The feeling you get in your gut when you watch a marching band, the beat your heart matches, is the beat of the drums. Not any drums, but the Yamaha MB-8300 Series bass drums. Yamaha was founded in Japan in 1887 by Torakusu Yamaha. The logo has three tuning forks crossed to represent technology, production, and sales. Bass drums are traditionally made to resonate, hold precedence over all the other instruments, and keep the tempo of band.
The MB-8300 Field-Corps Series Marching Bass is observed to be one of the best choices for any drumline; this set of basses are known for their focused tone and thunderous boom creating the perfect combination for any indoor or outdoor band. From smallest to largest, the width is a consistent fourteen inches with diameter and weight ranging from fourteen to thirty-two inches and thirteen to twenty-seven pounds. Its outstanding features make this drum the perfect fit for almost any drumline including its maple shell, high-tension aluminum die-cast, and specially made straight-line design between lugs and shell. Maple is the most commonly used material when making drums because of its “balanced and warm sound”. This shell is perfect for creating an “accurate balance with resonant and deep tones” giving off a punchy sound. While looking for new bass drums, considering the weight should be a top priority. Players will endure carrying these drums for hours at a time and require loading onto trucks. It is not ideal to have a thirty-pound drum, so with the maple shell the Yamaha bass drums are incredibly lightweight and portable.
Yamaha also has a unique and special Air-Seal System they use on their shells and rims that ensure they stay perfectly shaped for a “clean and pure tone”. For optimization, the air holes are individually positioned in the thin shell. With all the specialized technology for optimum portability and lightweight feel, none of it takes away from the drums “punch and power”. Included in the long list of specialized technology by Yamaha is the lugs and tension rods. The newest addition on the MB-8300 series is the specially made lugs which “provide increased strength that can handle high tension tuning”. These lugs are extremely easy to tune and switch out heads, but unlike other drums it does not add weight to the drum itself. While these die-cast aluminum lugs have Yamaha’s signature arch-shaped center, the forty-five-degree bearing edges provide exact articulation. Also new to this particular series is another one of Yamaha’s specialized upgrades, the straight-line design. This particular design keeps the lugs and shell further away from each other so that the shell can have space to vibrate and produce the greatest and best tone quality.
As with every positive, there will always be a negative to counteract it. With so many fancy upgrades and new specialized technology, the price tag is going to be a hefty fine. On Yamaha the price is sitting at four hundred dollars. Most organizations that buy this drum will get four more, but different sizes, coming to a grand total of two-thousand dollars. To some, this may not be too bad, especially compared to some other brands like Dynasty or Pearl , but for others that is a large amount of money that they don’t have just laying around. It was also mentioned that this drum is very lightweight and comfortable; unfortunately a large amount of this depends on the carrier purchased. Yamaha carriers are extremely uncomfortable; they tend to distribute the weight of the drum to all the wrong places. The Yamaha carriers have a special fin feature that is supposed to add better support for the player’s back, but all it really does is get in the way. The fin is adjustable to everyone’s particular size, but there are issues with it loosening causing all the weight to go into the players’ shoulders and become back breaking painful. The platform that the drum sits on can also be adjusted, however, just like everything else on the Yamaha carriers; it has a tendency to fall off as well. It is highly suggested that the Pearl carrier is purchased with these drums. With a plain U brace over the players’ head, the weight sits more comfortably between the shoulders and pelvis. Pearl also has squishier, cloth padding that is velcroed and bolted on to the carrier, whereas Yamaha has hard foam that tends to rip off because it is glued together. For the only adjustable parts on the Pearl carrier, it is required to use a drum key, so it does not fall apart while marching on the field. It is also extremely easy to take on and off even with the drum still attached to it. This can be of use in Indoor Marching shows when the players set their instruments down to do visual movements.
Overall this drum is the perfect choice for any professional, unprofessional, or high school group looking for a drum with an excellent clean tone, a lightweight feel, and a punch in the gut every time it is played.