Tama Swingstar - How old, and is it worth it?

Jml

Senior Member
Guys, I have a chance to buy a 3 piece Tama Swingstar for $150. The sizes are 13, 16, 22. I can’t tell what year these Swingstars are, and I thought some Tama experts out there might know from the photos below. Also wanted to know if it’s worth the cash. The heads are newer apparently. Just concerned about the age of the kit, it’s durability and sound. I’ll have a chance to check it out tomorrow, but whaddaya think???
 

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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
EDIT: What a confusing rollercoaster of a ride looking for clues about this kit. It's VERY difficult to find any other drums with that badge. I at first thought it was 80s, then saw some clues to it being from the 90s, then some clues from it being from the 2000s...lol.

After way too much googling, I can only guess that it's from the 80s due to the older hardware...possibly made from Luan, which is a cheap mahogany-like wood. It might have a grey powdercoat interior, it might not.

Here's the only 3 examples I was able to find anywhere on the internet in a cursory search...
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

A few of the descriptions say simply "Vintage".

If you're in the market for a drum kit and only have $150... it seems like a fair price. Just make sure you inspect the bearing edges and all the hardware. Talk them down if you can.

Have you looked at your local Craiglist and Facebook Marketplace? What's the closest big city to you? Maybe we could take a look.

Those Swingstars are alright, but you may find a much newer kit in the $200-300 range that's much better.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
Give it a good look-over if you can ..... but those are certainly decent enough drums, if there aren't any issues with 'em.
 

Jml

Senior Member
Yeah can’t tell for sure but it looks like floor tom is 6 lugs. Is that a dealbreaker on a 16” floor tom?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Yeah can’t tell for sure but it looks like floor tom is 6 lugs. Is that a dealbreaker on a 16” floor tom?
Well, 8 lugs on the 22" bass drum ..... so, there's that also. These were Tama's entry level kit. If you look on eBay, you'll see 6 and 8 luggers, so I assume the earlier kits had 6 and the later ones had 8. And all are more than $150 Imperialstar, Superstar and Artstar were the 3 high end lines. And this was before Tama started using maple. Birch and Birch/Cordia was what they used in Superstars and Artstars. Pilippine Mahogany is what they used in the Imperialstars, I believe.
 
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roncadillac

Member
This doesn't help with any info of course but as a Tama guy and a fan of CL finds... I personally would go check it out and as long as you find no major issues (dented edges, warped shells, etc) then scoop it up! Great price for shells that could take a beating and still sound great.
 

TxGroove

Junior Member
I'm not a expert, but have done some research on Tama drums and from those images they look to be from the late 80's to the earliest 90's, but the lugs seem to be from the 2000's. I can't officially confirm this though.
 
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