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11/19/2004 Entry: "I Bought a Tama Rosewood"

Well, the hunt of almost 20 years is over. Yesterday, I purchased a Tama rosewood snare drum. It's the older style, with the regular (as opposed to tube) lugs, rolling action strainer and extended snare wires, and die cast hoops. I paid a little more than I would've liked, but not an exorbitant price. It needs to be cleaned up a little, and given the Billy Rhythm treatment. It's got a couple of little scrapes on the finish, but nothing deep. I bought it from Shane, and he's known for years I've been jonesin' for it. If you build a web site that says "This is the snare I absolutely must have for my collection," and someone finds it and wants to sell you said drum, they pretty much know they won't have to dicker. I kidded Shane about that. I tried to get him to come down $50. He wouldn't budge. "You kinda got me here," I said. He knew.

It's a little sad though, in a way. A lot of the fun was in the hunting. Now that I've bagged my own holy grail, there really isn't much in the snare world left. I developed this theory. Snares fall into three categories: attainable, obtainable, and affordable. Billy Gladstone snare: only 40 made, haven't seen one on ebay in forever, and they go for thousands. Not attainable, not obtainable, and certainly not affordable. Radio Kings are out there, and can be found on ebay on any given day. But at $600, they're not really affordable. Rolling Bombers don't sell for a ton of money, but they don't come up on auction much, so they're not really obtainable. The Rogers Dynasonic, at about $300-$350, is everywhere. But it's certainly a ways down on the "lust" scale, so to speak.

Looks like a can take that extra cash I earn and pay off the house early!

Jim asked in a comment a while ago about my preference for Tama drums, and about a catalog Elwood gave me years ago. On the same day Elwood gave me that catalog, he also gave me a Pearl drum catalog. In reading the two (over and over and over!), I began to appreciate some of the differences that Tama brought out about why they were the better brand. Tama's wrap finishes were glued all over the drum, and not just taped at the seams. Tama staggered the seams of the wood plies used on their drums. Not everyone did that then, though they all do it now. But what really sold me was that Tama's tom hardware didn't project into the drum. The Tama l-rod to hold the tom was on the outside, while Pearl's mounts projected inside the tom. (So did Yamaha's mounts, as well as Gretsch's, Ludwig's, Yamaha's, and most others.) And the Tama holder utilized a ball and socket mount, which was slick. So, that's where the love started.

I still like Tama, as I think they have good value for the dollar. They do need to change their badge, though. It looks like a ROC POS. The Starclassic badge is nice, though.

Replies: 1 person has rocked the mic!

I love you, but I think you paid too much for that muffler.

Posted by Paddy @ 11/24/2004 08:36 AM EST

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