Drum builder Preston Prince launched his business under the name Tiki Drums around five years ago and has quickly built a reputation for his high quality finishes and distinctive-sounding gear. On review here is a Makore and Mahogany snare drum from Tiki's Custom range.
Preston sources his shells from a dedicated shell builder in Italy who supplies blanks that Preston then cuts to size and finishes by hand. The 14"x5" Makore and Mahogany - is a contemporary build but still contains typically Tiki design flourishes.
The shell is a six-ply mix of mahogany and poplar (mahogany being the dominant wood) with five-ply poplar reinforcement rings. The outer ply is a veneer of the beautiful African hardwood makore.
A horizontal band of New Zealand Paua shell has been inlaid by hand, its metallic hues contrasting well with the tight grain of the makore.
Chrome-plated tube lugs complement the gloss lacquer finish further, working with the similarly sparkling triple-flanged hoops to visually frame each section of shell. Canopus snare wires, a Remo Vintage Ambassador batter and the unpretentious George Way snare throw-off and butt-end complete the specifications.
Compared to the recently reviewed Monoply Maple snare from Tiki Drums, the Makore and Mahogany seems altogether younger and eager to get straight to the point. Wave a stick in its general direction and it delivers a lively zinging note, almost before contact has been made.
It's incredibly sensitive and open, with overtones easily conjured when straying from dead-centre. These are almost exclusively sympathetic and add to the overall note rather than clouding it. As we've come to expect, it's versatile and buzzing with character.