Is this a vintage Tama snare?

devinmgarcia

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I acquired this snare recently and I am trying to find out it's history. Obviously, it has been heavily modified, but what was it before? I may want to try and restore it back to it's former glory if I can get my hands on the original parts.
What I have determined is that it looks like a Tama Artstar, but some things don't add up. It has reinforcement rings, which don't seem to appear on these drums. They do on the Superstar (sometimes), though. It also appears to be Bird's Eye, but I'm not 100% convinced on that. The lugs and hoops are clearly Tama and the holes that have been filled during the mod all look like they line up with the old Artstar hardware. Any help on determining what this drum once was? Thanks!
 

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Tama CW

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It was probably a 1976-1986 Tama Mastercraft in super maple......with the extended snare wires and roller guides. Like the drum below.
The butt end holes are a match as is the badge position. And it used to have the large muffler with the 3 hole base. To find the guides, throw, wires, badge.... could
run you $150-$200. I don't know about the re-rings on yours unless it's representative of the earliest shells in '76-'78.
 

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Ptrick

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That is definitely a Tama Mastercraft. Looks to be an early one, as there were very few made with re-rings. The parts have become in high demand, with prices going up for the mufflers, rollers, and throw/butt due to a lot of people using them for cast bronze snare builds.

There are a set of rollers and a strainer/butt on eBay as of yesterday if you are interested (not mine).
 

levelpebble

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It's not a top shelf Tama of that era unless it has the diagonal seam. Look for it on both inside and outside plies. There is a lot to wonder about on this one, but the roller bearing holes do suggest that the Tama throw and muffler used to be there.
 

devinmgarcia

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It was probably a 1976-1986 Tama Mastercraft in super maple......with the extended snare wires and roller guides. Like the drum below.
The butt end holes are a match as is the badge position. And it used to have the large muffler with the 3 hole base. To find the guides, throw, wires, badge.... could
run you $150-$200. I don't know about the re-rings on yours unless it's representative of the earliest shells in '76-'78.
Thank you for the reply. I think I'm going to start hunting down those parts.
 

devinmgarcia

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That is definitely a Tama Mastercraft. Looks to be an early one, as there were very few made with re-rings. The parts have become in high demand, with prices going up for the mufflers, rollers, and throw/butt due to a lot of people using them for cast bronze snare builds.

There are a set of rollers and a strainer/butt on eBay as of yesterday if you are interested (not mine).
Thanks so much for the info. I will definitely look into those parts.
 

devinmgarcia

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It's not a top shelf Tama of that era unless it has the diagonal seam. Look for it on both inside and outside plies. There is a lot to wonder about on this one, but the roller bearing holes do suggest that the Tama throw and muffler used to be there.
I was wondering about the seam as well. Every drum I've seen online has the diagonal and mine has a vertical right under one of the lugs. I was thinking that maybe it had something to do with how this one was constructed with re rings? I just know that with the holes lining up, and even the fact that you can see the imprint of where the bigger tama hardware used to sit. It has to be some sort of Tama from that era. I didn't include a great photo showing the clear rectangle where a badge used to be, so I'm including that now.
 

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levelpebble

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I was wondering about the seam as well. Every drum I've seen online has the diagonal and mine has a vertical right under one of the lugs. I was thinking that maybe it had something to do with how this one was constructed with re rings? I just know that with the holes lining up, and even the fact that you can see the imprint of where the bigger tama hardware used to sit. It has to be some sort of Tama from that era. I didn't include a great photo showing the clear rectangle where a badge used to be, so I'm including that now.
Sorry, this doesn't help your case to show it's really Tama. The factory-installed Tama badges of that era have the hole in the middle, where yours shows it all above the hole, so that's not helpful.

The problem is re-rings and BEM outer veneer simply don't match up in the Tama timeline. Re-rings are done by 1978 (with very few exceptions - steambent one ply of the 80s, etc) and BEM doesn't come in prior to '83-ish, when they got fancy options with the AS1 shells. And the inner ply just doesn't look right. Either its been sanded down, or its been re-veneered. Interior diagonal seam? And I still don't see your outer ply seam. Two vents, ugh.

There is no way that Tama would have run the butt plate roller guide through the re-rings.

No one disputes that your shell at one time wore even more mastercraft h/w.
 
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devinmgarcia

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Here are the photos of the seams. Both vertical. I know the mods were done professionally by Drum Paradise in Nashville. I did reach out to them to see if they remember anything, but I'm not ruling out the fact that they may have even added re rings to this drum.
 

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devinmgarcia

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Sorry, this doesn't help your case to show it's really Tama. The factory-installed Tama badges of that era have the hole in the middle, where yours shows it all above the hole, so that's not helpful.

The problem is re-rings and BEM outer veneer simply don't match up in the Tama timeline. Re-rings are done by 1978 (with very few exceptions - steambent one ply of the 80s, etc) and BEM doesn't come in prior to '83-ish, when they got fancy options with the AS1 shells. And the inner ply just doesn't look right. Either its been sanded down, or its been re-veneered. Interior diagonal seam? And I still don't see your outer ply seam. Two vents, ugh.

There is no way that Tama would have run the butt plate roller guide through the re-rings.

No one disputes that your shell at one time wore even more mastercraft h/w.
I have considered that it's just some random shell that someone threw Tama hardware on, but it just seems weird.
 

BennyK

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How many plies does the shell alone have ? Are those plied or solid rings ? The badge silhouette is the mystery for me as well as the dull sheen of the grommet . Since there seem to be no extra visible holes , comparison of lug hole spacing with other makes might offer some clues . Maybe the shell is from the TAMA / Camco experiment and the hardware after market . The roller gates ,if there's enough room could easily be added on . Maybe this a concert power tom conversion project ? I've installed r-rings on straight walled shells, its not impossible if you take your time and pay close attention to the new edges . Comparison of factory snare beds and this one's might be helpful to solve the mystery .

This is a real head scratcher , for sure !! Looks like a top notch drum though ...
 

BennyK

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On closer examination ,that vertical interior seam wouldn't have passed TAMA qc . Now I'm thinking maybe the interior ply is DIY . Am I seeing glue ? I'm leaning closer to a project drum . If the shell is seven or eight ply , then maybe after market hardwood veneer , I'm pretty sure TAMA's shells were six ply .
 

devinmgarcia

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On closer examination ,that vertical interior seam wouldn't have passed TAMA qc . Now I'm thinking maybe the interior ply is DIY . Am I seeing glue ? I'm leaning closer to a project drum . If the shell is seven or eight ply , then maybe after market hardwood veneer , I'm pretty sure TAMA's shells were six ply .
It appears to be a 6 ply shell with a 6 ply re ring. I was trying to look into whether it might have been an older Camco shell, but it's hard to find any info on them. What about the snare beds would indicate anything? Thanks
 

Tama CW

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The 1977 and 1978 catalogs both show a wood snare with re-rings. And the basic model is still without the roller guides....and a simple throw off mechanism.
Not having had an early Tama Mastercraft wood snare I don't know exactly when re-rings went away, when wood Mastercrafts became available, and if some of the
earlier wood snares could have come with a straight inner ply seam.

If the badge grommet is "about centered" on the lugs, and no sign of having re-drilled one, then the OP's grommet hole location looks "factory enough" for me.
If the badge left an imprint, it would be all around the vent hole, not just above it. And this drum appears to have 2 vent holes on it.

http://www.drumarchive.com/tama/Tama1977.pdf
 
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Tama CW

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Now that I think the concert tom alteration through a bit more..........

They didn't come with mufflers....didn't need to with only one head that didn't generate much resonance. And the OP's drum did have a muffler.
The placement of a 14" concert tom batter side lug is up pretty close to the rim (within 1-1/2"). And those for a larger Mastercraft snare with high tension lugs are more centered on the shell.
That concert tom top lug screw would have to be filled when making such an alteration. You'd also have to add in at least a re-ring for the lower bearing edge.

So I think that takes a concert tom mod off the table.
 

BennyK

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I don't have a TAMA concert tom handy , but if you cut the shell at the lug hole farthest from the edge and have 6.5 " of blank shell to work with ... voila . Of course I'm assuming the tom is the usual 10" deep . In the case of a power tom, so much the better . This does not, however , explain the r-rings ...

 
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