Our tam tams range from 10"- 80" in size.
A tam tam is a percussion instrument that is similar to a gong but has a sound that grows after being struck as opposed to a more defined pitch offered by a gong. Generally the larger the tam tam the greater the generation of sound.
Tam tams are bronze (or a secret alloy) discs that provide a splash of metallic sound. Unlike the gong, tam tams usually do not have a definite pitch are never have a raised boss in the centre. Tam tams are available in a wide range of sizes, from 18" or smaller right up to 80" and generally have their edges turned over. There are several manufacturers of tam tams such as Ufip, Zildjian and the best-known, Paiste. Each tam tam will have a different thickness and therefore give a different colour of sound. The thinner the material, the faster the tam tam will speak or sound. The thicker the slower, Thick tam tams are not generally liked within the industry as there is no benefit in having an instrument that sounds 20 minutes after it is struck. Paiste print Chinese writing on two points on most of their tam tams. These are generally regarded as the best playing spot on the disc to obtain the best and clearest sound. Of course, the tam tam can be played anywhere, but playing the disc in the middle for example, will provide a muddy and indistinct sound that will take some time to speak. Each tam tam has its own primary playing spot and this can only be discovered by trial and error. Most Symphony orchestras have a few tam tams to chose from, but for most orchestral music, an instrument with a diameter of between 32" and 40" will be acceptable. Of course with a large disc of metal, the beater is a very important factor. The key to obtaining a good sound out of any tam tam, is to have a beater that has weight behind it. A good experiment would be to take a bass drum beater and a standard Tam tam beater and strike a 36" tam tam. The difference in sound produced is amazing. Most Tam tam beaters have a core of felt, wood or rubber and are covered by a range of materials, but lambswool is a favourite. Many composers have written and regularly write for the Tam tam and also ask it to be struck or scraped with many different beaters, including metal sticks and bass bows.