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DW Cast Bronze Snare - Compare to Tama Bell Brass?

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#1
ruanddu

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Hello,

I am interested in purchasing a DW Cast Bronze 6x14. How do these sound? Anyone compared to a Tama Bell Brass or similar?

Thanks!
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#2
treviso

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I have owned 4 DW cast bronze snares throughout the years and 6 Tama Bell brass drums (currently own 3) and the Tama Bell brass drums absolutely eat the DWs for lunch. For some reason, the Tama bell brass open up, they are fat, very clear sounding, feel great to play on, and lots of low end OOMPH and the DW cast bronze sound boxy, choked, don't have that fat beefy low end and in general, kink of stink! I wanted to like the DW, but for some reason, must DW snares just don't work for me and the cast bronze was no exception. A very flat, choked, lifeless drum.
I can't tell you why, however. I have had both drums taken apart and compared the shells...the bearing edges were similar with the beds were a little deeper on the Tama bell brass...all in all, they looked pretty darn similar, but just didn't sound similar. I much prefer the tama bell brass. :-)
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#3
Sonorlite

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Treviso, do you think the Tama "Bell Brass Hoops" may influence the sound - like a Die-cast is way different to a Triple flanged on a snare? Lovely snares. :)
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#4
BennyK

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Hi. There was a DW cast bronze at Long and McQuades for literally years. The price kept dropping,and they couldn't give it away. Finally it disappeared so maybe they did.I used to tap on it like everyone else and found it to be the darkest deadest most muted sounding snare drum I'd ever heard, and believe me, I've had some clunkers.Dont know much about the bell brass Tamas, but I do know that Tama metal drums generally from the early to mid eighties deliver.There was (is?) a Simon Phillips bronze sig. snare at the same location with the cast hoops you're referring to and its impressive sounding.Having said this, I must add that a music store isn't the best place to try out a snare drum. You have to walk around from one area to another and have somebody else play it while listening from different locations to get a more accurate picture of its potential and limitations. Brass and bronze can play tricks on you and sound different when you get home or on stage. This has been my experience anyway. Hope this helps, Benny K.
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#5
treviso

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To answer your question...no, I don't think that the bell brass hoops make the drum sound better. I had several Tama Bell Brass drums with the Bell Brass Hoops and honestly, I didn't like the hoops. I felt that they choked the drum out and made them sound a bit boxy. I sold the hoops separately right here on the drumforum several years ago and used ordinary Tama Die Cast Hoops. The hoop design was very similar to the Ludwig channel die cast hoops (albeit different materials) they made years ago and they seemed to have the same effect on a snare drum...turning a great drum into a boxy sounding mediocre drum. I had them on Ludwig Black Beauties and those ultra rigged hoops completely robbed the drum of all that is special about a BB. My thoughts are that the Tama Bell Brass hoops did the same thing. They look awesome, but to my ears, kill the drum's sonic possibilities. I like the Tama Bell Brass drums best with the Tama Die Cast Hoops. Now, with the DW Cast drums...I tried to like them...I really did, but I just didn't dig the sound. I tried them with die cast hoops, triple flanged, woodhoops...nothing worked on those drums. I had 4 different drums, all different sizes...nothing. They all possessed the same squirrely properties. I think that is part of the reason why you can pick them up so cheap. No one really likes those drums. They just don't have the OOMPH that the Tama or even the Noble & Cooley/Zildjian offerings possess. Save your money and buy yourself a Tama Bell Brass. The Warlord collection version, The Praetorian, absolutely kicks ass sonically, if you can get past the goth look. It doesn't bother me and those drums can be had at the right price. I hope that this helps.
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#6
bellbrass

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I used to have a 1983 Tama Bell Brass, and it was the best-sounding snare I ever heard or had. It was loud, but it had a range that was amazing. I've never heard a DW cast snare.
I like the looks of the Tama Lars Ulrich bell brass snare, and I may get one on the future.
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#7
ruanddu

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Thanks so much for the replies. I would absolutely love to have a Tama Bell brass, however, I don't know what I should expect to pay for a good one. How much do they 80's model usually go for? Are the 80's models the best? How about 90's and 2000 era Bell Brass drums, what do they typically sell for?

Also, other than Tama Bell Brass snares, what other snares have you heard that come close sonically?

Thanks!
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#8
treviso

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Stewart,
Did you sell the Bell Brass Drum you bought from me? That was a killer one, wasn't it!!!! That drum belonged to the late Stu Nevitt of Shadowfax. Yeah, the 80s drums just about all sound great, but I have to admit that my Warlord Praetorian sounds as good as any of those old 80s drums. I liked it so much that I bought two!
Don't buy an old 80s version...they aren't worth the $2500-$3000 price tag...get yourself a Lars Version BB or a Warlord (if you don't mind the look!) I picked up my Warlords for about $1200 each. Otherwise, get a Noble & Cooley version with the offset lugs, even the newest offering sounds killer, albeit shorter depth. I picked one up at the Chicago show cheap! It plays great too. :-) Finally, if you just have to spend the big bucks, buy the newest Ocheltree "DrumTree" line. You can get a killer, and I mean KILLER drum in the $3000 with cast bell bronze custom hoops...Much nicer than a Tama Bell Brass! Jeff Ocheltree's creations are just the bomb and he is a really cool guy who knows everyone. I would like to have him make me an 8x14 Tree Cast drum in an aged patina. Serious instruments!!!
Robert
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#9
DanRH

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treviso said:

Stewart,
Did you sell the Bell Brass Drum you bought from me? That was a killer one, wasn't it!!!! That drum belonged to the late Stu Nevitt of Shadowfax. Yeah, the 80s drums just about all sound great, but I have to admit that my Warlord Praetorian sounds as good as any of those old 80s drums. I liked it so much that I bought two!
Don't buy an old 80s version...they aren't worth the $2500-$3000 price tag...get yourself a Lars Version BB or a Warlord (if you don't mind the look!) I picked up my Warlords for about $1200 each. Otherwise, get a Noble & Cooley version with the offset lugs, even the newest offering sounds killer, albeit shorter depth. I picked one up at the Chicago show cheap! It plays great too. :-) Finally, if you just have to spend the big bucks, buy the newest Ocheltree "DrumTree" line. You can get a killer, and I mean KILLER drum in the $3000 with cast bell bronze custom hoops...Much nicer than a Tama Bell Brass! Jeff Ocheltree's creations are just the bomb and he is a really cool guy who knows everyone. I would like to have him make me an 8x14 Tree Cast drum in an aged patina. Serious instruments!!!
Robert


:shock: A little steep for my taste.
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#10
bellbrass

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Stewart,
Did you sell the Bell Brass Drum you bought from me? That was a killer one, wasn't it!!!! That drum belonged to the late Stu Nevitt of Shadowfax. Yeah, the 80s drums just about all sound great, but I have to admit that my Warlord Praetorian sounds as good as any of those old 80s drums. I liked it so much that I bought two!
Don't buy an old 80s version...they aren't worth the $2500-$3000 price tag...get yourself a Lars Version BB or a Warlord (if you don't mind the look!) I picked up my Warlords for about $1200 each. Otherwise, get a Noble & Cooley version with the offset lugs, even the newest offering sounds killer, albeit shorter depth. I picked one up at the Chicago show cheap! It plays great too. :-) Finally, if you just have to spend the big bucks, buy the newest Ocheltree "DrumTree" line. You can get a killer, and I mean KILLER drum in the $3000 with cast bell bronze custom hoops...Much nicer than a Tama Bell Brass! Jeff Ocheltree's creations are just the bomb and he is a really cool guy who knows everyone. I would like to have him make me an 8x14 Tree Cast drum in an aged patina. Serious instruments!!!
Robert


Wow, Robert, is that you? The guy I talked to on the phone in 1999 and from whom I bought the Tama? If so, how cool - nice to touch base with you again! Yeah, I sold it on eBay a few months ago. I actually sold it to the drum tech for Carter Beauford. He said at the time that it might show up on the new album, but mostly it was for his collection - I believe he has a couple of bell brass snares. He was very nice to deal with. Who knows...maybe that snare ended up on the album!
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#11
ruanddu

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Robert,

Which Noble and Cooley are you referring to? The Zildjian Alloy?

If you could sum up the difference between a Bell Brass snare over a standard let's say a Black Beauty or standard brass snare, how would you describe the sound?

Have any of you tried the Sonor Cast Bronze snares?

Thanks for your advice.
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#12
treviso

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Yep Stewart...it is me:-) Great to reconnect with you after all of these years.
Yes, I am referring to the latest offering from N&C/Zildjian using the offset lugs. They pop up every now and then and I just recently picked up a second one at the Chicago show. They sound great! Also, the Sonor offerings all sound amazing! I have owned several over the years and I particularly like the 8x14 Signature version with the super sensitive style throwoff...but then again, expect to spend about $3k for them! All in all, the Sonor Cast Bronze drums are just awesome. Another option might be the Gretsch Cast Steel 6.5x14 which I really like a lot. It sounds very similar to a Tama Bell Brass even though it is made from Steel.
As far as comparing to a Ludwig Black Beauty, a cast drum is a different animal. There is a certain compression to the sound of a cast drum that I don't hear in a flanged style shell. Not necessarily better, just different and a matter of taste and feel. With all of this said, is there a reason why you want a cast drum? Honestly, some work and some don't. The DW cast bronze doesn't work for me. With all of this said, it is hard to beat a Ludwig 6.5x14 402 in the Ludalloy Aluminum shell for $300!!!
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#13
biggator

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I just got a Zildjian/N&C snare - the 3rd gen one (4.75x14).. I finally got it tuned up nicely - and DAMN that's a good sounding drum. It's got a pretty decent tuning range on it, and it's pretty sensitive.. but when you lay into it - wow.

I also have one of the Ocheltree steel snares - would LOVE one of his TreeBronze snares, but they're a bit steep for my taste.
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