Taye Parasonic Drum Kit Tested!

Taye has been making quality drums since 1975, and unlike many manufacturers today, Taye makes it all — drum shells, hardware, and heads. The company’s newest offering is the ParaSonic series, which features lots of clever features and a new partial hybrid shell design. Better still, the ParaSonics don’t carry a high-end price.

Shells

Taye’s shells feature EFS shell technology that uses a cross-laminated construction for extra strength. You may know that birch is harder than maple and as a result has a brighter sound that tends to project well but also offers slightly less midrange and low-end warmth. Maple is a softer- and warmer-sounding wood and remains the most preferred shell material amongst the plethora of options available today.

Taye’s ParaSonic shells are designed to take advantage of these different tonal attributes and offer the ideal sound from every drum. Drums 14" and larger are made of 100 percent sugar maple (6-ply) and have very thin 4.8mm shells for extra warmth and longer sustain. Toms smaller than 14" use a hybrid shell composed of sugar maple (2-ply) and premium birch (4-ply) and are slightly thicker at 6.2mm to offer shorter sustain and a brighter attack.

The bass drums have 6-ply maple SoundRings whereas the toms are “straight” shells without reinforcing rings.

There are currently no snare drums offered in the ParaSonic line but thoughtfully Taye sent me a 14" x 6.5" MetalWorks brass snare to round out the kit for this review.

Finishes

ParaSonic drums are offered in just three lacquer finishes but each one is gorgeous. My kit was the Dark Ocean Burst but there is also a Walnut Burst, both of which are transparent and reveal the wood grain underneath. The Vintage Goldtop is an opaque finish that reminds me of a classic guitar finish and is also quite beautiful.

My review kit had a deep midnight blue color near the edges that gradually opened up to a rich blue color in the center. I thought it was elegant and slightly understated, befitting a more expensive kit. Each drum in this review kit had a perfect glass-like gloss without any imperfections in the lacquer and the proportion of burst to darker areas was ideal for each shell size.

The MetalWorks brass snare drum had a brushed black nickel finish that I found to be both a masculine and handsome finish.

Configurations

There are six available configurations of the drums ranging from small bebop-style jazz kits with an 18" bass drum to a contemporary rock one-up/two-down kit with oversized toms and a stadium-sized 24" bass drum. My review kit was the Stage Kit with a 22" bass drum, 10" and 12" rack toms, and a 16" floor tom, which would work well for most gigs. This jump in diameter from the mounted toms down to a 16" floor tom rather than a fusion-sized 14" floor tom indicates this kit is designed for rock and pop styles that might benefit from a deeper-sounding low tom.

There are seven add-on drums available to expand the factory setups.

Features

Taye’s drums have never been short on innovative and clever features to enhance their sound and convenience.

This line features a new ParaSonic Lug that is both attractive and functional. These new lugs are a bit beefier than the lugs on Taye’s other kits and feature gleaming chrome that adds quite a bit of sparkle to the kits under stage lighting. All the shell hardware including lugs, tom mounts, and floor tom leg brackets are isolated from the shells with studded gaskets to enhance tone and avoid metal-on-wood contact.

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Taye has included its superb SlideTrack tom holder system despite the current fashion of not mounting toms off the bass drum on nicer kits. Personally, I prefer the convenience of mounting toms off the bass drum rather than using clamps to precariously balance heavy toms from cymbal stands. Taye’s SlideTrack works quite well and unlike most bass drum mounts, allows the user to slide their toms closer or further away to accommodate drummers of varying stature. The double tom mount clamps to a vertical tube that has an opening for a cymbal arm, a thoughtful addition to the unit.

The ParaSonic also utilizes Taye’s PocketHinge brackets for the tom mounts, bass drum spurs, and floor tom legs that evenly distributes clamping pressure across inserted rods.

Taye’s SpringFlex bass drum spurs are designed to improve bass drum tone and have retractable spikes. The bass drum uses Taye’s unique and vintage-looking Articulated Claw Hooks that are cleverly designed to allow you to change bass drumheads without removing the tension rods from the bass drum.

The toms are suspended for additional tone via Taye’s SuspensionRings. The counter hoops are 2.3mm thick and are rigid enough for professional use while still allowing for a bit of extra warmth from the tom toms.

The 14" x 6.5" MetalWorks snare drum has a beaded shell, which is often used to add strength and rigidity to metal snare drums. It has 10-lug dual-sided tube lugs and features Taye’s SideLatch snare release, which works well and quietly, though I prefer releases that require less room to disengage the wires. The butt plate is die-cast and befits a high-end drum.

Memory locks would have been a nice addition on the floor tom legs.

Hardware

I received a hardware package with the kit that included a hi-hat stand, two cymbal stands (one boom), snare stand, and a kick pedal, as well as a double tom clamp and floor tom legs.

The hardware was all double-braced for additional stability, provided a solid foundation for everything, and always functioned perfectly. The cymbal stands, tom arms, and snare basket all use a ball-and-socket design that has the advantage of allowing you to make precise and minute adjustments from a single wing screw. They also feature Taye’s PinlessHinge clamping method that distributes pressure across the tubes.

The three legs on the hi-hat stand rotate to make room for a double bass drum pedal. The stand also has adjustable tension to accommodate different weight hi-hats and playing styles. The tension adjustment allows for minute adjustments but isn’t indented to lock your settings so they may slowly loosen over time. I love the Remo hi-hat clutch that Taye uses since it won’t gradually unscrew and drop the top cymbal no matter how long your gig is.

My only issue with the stands is I’d like Taye to include some memory locks for faster setups.

The bass drum pedal was solid and relatively simple compared to many, but it was easy to set, adjust, and felt good to play.

Sound

These toms sounded great with the coated single-ply Dynaton batter heads. They were easy to tune up and each had a clear pitch and just the right amount of sustain. The hybrid shell composition seemed to operate as they were designed to. The mounted toms had a bit more attack (presumably due to the added birch) and the floor tom had oodles of warmth and low end with a bit more sustain. The drums responded well whether played lightly or heavily.

The bass drum had premuffled heads on both sides and it was punchy enough that it could be used as is without any additional muffling.

The MetalWorks brass snare was a lively and pretty fat-sounding drum with good rim-clicks and rimshots.

Verdict

Taye’s new ParaSonic line has plenty to offer: great sound, perfect finishes, and a plethora of thoughtful features. They’re so good they leave me wanting a bit more. The three finishes offered are very nice but I hope Taye expands upon the selection in the future. I’d also love to see the addition of a few matching ParaSonic snare drums. All in all, these ParaSonic drums are an affordable and very competitive drum line at a very reasonable price.

Details

Configuration 22" x 18" bass drum, 10" x 8.5" tom, 12" x 9" tom, and 16" x 16" floor tom. Add-on 14" x 6.5" MetalWorks Brushed Black Nickel Brass snare.
List Price Toms And Bass Drum Shell Pack $2,799, MetalWorks Brushed Black Nickel Brass Snare $599 Hardware Pack “A” $625
Shells Partial Hybrid EFS Shell Design — Shells 8"–12" are 6.2mm 2-ply maple and 4-ply birch, shells 14"–22" are 4.8mm 6-ply maple, 6-ply maple SoundRings on bass drums.
Features SlideTrack Tom Holder System, new ParaSonic lug, PocketHinge brackets, SuspensionRings for mounted toms, Articulated Claw Hooks, Studded Gaskets, 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops.
Finishes Dark Ocean Burst (reviewed), Walnut Burst, and Vintage Goldtop high-gloss finishes.
Contact Taye Inc., 909-628-9589, tayedrums.com