Tama Superstar Classic Review

Tama Superstar Classic Drum Set

Key Features

  • 5-Piece drum set shell pack
  • 100% Maple shells
  • 45-degree bearing edges
  • Black Sunburst Lacebark Pine finish
  • Star-Mount suspension system
  • Versatile and musical drums

81/100

An icon in the drumming world – the Tama Superstar Classic Maple drum set has proven to be one of the most popular drum sets for over forty years! Now with a range of modern features, it’s still one of the most versatile intermediate drum sets around.

Tama Superstar Classic Drum Set Review

The Tama Superstar Classic drum set has raised the bar for mid-level drum sets for over 40 years. Tama has indeed produced a fantastic drum set for the money, and it offers serious reliability.

Ever since the 1970’s, the Tama Superstar drum set has made a bold impression with its powerful and rich tones. All of the drum shells are constructed of Maple for a warm response with heaps of mid and low-end punch.

In this Tama Superstar Classic review, I’m going to be taking an in-depth look at the sounds, build quality, finish, playability and value of this drum set to determine if it is still a strong contender in the competitive intermediate level drum set market.

Tama Superstar Classic Drum Set Ratings

Sounds

Build Quality

Finishes

Playability

Value

Sounds

What I’m presented with in this Tama Superstar Classic review is a beautiful looking 5-piece Tama Superstar Exotix drum set in a ‘Black Sunburst Lacebark Pine’ finish. The finish is very striking to say the least, and the sounds are equally impressive.

The sizes of the drums included in this set are as follows: a 22×18 kick drum, 10×8 and 12×9 rack toms, 16×14 floor tom and a matching 14×6.5 snare drum.

Tama use their signature maple shells for the Tama Superstar drum sets, and these drum shells help make the winning formula for this drum set. These maple shells produce a great level of attack and projection.

The Superstar Classic maple shell pack features 6-ply, 5mm shells on the rack toms, floor tom and snare drum. Whilst the bass drum takes advantage of a thicker 8-ply, 7mm shell for a fatter tone.

All of the drums are fitted with Tama’s Power Craft II stock drum heads that are of an acceptable quality, but do somewhat limit the drum set’s full potential. Upgrading to a set of pro quality drum heads would offer a greater sound.

The kick drum is remarkably punchy and powerful. It has a real beefy attack, and my first impression was one of real surprise. It has a solid low-end, and a great balance of attack and resonance.

The rack toms are similarly impressive, projecting clean and musical tones. I found these rack toms to be very satisfying to play. The floor tom was aggressive and boomy, but also had a nice warm resonance to it. The rack toms and floor tom sound exceptional under tom microphones for live performances and in the studio.

The included matching snare drum is a wonderful addition. It’s super responsive, and much like the other drums it is warm and musical. It’s also an incredibly versatile instrument that I deem suitable for a wide range of musical styles.

Build Quality

The Tama Superstar Classic drum set helped to set the industry standard for a top quality intermediate level kit. The hand selected premium maple shells are expertly formed, and the 45-degree bearing edges are smooth throughout.

The build quality of the maple shells is excellent, especially for the price point. The seams are cleanly bonded together and overall the drums look astonishing with an exotic looking finish.

Tama pairs the maple shells with solid hardware across all of the drums. The highlight is Tama’s Star-Mount suspension system which helps the rack toms achieve a very impressive level of sustain, whilst not damaging the drums at all. They are lightweight and perform very well.

The low-mass lugs are a new feature on the Superstar Classic series, and they help to optimize shell resonance. The shell hardware is robust and sturdy across the board.

Finishes

The finish of the drum set in this Tama Superstar Classic review is a brand new Exotix finish titled ‘Black Sunburst Lacebark Pine’. It’s an exceptionally visually appealing finish and it’s very unique too.

This finish would look impressive both on stage and in the studio. I really like how the natural wood grain that can be seen through the gloss lacquer shine, and that the finish fades to a dark black towards the drum hoops.

The Tama Superstar Classic Maple boasts matching bass drum hoops in black, which accentuates the fade of the finish. Speaking of the bass drum, I also like the classy look of a white front bass drum head that really compliments the black sunburst finish.

It would be safe to assume that whilst I personally enjoy this finish, it might not be for everyone’s tastes. Tama has introduced a range of attractive new finishes to suit all types of drummers.

Playability

The drum set featured in this Tama Superstar review is thoroughly enjoyable to perform with. It delivers clean and powerful tones, and all of the drums feel great to play.

Given the price point, these drums deliver rich and full sonics that sound fantastic for a range of musical styles. The tones produced are musical and warm which makes them ultra versatile.

The Superstar Classic drum set has typically been a popular choice amongst rock and metal drummers in the past, but these drums would be right at home on any stage playing pop, blues, funk, soul, disco and motown too.

All of the drums included are super responsive and dynamic. This makes them feel great to play for different styles as they sound great when played soft and aggressively.

These drums deliver warm and rounded musical tones, and I found each drum offers a wide tuning range too.

Value

The Tama Superstar Custom represents an optimal blend of quality and affordability. It is suited for advancing, aspiring drummers as well as experienced drummers looking for a secondary drum set.

The price of the Tama Superstar Custom drum set is towards the middle/upper end of the mid-level drum set category. It is a very crowded segment of the market, with lots of great drum sets out there.

But the Tama Superstar Custom offers considerably good value for money as a drum set package, but it’s a shame it does not come with any hardware besides the tom mounting system for the price.

Verdict

The intermediate level drum set category is quite possibly the most competitive segment of the market. There are tons of killer drum sets in this category, with the likes of the new PDP Concept Maple as well as the Gretsch Catalina Maple drum set.

How does the Tama Superstar Classic Maple drum kit fare against the other drum sets in this segment?

Well, the Tama Superstar Classic is an excellent drum kit. It looks, sounds and plays brilliantly, and the hardware is functional. It’s a solid and dependable drum set for the money. It holds its own against many of the best mid level kits out there.

What Comes In The Tama Superstar Classic Drum Set Box?

The Tama Superstar Custom drum set comes as a shell pack only. This means that you must buy cymbals and hardware separately. Included with the bundle you receive all of the following components:

  • 22x18 Kick drum
  • 14x6.5 Snare drum
  • 10x8 Rack tom
  • 12x9 Rack tom
  • 16x14 Floor tom
  • Tom holders
  • Star-Mount system
  • Floor tom legs

Tama Superstar Classic Drum Set At A Glance

Pros

  • Warm sounding Maple shells
  • Excellent tones throughout
  • Stellar sounding snare and kick drum
  • Striking selection of modern finishes

Cons

  • Arguably outdated design
  • No option for undrilled bass drum
  • Drums would benefit from upgraded drum heads
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