This brass snare drum from YAMAHA Drums was made in the late '80s (about in 1987) and stopped about the middle '90s (about in 1994-1996).
This piccolo brass snare it was one of the sd brass - shell snare drums series. There were four models, one of which we'll look at individually. But first, a couple of features that apply to the entire line:
All of the drums feature ten tension lugs, and none of them have any sort of internal damper. (Each drum did come equipped with a clear plastic ring, however, which does a better job of muffling anyway). Overall, the brass shells give a little more depth and warmth than steel or chrome shells, but are much brighter than wood - shell drums. Each drum was fitted with YAMAHA/Remo batter (Ambassador weight) and snare heads. Each drum also had its own serial number, stamped onto the logo badge.
The complete SD series
Now let's see the main features of the SD493 brass piccolo snare drum:
It was (and still it is in my opinion) the most interesting of the brass series. It's a piccolo snare drum, measuring 14 x 3 1/2. It comes equipped with Power Hoops, and the strainer is a slightly modified YAMAHA standard model. However, the snares extend past the head, and there is an adjustable snare guide that helps you want them.
This drum has more body than I expected from a drum of that size, although I would still be careful about using it as a general - purpose snare drum. It could work well in a quiet setting (three-piece acoustic jazz trio, perhaps), or in a situation where the drums are miked. The drum is at its best when tuned fairly tight, and rimshots sound great.
I have heard Dave Weckl (in Chick Corea Elektric Band live situations of the '80s and in his videos "Back To Basics" and "The Next Step"), David Garibaldi (in his video "Tower Of Groove" and live situations from the past), Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd, Alex Acuña, Larry Mullen (from U2) and more others using this drum (miked), and it was perfect for their tight, crisp styles. It could also be good as a second snare drum. The trend of those days seemed to be moving towards higher pitched snares, in fact this drum became very popular and, in my opinion, it is still an appreciated, wanted and perhaps one of the best ever made brass snare drum. Because the shallow depth emphasises the high overtones, the drum might be too bright for some tastes. But replacing the top head with a brush-coated Evans Rock head, which eliminated some of the extra high end.
Brass SD Series Snare Drums specifications:
|MODEL||SHELL||PLIES||SIZE||LUG TYPE||T. BOLTS||HOOPS||STRAINER||SNARE||HEAD BATTER||HEAD SNARE||COLOR|
|SD493||Brass||-||14 x 3 1/2||Piccolo||10||Power||AP||SN-DL||Remo Ambassador||Remo Ambassador||Classic Brass|
|SD416||Brass||-||14 x 6 1/2||SD Lug||10||Diecast||E||SN-E||Remo Ambassador||Remo Ambassador||Classic Brass|
|SD496||Brass||-||14 x 6 1/2||SD Lug||10||Power||A2||SN-D||Remo Ambassador||Remo Ambassador||Classic Brass|
|SD498||Brass||-||14 x 8||High Tension||10||Power||A2||SN-D||Remo Ambassador||Remo Ambassador||Classic Brass|
All in all, the YAMAHA brass snare drums sd series are well designed, and the four models cover a pretty wide range of applications.
The list price of the drums in 1988 were:
|SD493||14 x 3 1/2||$505.00|
|SD416||14 x 6 1/2||$545.00|
|SD496||14 x 6 1/2||$475.00|
|SD498||14 x 8||$525.00|