Tama Big Black Steel

4piece4peace

Active member
Anyone here have any experience with the Tama Big Black Steel 14x8 snare? The band I'm currently playing in is very loud. I am cutting though a bit better with the Yamaha Stage Custom Steel 14X6.5 better than with my brass snares but was wondering if the Tama would be any louder. I don't have a chance to demo one unfortunately. Thanks in advance for any feedback.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Struck with the right technique, a 6.5" snare drum should give you plenty of cut, as should a 5.5", a 5.0", or even thinner. How are you tuning your snare? High-and-tight tunings provide more penetration than low, loose tunings. Also, hitting the head right in the center will grant you a cleaner sound that projects better than hitting it even slightly off-center. A snare with a depth of 8" might not be your solution.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Volume and cut aren't really dependent on size. Actually, literally almost every other variable (heads, tuning, touch, and muffling) have a much greater impact on volume than snare drum size.

That said, my "loud band" snare drum was a 14x8" Supralite and it was fantastic. But I had die cast hoops and tuned the batter fairly high. The deep shell gave a little longer note and a little more "meat" to the sound where I was sitting but depth does not make much difference to volume.

I'd get either a die cast or S-Hoop batter hoop and a fairly high tuning. Hopefully both your brass and steel snares have the same number of lugs so you can try it on both drums. I'd also suggest an uncomplicated batter head, like a single ply with a dot or a 2-ply like a Response 2/Emperor/G2. No muffle rings or dry vents the like. All of those higher overtones those features trim out are often what make a snare sound more lively and cut better in a loud band setting.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
It is a loud drum for certain! It will cut through the same as your Yamaha with a little bit more overall body to the tone. Is it going to be a significant difference from what you're playing now? Probably not.

I agree with your logic to go with a steel shell for your situation.
 

roncadillac

Member
I advocate 13's for 'cut'. They speak in a slightly higher register and generally are a bit more 'to the point' then a 14. I can't see you gaining any noticeable volume from an extra 1.5" of shell depth. Your current snare is probably fine, take the reso up a notch and it may help. It took me a long time to learn that maybe instead of buying a new drum... Everyone else needs to turn down.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I advocate 13's for 'cut'. They speak in a slightly higher register and generally are a bit more 'to the point' then a 14. I can't see you gaining any noticeable volume from an extra 1.5" of shell depth. Your current snare is probably fine, take the reso up a notch and it may help. It took me a long time to learn that maybe instead of buying a new drum... Everyone else needs to turn down.
Right on, Ron. Many look upon piccolo snares as impotent and weak. Just the opposite is true. Nothing cuts better than high, sharp frequencies. A tight piccolo will take your head off.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
The Tama Big Black will not get you more "cut", it'll give you more of a "thud."

Definitely crank the reso heads on your current snares and see if that gives you more crack to break through the mix.

If you want a budget snare that will cut through the mix like a razor blade, get a Ludwig Supralite. They sound fantastic and they're LOUD.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
The band(s) I play in are incredibly loud. So, Snare drum choice is important for me. The loudest (& nicest) I have ever used is the Pearl 14x8 Series 1 Free Floater. The projection & tone from that drum is just incredible. The drum I regret selling the most :( I also use a Pearl 13x3 Brass Piccolo to use when we fly & tuned right, that thing will make your ears bleed. A hugely pleasurable Snare :) I also used a Black Panther Sledgehammer 14x6.5 last year which was a fantastic Snare with full tone's & great projection. Sound Engineers always commented on how good it sounded.
For this year (What's left of it.........) I will be switching between a Premier 1036 Steel & a Ludwig 14x8 Black Magic. (Both unknown qualities to me as yet).
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
I had a Premier Heavy Rock 9 (Brass shell, 14" x 9") it was a dream snare drum for me but never struck me as any louder than anything else I've ever owned.
My go to "loud" snare is a 12" x 7" Mapex Black Panther Cherry/Maple. It isn't any louder than other drums, however it inhabits a higher frequency range than the rest of the instruments so it cuts through and is heard more clearly which gives the perception of being louder. A deeper snare drum may result in a "richer" tone more body to it's sound but the depth may not translate to loudness.
 
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