I keep an old ashtray on the counter by the back door to put my keys in, so I don’t forget them when I leave the house. They’re always there when I look for them and I’ve only locked myself out once…’k, twice. My point is, thanks to that groovy-old-ceramic ashtray from the ‘60’s; I remember to take my keys.
When I load the van for a gig however no reminders are needed, especially when it comes to the snare drum of choice for the evening. Certain gigs call for certain sounds, sometimes I need a sensitive drum for a Jazz trio gig at a candle-lit restaurant, other times I need raw power to cut through a wall of guitar amps and still there are times when I need a drum with a certain “character” to make a recording session come to life.
Launched at 2009’s Summer NAMM and well received at the 2010 Winter NAMM show, Tama’s new Starphonic snare drums offer up four mouth-watering modern-classic snares to make your next gig that much more interesting. The Starphonics come in four well-rounded options; nickel-plated Brass, spun Aluminum, Maple and Tama’s very successful Bubinga. All versions are 6”x14” in size and will feel familiar to anyone used to playing a slightly deeper or shallower snare. They will also be a welcome addition to any snare collection; their classic looks blend beautifully with the most sought after vintage rarities. Beefy counter-hoops are held tight with muscular collar hooks; a heavy-duty homage to the pioneering drum craftsmanship of the industrial age.
Tama has even updated the timeless tube-lug with what they call the Freedom Lug. This new take on the original is made up of two sets of single point lugs that are connected by a length of tubing to provide structural strength. Each tension rod threads into a floating insert allowing for effortless lug alignment.
Looks alone do not a snare drum make! And as far as sound is concerned, rest assured Tama – as one might expect – has created a line of snare drums that deliver where volume matters and cut is king, but they’ve also shown us a bit of their sense of humor. Starphonic snare drums possess all the “farts” and “honks”, many of us search for in our quest for a magic snare drum, while being sonically contemporary and relevant to the needs of today’s working drummer. If you’re in the market for a little magic yourself, take a moment to put a Tama Starphonic through its paces. You’ve got four to choose from, so make some room in the car! Where are my keys?