Tama starphonic aluminum

Muha

Member
Hi!
I was thinking of buying a Tama starphonic aluminum snare.
Everybody tell me to get a supra instead or an acrolite but I really dont like Ludwigs hardware.

I need a heavy duty snare drum which will last for years without having trouble with lugs, tension rods and throw off.

Its hard to find any threads without people worshiping the supra.

Can I use the Starphonic to record or the supra will be much better? Why?

Tnq
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Hi Muha,

The Supra and Acrolite are well-loved and have a classic sound.
But of course it's up to you. Many drums with that type of aluminium shell will have a similar sound.

Tama does makes great snare drums (the SLP Aluminium is also a great-sounding drum if you can still find one). It seems that most manufacturers do a Supra-alike and a Black-Beauty-alike, and there are many good ones out there.

The Supra and Acrolite are arguably a bit overpriced, but they are so popular that they're always in demand, so if you decide you want to sell it down the line it's possible that the Supra or Acrolite would hold their value a little better.

Ultimately, you should play them side by side if you can, and then decide for yourself.

(Edit: just noticed the Starphonic has die-cast hoops. So it may sound a little drier and more focused than the Supra).
 

tmdrum

Member
Supra is supra, just like stratocaster is stratocaster :) Starphonic is comparable to some stratocaster copy in guitar world (and that name just suggest that: Starphonic).

Of course it's up to you decide what you want and it's best to test both snares before you decide. Just remember that supra set standard for aluminium snare sound and now many manufacturers are copying that recipe.

Supra probably keeps resale value better than starphonic.
 

Destroyer772

Gold Member
Hi!
I was thinking of buying a Tama starphonic aluminum snare.
Everybody tell me to get a supra instead or an acrolite but I really dont like Ludwigs hardware.

I need a heavy duty snare drum which will last for years without having trouble with lugs, tension rods and throw off.

Its hard to find any threads without people worshiping the supra.

Can I use the Starphonic to record or the supra will be much better? Why?

Tnq
I own one and it is a great Snare drum, period. Just watch a couple videos from DCP or Memphis Drum Shop and you will hear they record excellently at all tuning range's. As far as looks go, to me it's liking comparing a Ferrari to a Cadillac. The features and looks were enough to sway me and the Starphonics are still made in Japan so you are getting top of the line Tama quality. Detachable butt plate, drop down lugs, there is no comparison. Ludwig just has that history and Mojo and they Sound excellent but so does the Tama. Here is a home recording I did with it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLtCbf0byZc
 
Last edited:

kanefsky

Senior Member
My snare drum addiction was sparked by Starphonics along with my childhood conditioning to "collect the whole set" from watching so many commercials during Saturday morning cartoons :)

Ludwigs are the ones that actually sit on my kit most of the time though.

--
Steve

 

cbphoto

Gold Member
. . . Everybody tell me to get a supra instead or an acrolite but I really don't like Ludwigs hardware.
Same here. The Starphonic hardware is exceptional. I love the notched snare tension rods (on both sides) and the reso-side hoop for easy tuning & head replacement. The throw-off is much smoother than the Ludwig.

Can I use the Starphonic to record or the supra will be much better? Why?
Here's my recording of the Tama "beer can" Starphonic, tuned low & fat:
https://youtu.be/48NWpQh2LOI

It's the most versatile snare I have, and it's a pleasure to play. The shell is seamless aluminium, too.

Sonically, the drums will be slightly different. I attribute that to the rims & hardware (lugs, snare wires, shell design). In both cases, the aluminum shell produces less high-frequency harmonics than brass or steel, but more than that of a wood shell.

 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Hi!
I was thinking of buying a Tama starphonic aluminum snare.
Everybody tell me to get a supra instead or an acrolite but I really dont like Ludwigs hardware.

I need a heavy duty snare drum which will last for years without having trouble with lugs, tension rods and throw off.

Its hard to find any threads without people worshiping the supra.

Can I use the Starphonic to record or the supra will be much better? Why?

Tnq
Methinks you're easily impressed by what other people have to say. If you like the drum and want it, just go get it and use it. Make a recording and tell us how great it is. It sounds like you're decided and you won't be happy without it, so save your pennies and get one.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
Can I use the Starphonic to record or the supra will be much better?
Well, if that snare is good enough for guys like Adam Deitch, then it should somehow be good for recording, right?

I was once pretty undecided between buying that Starphonic or the SLP Super-Aluminium or the Acrolite. Played them, both Tamas were just amazing sounding snares. THe Ludwig, too, but the hardware was a turn-off for me. In the end, I bought the Super Aluminium - because I found it used in mint condition, at a price that was a joke, so that I just couldn't pass that deal.

I don't think you will regret getting a Starphonic Aluminium. It is really really good. Go to a shop, play it and see for yourself. I am just not into that Supra/Black Beauty/Acro-hype that is going on lately.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
I'm an Acro guy, but I think the Starphonic aluminum is a super nice drum. I like the minimalist vibe of the Acro, but if you want a drum that is styled out a bit, then the Starphonic is a great choice. They sound really good
 

Muha

Member
Thank u guys!
I will still think about it.
I still cant understand why recording studios use almost only the supra.
From what I heard in the Memphis drum shop on yt, the Starphonic has one of the sweetest sounds I've heard.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Thank u guys!
I will still think about it.
I still cant understand why recording studios use almost only the supra.
From what I heard in the Memphis drum shop on yt, the Starphonic has one of the sweetest sounds I've heard.
Well, that's because the Supra has history on its side. It has already made thousands of hit recordings, it's just like why Harley Davidson, Fender, and Gibson are so known and sought after. Studio owners don't need more proof than that. It's up to you, to get that Tama snare, and take it out in the world to convince everyone otherwise. Get on it - Tama can't do it without you.
 

mandrew

Gold Member
The Tama Starphonic is a wonderful drum if you are referring to hardware and new innovative ideas. I was going to buy either this or a New supra. I took ownership of a new LM-400T for these reasons:

The hardware on the Starphonic, although outstanding, is much heavier on the shell compared to my Ludwig. I find that the extra weight reduces shell resonance. The Hoops are proprietary, and I find them to be not the weight or sound that I wanted. You can use other hoops, but loose the benefit of the quick head change feature.I find the sound of the Tama to be a bit covered because of all the weight on the shell.

How often do most people need to do quick head and snare changes? Not often unless you are beating a fine instrument into submission. I love the Tama innovation and fit and finish, but not the final sound.

A Supra is a Supra, and is, to many, the defining sound of aluminum. It is what it is. I bought the Ludwig. It has the new strainer, and it is much lighter than the Tama hardware. To each his own.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
I still cant understand why recording studios use almost only the supra.
Sound engineers - like everyone else - love to work with equipment that they know, like the supra, I guess. They know how they have to EQ it, they know about its' strengths and weaknesses and the more they get drummers to use that supra at work, the less they have to fiddle around with new settings for a lesser known snare on the mixers. Time is money. If every drummer plays a supra, they also don't have to experiment with different mics and dampening methods.

If everyone would have played e.g. a Pearl Sensitone Aluminium in the studio way before there was the Ludwig, then, that's my hypothesis, the Pearl might have become the default studio-snare and everyone would praise the Sensitone and say that it is the standard and so great and the snare-sound that we grew up with, that we have heard on countless hits. If you'd come to the studio with a supra then, sound-engineers might probably say "Come on... won't you use the Sensitone? It sounds much better and we will get results faster."
 

RickP

Gold Member
I owned a Tama Starphonic Aluminum previously and really liked it. I got an offer too good to refuse for it and off it went. I was in the market for another aluminum shells snare this past a July and went to one of Toronto's better stocked stores to check out some snares. I was pretty set on getting the Aluminum Starphonic again. The Salesperson suggested ai also check out the new Yamaha Recording Custom aluminum snare. Sonically both snares were very close. Both have excellent hardware appointments but to my ear the Yamaha just had a more pleasing sound to my ear. The difference was slight but noticeable to me. The fact the Yamaha RC snare was less dough was the final point that made me go with the Yamaha snare.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
I own a Starphonic aluminum. Fantastic drum. My drum's hardware will be around for years. What's the Vegas line on when the cheap pot metal on some other drums starts pitting?
 

markdrum

Silver Member
Just to really muddy up the waters you might want to check out the Oriollos. Drumcenter of Portsmouth carries them. I bought one from Oriollo and I put the rest of my aluminum snares away. It's the most musical of all of the ones that I own. That list includes LM402s, LM400s and Pearls. The Oriollo is just a world class snare.
 
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