DW Collectors Series Drum Sets offer so many different shell configurations, it can be a little confusing. Not only do you have a ton of finish and size options, you can also choose your shell material. This is where things can really seem daunting. What's the difference between an SSC Maple shell and a Maple/Spruce shell? What the heck does Cherry even sound like? Don't Worry! Drum Center of Portsmouth has got your back. We demo 5 variations of DW Collectors Series Drum Sets in our latest comparison video.
Tonality. Thump. Resonant. These words best articulate our opinion of this DW Collectors SSC Maple 5pc Drum Set in elegantly understated Satin Natural Oil finish. These thin shells with re-rings are the classic DW sound. Punchy and well rounded, SSC shells give you a tremendous amount of versatility.
Going into this comparison, we weren't sure what to expect from the Collectors Cherry/Spruce kit. We've heard a few Cherry kits in the past, which shared many birch-like qualities. The addition of Spruce warms up the tone with a little extra low end, giving this Collectors Series recipe a truly unique voice.
The sustain and projection of maple, married with the warmer quality of mahogany is fast becoming a favorite with studio and touring artists alike. This versatile wood combo comprised of mostly maple, with a mahogany inner and outer ply, is excellent for a wide variety of musical applications. This gorgeous Pale Blue Oyster FinishPly wrap gives off a vintage aesthetic, but the tone projects a more modern vibe. It gives you the versatile tone of maple, with a little extra emphasis on the low end.
Punchy, warm, round tone is delivered in spades from this DW Collectors Maple/Spruce Drum Set in Natural Hard Satin. The differences between this kit and a Pure Maple Collectors kit are relatively subtle, until you listen to them side by side. The tone is decidedly Maple, but with a more leveled EQ sound. It gives you every frequency in equal doses, which may just be your ideal drum sound!
The last DW Collectors Series Hybrid shell kit we tested was this magnificent Cherry/Mahogany in Exotic Spalted Maple veneer. This drum set was the most eye-catching, and its tone was by far the most unique. The tone can be compared to birch on steroids. Massive thump with a rich, buttery low end tone projects with epic volume. We'll just go ahead and say it, this was our favorite. Believe the hype on this one!
Drum Center of Portsmouth is your home for DW Collectors Series Drums
No matter what sound you're looking for in a drum set, DW has it. Drum Center of Portsmouth has more DW kits in stock than most, and if we don't have it we'll help you dial in on the perfect custom order. Check out our website for an amazing selection of DW Collectors Series Drums, or call us at (603)319-8109 with any DW questions you may have!
Pearl Masterworks Drums are the pinnacle of Pearl R&D. While many drum makers offer custom drums, Masterworks drum sets are a timeless heirloom crafted to elevate the custom drum concept to a whole new level. We decided to take the plunge on an exceptionally elegant 4 piece rock kit with Nickel hardware in our latest video review.
Massive Sound with Pristine Elegance
This magnificent Masterworks kit is a bit of a contradiction. The specs say brash rock and roll, but the attention to detail is that of fine furniture. The kick drum is 24x14 and delivers an immediate low end punch that hits you in the chest. The mount-less 13x9 rack tom features single point STL lugs that allow for smooth resonance. Rounding out the set are two boomy floor toms - a 16x16 and a massive 18x16. The 18 inch floor tom is one of the most impressive sounding drums we have ever experienced. Period.
Endless Exotic Shell Construction Options
What makes the Pearl Masterworks line of custom drums so custom is the shell configuration options. Choose from Maple, Birch, African Mahogany, Gumwood, or even create your own Composite Shells. Shell thickness options include THIN (4-ply, 5mm w/ 4-ply Reinforcement Rings), MEDIUM (6-ply, 7.5mm), and THICK (8-ply, 10mm and 10-ply, 12.5mm).
Pearl offers seven Artisan Exotic veneers: Cameroon Tamo, Black Limba, Flame Maple African, Zebrawood, Bubinga, Eucalyptus, and Carbonply. They don't stop there. They also offer a choice of interiors - Artisan Veneers, Fiberglass, and CarbonPly.
Our Masterworks review kit is comprised of 2 plys of highly figured Tamo Ash inside and out over inner core plies of Mahogany. This results in a truly unique sound that blends warm, round tone with immediate stick attack. The thin shells with Mastercast hoops give this kit a sound that is similar to a Gretsch USA kit with slightly more attack.
We Are an Authorized Pearl Masterworks Concierge Dealer
At DCP, we are an Authorized Pearl Masterworks Concierge Dealer, that's a fancy way of saying that we can give you your best deal on the custom Masterworks drum set of your dreams. Whether you're looking for one of their Sonic-Select Shell Recipes, or something from your own design, Drum Center of Portsmouth is your home for Pearl Masterworks drum sets!
Recreating the Magic of the 1930's Engraved Black Beauty Snare Drum
Few snare drums are more iconic than the legendary Ludwig Black Beauty of the 1920's and 30's. Its black nickel over brass shell set the standard for what a great snare drum should sound like. The 12 point flower engraving made this snare drum visually stunning, as well.
Today, you can find several examples of handmade snare drums created in the Black Beauty's iconic image. We've put together a video comparing 3 modern snare drums that were influenced by the classic Ludwig model. As a bonus, we included a demo of an original vintage Black Beauty from the early 1930's!
Every drum made by Adrian Kirchler is a true work of art. The detail in this custom-made piece is second to none. AK drums are all completely handmade in Italy and are not easy to come by. We waited over a year to get our hands on these beautiful instruments, and it was well worth it!
This snare drum features a 1-piece brass shell in Gun Metal finish with traditional scroll engraving. The shell is adorned in "pre-aged" gold hardware, completely handmade by Adrian himself. Don't hesitate to get your hands on one of these phenomenal heirloom pieces before the opportunity is gone!
The JNDC Scrolled Elite is exquisitely faceted in a hand-engraved feather motif scroll. These extraordinary drums are hand-engraved by the world-renowned master drum engraver John Aldridge. Each drum is truly one-of-a-kind, both aesthetically and sonically.
Hand-selected for their increased mass and density, the Scrolled Elite shells possess an explosive power that is literally felt. Its hardware consists of 2.5mm solid brass hoops with ten solid brass Corder tube lugs. It also features bell-flanged bearing edges and vintage-inspired crimped snare beds for an authentic vintage vibe.
The Dunnett 2N snare drum model has been a best-seller here at Drum Center of Portsmouth. This hand-engraved model with classy brass trim takes everything up a notch.
While the Dunnett is the most affordable of the 3 snares in this comparison, it doesn't skimp on features. John Aldridge has painstakingly engraved the shell of this beefy snare drum, making it one of a kind. The shell also features a thin lacquer finish that will Patina over time. This drum will darken through the years, making it a truly desirable collector's piece!
High-End Snare Drums are our Specialty
At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we are known for our boutique snare drum inventory. We carry the largest selection of the finest instruments you will find anywhere. If you are looking for something truly special to add to your collection, look no further than the Drum Center of Portsmouth!
At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we are known for carrying the finest snare drum selection in the world. Some cost upwards of $5,000. Clearly, that is not the price point %99.9 of people are comfortable with. For the rest of us, finding a quality snare drum without breaking the bank is the goal. We've gathered three fantastic offerings for our latest comparison video to help you decide what's the best metal snare drum under $200!
Bellowing, open, and untamed, Modern Utility Steel snare drums add fat, cracking tone to your drum set arsenal. Its thin 1mm beaded Steel shell is rolled to ring with open punch when played at full force, and speaks with a crisp sensitivity at lower impact. The finish is blasted with a satin textured coating which gives it a cool, versatile vibe. The Modern Utility features Pearl's CL arch lugs and smooth SR700 snare strainer for precise tunability. It's an exceptional primary or added snare, and brings a high-volume power to your playing voice.
This Tama snare drum has a slightly thicker 1.2mm thick steel shell that provides a very powerful, cutting sound that is designed to thrive in live settings, but we've found that the Soundworks Steel snare is great in a recording situation too. If you need the bottom end that modern music requires, coupled with the high end cut to combat loud guitars, the Tama Soundworks steel at Drum Center of Portsmouth is a perfect fit for you. The high quality components make this a solid candidate for the best metal snare drum under $200.
The last entry in our Best Snare Drum Under $200 was the Ludwig Supralite. Supralite series snare drums also feature a thin, beaded steel shell. The hardware consists of solid chrome-over-brass tube lugs, 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops, and brass snare wires. We are huge fans of Ludwig snare drums, and this low price offering gives you tone, volume and quality in spades.
Your Home for Snare Drums (at any price point)
Whether you're looking for a $200 snare drum or a $2,000 snare drum, Drum Center of Portsmouth has exactly what you're looking for. We pride ourselves on finding the perfect instrument for YOUR needs.
A&F snare drums blend old-world craftsmanship with new world sounds. The boutique drum company out of Austin, Texas creates instruments with exceptional sound and a beautiful aesthetic. In their relatively short history, they have burst on the scene with a totally unique vibe unlike anything we've seen at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. They locally source all available materials and hand-make their shells, hoops, lugs, and badges. A&F uses Italian leather washers between anything that makes contact with the shell and hand stamp every badge for each drum with its own exclusive serial number.
We've put together a comprehensive showcase of 10 amazing A&F snare drums we currently have in stock!
These particular A&F Snare Drums are a Drum Center of Portsmouth EXCLUSIVE!
This 14x7 A&F Raw Bronze Snare Drum is innovative, gorgeous, and completely handcrafted from scratch in Austin, Texas. A&F cuts, rolls, welds, and sands their own shells, then treat them with a patented oxidizing formula to jumpstart the patina process. The edge is a 45 degree cut with a 3.5" snare bed, and the drums are fitted with 10 in-house machined raw brass lugs. This deceptively heavy snare is hyper-sensitive, with a fundamentally bright and "cymbal-y" tone with projection and articulation that is second to none.
The next A&F Snare Drum tested was their exclusive 1/4 inch one-piece seamless core shell carved out of single tree trunk, hence the vertical grain! It has no re-rings, and it features their 45-degree edge and comes with A&F handmade raw brass hoops and lugs. It has a deep, throaty, woody tone with incredible snare sensitivity and response. We think this is one of the finest wood snares currently on the market!
This 4x14 A&F Nickel Over Brass Snare Drum is an absolute knockout. This particular brass shell was sent to a nickel plater in Texas who's family has been plating nickel since 1930's. The edge is a 45 degree cut with a 3.5" snare bed. This deceptively heavy snare is hyper-sensitive, with a fundamentally bright and crispy tone with projection and articulation that is second to none.
This particular A&F Snare Drum is one of our best sellers. The 14x5 Raw Brass Snare Drum has 10 lugs and projects a classic vintage brass tone with more volume than you'd expect. Both visually and sonically stunning, this may have been our favorite recorded sound of the showcase.
Have you ever seen a more beautiful steel snare drum? We were absolutely blown away by this magnificent 14x6.5 Raw Steel A&F Snare Drum. The nickle over brass hardware is a fantastic contrast to the shell's raw finish. The tone is raw, sharp and energetic. Simply amazing! We also tested this raw steel shell in 14x4.5 with raw brass hardware and were equally impressed.
A&F Snare drums also include a solid maple shell in their lineup. This 14x6.5 has a very low pitch with great sensitivity and a dry, woody tone. It comes built with A&F's raw brass hoops, 10 lugs, no reinforcement rings, 45 degree bearing edges, and a whole lot of sass!
Rounding out our A&F Snare Drum showcase is the 14x5 Maple Club snare drum in Charcoal Grey. The Club shells are cut with an outside reverse baseball bat bearing edge and do not use re-rings. This drum is finished with patented A&F raw brass hardware. The lower mid-range tone you get when striking this drum is clean, natural, round and woody. This particular snare is 14x5 with 10 lugs.
Drum Center of Portsmouth is Your Home for A&F Snare Drums!
We are very excited to be carrying the A&F line at Drum Center of Portsmouth. Once you play them for yourself, you'll understand why! If you have any questions about this high-end, boutique drum company give a call at (603)319-8109. We are happy to help!
Nothing sounds like a Sonor snare drum. For nearly 150 years, Sonor has been crafting some of the finest percussion instruments available. If you ask anyone at the shop what their go to sound is, many of us will say it's Sonor. Most of us own (at least) one Sonor.
What makes Sonor Snare Drums so unique? To start, they hand craft their high end lines the way they have been doing for decades. Unique shell construction using proprietary molds produce slightly undersized shells. This allows for the drum head to float on the bearing edge, yielding greater resonance and sensitivity. Sonor snare drums have an incredible dynamic range. At the slightest touch the drums open up and produce clear tone. The high quality components and gorgeous finish options make these drums as beautiful to look at as they are to play.
This handsome little guy features a heavy beech shell that projects crisp, clear tone. It has beautiful birdseye gloss veneer on the outside, and a matching veneer inside! 18-Strand steel wires and 2.3mm Power Hoops allow the beefy shell to breathe and articulate.
Our next SQ2 snare drum is quite stunning with its eye-catching gold hardware. The versatile 13x7 heavy maple shell packs a a ton of powerful pop with some serious mid range tone. With matching Scandinavian Birch veneers inside and out, this is one of the most beautiful examples of SQ2 craftsmanship you'll find.
This 9-ply, 7mm maple/beech blended shell is veneered inside and out with a ply of elegant vertical mango wood. Combine this deep, thin shell with triple flanged hoops, 45 degree bearing edges, precision snare beds, and Dual Glide Strainer, and you have a staggeringly dynamic, world-class instrument that sounds as good as it looks. Seriously, the level of detail on the badge alone will blow your mind. Just 99 of these were produced worldwide, and they come with a luxurious custom Hardcase and "Welcome Box". It takes a lot to stand out on the Drum Center of Portsmouth showroom floor, and these immaculate instruments might just be the crown jewel in our collection!
Sonor Phonic reissue snare drums are faithful recreations of the legendary Sonor beech shell snare drums of yesteryear. Boasting a 14x5.75, 12-ply beech shell with a rosewood gloss veneer, this snare drum is meant to stand out both sonically and visually! The beech shell provides a sound that is classic Sonor; balanced and versatile, with a warm low-mid body and controlled overtones. Ten Phonic lugs, German die cast hoops, slotted rods, classic Phonic strainer, and 20-strand steel wires round out the vintage experience this drum offers. Get your hands on one of these beautiful Sonor Phonic drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth today!
This 14x6 combines many of our favorite Sonor specs into one beefy drum. A heavy maple shell, ebony gloss veneer, and the fattest diecast hoops in the industry makes this drum visually and sonically stunning. With articulation and volume to spare, this may be the only snare drum you'll ever need.
This Medium Maple Sonor SQ2 Snare drum is a well-rounded workhorse. We ordered this Signal Grey lacquer finish from their RAL color options list. Man, were we pleased when we saw it in person. This drum features triple flanged hoops and 24-strand steel wires that give it extra sensitivity.
This Phonic Reissue has a 14x6.5, 9-ply beech shell with a mahogany veneer in matte finish. Like the 5.75 we tested earlier, the beech shell projects a sound with drier body and balanced overtones. Ten Phonic lugs, German die cast hoops, slotted rods, classic Phonic strainer, and 20-strand steel wires round out the vintage experience this drum offers. This may be our favorite recorded sound from the video.
We saved the biggest, and possibly best, for last. A few of us have owned some version of this 14x8 heavy beech shell. It simply has all the low end tone and beefy projection you could ask for, along with surprising sensitivity. This particular Sonor SQ2 has an immaculate Gloss Rosewood finish on the exterior along with a matching matte veneer inside! Diecast hoops and 24-strand steel wires round out this monstrous beauty.
Drum Center of Portsmouth has YOUR Sonor Waiting for You!
We know Sonor drums, and we carry a massive selection in stock at all times. If you are looking for a German engineered instrument that will do it all, look no further than Sonor. Get it from the pros at Drum Center of Portsmouth!
Boutique Quality Snares from the Strongest Name in Drums
Tama Star snare drums are ultra-high end snare drums that focus on sound first. Unlike many "boutique" snare drum builders that focus on aesthetics, Tama Star snare drums are built to achieve an optimal tone. Simply put, any furniture maker can build a beautiful drum. At the end of the day it's sound that is most important.
That's not to say Tama Star snare drums aren't beautiful, because they are. No drum manufacturer pays more attention to detail than Tama. Their flagship Star lineup sets the standard by which all others are currently measured in the industry. We tested 10 gorgeous Tama Star snare drums head to head in our most recent video.
Tama Star Bubinga Snare Drum Dark Red Cordia
If you ask around the shop what the best looking Tama Star finish is, many of us will tell you it's the Star Bubinga Dark Red Cordia. From the flawless outer finish, to the immaculate shell construction, this snare drum is an absolute dime-piece.
It sounds as good as it looks. We tested a 14x6.5 and a 14x5.5 model, and neither disappointed. Both deliver immediate low end with a sharp, yet not harsh attack. Tama has a way with Bubinga that exploits the best qualities while minimizing the troublesome ones.
Tama Star Reserve Bubinga/Walnut Snare Drum 14x6.5
The Tama Star Reserve Bubinga Walnut Snare Drum also yields an extremely sharp cut and projection. The hybrid shell of Bubinga and Walnut with Maple Sound Focus Rings creates a solid, clear tone with all the resonance you could ask for. The beautiful Claro Walnut exterior ply lacquered in black see-through gloss adds to the elegance of the snare drum. It also features Sound Arc Hoop and STAR Tube Lugs with lug nuts for accurate tuning.
Tama Star Maple Snare Drum 14x6.5 Gloss Sycamore
Referred to here at the shop as a "Modern Day Radio King", the Tama Star Maple snare drum is a winning combination of vintage sound and modern features. Although they feature one of the most popular and traditional drum shell materials, Star Maple drums have some unique hidden features that set them apart from the rest. The thin 5 ply, 5mm shells are comprised of a 2mm thick solid wood core ply between 1.5mm thick plies. Traditional Maple shells generally sound bright and open. This Star Maple snare drum has those characteristics, but with rich dynamics. The concept is similar to other solid shell drums, but thinner by comparison.
Tama Star Maple Snare Drum 14x5.5 Smoky Black
The single-ply Tama Star Maple snare drum in Smoky Black finish may have been the biggest surprise of the day. We've played a ton of solid shell maple snare drums over the years, so we had our preconceived notion of what it was going to sound like.
We're not sure how, but this single ply snare drum spoke with overwhelming brightness and clarity. No matter how we tuned it, this beauty retained its body and tone. Watch the video and hear it for yourself!
Tama Star Reserve Hand Hammered Copper Snare Drum 14x6.5
The only metal snare drum we tested in this Tama Star snare drum shootout was the Reserve Hand Hammered Copper. The series' first metal snare features a hand hammered copper shell. With mid-low end and tons of volume, the hand hammered shell creates a deeply harmonic overtone. A slightly smaller diameter hammer is used on the edge of the shell compared with the hammer that is used on the center. This gives the shell a unique barrel shape that lends to the special tone it produces.
To complement the shell, Tama added customized 2.3mm brass flanged hoops. The edge of each hoop is slightly shaved down compared to a standard flanged hoop, yielding a sharp, bright attack. The combination of warm, rich resonance with sharp, bright attack offers an original sound that we think you'll love!
It can be an extremely gratifying sensation to discover a special snare drum that brings a newfound creativity to your playing. All of a sudden, your go-to phrasing is out the window and you're heading down a new path. We feel this is exactly what Tama has accomplished with the beastly 15x8 Star Reserve snare drum.
Its combination of Bubinga/Maple hybrid shell and Brass Mighty hoops provides a huge backbeat. However, it still manages to maintain a great balance of low and high end frequencies. No matter how you tune this drum, its presence is clearly heard and felt. Tuned low, the drum functions wonderfully as a ballad snare with the snare wires engaged. With the wires off, it can double as a floor tom - giving it surprising versatility.
Tama Star Solid Maple Reserve Snare Drum 14x5 Oiled Natural Maple
The 1st model of the Star Reserve snare series was developed to attain unparalleled sensitivity and response for drummers. Tama combined a solid maple shell with a slightly sharper Starclassic bearing edge and Brass Sound Arc hoops. The result is an ultra-sensitive, clear, and bright tone. It also features Tama's unique STAR Tube Lugs with lug nuts for articulate tuning. Supersensitive Hi-Carbon Snare Wires feature a thin brass plate and softer hi-carbon coils that respond to even the softest touch of the batter head. This Tama Star Reserve in Oiled Maple is an understated instrument that just oozes class and sophistication.
Tama Star Walnut Snare Drum 14x6.5 Red Burgundy
Star Walnut drums are intriguing to us at Drum Center of Portsmouth. While they are the most "affordable" Star offering, to some, they are the best sounding. This Tama Star Walnut snare drum was no exception. When you watch the video, we think you'll find the Walnut's tone will stand out the most.
As with their Star Bubinga shells, Tama seems to bring out the best qualities of Walnut. This snare just seemed to have a warmer, fatter projection than most other Walnut drums on the market. This snare drum comes highly recommended.
Tama Star Snare Drum Zebrawood 14x6
Finally, we put the Tama Star Zebrawood snare drum through its paces. This snare drum can be summed up in one word: unique. With a look and sound unlike just about anything else, this solid-shelled beauty represents a real rarity among the galaxy of snare drums. This is a drum that speaks with the clean, dry crispness of aluminum and backs it up with the ruddy warmth of mahogany. If you are looking for a special snare drum to add to your arsenal of sound, look no further!
Your Home for Tama Star Snare Drums
At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we carry the most Tama Star snare drums you will find anywhere. Our staff understands the subtle tonal difference between each and every Star drum Tama has to offer. When you are ready to explore the unique sounds of Tama's flagship line of ultra-high end drums, give us call. We will match you up with the sound that is right for you!
One of the questions we get asked the most at the Drum Center of Portsmouth is, “What’s the Best Snare Drum Under $500?”. With so many available options, the answer will differ on which one of our staff you ask. We decided to compile a list of sub-$500 snares that we are currently enjoying.
Canopus Yaiba Maple Snare Drum 14x6.5
If you ask Shane what he thinks is the best snare drum under $500 is, the answer is the Canopus Yaiba Maple. If a customer walks into the store without a particular brand of snare drum in mind, 7/10 times they’ll choose Canopus.
Canopus is able to keep the price of the Yaiba series under $500 with very few compromises. The Yaiba Maple is made in Japan and features top-quality hardware, including their best in class Snare Wires. This snare projects ideal warmth and sound great in a variety of tunings.
Yamaha Recording Custom Brass Snare Drum 14x5.5
Jeremy “T-Bone” Charron’s pick is the Yamaha Recording Custom Brass snare drum. The drum delivers full sound, rich mid-range and a wide tuning range. The Recording Custom Brass boasts premium features for this price point, including a thin 1.2mm shell, 2.3mm DynaHoops, and 20-strand snare wires. It even includes additional 10-strand Steve Gadd style snare wires!
Tama SLP Classic Dry Aluminum Snare Drum 14x5.5
The Tama SLP Classic Dry Aluminum is the least expensive snare on our list. At under $300, this extremely versatile instrument hits well above its weight. Chuckie is drawn to the seamless 1.2 mm Aluminum shell with a center bead. The 8-lug Steel Mighty Hoops make for a crisp sound with short sustain. Tama’s SLP projects a super-dry center hit, but play out towards the edge more and it has a surprising amount of life to it.
Mapex Black Panther Design Lab Cherry Bomb Snare Drum 14x6
Tom’s choice for best snare drum under $500 was a no-brainer. Mapex has been making exceptional value snare drums since the introduction of their Black Panther line. Their latest rendition of the 14x6 Cherry Bomb is no exception.
The Mapex Black Panther Design Lab Cherry Bomb Snare has a smooth, unique tone that really set it apart from the other snares on this list. Its 8-ply, 9mm Cherry shell sports dual air vents and stylish tube lugs. It ships with Remo USA heads, so it’s ready to rock straight out of the box!
Gretsch USA Chrome Over Brass Snare Drum 14x5
The most iconic snare drum on our list is the tried and tested Gretsch USA Chrome Over Brass. The G4160 has been the go-to snare for countless musicians for decades and it currently sits atop Barrett’s list.
This beefy snare is packed with high-end features like diecast hoops, Lightning throw-off, and 42-strand snare wires. We’re not sure how Gretsch packs so many premium features into a drum under $500, but it sounds incredible!
Ludwig Acrolite Classic Snare Drum 14x6.5
What does “The Hawk” think is the best snare drum under $500? Many people look to his wisdom when it comes to drum sound, and he rocks the Ludwig Acrolite Classic Snare Drum.
The Ludwig Acrolite Classic is a staff favorite, due to its classic brushed aluminum shell with 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops, 10 classic bowtie lugs, the new P88AC strainer/butt, milled center bead, and classic Blue/Olive Badge. The sum of its parts is a truly unique tone that we think you’ll enjoy, too!
Looking For Your Ideal Snare Drum Sound?
The Drum Center of Portsmouth is your home for world-class snare drums. We have a snare sound for absolutely everyone at any price point. If you’re looking for just the right snare drum to express your musical voice, we can help. We are all passionate about our instrument and can help you find your ideal snare drum. Talk to one of our knowledgeable drummers today!
Tama Star Drum Sets - Bubinga, Maple, Walnut Compared at Drum Center of Portsmouth!
Tama Star drums have generated a lot of buzz since their launch in 2013. The Star line is handcrafted by a small group of artisans in Japan to incredible tolerances. Their uncompromising attention to detail makes Tama Star Drums a shop favorite at Drum Center of Portsmouth. We’ve put together an epic head-to-head comparison video of Tama’s big three - Star Bubinga, Star Maple and Star Walnut.
Working at a drum store has its perks. One day during a meeting, someone had the idea to order a bunch of the world’s finest drums for a comparison video. After a few long months our shipment arrived, and we were rewarded with three jaw-dropping kits. The Star Maple and Star Bubinga kits share the same configuration. 10x7, 12x8 rack toms, 14x14, 16x16 floor toms and a 22x18 bass drum. The Star Walnut kit sports slightly different sizes: 10x8, 12x9, 14x12, 16x14, 18x22.
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. Tama Star drums are among the most beautiful instruments on this planet. When these kits were unboxed, everyone at the shop stopped what they were doing. You can’t take your eyes off of them. The exotic grain, the flawless finish, the stunning hardware, those INLAYS!
Once we got over the initial shock of pure aesthetic perfection, we got to spend some quality time playing Tama’s flagship line. And, oh...what a joy it was.
Tama Star Bubinga
At the front line of Tama Star drums is the Tama Star Bubinga. The kit we test drove was finished in immaculate Dark Red Cordia. The shell construction of the Star Bubingas is a super-thin 4.5mm with thick 9mm reinforcement rings. The interiors are equally as gorgeous with an inner ply of oiled Cordia.
Right away you can spot something unusual about these drums. Tama ships them with Remo Ambassadors, as opposed to Evans heads. This is just one of the details that help you realize that Tama spared no expense regarding the sound of these drums. The kick drums come equipped with PS3 batters and Fiberskyn resonant heads.
The sound of Star Bubingas can be summed up in a word - aggressive. Their dark tone is immediate, sharp and punchy. Their note is clear and beautiful, and they tune up with ease. Tama’s Zinc diecast hoops keep the sustain focused and the drum in tune for days. The kick drum was our favorite part of this kit, providing ridiculous thump and cut.
Tama Star Maple
As we switched over from Star Bubinga to Star Maple the benefits of Tama’s Star Hardware became apparent. Tama’s Super Resonant Mounting system works with a nifty quick-lock tom bracket that makes setup a breeze. Simply flip a switch on the tom stand arm to release your tom while leaving the memory lock in place. Slide the tom back on and, boom. Ready for the next gig. The floor toms also employ these quick locks, making them ultimately gig-friendly.
Our Star Maple kit was also drool-worthy in appearance. The finish is called, “Gloss Sycamore” and resembles the most heavily figured Flamed Maple you could imagine. The gloss is flawless, and has a genuine 3D appearance.
Star Maple shell construction is completely different from the Bubingas. At the center of the shell is a “solid-core” ply of 2mm maple, sandwiched between 1.5mm thick cross-laminated plies on both sides. This thin, 5mm base is supported by 5mm Sound Focus Rings. The reasoning behind this recipe is to simulate the sound of a solid-ply shell without the solid-ply drawbacks.
This kit delivers maple tone on huge doses of steroids. The midrange frequencies BOOM with an unusual blend of modern/vintage sound. Sticking is clean and articulate and sustain goes on and on. If you crave maple tone, Tama Star Maple delivers in spades.
Tama Star Walnut
Rounding out the Tama Star Drums lineup is Star Walnut. As mentioned before, our Star Walnut had slightly different sizes than the other kits. Toms were slightly deeper, and the floor toms were slightly shallower. The finish is a more understated Dark Mocha Gloss, sans inlays.
Along with the sizes and finish being different, shell construction is also unique to the Star Walnut line. Toms are 5mm and the bass is 6mm without reinforcement rings.
These thin walnut shells produced rich, dark tone as one would expect from Walnut. What surprised us was an element of bright attack. The shallower floor toms kept right up with its earlier competitors, and the kick delivered the most low end. The sound of this kit was not unlike birch with some enhanced low-end. This kit would make an excellent rock kit with plenty of aggressive thump to keep up with the mix.
Tama Star Drums are uncompromising. They use the finest materials that are crafted by the world’s finest drum makers. The hardware is strong, beautiful and practical. They are simply among the finest instruments money can buy, and their price tag reflects this. We appreciate that these kits are for a handful of fortunate people, but we are grateful that Tama continues to push the limits of what a drum set can be.
The Tama Star Drum line covers every base between its Maple, Bubinga and Walnut kits. Each voice is uniquely magnificent. We carry a huge selection of Tama Star Drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth. We will gladly talk shop about Tama or any other brand you are interested in!
Roland V-Drums Now Available at Drum Center of Portsmouth!
Roland Electronic Percussion at Drum Center of Portsmouth
It goes without saying that Roland is the leader in the world of Electronic Drums. If you spoken to us before, we've been rather black and white about our feelings on V-Drums and E-drums. Our typical answer has always been "There's Roland, there's Yamaha, then there's everybody else."
It's not that simple anymore. ATV drums have made a BIG splash here at DCP, and their momentum continues to grow. Yamaha has been steady for us from the word go, and Pearl's Mimic Module is hard to keep on the shelves here. The E-drum world continues to grow, but there can only be one leader, and that leader is Roland.
I sold Roland for a number of years before DCP, and went to Roland US in 2004 for training. ( I have a picture somewhere...)
I'm very familiar with the architecture of Roland's V-Drum Sets and Sampling Pads, but I'll certainly be needing a refresh as the boxes continue to arrive here at Drum Center of Portsmouth.
It's a natural evolution for us: in our old location, we barely had room for Electronic drum sets. Then, the new Drum Center of Portsmouth opened in 2017, and now that we've passed that one year mark, we've learned something:
People want to buy Electronic drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth.
You have made it clear: E-drums, or V-drums, are not going away. And you're looking for a place where you can talk to experts who can help you.
This aligns perfectly with our mission statement:
To provide drummers from around the world a community through local and global networking selling products for a reasonable profit and providing friendly service.
We want to help you make the right choice. To do that, we've made a major commitment to stock a wide array of Roland V-Drums products, such as the TD-50, TD-30,TD-25, TD-17,TD-11,TD-4, and TD-1 V-Drums Sets.
Standard fare such as the SPD-SX, SPD-1, and the legendary OctaPad are already in stock.
Add on Roland Triggers, Pads, replacement mesh heads, and cables are also on the menu and ready to fly.
The Electronic Drum Division at Drum Center of Portsmouth Just Got Bigger!
We will continue to stock and service the brands we've carried, we will now be able to provide another option for you.
We'd like to give a sincere thank you for spending your drum money with us. We hope to provide you with many years of good service and pricing on your Roland, and other products that we offer here at Drum Center of Portsmouth.