Unusual MIJ snare drum find

Geardaddy

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I just picked up an unusual MIJ snare drum on Craigslist. It’s an Apollo Megatone 5x14 steel shell snare with a Super Sensitive type parallel throwoff. It was made by Star. For a MIJ stencil snare drum, this thing is a beast. It weighs in at 11.5 pounds mostly because of a super thick steel shell. It is in excellent all original condition and will only require a little cleaning. I bought it from the original owner that said she bought it in the early 70’s. I’m not all that familiar with 60’s and 70’s MIJ drums, but this one seemed too cool to pass up.

Apollo 1.jpg Apollo 2.jpg Apollo 3.jpg Apollo 4.jpg
 

squidart

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I’m also pretty sure Apollo was a Pearl stencil. Compare the markings on the center bead with this 1969-1970 steel shell. 6E2BF624-4409-426C-B1A3-26B0A11F6D96.jpeg
 

Geardaddy

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I'm not certain about whether Apollo was a Pearl stencil or if it was a Tama (Star?) stencil. I found these pictures on VDF that show my snare drum with the same shell as well as a Tama badge and lugs. So who knows.
Tama Star 1.JPG Tama Star 2.JPG
 

Geardaddy

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Apollo drums may be Pearl built stencils, but this snare has a Star branded parallel strainer on it. Even if it looks similar to a Pearl parallel strainer. My guess is that both the Star and the Pearl strainers share a very common lineage. And probably a manufacturing facility.
 

mlucas123

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Apollo was both. The hoops tell the tale.
 

squidart

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So one company made stencil metal shells and sold them to 2 other companies to make stencil drums. My head hurts...
 

musicman64

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When "Tama" {Hoshino} bought the drum rights from Star, part of the licensing agreement was that Tama would have to put the "Star" name on their drum products. That's why all Tama drums still have "Star" on all their drum series to this day. Different licensing practices in Japan. By the way, I had two early drums like that one..One "Star" and one "Tama" Identical drums, different badges.
 

Geardaddy

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Thanks everyone for all of the background information about the drum. I love finding out these historical details. This drum didn't fit my picture of a typical steel shell MIJ snare which is why I bought it. I've had a chance to play it some and it really cuts. I compared it to my 65 Super Sensitive and it is way louder. Probably the steel shell and the fact that it is 3 pounds heavier than the SS. It's a fun drum.
 

Ralf

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That Apollo Megatone was definitely made by Star, only. It's the KingBeat model.
Star's successor from 1974 on was Tama. For a short time, Tama also used this snare drum,
changing only the badge to 'Tama'. On the side of the parallel action system still the embossed
'Star' script logo can be seen (either at Star's KingBeat or at Tama's first KingBeat snare drum).

Cheers,
Ralf
 

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