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  #1  
Old 01-28-2010, 10:29 PM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Tama Now Made in China

Bad news, well depending on your point of view:

I just talked to a trusted dealer who has good knowledge of Tama's lines, and apparently Tama has moved all production to China for 2010 (for economic/competition reasons). This means that the flagship lines, from Starclassic Maple to Starclassic Bubinga/Bubinga Omni-Tune, are now going to be made in China.

This may raise a quality concern for some, or bother Tama Starclassic purists. On the flip side, this production move to China is supposed to lower the cost of the higher-end SC kits by a couple of percentage points.

This production move also explains why some of us felt that the SC color finishes revealed at NAMM were awful. Apparently, the Chinese factory cannot do a lot the SC finishes that were offered in at the Japanese factory.

If you already own an SC high-end kit, you may still be able to add on drums that will be made in Japan with the original Starclassic design (painted-on badge, maple wood air vents, etc.). But the end of the Japanese-made Starclassic is here.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Seems to me from a consumer point of view that the suggested decrease in quality and features would warrant more than a 2% reduction in price. It's a shame really because they were really nice drums. Oh well i certainly won't be getting a new tama starclassic then and i should imagine many people who were looking for a high end kit will be put off, not that it probably bothers TAMA, because they'll just probably keep on making one-off customs for artists in order to encourage beginners and intermediate players who are the vast majority of the market to buy the vastly inferior chineese made models which i suppose is a legitimate idea but as i say it's a bit of a shame that the quality production tama kit is going to be a thing of the past.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

I'm sure quality can be kept up out of Japan(Pearl is good example of this) BUT...

If I'm paying top dollar for a Tama kit I would like it to be made in Japan.

If Yamaha does this with their top end, I'd have to go punch a kitten or something...
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

If Yamaha does this with their top end, I'd have to go punch a kitten or something...


lmao. Feckin great, im all for kitten punching.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Moving to china to save costs are prominently displayed in their dealers only catalog.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

well there i have it. This week of my life just gave me the money shot.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2010, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
Bad news, well depending on your point of view:
apparently Tama has moved all production to China for 2010.
.
I would'nt worry about China, as with Tama, I would expect that this is a Tama facility from the ground up. Not like most of these companies who just get a contractor.

Guys, this is a very different world in China within the last 5-7 years with regard to what is going on. That's just my take on it.

BMW builds a large portion of it's 5 Series and 3 Series in China. Think about that for a moment compared to drum sets.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

and the lead in the paint might enhance resonance. lol
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2010, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post

This may raise a quality concern for some, or bother Tama Starclassic purists. On the flip side, this production move to China is supposed to lower the cost of the higher-end SC kits by a couple of percentage points.
.
You mean raise profit margins a few points.....
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2010, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Is this just for drum production? What about their hardware? Specifically the IC pedals. Will they be manufactured in China now...or have they always been?
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
This may raise a quality concern for some, or bother Tama Starclassic purists.
Well, good news for Tama "collectors", there will now be pre/post China made Starclassics, let the "snob appeal" start. "The Japanese drums are superior to the Chinese"....will be their battle cry.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Time to buy stock in DW and Ludwig.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2010, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Well, good news for Tama "collectors", there will now be pre/post China made Starclassics, let the "snob appeal" start. "The Japanese drums are superior to the Chinese"....will be their battle cry.
Hah hah hah, that's so true. Like with Ibanez guitars. "No, but this one was made in Korea, not Taiwan, it's far superior." Pfffft. The chinese have been making the Force line for Sonor and they are some of the most bought drums in this forum! Same with Cymbals. I think it's time for people to call off their doubts about chinese stuff, if it was made in Germany, it'd be the same, but more expensive. The company calls the shots on how the products are made, chinese workers or not.


Fox.
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2010, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

+1 What Fox said!!!

I own the Sonor 3007s and the quality is a 10. Fit, finish, quality...all superb
Chinese, schmineze.
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artstar View Post
BMW builds a large portion of it's 5 Series and 3 Series in China. Think about that for a moment compared to drum sets.
Powerful argument...

I would encourage you to take a look at some things "Made In China":







From Space:


Western End:


Eastern End:






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  #16  
Old 01-30-2010, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Hmm, perhaps this will make the kit I'm trying to unload more lucrative...

"No man, it was made before they jumped to China!"
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2010, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Bad drywall, lead in the paint, tainted baby food, tainted dog food. Naw I wouldn't let any of that bother me. DRUM magazine just did a review of the new StarWorks 100% birch line and they look like decent drums. Just don't chew on the paint.
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2010, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

my problem with having all this production in China is not the quality so much, but the idea behind it. All these companies are doing this to increase the profits for the executives and head honchos already making all the money anyway. They're probably paying these workers little or nothing, so the profits are huge. And, in the process they're screwing thousands of people out of good paying jobs, and giving all this wealth and power to one entity. How long is it gonna be before China has a complete monopoly on manufacturing? Of course, when nobody has a job anymore, who's gonna buy their products?

Either way, to me Tama making their top of the line drums in China really cheapens their image. Nobody has their top of the line kits made in China. Only their low end to mid range kits. They should at least have the high end production in Taiwan, which has way better production facilities and skilled workers that get paid decently. People are willing to pay good money for high end kits, and want the best quality possible, not necessarily the cheapest price. I think Tama should focus more on customer and endorser relations than cheaper prices.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:28 PM
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  #19  
Old 02-02-2010, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

I agree with the overall sentiment: Even if quality doesn't materially decline, Tama will take a reputational hit for the move, at least in the upmarket end of the spectrum.
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  #20  
Old 02-02-2010, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by mls View Post
Remember the days when no-one would buy Japanese because of the stigma that what they made was junk?
I do. Usually the origin of manufacture is a matter of national pride. All countries that manufacture products run the gamut of making great items and mediocre ones.

I am always conflicted on this issue. One side of me likes being able to buy inexpensive products. The other hates the outsourcing of jobs solely for profits sake.

I think the US is losing the game on becoming a manufacturing leader for the sake of profits but I do like cheap shower flip flops, so I'm a hypocrite.

In many ways, I feel a little guilty knowing that these low costs come with the often sad truth of the exploited worker. Sometimes I will pay a premium for a US made item to support American companies. It still bugs me though.

Sometimes it depends on your age, experience and point of view. My dad was a young man at the time of Pearl Harbor and for the rest of his life hated buying Japanese made products. In his later years he softened a bit and bought a Honda that was made in America.

As long as Tama gets a high quality product made for them in China then they will continue to do well. If they start producing junk, their sales will suffer. Chinese manufacturing has really improved in the last ten years.

It's mostly the politics and social issues that bug me the most.
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2010, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

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Originally Posted by Filacterua View Post
Powerful argument...

I would encourage you to take a look at some things "Made In China":

Actually that was designed by western architects. I think even built under the supervision of western contractors.
It's ugly as hell nonetheless.

The main problem I have with things being made in china isn't so much the quality - the chinese are beginning to figure out engineering principles. Tama superstars have been built in china before. I own a china-made set and they're fine, except for the snare drum.
The problem is ethics, how labourers are treated in china. And some environmental concerns (but I also have those with any non-western-european build and even if it's western european it's a long shot).
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  #22  
Old 02-02-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Ok ....if Tama's high-end kits were made in the USA, ...THEN they moved to China ....BIG ISSUE....

From Japan to China ???

Who cares?
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  #23  
Old 02-02-2010, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

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Originally Posted by Big_Philly View Post
Actually that was designed by western architects. I think even built under the supervision of western contractors.
It's ugly as hell nonetheless.
I think it's a wonderful building...a simple matter of perception.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Philly View Post
The main problem I have with things being made in china isn't so much the quality - ...The problem is ethics, how labourers are treated in china.
If the pictures in my post are meant to illustrate something it is simply that nickel and dime economics have not always been a prevailing value in Chinese culture. This is the oldest continuous civilization in the world!! These guys invented paper, tea, fireworks, silk - stuff we STILL use today, centuries later!!! However, if we treat people like crap, we will most likely get crap out of the other end. Cheap construction? Poor quality control? If you skimp on paying the actual hand labour (not only wages but simple benefits as sick leave, or even health benefits, let alone regular working hours) - then what other corners are you not willing to cut to make a bigger profit? You will ALWAYS get what you pay for...

I don't necessarily think moving factories into China will be bad for Tama - provided they do things right, of course... However, I don't think it's going to help them move a hell of a lot forward either... If they REALLY want to get moving in the right direction, what I think the need to do is pay close attention to their gaps in their market offering. Everything is either mega-custom, ultra-limited, only 100 in the world kind of deal, or a cheapo, crap-sounding instrument. This has been so for quite a long time now. The new Superstars were LONG overdue, and even now, they're kind of "out there by themselves"...

Just My opinion as a twenty year old Tama fan...
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2010, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Mapex makes all of its products in Taiwan, from the low end Horizons to the high end Orions and Saturns. Black Panther snares are made there as well. So, no, good things come out of China.

Against the lack-of-quality point: It's the fault of the individual companies that contract work into China, not the factories themselves. Business entities that enforce a good QA program, such as Apple Inc (just an example here, don't kill me) will consistently get good products. Companies that let manufacturers run on autopilot will get whatever the factory manages to produce. A company can't just hand you a plan, provide *NO* feedback or guidance and expect a fantastic product everytime.

Against the ethics/exploitation point: It's a matter of income-to-expenses ratio. Making $10 to $12 an hour in most of the US isn't great, but it is sustainable on a 40 hour work week. In New York City, however, it is not. I had never got a paycheck larger than $450ish a week while I lived there. I would not have been able to support myself well, seeing as most places to rent are $1k+, food prices are insane, public transit fares keep going up, and bills. Utility bills are excessive out there. However, $450 a week out here in suburban washington state would be leave me a paycheck or two free a month to save/spend. $3 an hour may seem low and exploitative to one, but never forget to ask how much they spend.

As a bit of news, I've already seen Tama SC B/B prices fall about $250 on the guitar center site, which is about 1/7th of the price. That's huge!

Addendum : I'd like to make clear, I am *NOT* for exploitation of a workforce or the consuming public at large. I am for looking a bit deeper and doing a bit of research so I can judge based on facts rather than emotions.
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2010, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

This is news to me. I've not heard a word about TAMA moving their high end lines to China. How can this be confirmed?

From my perspective as a drum collector who works around drums for a living, Japan and germany tend to place the most concern in finishing and packaging their products, whether they be cars or drums. Has anyone seen how Yamaha package high end kits? Amazing!
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2010, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by mls View Post
For certain markets, Pearl manufacture their Masterworks and Reference lines in Taiwan.

Remember the days when no-one would buy Japanese because of the stigma that what they made was junk?
Ha Ha you are right!! I totally remember that..........everyone was like those stinking Japs. make junk, now its China.
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moldy View Post
Mapex makes all of its products in Taiwan, from the low end Horizons to the high end Orions and Saturns. Black Panther snares are made there as well. So, no, good things come out of China.

Against the lack-of-quality point: It's the fault of the individual companies that contract work into China, not the factories themselves..
Mapex drums and the models from Sonor by Mapex are made in China, not Taiwan. As far as the contract work, like what most companies do, I seriously doubt Tama will just have some other company make a Starclassic Maple, etc... I would bet these are Tama facilities.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

I totally respect the Chinese. So no comment here is derogatory. I feel they do have a throw away attitude to many things. For example, the Chinese invented the mechanical clock. Hundreds of years later when western missionaries showed them a mechanical clock, the Chinese were amazed! They'd forgotten they invented it!

Chinese made DVD players.

Need I say more?
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  #29  
Old 02-04-2010, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

We all know what happend to these :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9Olx...eature=related

But I do have trust Tama will continue to make quality products .. not like those mentioned ^.
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  #30  
Old 02-07-2010, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

This subject is a tough call. I am old enough to remember when almost everything made in Japan was garbage and almost everything we bought seemed to be made in Japan. When the "made in China" labeling became noticeable I had the same thoughts but my personal experience has been that Chinese products are mostly better quality than Japanese made product of the past but I mostly credit that to better manufacturing and stricter product rules that we benefit from now. I agree on the matter of exploited employees but sadly almost everything we buy in the US is tied to that very problem.....

I purchased DW kit but very much covet a Pearl Reference set. It does feel good to have bought an American made product. I also covet a Tama Starclassic BB. :-)
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  #31  
Old 02-11-2010, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Are SuperStars made 100% birch?? I'm a little confused check out theese link tell me the diference (except the finnish):

http://www.thomann.de/gb/tama_sl62hz...star_hyper.htm 100% birch shells

http://www.thomann.de/gb/tama_sk62hz...star_hyper.htm covered 100& birch

and searching on Ebay for a SS i've found an exact model but this one is from: "Superstar shells use birch for the main inner plies for strong projection and aggressive open sound. To enhance Superstar's great looks, basswood"!!!!

Now i'm confused!!!
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

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Remember the days when no-one would buy Japanese because of the stigma that what they made was junk?
Japanese labor used to be used to produce cheap junk for export. Similarly, there is no reason why China can't (and they do) produce flawless quality. However, the current business orthodoxy says you go to China for cheap labor when you are cutting costs to the absolute floor, in which case you are also cutting corners on materials, standards and QC.

Ergo, it is not unreasonable to assume that all things being equal, a Chinese-made product will be inferior to one produced in Japan, S. Korea, Europe or the US, nor is it wrong to argue that China can make a product rivalling those made in any country.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Maybe they'll start selling Starclassics at Wal-Mart.
Roll-back prices, baby!
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

After listening and playing a set of Gretsch Catalina Maples for the past year that I paid $450 for brand new, I have absolutely no problem with things made in China!
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

One aspect that hasn't been mentioned is that the US government doesn't really help drum manufacturers (small business) in the context of the financial side or the taxes and amount of money it costs to run a business in the US. From my perspective I really don't think of drum companies as massive corporate entities; i.e. even as big as Zildjian is, I doubt they'd ever be able to file chapter 11 bankruptcy and then hit the government up for bale out money. However it's small and mid sized companies like these that are bearing the burden of rising healthcare costs, heavy taxes, regulations and restrictions. I mean seriously there are a lot of businesses who don't want to move anything that they run to China, but they have to do it to compete. I'm from California so this is ground zero for businesses leaving/not be able to start up because of the regulations implemented by the government to pay for state and county entitlement programs. I was watching a 60 minutes a couple of weeks ago about the World Trade Centers reconstruction after 9/11, long story short; not a whole lot has been done. That's largely because Port Authority is overseeing it, the labor unions are continuously negotiating with the owner/s of the building, probably countless permitting restrictions, the design has changed at least three times, the governor and the mayor both have a say, the NYPD actually had a say in it as well; and that's just what 60 minutes had mentioned, god only knows what else there is. And there's still a massive god damn hole in the ground. I mean seriously, how are you supposed to get anything done? They also mentioned that the Empire State building was built in about a year during the height of the depression.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:10 PM
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  #36  
Old 08-24-2010, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

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I can't imagine being taken seriously by anybody if I had Chinese drums!
If the drums looked and sounded good, and you played well, Who would care where they were made?
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Being a bit older, I just find it kind of funny that folks are lamenting that something is not going to be made in Japan any longer . . . seeing Japan as high-quality and China as not capable of producing high-quality. It wasn't that long ago that folks had the perception that anything made in Japan wasn't going to be high-quality. Give China a chance.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Tama didn't get to where they are in the drum world by making inferior products.
The didn't get there by being stupid either.

I'm sure that they will maintain high standards of QC.
Especially with their high end line.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

Well Bob that's the issue - I can't spend a couple of grand to find out the hard way. It's a mighty expensive "if".

And given the quality of some of the crap I find sold at Walmart, I am hesitant to be adventurous with thousands of dollars.

So I will stick to the quality products that are time tested.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:03 PM
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Location: second measure of a fill-in
Posts: 10,211
Default Re: Tama Now Made in China

If its any consolation to you as to Tama's Chinese quality,
I own and play a three year old Stagestar, Tama's cheapest kit!
I play it at gigs and almost every day.
There are no flaws in this kit. No peeling wrap, No pitting chrome, No imperfect bearing edges, The drums tune and play perfectly! As a matter of fact, It's my favorite kit of the four that I own.
I wouldn't hesitate to buy another higher end Tama Chinese kit.
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I kind of like old drums:)
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