Last year, we took a trip to the headquarters of the MW-Vintage company, which is known to quite a number of drummers in Poland and Europe not only from beatit.tv publications but can also boast an increasingly growing range of drum kits, snare drums, cymbals and hardware of a slightly older date. On a beautiful and sunny day, company owner, Mateusz Wysocki, opened his show room for us to set up several vintage sets and “tap” on. Once again, Max Psuja, agreed to be the ’lab tester’. Max is an utter vintage drum maniac, a former employee of a drum shop, and a great drummer, who has collaborated with a host of popular acts in Poland, such as Kumka Olik, Holak, Lilly Hates Roses or Yoachim.
We’re testing a 14″ x 6.5″ Tama Granstar PL106 snare
The subject of our test is a beautiful Tama Granstar PL106 snare drum built in the 1980s on the basis of the Imperialstar Mastercraft (only the lugs were changed). It features a steel, seamless shell as well as cast hoops. According to Mateusz Wysocki, this snare was produced in 1987. The instrument was made in Japan.
2. Basic specs:
- Producer: Tama
- Model: Granstar Powerline 106
- Size: 14″ x 6.5”
- Material: Seamless steel
- Shell thickness: 2 mm
- Hoops: Tama Die Cast, 10 tension rods
- Lugs: Tube lugs, double-ended
- Snares: German Brass, 20 strand, new
- Throw-off: Tama
- Heads: Remo Ambassador X / Ambassador Snare
- Finish: Chrome Over Steel (COS)
3. Test and sound
When testing the 14″ x 6.5″ Tama Granstar PL106 snare drum, we also used a 90s Sonor Designer drum kit as well as Impression Cymbals: prototype 14″ holey hats, a 19″ Smooth Crash and a 20″ Leon Collection Ride.
Max started off with single strokes on the batter head, then, he proceeded to play a few rudiment elements at different levels of dynamics with the snares disengaged. After that, he repeated the process with the snares engaged, only to finish off by playing the snare accompanied by the entire drum kit.
The snare drum tested here is a very interesting instrument, which was a top-shelf product from Tama in the 1980s. It was advertised and played by quite a number of top Tama artists back in the day. It displays a bright sound characteristic, strong attack and lots of crack, which is so characteristic of this producer. It is also rather focused, without too many overtones. Back in the day, the snare drum did great in many musical context and it will continue to do so now.
4. This is what Max Psuja had to say about this snare:
“It’s a bright-sounding snare drum and a very explicit attack. The Die Cast hoops give it lots of crack and explosiveness, but also a focused sound without an excessive level of overtones. In my opinion, this instrument can be a great tool in many different music genres.”
Since the day we made this video, the instrument has found a buyer. It is thus not to be found in the MW-Vinage offer.
Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put the 14″ x 6.5″ Tama Granstar PL106 snare drum in Chrome Over Steel (COS) finish to the most important test of all, i. e. the en.beatit.tv viewers’ test! Exclusively for you, we give you Max Psuja!