March 14, 2006

Gear Review: Tama 5"x13" Artwood Maple snare drum


This is the drum that I was talking about in my blog a few months ago. Thanks again to my Uncle Chit, I acquired this Tama 5"x13" Artwood Maple snare drum.

This is a great snare drum for drummers who are fond of 13" "power piccolo" sizes. It's a great backbeat drum for groove music such as funk, pop, R&B & hip-hop. Its sound is crisp, with a good amount of crack and body. Its sound is on a higher voice range; so if you dig that kind of snare sound, this snare drum can work for you.

This is such a fun drum to play. The drum was stocked with an Evans Genera G1 coated batter head and an Evans Snare Side 300 Hazy resonant head, which sounded great straight out of the box. I love its power piccolo crack, especially when playing backbeats. Not only do I enjoy using this snare drum; my bandmates love it too. It fits really well with my band's brand of R&B and hip-hop music.

Surprisingly, for a 13" snare drum, it's easy and comfortable to play cross-sticks, which is usually a concern among 13"-diameter snare drums. For this drum, it's not so hard to find its cross-stick sweet spot. This is most likely due to the quality 2.3mm triple-flanged steel hoops. This drum is also fitted with Tama's high-end Starclassic snare wires, which I believe contributes to a better-quality snare sound.

Physically, its design is simple yet effective, it is lightweight, and its strainer mechanism is well-designed - easy to operate, soft to the touch, and doesn't disengage upon heavy impact. The natural maple finish also looks understated yet elegant. Nothing fancy, really; it's a simple yet well-designed & well-made snare drum.

Overall, I think the Tama 5"x13" Artwood Maple is a great-sounding & very practical 13" snare drum. I feel good playing this snare drum. I recommend this drum to drummers who play a lot of groove music & in favor of power piccolo snares.