This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the September 2016 issue, which is available here.
Superstar Classic Drumset
Competitively priced with a nod to the past and tones for the contemporary.
Tama’s all-maple Superstar Classic kits are now available with a striking Jet Blue Burst lacquer finish, which complements the drums’ spirited sonic presence. Maple drums produce classic drum tones, boasting punchy, enthusiastic brightness with residual warmth. Tama’s Superstar Classic series feature well-crafted, versatile drums that make for a great all-around kit at an affordable price point.
We were sent a seven-piece Superstar Classic shell pack to review (list price: $1,499.98) that included an 18×22 bass drum; 7×8, 8×10, and 9×12 rack toms; 12×14 and 14×16 floor toms; and a 6.5×14 matching snare. All of the shells have 45-degree bearing edges. The snare and toms are 6-ply (5 mm), while the bass drum is 8-ply (7 mm). The bass drum is furnished with maple hoops, the snare and toms come with triple-flange hoops, and the rack toms feature Tama’s Star-Mount suspension system, which is said to enhance sustain. All of the drums are outfitted with low-mass single lugs and the original T-style badge used on Superstar drums in the late ’70s. The stock heads include Tama’s Power Craft II clear single-ply (10 mil) on the toms, a coated single-ply snare batter, a clear single-ply bass drum batter with an internal muffling ring, and a stylish cream-colored non-ported bass drum resonant head.
Although single-ply heads may not be everyone’s preference, they are an honest indicator of a drum shell’s innate tonal character. Playing on a larger Tama kit like this one brought to mind some of my drumming heroes, such as Simon Phillips, Brann Dailor, Stewart Copeland, and Charlie Benante (all coincidentally Tama artists), so I took the drums through the high-to-low tuning spectrums with those players in mind.
For the complete review, check out the September 2016 issue, which is available here.