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Thread: Bell Brass

  1. Unban nik12

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    Default Bell Brass

    Hey fellas! I'm moving a bunch of gear soon to get a new snare and I'm looking into a Bell Brass/Bronze. Currently, my #1 contender is a DW Knurled Bronze 14x6.5 that I can get for just under $600 at my local drum shop. It's essentially a bell bronze but it's rolled, not cast. Alternatively, they have the Black Nickel over Brass for about $350 which is definitely more tempting because of the price, but it's not as thick of a shell, and it's not exactly what I want.

    Am I looking at that big of a difference you think between a rolled shell and an actual cast bronze? Am I better off saving up more and getting a legit bell Brass? I am looking for a solid snare to last me a lifetime, and I know both of those options will, but bell Brass is awfully expensive and I don't know if I can justify spending close to a grand on a legit bell brass snare.

    Alternatively, I am also looking for the Abe Cunningham Signature Tama snare but it's proving to be an impossible task.

    Thoughts? Thanks!

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    instead of the dough claimed by a true tama bell brass,i would simply get me a reference brass. the volume available with this snare drum is very close to the real deal,it's really a ear piercing snare drum.

    there's also the gretsch bell brass, but again it,s well over a thousand.
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    From what you described, you want a snare that will bring you many years of enjoyment. I would save more, and get the instrument you want. This video (I think) shows the difference between a pressed brass shell vs. a cast shell. They are simply not the same.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dhHrSrHGVU

    This video compared the knurled DW brass to the Tama bell brass... watch the whole video. He tried to make the case that the bell brass hoops on the Tama are the big difference, which may be true... but both snares sound pretty nice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1g4TioDwZA&t=505s

    Finally here is the Oriollo cast bell bronze... another drum to consider.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGN7MVpcV1Y

    As I mentioned before, I would get the drum you want... it doesn't take much time to save up a little more money. Then you'll have a drum worth keeping forever. I would consider the Tama bell brass, Oriollo bell bronze, Gretsch bell brass, or the DW thick rolled brass... but the black nickel over brass from any brand is not the same kind of drum.
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  4. Unban nik12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rollracer View Post
    instead of the dough claimed by a true tama bell brass,i would simply get me a reference brass. the volume available with this snare drum is very close to the real deal,it's really a ear piercing snare drum. there's also the gretsch bell brass, but again it,s well over a thousand.
    I would actually love a Ref Brass but I have never seen the 6.5 going for less than $700 which is still a little too much money for a snare I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drumming-4-Life View Post
    From what you described, you want a snare that will bring you many years of enjoyment. I would save more, and get the instrument you want. This video (I think) shows the difference between a pressed brass shell vs. a cast shell. They are simply not the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dhHrSrHGVU This video compared the knurled DW brass to the Tama bell brass... watch the whole video. He tried to make the case that the bell brass hoops on the Tama are the big difference, which may be true... but both snares sound pretty nice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1g4TioDwZA&t=505s Finally here is the Oriollo cast bell bronze... another drum to consider. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGN7MVpcV1Y As I mentioned before, I would get the drum you want... it doesn't take much time to save up a little more money. Then you'll have a drum worth keeping forever. I would consider the Tama bell brass, Oriollo bell bronze, Gretsch bell brass, or the DW thick rolled brass... but the black nickel over brass from any brand is not the same kind of drum.
    That video was very helpful, actually, I think I honestly like the DW more. It seems more resonant and musical, I think because it doesn't have the extra weight of those bell brass hoops. In addition, I could always find a set of bell brass hoops if I wanted to ever add them to the DW, but I feel like any of those snares would bring me a lifetime of enjoyment.

    Still looking around for the Abe Cunningham snare, but I am starting to think that the DW Knurled Bronze might be the way to go. I am gonna keep checking my options, the Gretsch Bell Brass is too expensive, and so are those Oriollos, although they are really nice. With such a big price tag I just want to be sure I'm making a solid investment and that I'm not jumping the gun here.
    Last edited by MitchLyons; 12-04-2018 at 10:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchLyons View Post
    Hey fellas! I'm moving a bunch of gear soon to get a new snare and I'm looking into a Bell Brass/Bronze.

    Am I looking at that big of a difference you think between a rolled shell and an actual cast bronze? Am I better off saving up more and getting a legit bell Brass? I am looking for a solid snare to last me a lifetime, and I know both of those options will, but bell Brass is awfully expensive and I don't know if I can justify spending close to a grand on a legit bell brass snare.

    Thoughts? Thanks!
    Mitch,

    Here are a couple of thoughts:

    1. The correct terminology is "bell bronze." Tama made a mistake when they called their drum "bell brass." Nobody who casts the material calls it bell brass.

    2. I'm in the process of building a series of bell bronze snare drums (of various sizes) and they are very nice, but expensive. The bell bronze is kind of like the "gold" of snare drum shell materials.

    3. Snare drums of all different kinds of metals sound good. It's just a matter of what you prefer. Bell bronze has a unique character that a lot of people really like.

    4. Bell bronze is very heavy. If you are gigging with it, you probably should have a hard case and take the extra weight into consideration. My 14x6.5 bell bronze snare weighs almost 20 lbs (even with the lightweight Pearl ARL hardware and Fat Tone hoops).

    5. Finally, I'd get the snare drum that you like personally. There is a certain amount of prestige to owning a "bell bronze" snare drum and it sounds different than an ordinary brass shell (either spun or cast). Anyone can get an ordinary brass snare drum fairly cheap, so you might want to consider the bell bronze if you prefer something that is less common.

    *** Here's a picture of two of the bell bronze effects snare drums (10x5, 12x5) that I recently built for my personal collection (using Pearl hardware). I also have several others in 13" and 14" sizes:

    Name:  Bell Bronze Effects 1.jpg
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    Last edited by MusicMan; 12-04-2018 at 10:59 AM.
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    Are there any pro or studio guys who use these drums? I wouldn't know if I've heard one before and I'd be interested in listening to tracks they're used on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheElectricCompany View Post
    Are there any pro or studio guys who use these drums? I wouldn't know if I've heard one before and I'd be interested in listening to tracks they're used on.
    There are ... but the sound you'd hear on a studio recording would probably be heavily processed.

    The bell bronze snares that I have are loud, and have a nice pure (but controlled) ring to them. They have a distinct metallic sound of their own.

    Pearl recently made a couple of "prototype" bell bronze snares in the Reference series for Todd Sucherman.

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  8. life start at 125bpm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumming-4-Life View Post
    From what you described, you want a snare that will bring you many years of enjoyment. I would save more, and get the instrument you want. This video (I think) shows the difference between a pressed brass shell vs. a cast shell. They are simply not the same.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dhHrSrHGVU

    This video compared the knurled DW brass to the Tama bell brass... watch the whole video. He tried to make the case that the bell brass hoops on the Tama are the big difference, which may be true... but both snares sound pretty nice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1g4TioDwZA&t=505s

    Finally here is the Oriollo cast bell bronze... another drum to consider.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGN7MVpcV1Y

    As I mentioned before, I would get the drum you want... it doesn't take much time to save up a little more money. Then you'll have a drum worth keeping forever. I would consider the Tama bell brass, Oriollo bell bronze, Gretsch bell brass, or the DW thick rolled brass... but the black nickel over brass from any brand is not the same kind of drum.
    i definitely dislike to the highest level how the natal and gretsch drums sounds at low and middle tuning. i think that they only sounds good at tighter tuning whatever unit-series brass snare it may be. however, the gretsch sounds more balanced inside its right tuning.spectrum ,which to me goes from mid tight to tight.

    the second vid about thetama and DW....seriouisly...is this guy ever learned how to set up a snare drum? it is only wires rattles and uneven heads ytensionning....LOL

    looking at those 4 specimens,it just reinforce my opinion on how the reference brass snare is an awesome deal. excepting the gretsch,none of these worth half of what is asked .especially the dw unit. the tama...you could argue with reason it's a piece of drum history,and that also it sounds very special taking into account the volume exiting from it,otherwise,seriously, the reference is every bit as good or better sounding as any of those drums except the tama unit which win over the ref because it spits even more power,which is incredibly loud.
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    Owning both, I prefer the Tama Bell Brass to the Reference Brass.

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  10. life start at 125bpm

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    Quote Originally Posted by RG1820X View Post
    Owning both, I prefer the Tama Bell Brass to the Reference Brass.


    i'd be surpized to hear the reverse statement....for the price you paid for the tama......
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollracer View Post
    i'd be surpized to hear the reverse statement....for the price you paid for the tama......
    The two metals are not the same, so it's really not comparing two of the same type of snare drum.
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  12. life start at 125bpm

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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicMan View Post
    The two metals are not the same, so it's really not comparing two of the same type of snare drum.
    both are said to be ''brass'' ,i'm not concerned by fine rethorics .

    the ref is made of rolled brass,whereas a true bell brass is supposedly made out of melted brass,which gives a thickier shell. some say a true bell brass should be made with melted cymbals...but i don't buy this.i think paiste is the only makers who has build a snare made of melted cymbs....of course i might be wrong on this topic.

    grrrr...all this talk about bell brass this and brass snare that instilled a sudden need to start a hunt for a reference brass snare in 14X5.........memories getting back up dated.....i chased one for years,and i left one past my noze for 350$ because it was a 6.5...and i'm into X5.i still pinch myself seasoned with insults directed to my me LOL.
    Last edited by rollracer; 12-04-2018 at 06:58 PM.
    RUSH FOREVER RUSH
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    WTB:AAX -HHX-SR2's large crashes

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