Old 12-09-2020, 05:10 PM
#1
D-Rum D-Rum is offline
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Default A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
I recently bought a Tama superstar snare. 8x14 in birch. The original roller bed strainer has been replaced with a Dunnett swivel strainer and butt plate. Not a huge fan of the swivel strainer because it’s awkward when messing snare wires, but it’s fine.

Anyway, it came with a fairly used white emperor head. It sounded fine when I got it. Not to my tuning preferences, but not bad at all for not having touched it with a key. I decided to try out an Aquarian Hi-energy head on it and when I changed heads, I got terrible overtones and snare buzz. Bad. So, I re-centered the 40 strand wires and put a new hazy Ambassador on the redo side. Tuned her up. Terrible. Went to my local drum shop (Drum supply house in Nashville) and had the owner take a look. We put some 25 strand wires on it and it sounded better, but not great. His dislike for the Hi-energy head lead me to putting the old-ish Emperor back on and I had the thing sounded amazing. Played the **** out of it for a week. Sometimes with the butts of my stick and I dented the head a little. Alright, no problem. I figured I’d try a vintage Emperor on it. Same thing, just slightly more durable. Put it on, tuned it up. Sounded terrible. Same overtones and snare buzz. I’ve messed with this thing more than I’ve tinkered with another other drum in my life and I can’t figure out what it is. The snare beds seem fine, no issues with the bearing edges or any of the hardware.

I’ve yet to give the old emperor a try and I also haven’t put the hi energy head back on, but I’m planning on checking both and continuing to mess with tuning, but aside from muffling it with gel, the internal muffler, or any other means of muffling, I have no idea what to do. I don’t think it should need any muffling at all. Any suggestions or similar experiences? I’m losing my mind haha. Thanks in advance.

EDIT-Tried to post videos, but it wouldn’t let me. Any help with hat would be appreciated as well. Might help diagnose this problem.
Old 12-09-2020, 05:18 PM
#2
grantro grantro is offline
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Cool Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
Maybe try a set of Puresound Equalizer 16 strand wires on it...That should help with the snare buzz...

Cheers
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1976 Ludwig Mach 4 Thermogloss 26-18-14-14sn
1978 Ludwig Stainless 22-22-18-16-14-13-12 c/w 6-8-10-12-13-14-15-16-18-20-22-24 concert toms
1975 Sonor Phonic Centennials Metallic Pewter 22-16-13-12-14sn (D506)
1971 Ludwig Classic Bowling Ball OBP 22-16-14-13
1960's Stewart Peacock Pearl 20-16-12-14sn
1980`s Ludwig Coliseum Piano Black 8x14 snare
1973 Rogers Superten 5x14 & 6.5x14 COS snares
1970`s John Grey Capri Aquamarine Sparkle 5x14 snare
1941 Ludwig & Ludwig Super 8x14 snare
Old 12-10-2020, 10:39 AM
#3
D-Rum D-Rum is offline
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Default Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
Thanks, I’ve seen those before and have thought they sounded interesting.

Tinkered some more with it this morning. Re-centered my wires again and re-tuned it. The buzz is a little better, but came back a little after playing for a couple mins. Makes me think the buzz is an issues with the wires, but they're brand new and centered.

The overtones are also slightly better. It’s really more of a “boing” or tone you might here out of a Tom. It is a deep snare, so I suppose this isn’t uncommon. I’ve put a couple Remo gels on it and it’s close to the sound I’m looking for. But I can’t help but think the drum shouldn’t really need any muffling. I’m going to try out the other two heads again and see where I end up.
Old 12-10-2020, 11:26 AM
#4
pgm554 pgm554 is offline
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Default Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
You've probably got a snare bed issue as the roller bar was part of an extended snare throw and did not have such a deep or wide snare bed.

I would get a Fat Cat pitched set of snares and a Remo zero collar snare side head.

Other than that ,have somebody check out the snare beds and recut them for a wider set of snares.
Old 12-10-2020, 12:24 PM
#5
D-Rum D-Rum is offline
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Default Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
Yeah I thought that might be a factor. The snare beds are hard to see as they’re very gradual, but they’re there for sure. That’s why I took off the 42 strands and put thinner wires on, which did help. I’ve also noticed the new butt plate rests slightly lower that the original. Would that be an issue? Drum guy down the road said it shouldn’t be. Wire strings are still at a 45 (ish).

On another note-I just tried out the Hi-Energy and the old (not vintage) Emperor. Hi-Energy head came with the same issues, but the Emperor reigns supreme. I have no idea why. I put it on, tuned it up, and it sounds great. I didn't even tweak it and it sounds fine. Still a slight, tiny bit of snare buzz, but nothing major. Why in the world would that head not only sound better, but cure all of the problems I’m having? I get the weird sounds out of the hi-energy head. There’s a lot of material in it. But the vintage emperor and regular emperor are the same head with 1 mm difference as far as I know. If I just need to use Emperors, I’m cool with that. They just don’t stand up to my bashing very well. I used to exclusively use Evans ST dry’s on my snare, so I may give that a shot at some point. Anyway-any ideas on why the emperor is curing the problems?
Old 12-10-2020, 12:28 PM
#6
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Default Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
Also-Would putting the original roller bed set-up back on help? I’m not even sure how those things work. They look wild.
Old 12-10-2020, 12:34 PM
#7
pgm554 pgm554 is offline
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Default Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Rum View Post
Also-Would putting the original roller bed set-up back on help? I’m not even sure how those things work. They look wild.
Fairly simple,but finding them is the issue and you would need a set of snares that fit.
I had a Tama spun steel snare that used them and it was a very playable snare.
Old 12-10-2020, 12:47 PM
#8
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Default Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
Were there special snares that were used with them? I found the system on Craigslist, but it was in NY and local pick up. Thought about asking the guy if he’d ship, but I’m not sure I want the old set up as I know nothing about it. It would be nice to have it back to its original state, though. Regardless, I know I’ll end up replacing the Dunnett swivel strainer at some point.
Old 12-10-2020, 03:11 PM
#9
salty 1322 salty 1322 is offline
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Default Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
Quote:
Originally Posted by grantro View Post
Maybe try a set of Puresound Equalizer 16 strand wires on it...That should help with the snare buzz...

Cheers
With Rod all the way on this. I don't like gel pads of any kind, but don't mind the look and sound of a Snareweight damper. Perhaps with the right wires and good damping system?
Brian
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:29 PM
#10
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Default Re: A cry for help-Can NOT tune 80s Tama superstar 8x14 Birch
Will definitely pick up an equalizer. I don’t mind a square of gel, but as I mentioned, it’s good to go with the Emperor head on it. I’m honestly afraid to go out and buy a new emperor head. I think this one has some sort of magical power.
 

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