Brass snares are great when you want the warmth of a wood shell with the power and projection of a metal shell. The Tama PBR146 Brass Snare Drum sounds incredibly musical, from sensitive grace notes to ear-splitting rim shots, and can be used almost anywhere. Not to mention, the tuning system is a guaranteed time saver. You won't have to worry about losing tension rods or washers ever again!
I've long wanted a brass snare and what a snare this turned out to be! First the tone: it's simply amazing. I have it tuned upper-mid tension-wise and it just cracks. The rim shots are thick and rewarding, the cross sticking is very clear and defined. This drum gets loud if you want it to, but it's also very sensitive. The stock snare wires are very nice and provides ample amounts of articulation if you tighten them up right, which is easy to do since there are two tension screws, one on each side. The throw off is nice and simply works.
The design of this drum, and all the other snares in Tama's Starphonic line are an amazing breath of fresh air. The snare design has sat stagnant for far too long, but finally Tama raised the bar. Not only does this snare sound beautiful, the freedom lugs and groove hoops are a dream come true. No longer do I dread swapping heads, especially the bottom one. It's like an engineer actually designed the thing instead of just repeating the same old design. I was worried the cut away reso side hoop wouldn't be as sturdy given it doesn't have the usual bridge covering the gap, but I've bashed on the drum for a few months now and it still holds tuning beautifully. The groove hoop also curves in towards the drum, like an S hoop, instead of out like typical triple flanged hoops, and I find the feel and thickness to be closer to a die-cast hoop. The stock head is fine. I but I bought other heads thinking the stock one wouldn't be any good, but it suits me just fine.
For fun, I cranked it to a high tuning and then way down to a low tuning and it sounds great everywhere. It also comes with a Tama logo muffling ring. It's clear and a little narrower than typical damping rings. I like the ring of the drum, but I have found that if I get too crazy with compression in a recording, it can really bring the ring to an annoying level (even greater than what you hear on the Meantime album from Helmet, for those familiar with that CD). The muffling ring tames any ring out in the recordings I've done with it.
I would've paid two hundred more for a snare like this. At this price, it's a steal! I also own the G-Bubinga but this has become my primary snare. I love it live and it's easy to record. Everyone should have a snare like this.
Oh, it also came with a great Tama tuning key. Now I have two. Those things are the best I've ever used. If they magnetized them they'd be impossible to improve in my opinion.
I was looking for a snare to compliment my Starcalssic Maple and provide a different sonic character. I purchased this a couple of months ago, and it sounds so good. It holds tune amazingly well. The strainer is simple and smooth. The sound sits in the mix perfectly! I hardly have to EQ. It sounds great with a Beta57 or i5. I have been recording harder rock or lighter metal, and this thing cuts through the wall of guitar sound perfectly. It doesn't squash vocals at all. Love it.