonic), but they never had a regular thick steel snare apart from the Lars Ulrich Signature.

I would be absolutely glad if someone could shed some more light on this drum and the story behind it, maybe @singleflammedmill as I can see you have the same snare in your collection?

There are two model numbers of the same drum.
The PTS146XL is the 40th Anniversary model and came with a case and a certificate of authenticity.
The PTS146 is a limited edition sold mostly in Europe.
The integrated reinforcement rings are 5mm but the middle of the shell is 3mm.

Tama did the same thing with the Bell Brass, there are a 40th Anniversary and a limited edition model (BB156XL & BB156).


Ok, thanks for the info. Obviously, I have the European limited edition then (living in Germany and all that...).

For the reinforcement rings, I read that they are created by shaving off the middle part of the inner shell, so it makes sense that the rings are 5mm and the inner shell is only 3mm. Still, a cool piece of heavy metal (pun intended).

I searched a bit for the PTS146(XL) model numbers, but I could not find any real info from Tama itself. They had a quick demo of the drumduring their NAMM 2014 show, but there is no catalog entry anywhere for it.

What adds to the confusion is that Tama seemingly also released the current PSS146 (Starphonic 1mm stainless steel with RSE) as a limited edition back in 2011 only to reintroduce it as a regular model later on.


Active Member
Oh, that is not uncommon with Tama. Now and then they launch a limited edition in order to find out if the market really "digs" that new drum or finish. If it sells better than expected, then they might integrate it into the full lineup. The Starclassic B/B was only available in a 20-12-14 config as limited editions years ago. Now, it is a normal option due to the relatively high demand. The fade-finish of your Starclassic was IIRC also part of a limited edition before it became a "standard" finish.


Then I’d wish that they would bring back this heavy cast Starphonic steel.

This thing gets LOUD without ever sounding choked and rimshots make it even louder and it still sounds fantastic. It’s a difference of night and day compared to my “normal” steel snare (which is a 2012 Tama Metalworks 14x6.5” with a regular 1.2mm shell).


Junior Member
I just scored this 1st gen. Tama Swingstar snare with new heads, and snare wires, and a Pearl Unilock stand. All for less than the heads and wires would have set me back.

Did you asked why the guy was selling it? Because if it's for few dollars, better to keep it, right?


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Senior Member
8/9ths of my current snare collection (not pictured: 1981-1985 Tama No. 8056 Imperialstar Mastercraft 6.5x14" steel):


Top row (L-R):
1970s Ludwig No. 411 Super Sensitive 6.5x14"
1997 Ludwig No. 402 Supraphonic 6.5x14" with special order serialized Blue/Olive badge
1979-1982 Ludwig No. 402 Supraphonic 6.5x14"
1986 Ludwig LB-552Y Bronze Supraphonic 6.5x14" with Twin Channel Die-Cast hoops

Bottom row (L-R):
1994 Ludwig LC-484Y Classic Coliseum 8x14" with Twin Channel Die-Cast hoops in Flame Shadow
1966 Ludwig No. 908 Jazz Festival 5x14" (actual depth 5 and 5/16ths) in Black Diamond Pearl
2010s Pearl STA1465AL SensiTone 14x6.5" Beaded Seamless Aluminum
2010s Gretsch G4169BBR USA Custom Bell Brass 6.5x14" with Ludwig Twin Channel Die-Cast batter hoop
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Senior Member
Posted this in the "latest purchase" thread but really is more like "latest project". Built up this nice cherry 6 ply 14x6.5" with some tasty hardware like the die cast hoops, pure sound wires etc.

Tuned it up yesterday and is sounds amazing. It will be added to the others I have built/assembled (14x7 Walnut Stave, 14x6" Keller Maple) along with my DW Craviotto and Pearl 13x5.5" side snare........

I have a couple metal snares that I don't use at all these days. But a N&C Alloy is on the list soon.......Cherry 1.1.jpgCherry 2.1.jpg


Senior Member
Couple new additions to the fam... two mid-late '80s Ludwig L-552K Hammered Bronze 6.5x14" snares! The bottom one has the earlier, slightly smaller hammer marks and has the Twin Channel Die-Cast batter hoop option. It's is in pretty rough shape with lots of tarnishing, corrosion, and a broken P-85. Top one is amazingly clean, but missing the muffler. Looking forward to stripping them both, giving everything a good clean, and comparing the weights on these two shells. I might swap out the die-cast and set them up with identical heads/snares so I can A/B them at a session next weekend.

It's a damn shame Ludwig discontinued their bronze lineup...



Junior Member
Where do you keep your snares? In cases? In a showcase?
I always worry that the snare surfaces fade in a showcase due to the UV light?


Platinum Member
Where do you keep your snares? In cases? In a showcase?
I always worry that the snare surfaces fade in a showcase due to the UV light?
Years ago, Musicians Friend was having a sale on this drum rack. $60, free shipping. It was a no-brainer. Now I can happily limit my snare quiver to six. Usually I keep them in bags, too, but not for this old photo.

Snare Rack.jpg


Active Member
Here are a few on my phone. Gretsch 4 x14 wood, Gretsch 125th Anniversary 5 x14 WMP, & Tama Artwood 8 x14. These are easily my favorite wood shell snares along with my Mapex 6.5 x 14 Deep Forest cherry drum.


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Senior Member
Where do you keep your snares? In cases? In a showcase?
I always worry that the snare surfaces fade in a showcase due to the UV light?
I keep mine in soft cases, usually with a packet or two of silica gel thrown in to minimize moisture and help prevent pitting. I don't have a regular practice space at the moment, so being able to pick up a drum and get to a rehearsal or session is really all I need.


1950s Gretsch Cocktail drum cut down to 8x14.
The factory original white marine pearl wrap was saved.
Ray Ayotte did all the work and at my request used Gretsch hardware.
He double badged it using his gorgeous RAYA badge and the cocktail drum badge adding a grommet to the original badge.
He made and installed reinforcement rings.
Ray did a beautiful job.
The original cocktail drum came to me damaged and missing parts. The WMP wrap was in excellent condition.
A new life for the drum.