Sakae Trilogy Drums @ Newcastle Drum Centre!
Sakae were founded in 1925 in Osaka, Japan and had exclusively made top-end drums for Yamaha since 1967, including the world famous Yamaha Recording Custom. In 2013, Sakae decided to go it alone and start manufacturing their own drums. They have gained a lot of praise, and have been played by artists such as Ash Soan (Adele, The Voice, Seal), Mark Richardson (Skunk Anansie, Amy MacDonald) and Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins).
The drums we have in store are Sakae's "Trilogy" series, which are heavily focused on replicating the vintage looks and sounds of 60's era Ludwig and Slingerland drums. They feature thin, 3-ply Maple/Polar/Maple shells with 4-ply Maple reinforcement rings, and come in classic looking finishes such as the "bowling ball" Black Oyster Pearl, Sky Blue Pearl, Vintage Club Oyster, as well as a few sparkle finishes (Green, Gold and Champagne).
I decided to take Trilogy out to see how it sounded! I opted for a 22"x16" bass drum, 12"x8" rack tom and 16"x16" floor tom, in the Sky Blue Pearl finish.
The first thing I noticed was how incredibly light the bass drum is! The thin maple shells make this drum much lighter than any other bass drum I've used before. The 16" depth of the kick drum makes it versatile enough to manage most gigs, from jazz to rock.
The drums come with coated heads on, but I put a fresh set of Evans G2 Clear heads on the toms, and an EMAD on the kick before heading out to my gig. The drums tuned up without a struggle, and the toms have a nice, warm sustain, with plenty of bottom-end present in the floor tom.
On this evening, I was playing for Beth Macari at Newcastle's "Boiler Shop Steamer" event. The set is quite varied, covering styles from jazz, pop, soul and rock, and the kit handled the various genres with ease. It has enough depth and attack to cut through the heavier, louder songs, while the super resonant shells provide lots of sustain for the more subtle moments.
A week later, I took the kit along to a recording session, too see how it sounded in a studio environment. The project was all heavy rock this time, so I was interested to see what the kit had to offer in this setting!
Aided by the huge live room (the studio is a converted church in Northumberland, close to Rothbury), these drums sounded absolutely massive! Although the shell are very resonant, we didn't have any trouble in controlling them with dampening, save for the standard pillow in the bass drum!
After this, I can definitely say I'm a fan of Sakae drums!