Tama Imperialstar Review

Tama Imperialstar Drum Set

Key Features

  • Complete drum set package
  • 6-Ply Poplar wood shells
  • Meinl HCS cymbals included
  • Includes sturdy drum hardware
  • Includes comfortable drum throne
  • Black Oak Wrap finish

91/100

The Tama Imperialstar is an affordable entry-level drum set that includes everything you need to get started right away. It may be on the pricier side for beginners, but it’s a killer package that offers excellent sounds for the money!

Tama Imperialstar Drum Set Review

The Tama Imperialstar drum set is an institution within the drumming world, and it offers tremendous quality at a really affordable price.

This drum set is by no means strictly for beginners. With good drum heads and proper tuning it would make a great secondary kit or touring kit for more experienced drummers. It would also make a perfect upgrade for intermediate players from a cheap beginner drum set.

The Tama Imperialstar drum set is a very generous package, with beautifully resonant Poplar drum shells, robust drum hardware, and a set of musical sounding Meinl HCS cymbals. 

In this Tama Imperialstar review, I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the sounds, build quality, hardware, playability, and value of this 5-piece drum set package to determine if it’s worth the investment!

Tama Imperialstar Drum Set Ratings

Sounds

Build Quality

Drum Hardware

Playability

Value

Sounds

For over 40 years Tama has been crafting beautiful sounding drums with rich and powerful tones. There’s a reason drummers like Mike Portnoy, Lars Ulrich, and Stewart Copeland swear by these drums! Tama is one of the most popular drum brands in the world.

For the money, these drums sound exceptional. The snare drum, in particular, is seriously impressive, and all of the drums featured in this Tama Imperialstar review project clean and musical tones. 

The Tama Imperialstar drum set boasts 6-ply Poplar shells that are warm and super responsive. Poplar drum shells were traditionally reserved for intermediate level drum sets, so it’s great to see more affordable drum sets like the Tama Imperialstar using them.

The 6-ply Poplar drum shells really sing. They produce a lively tone with a great initial attack. Sure, they might not be as warm as Maple or Birch drums, but for the money, these drums have a lot to offer.

The included matching snare drum is a real treat. It’s the stand out winner and it has an absolutely awesome tone. All of the drums tune-up really easily and have a wide tuning range across the board.

Included with these drums are factory Tama drum heads that are acceptable, but these drums would really benefit from upgrading to some quality Evans or Remo drum heads. 

With the Tama Imperialstar drum set, you also receive a selection of beginner Meinl HCS cymbals that are bright and musical sounding. They are affordable cymbals, but they are more than adequate for any beginner. 

The Meinl HCS cymbals produce clean tones and they are also responsive. They respond well when being played at different dynamics, and they are great for exploring lots of different styles of music. 

Build Quality

The build quality of the Tama Imperialstar drum set is  Looking at the aesthetics of the kit, the Black Oak Wrap finish is very attractive, and has a gold tinge within the finish which is a really nice detail. 

Unlike cheap entry-level kits, the Tama Imperialstar Black Oak Wrap finish is glued 360 degrees around the shell, which leads to a very long-lasting finish that won’t lift or warp. 

The drum shells feature smooth bearing edges, which plays a big part in how good these drums sound. The bearing edges have a big influence on the sound of the drums because it’s where the drum head meets the drum shell. Thus, they help to determine the attack and resonance of a drum.

The drum shells themselves are well crafted with 6 plies of lightweight Poplar, and I love the fact the bass drum has matching wood bass drum hoops. 

Hardware

The drum hardware featured in this Tama Imperialstar review is very functional and sturdy. It’s of considerably high quality for an entry-level kit. The included drum throne is excellent, it far exceeds any drum throne I have seen included with a beginner drum set and it will help ensure correct drumming posture whilst playing. 

All of the hardware is double braced for supportiveness, and the tripod bases are smooth to operate whilst opening and closing. 

It’s a really nice feature to see memory locks included onto the hardware, which is rarely seen at this price point. Memory locks are used to recall previous settings and allows a drummer to quickly set up a drum set exactly to his or her preferences. 

The included bass drum pedal is relatively basic and lightweight, but I found it has a nice playing response. I also like the included hi-hat stand, which opens and closes smoothly and responds well to varying dynamics. 

Overall, the hardware pack included in this Tama Imperialstar review is highly functional. It’s also worth noting the tom mounting suspension system is easy to use and supportive. 

Playability

The Tama Imperialstar drum set really has a lot to offer in terms of sound and performance. It’s what I would consider being a top of the range beginner drum set. It could definitely also be classified as a mid-level drum set because of how enjoyable it is to play.

The drums have plenty of attack and resonance, as well as a nice dynamic range. All of the drums sing a pleasing musical note and hold their tuning relatively well; even with the stock heads.

In this Tama Imperialstar review, it becomes clear that the hardware and cymbals are far better than what you’d expect at the beginner level. 

Any aspiring drummer should be thrilled to sit behind the Tama Imperialstar drum set because it is a top-notch, reliable, and overall a great-sounding drum set. 

Value

Tama has clearly put a lot of thought and effort into the Imperialstar 5-piece drum set to make it an attractive package in a highly competitive corner of the drum market. 

Whilst the complete package undoubtedly offers excellent value for money, the price point may be too steep for complete beginners. The Pearl Roadshow is arguably the best entry-level drum set package on the market and it costs a fair amount less.

Whilst the Tama Imperialstar is definitely on the top end of the beginner drum set market, and leaning towards the mid-level price point, I would say it still offers fantastic bang for your buck. 

Verdict

To summarize the Tama Imperialstar review, I can’t sing highly enough of its quality, reliability, and musical sounds. It’s the perfect first drum set. It really feels great to play and it produces fantastic sounding tones.

The hardware included is high quality and it’s built to last. This is not a cheap drum set that will fall apart. It’s designed with intermediate level drummers in mind. The drums and hardware will hold up well for rehearsals and live performances alike. It even records well under microphones.

All in all, this really is the ultimate drum set for a beginner. Despite its seemingly high price point, it’s worth spending a little more on the Tama Imperialstar for much better quality all round for what you receive. 

What Comes In The Tama Imperialstar Drum Set Box?

The Tama Imperialstar includes everything you need to begin playing right away besides drumsticks. With the bundle you receive all of the following components:

  • 22" x 18" Kick drum
  • 14" x 5" Snare drum
  • 10" x 8" Rack tom
  • 12" x 9" Rack tom
  • 16" x 14" Floor tom
  • 14” Hi-hat cymbals
  • 16” Crash cymbal
  • 20” Ride cymbal
  • Hi-hat stand
  • Bass drum pedal
  • Snare stand
  • Boom cymbal stand
  • Straight cymbal stand
  • Drum throne
  • Double tom holder
  • 2 Year warranty

Tama Imperialstar Drum Set At A Glance

Pros

  • Premium sounds at an affordable price
  • Bright and musical tones throughout
  • Thoroughly enjoyable to play
  • High quality drum hardware included

Cons

  • Expensive for a beginner drum set
  • Bass drum hoops have sharp edges
  • Drums would benefit from upgraded drum heads
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