GRETSCH Purewood Bubinga or TAMA Bubinga Omni-Tune???


Junior Member
Hi Everyone,

I am having a dilemma.
I want to purchase one of the two Bubinga kits.
GRETSCH Purewood Bubinga or TAMA Bubinga Omni-Tune?
I understand that it's all a matter of preference.
I would like to know anyone's opinion or maybe experience that have seen or played any of these instruments.

Gretsch claims to have all the 9 plies on the Purewood Bubinga to be 100% Bubinga. All 9 plies on the outer, middle, and inner shells. Not like other brand names that have plywoods in between the outer and inner shells. Info:

Tama's Bubinga Omni-Tune also claims to have all the 9 plies to be 100% Bubinga on their Website. But Tama's Bubinga made in Japan, whereas the Gretsch's is made in Taiwan.

Let me add that Tama's Omni-Tune Bubinga's shell pack (4 Pieces) is over $3,000, but then Gretsch's shell pack (6 Pieces) is just at $2,500.

For the value, Gretsch is the way to go.

For the sound and Craftmanship, I don't know.

Please advise.



Platinum Member
The Gretsch to me, is more of a collectors item. If you're just looking for the best in quality, the Omni-Tunes are in my opinion, the most impressive set of non-custom drums you can buy.


Senior Member
You could also simply look at a Tama Starclassic Bubinga, without the Omni-Tune component. This knocks it down from $3000 to $2697 while being the same thing for the most part.

The only problem I could see is that the outermost ply is one of maple, thus 8 plies bubinga+1 ply maple, put in to "offer a much wider selection of colors." [Official Tama Website.]

Personally, I'm Tama all the way, seeing as I think the quality will be better.
And you can save yourself $300 by accepting an outer maple ply, but honestly it's up to you.



Junior Member
I had the omni-tune kit since they came out, and they were good, but I had a few problems with them.

1. the tension rods had a habit of slipping out of tuning (also probably partially because of the tuning used).

2. drum 4 (14 x 11) had weird tension problems. It sounds stupid, but I even used a dial to see if I was just an idiot, and it confirmed that for it to be in tune, the rods were at vastly different tensions.

3. TAMA didn't give me one of the gold washers on drum 4, so I had to order an extra, and that just irritated me.

4. overall tone seemed rather high/middy, which surprised me since bubinga is supposed to be across the board.

other than that, I loved them... the omni-tune thing is a cool idea, they sounded good, and the drums are beautiful in person.

Hope this helps


Gold Member
Well i own the Tama Warlord Masai Kit (7 piece) which is made out of pure bubinga, and i it sounds unbelievable. yeah if i was in your position i'd probably go with tama because the Gretch kit s a collecters item and as awesome as those are (only 100 Warlords were ever made and only 3 are in Canada) its not practical for a gig situation, cause (at least in my case) if something were to get damaged, i would not be able to replace it, meaning the $6000 i speant on the shells is now wasted....... not to mention if you ever want to expand your kit im sure youd' have a hell of a time trying to find matching parts.......(or at least thats the case with my Kit seeing as its a custom finish.....) oh well well when you get your kit make sure to post some pics!!!

- Jonathan