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Pearl TomBourine PTB10

A Review by Dale... 

Pearl has started to get heavily into the world of percussion lately. And with pretty fine results. I have many of Pearl's percussion products and I'll try to cover as many as I can in these reviews as time goes by.

When it came to developing a mounted tambourine,
decided to release a model with a head; the TomBourine (PTB-10).  How does it stack up? Let's have a look.

Pearl's blurb says: This may look like a normal 10” headed tambourine, but it is far from it. First off, it is Drumkey Tunable, so you do not have to use those screwdriver type tuners that are always falling off. Next, it comes with Pearl’s Exclusive Quick Draw mount, which makes it convert from mountable to handheld in seconds. Accessorize your percussion kit, or add it next to one of you tom-toms on your drumset. Our 10” head can easily take the abuse of sticks or brushes, and offers a unique “tom” sound with a hint of jingles for a unique effect.

Is this a suitable tambourine to use as a hand held model? In my opinion, NO! There are a couple of reasons for this.

1: The most obvious being that the shell is too deep. Unless one has huge hands, there is no way to play this unweildy instrument while controlling the head to dampen grace notes.

2: Weight. It's far too heavy. Not everyone has forearms like Conan the Barbarian. Especially slightly built females. Trying to play this thing over an extended period would be an effort worthy of a Grammy award!

Simply put. This is a set up designed instrument. It's sold with a mount, and that's how it's meant to be used; i.e. mounted.

I'll say one thing here, this is a well built, strong instrument. The body is very solid and the tuning system is very high quality. This thing wont break in a hurry unless abused.

The mounting system is also very well built and strong. The eye bolt, unlike the poor LP equivalent, is strong and stays tight when positioned. But I have to wonder at the wisdom of the overall design. Why have it feature this mount when its hand playability is limited? Perhaps the idea to begin with was good, but as it was developed it was discovered that in order to keep the tambourine in its cradle, the shell's depth had to grow. But why then persist? Only
Pearl could answer that question.

The jingles are very good. They have a lovely crisp sound that cuts and they appear to be very strong. I think
should fit a better head to this. I am not happy with the plastic head that came with it. It's a single ply type that sounds a bit thin to me. My instrument improved when I removed this head and replaced it with a REMO Fibreskin.

Okay, so it has a head, but is a head necessary for most drummers who will mainly be playing it for the jingle sound? Probaly not. For those guys I'd recomend the Rhythm Tech model reviewed above.
But for someone who wants to play it by hand using pandeiro like techniques and slaps, it is a pretty decent addition to a set up.
For that reason, I can recomend it. But certainly not as an instrument to be used as a hand held model.

On a personal level, Freaking Out is a process whereby an individual casts off outmoded and restricting standards of thinking, dress, and social etiquette in order to express CREATIVELY his relationship to his immediate environment and the social structure as a whole.
~ Frank Zappa
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