Sakae Snare Drum Review
Sakae Snare Drum
Sakae may not be a name that you have either heard of or are familar with, but the Japanese company has actually been producing high end drums for decades. You may have even heard some of the drums, as since 1965 Sakae has produced the professional ranges of drums for a small Japanese company called Yamaha.
I have to admit that I had never heard of Sakae until Mike mentioned them to me just before giving me this drum. However, it does seem obvious from their history and from what I have read that they really do know how to make top quality drums and have a pedigree to back that up.
The particular drum I was given for review was a 13x7" 11ply, 10.2mm bubinga shelled, Castor-Aralia finished model (#SD1370BVC), which featured nice sharp bearing edges and fairly gradual snare beds that gave the 20 strand Sakae wires plenty of space to sit. I can''t tell you what batter head the drum came with because it had been changed for a coated Remo X14 Ambassador, but it did have the original Sakae logoed Remo snare on the bottom.
Sakae also has its own strainer which is fairly quiet and notably smooth, together with the company''s own tube lug design and what Sakae call their ''Mighty Halo'' hoops - you get an option of inward or outward triple flanged hoops. The Mighty Halo hoops are the inward facing version and apart from any sound enhancing qualities they provide, they help to keep your sticks in one piece. There are airholes at 12 and 6 against the strainer which is at 3 o''clock.
To hold, it''s not overly heavy drum but not exactly light either. That said though, it certainly gave me the impression of being very sturdy and capable of taking some heavy playing.
The design quality and build of this drum was, as you might expect, good.
Every time I looked at it, the finish reminded me of Sonor''s Blanched Roots snare (the vintage looking drum Steve Smith uses a lot) but slightly lighter in colour. The company badge looks very classy against the colour of the wood, and they''ve even gone so far as putting red snare cord on to as well.
Since this particular drum actually belonged to someone, I didn''t really mess around with the tuning that much, but having said that, I also didn''t feel inclined to either.
As you''ll hopefully hear, the sound of the drum was very full and resonant at the fairly tight [batter head] tuning at which I received it and through a mic, that was very apparent (the mic was about 2" above the head at 12 o''clock). The first half of the clip features the drum being lightly muffled with the end of a towell, with the second half featuring the drum as it was out of the box.
I only really played the drum in my studio, with it being used only once lightly with a full band, but it would definitely have no problems with volume or presence. I think that may be obvious from the audio clip. The ring which is very apparent was easily tamed with some mild dampening.
From what I can see, the company has not got a massive range as yet, but what it does have does look good and I''d be interested to see and hear a full kit.
All in all, this was quite an introduction for me to Sakae drums and I''ll definitely be looking out for the name in the future.
More over at http://www.sakaedrums.com/english/index.html
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