Tama Power Metal snares...opinions?

Jankowske

Senior Member
I've got bad GAS for something bronze and these seem like a pretty good deal, but I can't find a ton of info or useful reviews on them. Anybody who owns/has played one care to give a long-winded testimonial (rant) about it? I'm pretty set on bronze but I'm more interested in the overall build quality of the power metal snares. Strainers? Snare beds? Bearing edges?

And for anyone who's played a bronze one, how does the sound stack up to other snares you've played? I like what I've heard on youtube but that's only so useful. I've heard piles of praise for Ludwig's high-end bronze offerings, but I'd really like to stay under $300. The rockers and the bronze Mapexs look good too, though...

Thanks in advance!
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
The only "bronze" snare made by Tama, that has the word "bronze" in its description is the Simon Phillips Signature Gladiator snare, and it's not $300.

I know that, technically, brass and bronze are both copper alloys, and I'm guessing you meant brass, and there's some nice used Tama brass snares out there for around $300.

I have two. One is the Starclassic Brass 6"x14" snare. They are no longer available, but they sold for $299 new back in the day. It's a seamed shell (like all Tama snares in this price range), not seamless/spun like the Ludwig Black Beauty. It has die cast hoops which give it a harder, more focused sound, and an ear splitting rim shot. The overtones/harmonics are bright and ringy, but not as high pitched as a steel shell.

The throw off on this snare is the MUS80AH/BH. It is not notched like the newer MLS50/B and it loosens when I'm pounding hard on the drum. I've gotten used to quickly re-tightening it during a gig and it may be time to replace it with teh MLS50A/B.

My other brass snare is the Kenny Aronoff 4"x15" signature snare. I used it when I want a real punchy sound. I keep it tuned pretty low. It uses the MCS70A/B strainer/butt and I've not had problems with it loosening while playing the snare. This drum has brass triple flanged hoops and they provide slightly softer, less sharp sonics to the drum's sound. This drum was $350 new, on sale.

A quick scan of Tama brass snare prices shows the S.L.P. Black Brass at $430 and the Starphonic Brass at $600 (both new).
 

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Filacterua

Senior Member
A friend is selling this for under $300. Shipping might jack it up right up to, me thinks.

Me personally, I like the older stell Tamas. These guys I never really cared much for...

Bronze drums are kinda scarce. I don't think you will find many things under $300.

 

Jankowske

Senior Member
Thanks all for your input! To clarify the ones I was looking at were definitely bronze and they were older power metals...apparently artstars are the same. And I'm not interested in anything new, unless it's sub-300 and somehow really good and unheard-of. Used and cheap for me, please. =D

I own a tama brass snare. Its ringy and loud as f*uck! Perfect for rock.
Bronze should tend to be a little less ringy than brass (yeas? nays?); unfortunately I haven't gotten to play many in person so I'm mostly going off of recordings and videos. Loud as f*ck is very reassuring. Someone on some other forum claimed his was quiet. Or maybe he was just comparing that to the tama bell brass.

Speaking of that, does anyone have a bell brass that they can't stand anymore? I'll take it off your hands for $300. Also can someone magically make me as good as Brann Dailor?
 

v.zarate

Gold Member
Thanks all for your input! To clarify the ones I was looking at were definitely bronze and they were older power metals...apparently artstars are the same. And I'm not interested in anything new, unless it's sub-300 and somehow really good and unheard-of. Used and cheap for me, please. =D



Bronze should tend to be a little less ringy than brass (yeas? nays?); unfortunately I haven't gotten to play many in person so I'm mostly going off of recordings and videos. Loud as f*ck is very reassuring. Someone on some other forum claimed his was quiet. Or maybe he was just comparing that to the tama bell brass.

Speaking of that, does anyone have a bell brass that they can't stand anymore? I'll take it off your hands for $300. Also can someone magically make me as good as Brann Dailor?
Bronze is suppose to be more quieter and give that wooden snare drum sound.
Yea, this snare is loud, louder that my other snares i have. Not as loud as those bell brass ones but loud. My brother hates it when i play it. I had one problem with it, the threads on one of the screw holes that holds the snares on the throwoff stripped. Had a hard time finding another original throwoff so i drilled 2 new holes for a new style tama one.

I have yet to seen a tama bell brass snare for 300 bucks. Those go for $$$$
 
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v.zarate

Gold Member
Im always looking for tama snare drums. I just need 2 more 10 lug 6.5 x14 snare drums and im done buying. 1 maple and 1 bronze, brass or king beat. If i find a brass one, this one is out!
 

Jankowske

Senior Member
So you have the bronze 5.5", then? Is yours hammered? How do you like its sound compared to some of your other snares?

I have yet to seen a tama bell brass snare for 300 bucks. Those go for $$$$
Yeah, but someone out there reading this has one. Come on. You don't need that. It's just so...meh. Look at all that space it's taking up. 300 bucks, man.
 

v.zarate

Gold Member
So you have the bronze 5.5", then? Is yours hammered? How do you like its sound compared to some of your other snares?



Yeah, but someone out there reading this has one. Come on. You don't need that. It's just so...meh. Look at all that space it's taking up. 300 bucks, man.
I dont own a 5.5 but have played on one a few times. They do sound good, all around snare, just it felt it lacked a bit of body.

Ive own at the moment dw 5.5 bamboo/birch , tama 5.5 maple, tama 6.5 brass , tama 6.5 steel.

The 6.5 have the depth i want for playing rock. The 5.5 maple i recently got ive been using to mess around in learning some jazzy stuff. 5.5 bamboo/birch sits on the shelf. Its a great all around snare, just not my cup of tea, maybe ill try a different head on ti.
 

Jankowske

Senior Member
The one I was checking out that I liked the most was a hammered 5.5". There's a half decent youtube demo of it and I dig it. A lot of the vids out there are hard to judge though since they're using using ambs/G1s/stock heads or the room sound/micing is terrible. To be expected, I guess.

I am in a metal band but I practice many styles. My snare is usually tuned to a high or sometimes a medium tension; sometimes I break my kit down to a four piece and then tune low. I like two-ply heads and/or reinforced centers and I only ever muffle when tuned low. I like 5 to 6" deep shells; not too much separation or body. Nice medium-short pop with decent body and some tasteful ring is what I tune for.

My 5" X7 snare actually sounds pretty good right now with an aquarian hi-velocity and an evans hazy 300. Kinda dead in bigger soft rooms but really nice in most places. Hoping to get something with a little more cut and potential volume. Gonna be in the studio soon and I was underwhelmed with how my X7 sounded miced up last time. Also bronze is shiny.
 

Jankowske

Senior Member
I am so down with the starphonics. In my search for bronze yesterday I watched this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJbrbXlR2IM and wow. I know I can't afford the bell brass...but I might just have to "settle" for that.

cbphoto, Do you clean up your pics to get them to look so icy or have you just never ever touched your drums with your bare hands? Those look better than full-page ads.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I am so down with the starphonics. In my search for bronze yesterday I watched this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJbrbXlR2IM and wow. I know I can't afford the bell brass...but I might just have to "settle" for that.
Ain't no "settling" with a Starphonic between your knees.

cbphoto, Do you clean up your pics to get them to look so icy or have you just never ever touched your drums with your bare hands? Those look better than full-page ads.
Thanks, Jank. The amount of time spent cleaning these drums is far more than the time spent on photography. Rags & a lot of Q-tips, along with a tin of Nevr-Dull. And a few beers to pass the time.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
I've got one of the hammered bronze 5.5" snares and I love that thing! I put some Grover snares on it along with Aquarian Vintage II heads and it sounds great. It does have a drier sound than brass. I love brass but bronze is a little easier to control and has a more musical tone to me. The hammering helps as well. I think that hammered bronze is my favorite 5.5" metal-shelled snare. I found mine out on ebay and she needed some cleaning up, Be REALLy careful if you use Flitz, It's a great cleaner/polish but it is strong. These drums are definitely worth checking out. I'd love to hsve a 6.5" but I haven't seen one out there yet. Good luck with it.
 

Jankowske

Senior Member
Thanks, mark. If I do get one I might just let it patina like my cymbals...guess it depends on what kind of tarnish it has going on, though. Never heard of Flitz, but I have a couple bottles of Brasso. I'll have to check it out. And the drum I'd been on the fence about on ebay got snatched up finally. Whatevs; hopefully the longer I wait, the better and more informed of a decision I'll be able to make.

Also somehow a bronze mapex precious metals 14x6" escaped my notice and went for $150. D'oh. And I've seen used starphonics up for $300. No maples, though. The hunt continues...
 
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