80's Imperialstars - Need help figuring out asking price


Hey DW, I'm hoping you guys can help me figure out what a fair market value would be on a monstrous Tama Imperialstar kit from the early 80s. I work for an insulation company so we're in 20+ attics every week, and last week one of our estimators found a bunch of drums in a customer's attic, which the customer said were there when he bought the house a few weeks ago. He just wants them gone. I went and had a look at them and have done a bunch of research to try and narrow down what they are. I'm having trouble finding listings for used kits of a similar configuration so I'm hoping maybe you more experienced guys can help me out coming up with an asking price for our customer.

Here's what he's got...

1983 or 1984 Tama Imperialstars, Black Wrap (I believe this date range due to kick pedal footboard design)

14x24 -- missing 1 lug, 1 spur, 4 tension rods

Floor toms:
18x20 -- missing bottom hoop + bottom tension rods (20" floor tom - COOL!)
16x18 -- missing 1 leg

Concert toms:
14x16 -- missing 1 tension rod

6.5x14 metal Tama with imperialstar badge, I guess either "King Beat" or "Powerline"?
4x14 LP Ascend metal snare (don't know much about these, worth anything?)

He's got 4x double tom holders, but only 6 concert toms, which leads me to believe that 2 must have been lost somewhere along the way, most likely a 6" and a 12".

Anybody know what those Tama shells would have sold for new? And can anyone give a rough estimate of what they would be worth in today's money if they were in perfect condition? Obviously we will subtract from that due to a few missing odds n ends.

Overall the drums are in fine shape for their age, they have a good layer of dust, but the wrap is in good shape, and the only really obvious wear and tear is the missing parts plus a bit of the Zola-Coat has rubbed off the bottom edges of a few of the concert toms, probably from being slid around on venue + attic floors.

I would put up a pic but all I had was my cell phone and it was too dark in the guy's attic to get a decent shot.

All feedback is much appreciated as always.


Senior Member
im no expert...but id say like 300-400. ive seen a much nicer set sell for less than that, the difference being it wasnt a huge kit


Platinum Member
I don't know what they went for new, but times have certainly changed since then. For starters nobody cared much about what kind of wood a drum was made from back then, tom sizes tended to be larger, and concert toms weren't at all uncommon.

But now, due to a lot of marketing, people do care about wood and those mahogany shells might be a tough sell. Ditto for the large sizes and the fact that they're concert toms. Finding a 20" floor tom hoop could be a challenge.

A couple months back I bought an '83 Tama Superstar all double-headed and standard depth (not X-Tras) with 13/14/16/18 toms and a 14x24 bass drum for $750. I don't know how good of a deal that was, but that's what I was looking for and it was within my budget so I pulled the trigger.

I don't know how much you'll get for those now, and finding a buyer at almost any price might be tough, but you never know - that might be just what someone, somewhere is looking for. I'd do some searching on eBay to see what they're going for to get some idea first, then I'd probably post them there since that's the biggest audience you will probably be able to reach.

I'd sell the snare separately, too - preferably to me!


Platinum Member
...but id say like 300-400. ive seen a much nicer set sell for less than that, the difference being it wasnt a huge kit
Agreed .... although you never really know, until you put up an add. Here's a guy selling an 80's kit .... and his BIN is $299 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-TAM..._Percussion&hash=item35bed1b356#ht_500wt_1203 You can watch that, and see what happens. With your kit missing lugs and tension rods ... that's not a good thing. And concert toms .... that's another minus. No longer the fad.​
If you don't have a second kit, I'd keep it (some of it, anyways). One rack, two floors, kick. Sell off/trade everything else to pay for needed parts.​


Thanks for the info guys. Sounds like this kit's glory days are behind it. MikeM, if you're seriously interested in the snare, PM me with an offer and I'll pass it along.