WTB: Tama Bell Brass Snare Drum

Drumming-4-Life

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Yes I know, so does everyone else! I'm looking for a Tama Bell Brass snare drum. I'm wondering if anyone is sitting on one they might want to convert into cash??? I'd prefer the Starclassic version OR one from the 2000's that has the more contemporary throw off and butt [MCS70A/B, MUS80A/B, or MLS50A/B]. Please feel free to e-mail me with pics and specs to mflacche@gmail.com
 

drumreverie

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Sorry for the naive question: what's special about a Tama Bell Brass snare versus other high-end bell brass snares?
 

Drumming-4-Life

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Sorry for the naive question: what's special about a Tama Bell Brass snare versus other high-end bell brass snares?
Some consider the older Tama and Sonor cast bronze shells to be the most incredible live and studio instruments ever made. Here is a video from Shane at Drum Center of Portsmouth, with his take on "heavy-shelled" snare drums.


At the end of the video, Shane finishes playing the Tama Bell Brass and says, "There's no contest... like every other drum was half of this drum." I think it's important to note that the Tama Bell Brass he was playing was not his, and not for sale. So at that moment, he was essentially saying that all of the other snares, brands and models he currently sells, are not comparable to the Tama Bell Brass. That's just Shane's opinion (along with many other drummers as well), but I'd like to get one so I can compare it to all of the snare drums in my arsenal.
 
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drumreverie

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Some consider the older Tama and Sonor cast bronze shells to be the most incredible live and studio instruments ever made. Here is a video from Shane at Drum Center of Portsmouth, with his take on "heavy-shelled" snare drums.


At the end of the video, Shane finishes playing the Tama Bell Brass and says, "There's no contest... like every other drum was half of this drum." I think it's important to note that the Tama Bell Brass he was playing was not his, and not for sale. So at that moment, he was essentially saying that all of the other snares, brands and models he currently sells, are not comparable to the Tama Bell Brass. That's just Shane's opinion (along with many other drummers as well), but I'd like to get one so I can compare it to all of the snare drums in my arsenal.
Thanks for the explanation and the video link. I think I get it now. I've heard some people say "Bell Brass" is the same as Bronze. Is that true?
 

skelt101

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I've heard some people say "Bell Brass" is the same as Bronze. Is that true?
Yes. In many past catalogs, Tama specified "Bell Brass" as an 8:2 ratio of copper and tin, i.e. bronze.

Edit: The description of Bell Brass Hoops from the 1997 General Catalog actually states, "Bell Brass is an 8:2 ratio alloy of tin and bronze and is used to craft cymbals. Due to its exceptional rigidity and ability to provide explosive, penetrating rim shots, it's also an excellent hoop material." This doesn't make much sense to me, as bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. The 8:2 ratio alloy they refer to is probably what is commonly known as B20 bronze.
 
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drumreverie

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Yes. In many past catalogs, Tama specified "Bell Brass" as an 8:2 ratio of copper and tin, i.e. bronze.
Wow. That's confusing. Some companies like Gretsch and DW have Bell Brass and Bronze snares. I guess it all comes down to sound regardless of the name and alloy of the drum.
 

skelt101

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IMHO, DW is especially guilty of "muddying the waters" on this subject. Not only do they have "Bell Brass" and "Bell Bronze" snares, the shells are (currently) rolled and welded. The classic formula for a Tama Bell Brass snare was a sand cast B20 bronze shell. It seems nowadays not many companies bother sand casting, but opt for a centrifugally cast, i.e. spun, shell. Duluth and (possibly) Oriollo are exceptions. I don't know any specifics on Gretsch's "Bell Brass", but the Phosphorus Bronze seems to get high marks.
 

Drumming-4-Life

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I can vouch for Duluth Castings. They do not play.
When I exchanged e-mails with Duluth, they would not guarantee their casting would be 80/20 bronze.

Just in case you can't find that Tama, these are very worthy.

I already have a beautiful Oriollo Bellmaker 65, special ordered to my specs, drilled for all Tama hardware... and it looks and sounds great! The only other bell bronze/brass snare I will buy with be the iconic Tama. The Bellmaker 65 shell is 3mm, and B16 bronze.

oriollobellmaker65fsmall.jpg
 

Fat Drummer

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Love all the drums listed... just dropping by to say that brass and bronze are not the same thing. Yes, they both start with copper but the difference between tin and zinc is pretty remarkable. If you dont believe me, and why should you, play a quality bronze cymbal then play an all brass model. Again, not the same thing! They both make wonderful drum shells but not the same alloy.

 

jskdrums

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What are the odds of any of these shells cracking? While not the same, I've seen the N&C-Zildjian Snares with cracked shells...
 

Drumming-4-Life

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What are the odds of any of these shells cracking? While not the same, I've seen the N&C-Zildjian Snares with cracked shells...
I don't think cast brass/bronze shells are particularly fragile, so my guess would be they could be damaged during abnormal use or straight-up abuse/neglect, like any other material.
 

Drumming-4-Life

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While all of this conversation is enthralling, I'm hoping to get back to the original intent of this thread, which is for me to find someone interested in selling their Tama bell brass snare drum.
 

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