DW Performance Kit vs Tama Superstar Classic Kit


Silver Member

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
First off, I want to say that I've said several times in other threads that you can get drumkits in this price range to sound really good with top tier heads and proper tuning, and I still believe that. I have recent experience and am currently playing with the Tama Superstar Classic after years away from playing. It's not my kit, but I won't go into the whole story as to why, it's complicated. Anyway, it's a good sounding kit. I have clear Emperors on the toms and a pinstripe on the kick. A reverse black dot coated ambassador head on the snare. The kit was purchased only a few years ago. I was used to birch my whole life, so maple is definitely (in my view) a little harder to control and keep focused, but I do think the kit sounds good. The hardware, as I've said many times, is where things change. I do have to fine tune more due to the thinner hoops, the snare strainer is what I would only call serviceable. And the tom holder is the weakest part of the kit IMO. You, or maybe I should say "I" can definitely tell I'm playing on a "budget" kit when it comes to that tom mount/holder. I had to really crank down the wingnuts on everything related to the tom holder and toms to get everything to remain stable. Think Little Ceasers Pizza and you've got the idea I'm going for when it comes to the aforementioned hardware quality. For the money it's fine, you really can't complain, but in comparison to higher end kits there is going to be a really big difference. The only reason I'm bringing this up, and I debated internally whether or not to do so, is because I just don't want some inexperienced young kid coming on the board for the for the first time and thinking they can get this kit, or one like it, and be playing on an amazing sounding kit with top quality hardware that is flawless etc. You can get kits like this to sound really good, but the hardware will be what it will be, and what it won't be is top quality. Again, think Little Ceasers, for the money it's good, certainly a fair price for what you're getting. Lastly, the caveat to all this is that I'm a pretty heavy handed and footed player, if you're not (and many aren't) you'll likely not notice the flaws in the cheaper hardware as much as a guy like me, and that's great because you'll probably really love a kit like this (sincerely). No intended offense to anyone, but I felt to compelled to give my 2 cents on this one.
Not sure I agree about hardware.

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Update on my Tama kit. Bought it for gigs with small jazz combo, but our gigs for 2022 were all in very small venues where I could not use a full kit, so Tama stayed in basement the entire year. I did use the snare several times. It's a good sounding snare and, for price of kit, I consider it a "free" snare.

Fast forward 12 months and tonite the Tama is finally getting out onto a stage at a large venue (but I'm using my go-to awesome Sakae Trilogy snare).

We're playing at the Speed Art Museum here in Louisville.

Packing up the Tama kit for first time it was so easy and straightforward the tom mount, bass drum spurs that fold up (no need to remove) and tom legs. Easy peasy. And the thin shells are lite and easy to move. If one plans on gigging then one should seriously consider these attributes; not all kits are this gig-friendly. Like no tom mount = extra stand. No folding spurs = something else that could get lost.

I'll let you know how gig goes, and maybe I'll have some pics and videos to share. I'm excited. The set is list is short but complicated. It's all jazz standards, but these guys I'm playing with are really good, and they're fiddling with the times. Playing "Softly As A Morning Sunrise" as a Latin groove. Playing Killer Joe in 3 (we call it Killer John, after our bass player who did the arrangement).

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Gig went off in spectacular fashion. House packed (hundreds of museum patrons), sound system and sound guy were great, and I got compliments from several drummers in the audience about how good the Tama kit sounded. Room acoustics were really bad and kit wasn't mic'd, so I don't know if my cymbals could be heard in the back of the room.



Diamond Member
Lookin’ swanky!

Jasta 11

Well-known Member
Very nice! that tom mount is screaming to have a boom arm attached for your cymbal...one less stand to set up. looks nice man!


Platinum Member
Where would I get a boom arm like that, and what are specs?

You would need a different mount on top of the kick similar to this below.. but I wouldn't add all that extra weight to that 18 kick..