Sturdier versions of vintage-style, lightweight designs for more modern applications.
A couple years ago, Tama revived the simple, compact, and lightweight design of cymbal stands from the 1960s with the flat-base Classic model. The company has since fleshed out an entire hardware series based on the past but with enough contemporary tweaks to make them sturdier and more versatile for today’s drummers. The Classic Stand series comprises the HC52F straight cymbal stand, the HP50 bass drum pedal, the HH55F hi-hat, the HTS58F tom stand, and the HS50S snare stand. The cymbal, tom, and hi-hat stands have flat bases, while the snare stand has a traditional tripod to accommodate a more compact setup.
Drawing inspiration from vintage models, especially the innovative Rogers Swivo-Matic of the 1960s, the HP50 bass drum pedal incorporates some very sophisticated features within a compact, simple design. The footboard is lightweight and smooth to facilitate quick, sliding double strokes while being rugged enough to endure heavy stomping. The side pillar is height-adjustable, so you can lower the beater’s striking point when using 16″, 18″, or 20″ bass drums without having to shorten the length of the beater itself. This is a great feature that allows you to maintain a familiar feel from the pedal while also being able to achieve optimal tones from smaller kicks. These adjustments are made by loosening a tension rod on the side of the pillar. The beater angle can be independently adjusted as well, and the footboard height can be raised or lowered by changing the chain position on the cam.
Also similar to the Rogers, the Tama Classic pedal features a top-mounted spring assembly that allows you to make adjustments quickly and easily while seated at the drumset. The spring post features a fine-toothed gear so it can be folded down for compact storage when the pedal is not in use.
Other thoughtful features include a slightly tapered felt beater that’s contoured to strike flush against the drumhead, a side-access hoop clamp adjustment screw, and a wire base assembly that can be detached and safely secured under the footboard when stored in a pedal bag or hardware case.
Aside from these smart, working-drummer-friendly features, the Tama Classic pedal also feels great. It’s quick and nimble while also providing plenty of power and punch when needed. Unless you have a habit of destroying footboards and bending beaters, I don’t think you’d find much—if anything—to complain about, especially if you’re looking to keep your setup as simple and lightweight as possible.
The HH55F hi-hat stand is a perfect complement to the bass drum pedal. It has the same smooth, lightweight footboard and a wire base that hooks to the underside of the footboard when disconnected so the stand can be folded up easily and compactly for storage. The flat-base tripod features single-braced legs with rubber tips and has retractable spikes that can be engaged to prevent the stand from sliding during use. I’m usually leery of taking flat-base hi-hat stands to gigs for fear of tipping or sliding them when playing at higher dynamics, but the Tama Classic stand proved me wrong over the course of several hours of relentless foot stomps and heavy 16th grooves. The spikes needed to be engaged to keep the footboard from scooting away during foot-heavy sections, but once I had those dialed in, the stand never budged or threatened to tip over. The T-bolt that locks the legs into place held its position, thanks to the extra grip of the knurled base pipe, and the die-cast joint and memory lock connecting the upper and lower pipes prevented any vertical slippage or rotation. The spring tension and footboard angle of the HH55F hi-hat can be adjusted independently via two tension rods placed at the point where the footboard meets the center pipe. This hi-hat earned top marks in terms of both portability and performance.
The Classic cymbal stand, which we reviewed in detail in the April 2017 issue of MD, looks nearly identical to the flat-base stands that were made in the 1960s. It’s super compact, folding up to under 23″ and weighting just 3.2 lbs. The biggest difference, however, is that Tama’s version features a 9 mm solid upper portion that provides much more strength and stability than the hollow rods used back in the day. The tilter has a gear assembly with finer teeth than those used in the past to allow for ten-degree angle changes while also preventing slippage. Cymbal height ranges from 23.25″ to 51.25″, which I found to provide plenty of options for most compact setups with the cymbals placed below eye level.
At first glance, the HS50S snare stand could easily be mistaken for a flimsy old stand from the mid twentieth century. It’s as lightweight and compact as those vintage offerings—weighing only 3.11 lbs. and measuring only 23.625″ when folded up—but two of the arms are double-braced to increase stability and eliminate wobble, and the gearless tilter allows for incremental angle adjustments not afforded by traditional gears. The arms are brilliantly redesigned to hold 12″–15″ drums securely without restricting resonance.
The HTS58F Classic tom stand has a flat base that allows it to be tucked very close to the side of the bass drum for a more compact, comfortable setup. The height can be adjusted from 22.25″ to 32.25″, which provided plenty of options for a single-rack-tom setup with small or large kick drums. The basket is single- braced to keep the weight down (3.15 lbs.), and the upper and lower pipes are held securely in place with a die-cast joint and memory lock. I’ve used the Classic series stands and pedals in a variety of situations, from playing quiet background music to full-production festivals, and they’ve performed as well as any other lightweight offering that’s crossed my path. And they’ve noticeably reduced the wear and tear on my back during set-up and tear-down.
For more information, visit: www2.tama.com/.