If the name Taye (pronounced “tie”) is new to you, it’s high time you got acquainted. Founded in 1975, Taye started out producing drums and hardware for other instrument manufactures. By the late ’90s, Taye Drums became a top supplier within the competitive drum and music industry. And with more than 20 patents under its belt, the company struck out on its own.
Smart move. The folks at Taye recognized they could put together accessible top-quality drums in multiple configurations for a fair price. And that’s just what they’ve done yet again with the new wood timbales, which offer expert manufacturing, wonderful sound, and several extras. A unique take on a traditional form, Taye’s wood timbales add a cool warm and expressive flavor to any drummer’s or percussionist’s setup. And they look great, too.
The six-lug timbales fasten to a chrome-plated stand utilizing Taye’s patented universal tom bracket via the also-patented and well-thought-out floating shell system, SuspensionRings. The bracket uses a ball joint along with an elbow-shaped rod for the timbale to slide onto. The bracket is multidirectional and allows for many angle options. Because Taye uses its exclusive studded gaskets, all rattles and squeaks are taken care of, making the floating system a true winner. This is especially important for any kind of recording or miking situation.
The stand sent to me extended only high enough to be setup next to the hi-hat or possibly over floor toms. I’m sure an extension is available for higher accessibility. The black-and-white checker pattern on the shells is pretty hip and looks nice with the chrome stand.
I enjoyed the use of Taye’s new Dynaton synthetic heads. I wasn’t sure where the timbale sound was going as I started to crank up the heads, but as the drums were getting up in pitch their true colors started coming to life. I would like to say that in my opinion, if you’re looking for traditional-sounding timbales, you won’t find it here. Instead, the wood timbales have a truly personal and cool vibe. If you remember the old Remo Rototoms you’ll have a good point of reference as to the sound of these drums. Mutliple timbres sing with great staccato sharpness.
The 10" drum sounds super tight and has a nice ring. I didn’t care too much for tuning this drum in the lower registers, but cranked it sounded killer. I will say that rimshots sound a bit thin. The rims are not all that heavy, and I don’t know how much of a beating they’re meant to take.
Breaking in the 12" drum was a lot of fun. With the Dynaton synthetic head, the drum sounded great in the lower ranges as well as the high, although at some point the head did begin to sound choked off in the higher register. Rimshots on this drum were a nice match to the 10" and really cut through. Good sustain was easy and the physical response from the head made it easy to play. Dynamics on both the 10" and 12" drum were great and there was practically no loss of tonality from super soft to super loud.
Being a percussionist, the first thing I was thinking was there’s nowhere to mount my cowbells. So I fastened a cowbell post to a cymbal stand and that allowed me to play standard mambo, cha-cha, etc. patterns Performing in a room with high ceilings, the drums’ natural resonance really filled out the ensemble. The timbales have good volume and their timbre cuts through without being too overpowering. My fills were powerful and crisp. The blend with the drummer’s kit was nice and let each of us have a distinct voice. During a little timbale solo I had some concerns as to whether or not I was hitting rimshots too hard. I can see a drummer utilizing the timbales more as a hybrid drum than an actual timbale.
I enjoyed the flavor that was stirred up between my congas and the timbales. It was a good pairing with the warmth of the congas and the crisp timbales. Even though the shells are only 3" deep, the bass tonalities held their own with the band’s volume.
All in all the Taye Wood Timbales are a nice addition to any player’s arsenal and sound great. Their uniqueness (a good thing for non-traditionalists) makes them stand out and shine through. The SuspensionRings floating head system is awesome and really lets the true tonality of the drums speak with no interference from rattles and extraneous hardware noises. Drummers will enjoy the multidirectional tom clamp to get that perfect positioning, and the Dynaton synthetic heads are easy to tune and have pleasing tonalities. And the price makes these a steal.
10" x 3" and 12" x 3", 8ply 7mm poplar cross-laminated sheets
Black and white laminate
Dynaton synthetic heads, EFS “Engineered for Sound” Shell Technology, SuspensionRings
Patented Universal Tom Bracket: UB105 PocketHinge Bracket, TC91/92 tom clamp
10" x 3" $130
12" x 3" $149
Taye Drums, tayedrums.com, 909-628-9589