80's Tama Superstars

ambientgreg

Senior Member
I came across a set of Tama Superstars in a pawn shop today. 10x8,12x8,13x8 or 9, 14x10, 16 & 18 floor toms and 14x22 kick. I like these sizes for what the drums are but I want to get some input from those of you who have owned these before. Specifically tuning range,sensitivity,... They seem as though they might be thuddish due to the thick shells but I cant tell with the ancient black dots that are on this kit . Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I owned a beautiful Tama Superstar from 1984 in cherry wood finish. I remember it well: 16x22, (2) 8x10, 8x12, 16x16 FT, and a Ludwig Supraphonic snare. Birch shells, sounded great with new black dots top and bottom!

I thought they were very sensitive. Not much I couldn't do with 'em. Other than the extremely heavy-weight double tom mount, everything that was state-of-the-art then still is today. One month I put clear ambassadors on it with a black dot on the bass drum with some muffling and that kit rocked. Some days I miss it and sorta' kick myself for selling it.
 

ecpietscheck

Senior Member
I came across a set of Tama Superstars in a pawn shop today. 10x8,12x8,13x8 or 9, 14x10, 16 & 18 floor toms and 14x22 kick. I like these sizes for what the drums are but I want to get some input from those of you who have owned these before. Specifically tuning range,sensitivity,... They seem as though they might be thuddish due to the thick shells but I cant tell with the ancient black dots that are on this kit . Any input would be greatly appreciated.
my friend owns a cherry red 6.5x14 snare
it is great, great sounding, hardware is purely metal (no cheap rubbish plastic parts) and the strainer system is great!
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I think that that will be a great classic sounding kit.
What condition is it in?
What color and finish is it?
You should have taken some pics.
 

ambientgreg

Senior Member
I think that that will be a great classic sounding kit.
What condition is it in?
What color and finish is it?
You should have taken some pics.
The finish is walnut. I didn't get to go over each drum thoroughly but it looks to be in "players" condition I s'pose. I did a quick glance and tap on the rack toms,all hardware and edges look good , no real nasty pitting (that I saw). The only things so far is the kick is missing two lugs,claws,t-rods, and one of the hoops is not original. No snare & no hardware except the mount for the kick and one additional stand for the 13& 14 rack. And I didn't check out the floors but all lugs and t-rods looked to be in place there.

The asking price is 699.00 which seems pretty good to me. I'm excited about playing a superstar and especially in those sizes and shallower depths. Whaddya think?
 

razorx

Platinum Member
Sounds like a good idea to me. You could probably fix them up and sell them for more than you paid for them....or you could keep them and play them like i would.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I'd be all over that. I had Superstars from the '80s but they were the power depths, so they were kinda hard to play, especially with 24" kicks. But really well made and sounded amazing. I still have a 6.5x14 Superstar snare in my garage that sounds good (not great, but the shell was cracked by a previous owner).
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Really popular drums in the 80's

Made most famous by Neil Peart on the Moving Pictures album, and of course Billy Cobham and others

For that price, I'd be all over them.

Superstars are pretty much the only drums from the 80's I'd consider "vintage and collectible".
 

ambientgreg

Senior Member
Ok, cool! Thanks guys for the input....you've said what I wanted to hear. I'll have to play the weeks gigs to $ecure the funds. I' ll definitely let you know what happens. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to comment.
 

ed427vette

Junior Member
The Superstars are really great drums. I still have my original set I bought new back in 1983. I have since added on a great many pieces to it. If its the glossy finish then its Super Mahogany, not Walnut. They did have a color they called Walnut for only one year back in the 70's and its the same color as the "Natural Mahogany" which is what they used in the late 70's . Its the same shade as Super Mahogany but in a satin finish instead of gloss. The Super Mahogany showed up very late 70's and continued through the end of the run which was around 1986/87.

The price is very fair. If you need parts they are fairly easy to find on ebay (I also have a ton of extra parts like lugs, rims, t-handles, etc).

You will like them. They are fairly versatile. More so than you might think.

As for the word vintage. Everything is vintage. Vintage doesn't mean valuable. It doesn't even really mean collectible. And it doesn't even mean old! Its from the wine community meaning "when something (wine) was made". It was used to date wine. Now it seems everyone trys to infer the word vintage to mean old, valuable and collectible.

Anyway, get those drums! You won't regret it.

Heres a pic of my silly 80's style oversized drumset. Its in very good shape considering I toured with the set for many years in the 80'/90's. I still use it for the small local clubs (trap set of course and I have a original 14 floor tom). All my neices and nephews love coming over for the holidays as I let them bash it to hell. Isn't that what it was made for?
 

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ambientgreg

Senior Member
The Superstars are really great drums. I still have my original set I bought new back in 1983. I have since added on a great many pieces to it. If its the glossy finish then its Super Mahogany, not Walnut. They did have a color they called Walnut for only one year back in the 70's and its the same color as the "Natural Mahogany" which is what they used in the late 70's . Its the same shade as Super Mahogany but in a satin finish instead of gloss. The Super Mahogany showed up very late 70's and continued through the end of the run which was around 1986/87.

The price is very fair. If you need parts they are fairly easy to find on ebay (I also have a ton of extra parts like lugs, rims, t-handles, etc).

You will like them. They are fairly versatile. More so than you might think.

As for the word vintage. Everything is vintage. Vintage doesn't mean valuable. It doesn't even really mean collectible. And it doesn't even mean old! Its from the wine community meaning "when something (wine) was made". It was used to date wine. Now it seems everyone trys to infer the word vintage to mean old, valuable and collectible.

Anyway, get those drums! You won't regret it.

Heres a pic of my silly 80's style oversized drumset. Its in very good shape considering I toured with the set for many years in the 80'/90's. I still use it for the small local clubs (trap set of course and I have a original 14 floor tom). All my neices and nephews love coming over for the holidays as I let them bash it to hell. Isn't that what it was made for?
Man! That is a BEAUTIFUL kit!! If I recall, your drums are the same finish as the ones in the pawn shop here....by "walnut" I meant that they weren't the more reddish ones Neil Peart played - they definitely looked more mahogany. Yeah ,my main concern was tuning range due to the thickness of shells. I had some Granstars previously that had one sweet tuning, period. Any higher and they'd choke, any lower and they'd flap,and nothing but click from the kick. It was a bit hard to tell what these Superstars would do 'cause the heads were really old black dots top and bottom (although they are short depth drums) . If they'ere still there when I have cash in hand (monday) I will take pics, go over every drum with a fine tooth comb,and play each drum as well. Then I will post the results on this thread. I really appreciate the input.
 

JD7

Senior Member
did you ever get these drums? I have a kit and find the 9X13 to be a challenge to tune at times (it doesn't like certain heads), but the floor toms are always awesome.
 

latzanimal

Silver Member
I owned a beautiful Tama Superstar from 1984 in cherry wood finish. I remember it well: 16x22, (2) 8x10, 8x12, 16x16 FT, and a Ludwig Supraphonic snare. Birch shells, sounded great with new black dots top and bottom!

I thought they were very sensitive. Not much I couldn't do with 'em. Other than the extremely heavy-weight double tom mount, everything that was state-of-the-art then still is today. One month I put clear ambassadors on it with a black dot on the bass drum with some muffling and that kit rocked. Some days I miss it and sorta' kick myself for selling it.
Ho many times a day do you say that?
 

superstar1984

Junior Member
i just picked up a 1984 superstar kit a few weeks ago. cherry wine finish 2 24x16 kicks 13x12,14x13,15x14 rack toms, 18x18 floor tom. perfect sizes for me, i play hard rock/metal. fair price i thought too, 800.00 off of craigslist. a little scratched up from road use but otherwise in great shape. gonna custom bumwrap the whole kit in a few months anyway. i have remo pinstripes on top clear ambassadors on bottom. aquarian superkicks and aquarian regulator reso's on the kicks and they sound awesome!! also bought a pearl v-rex 14x8.5 vinnie paul signature maple snare, loudest and cleanest snare for metal IMO, for 200.00. for the 1000.00 i spent i don't think there is anything new that would sound like these bad boys!!
 

latzanimal

Silver Member
i just picked up a 1984 superstar kit a few weeks ago. cherry wine finish 2 24x16 kicks 13x12,14x13,15x14 rack toms, 18x18 floor tom. perfect sizes for me, i play hard rock/metal. fair price i thought too, 800.00 off of craigslist. a little scratched up from road use but otherwise in great shape. gonna custom bumwrap the whole kit in a few months anyway. i have remo pinstripes on top clear ambassadors on bottom. aquarian superkicks and aquarian regulator reso's on the kicks and they sound awesome!! also bought a pearl v-rex 14x8.5 vinnie paul signature maple snare, loudest and cleanest snare for metal IMO, for 200.00. for the 1000.00 i spent i don't think there is anything new that would sound like these bad boys!!
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Don't wrap those...
 

larryz

Platinum Member
I agree. In the holy name of Ronald Reagan don't rewrap those babies? 30 years and counting...great drums. Let them be :)

Give us some pics too..
 

superstar1984

Junior Member
i would agree 100% with you guys if it was a clean kit. but it's not. scratches some are small but a few are really bad and noticeable from a distance. i might do a full restoration in the future but for right now i can bumwrap the whole kit for 330.00. plus bumwrap is easily removable (no glue is used) so if and when i can afford it i can take the bumwraps off and strip and refinish them the right way.
 

superstar1984

Junior Member
here is a pic, sorry for the bad quality. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202057366657125&set=a.1187757575514.2027286.1275550377&type=1&relevant_count=1[/URL] hope this link works, lol.
 
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