That is interesting. Now, my Club Dates were drop-dead gorgeous looking drums with their aged onyx wrap. Honestly one of best looking kits I have ever seen. But I just did not dig the sound at all. The toms just were dead.
It's interesting the different perspectives that people have on the same drums. I have 2 kits that I play regularly a 2019 clubdates and a 2003 Birch starclassic performer kit. You say the clubs are dead and I find them more lively than my Tamas for sure. I love both kits. The Tamas have Birch shells and diecast hoops which will take some of the liveliness out and make them more focused I understand that, but the clubdates are anything but dead. Even with 2 ply EC 2 heads they sing out very nicely.