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Sakae Almighty Maple

I have to admit, the name ‘The Almighty’ conjured up several different thoughts for me. I think it’s an interesting choice. My thoughts aside though, the name is a big bold statement.

These drums are made in Sakae’s Japanese factory and they are a high end, pro level kit.

The review kit sizes were 10x7, 12x8 mounted toms, both on Sakae’s own suspension mounts, a 16x14 floor tom and a 22x18 bass drum. The kit is a shell-pack, so it didn’t come with a snare drum, but did come with a double tom holder and mounts.

The drums were finished in ‘Blood’ which is a striking, deep red colour (as you might expect given the name). Personally, I think it looks like an old red cherry wood finish or a deep red wine, but there you go. Despite being a wood finish, it was still very reflective and shiny under lights, and you can see all of the wood grain quite clearly.

The shells were 6 ply North American Maple with a sharp 45’ bearing edge for clear attack and tone.

The kit had 1.3mm plies on the bass drum making a shell thickness of 7.8mm, compared with 0.9mm plies and 5.4mm shells on the toms. Sakae puts heavier lugs (but still with a small footprint) on the drums to help focus vibration and sound transmission to the shell edge. The toms have triple flanged hoops, and the bass drum matching wood hoops.

The drums come with Sakae-branded Remo heads – clear Emperors/Ambassadors on the toms and a clear Powerstroke 3 batter on the bass drum. In terms of the video, you’ll have to ignore the front head on the bass drum. This is just a ported head I had which I used to get the microphone inside the drum. The head supplied with the kit is a black full head.

Sound-wise, the drums are loud with plenty of ring and sustain. I also found the toms to be quite sensitive in terms of that sustain as even a slight dampening with some tape on the batter head provided a quite noticeable effect on the residual ring.

The bass drum had a small light cushion in it, which gave a punchy enough sound without overly killing the tone.

I found the 10 and 16” toms and the kick easy to tune but found the 12” for some reason to be a little harder to work with, although it may well have just been me and the room I was in.

The only thing I found a little disappointing – because this isn’t a cheap kit – is that some of the paint from the finish was left on the bass drum bearing edges. It was only a very light minor thing, and not a lot either, but it was still there all the same. Other than that, these drums are really nice.

All in all, as you might expect, this is a nice kit.

It sounds good, looks good and in terms of potentially expanding on it, there are lots of options by way of extra toms and bass drums, with kick drums going from 18 to 26” and toms (including floors) going from 8 to 18”, with a choice of depths in there too. You can also pick and choose between maple and birch if that’s what you want. Pretty cool and pretty open in terms of getting exactly what you might need.

More at sakaedrums.com

David Bateman

March 2016

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