Tama Charlie Benante 14×6.5″ Signature Snare DrumI find it strange that I seem to have never reviewed this drum before, but it appears I haven’t.
I say I find it strange because I’ve owned one for years, and it’s one of my favourite snare drums, and has been from the moment I tried it. It’s also a drum that has been available for well over ten years.
For some background, Charlie Benante has been the drummer for the band Anthrax for over 40 years, and you may have heard of him through the music media even if you’re not into metal music as he has been one of the stand-out drummers of the genre for the past few decades.
The drum in question is a 14×6.5” 1.2mm stainless steel shelled model with 10 double-ended lugs, die cast hoops and 20-strand Starclassic wires. The hardware is finished in black nickel, with the inside of the shell being coated black. The drum also features – possibly one of the coolest badges ever, in my opinion – the Anthrax ‘Not Man’ logo.
I’ll confess that I’m not the world’s greatest fan of steel snare drums. There’s no real reason for this other than after starting on them, I grew to not enjoy how they sound quite so much. That said, there is something about the design of this particular snare drum which I just love.
What I think it is about this drum is the slightly more controlled – or that may be the more refined – decay in overtones the shell has.
For me, if a drum sounds pleasing to my ear when playing it with no hearing protection or in-ear monitoring, I’ll like it. I rarely play without either these days and I generally prefer it that way so hearing a drum naturally is something I’m more sensitive to.
I’ve found over the years that a drum can sound great under a microphone or out front and yet not be as pleasing when actually behind the kit. That happens a lot. This drum though, has always sounded like one of the perfect metal snares to me.
I think this drum performs best at a medium or medium-high tensioning and with a rimshot. The bright dryness of the shell, along with the aforementioned decay and 6.5” depth, give it a clear, cutting sound which has always worked well when I’ve used it. In addition, the drum feels very solid to play and does both quiet and loud equally well. And, it looks cool.
So there you go. It’s a metal drum designed by a metal drummer which – as far as I’m concerned – isn’t just for metal. In that regard, I’d say it’s a pretty solid all-round choice.