New Tama Starclassic Performer line, maple/birch

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
If you really want to know and stop thinking about it, you need a TuneBot and a Drum Dial. Tune a 10 lug and an 8 lug, same heads, to the same tuning with the TuneBot. Now set the drum dial at each lug to check the tympanic pressure of the head at each lug. If the 8 lugs do more work than the 10, the Drum Dial will have a higher reading on the 8 than the 10. I dont think this will be the case however, as the tympanic pressure of the head is directly related to its tuning, so the numbers should be the same regardless of number of lugs.

Will there be more torque in 8 lugs than 10 for the same tuning, absolutely. This does not mean that 8 lugs dont work as well as 10, it only means that each lugs must be tighter than with 10. This also means that 10 lugs are looser than 8, and thus nullifies any idea that 10 lugs hold their tuning better. The looser the lug, the easier it is to lose its tuning due to drum head impact and vibration.
Why do most drum companies put 10 lugs on bass drums? Since Brushes says "companies always do research", what would be the research done to justify 10 lugs? There's got to be a reason.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
oh wow. Didn't realize that. To be fair, though, Tama does not brand the Walnut/Birch as a Starclassic "Performer", they brand it as just a Starclassic. Still, I think the previous Starclassic Performers (Birch/Bubinga) has most of the premium hardware and features. I think the intrudction of the Star series is the reason for this.
The thing is, the previous Performer had the exact same features as the W/B, in fact the W/B is the official replacement of the Performer B/B since Bubinga is a protected species and costs a lot to get, that's why only the Star series has a bubinga option.

Actually, I think I remember the W/B being called the Performer when it came out a few years ago, but I'm not sure. Still, the new Performer has had a drop in quality, no arguing about that. What Over50drumguy said is what I would sum it up as: It may sound nice, but it has less features than competition and undoubtedly has less quality than the previous Performer or other Starclassic drums. Is it worth the asking price? That's up to every individual to decide, for me it's a hard no. Compared to competition, this is a case of pay more get less.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
The main reservation I have about the new Starclassic Performer isn't the downgraded hardware or 8 lug bass drum, it's the possible use of EU/Asian Maple. As soon as I realized this I liked them less.

Like the time my sister (who is allergic to Gluten) baked some cookies and asked how they tasted, I said "pretty good"...then she told me they were made without wheat or dairy. I suddenly didn't like them anymore, haha.

Perhaps it's all in my head? But I swear I can tell the difference between NA and EU/Asian Maple.

Oh, and about 8 lug bass drums...my best-sounding bass drum is my PDP CX 22x18" bass drum (with 8 lugs). Also, my old Tama Rockstar Custom 22x16" bass drum was an 8 lugger too, and it sounded killer. It's possible that 8 lugs is more of a stigma against cheaper kits which just so happen to have 8 lugs most of the time. Based on my experience, it seems 8 lugs can sound just as good as 10 lugs.

@Fritz Frigursson @Artstar @someguy01 @calan @timmdrum @Al Strange
Everyone's experience varies, I think. My favorite kick drum is a Maple Custom Absolute 22x14 which is a 10 lugger, that is a very nice kick drum. I even played the 20x14 option of the same series which also has 10 lugs, which seems a bit overkill on a 20, but it still sounded great. I also tried some 8 lug drums, mainly a Stage Custom birch 22x17, and that sounded great as well (albeit in a different environment, on a stage). I would say lug count is more based on appearance than sound, I'd say 10 lugs on a 22 just looks right. 12 lugs would look too cramped, 8 would look "empty". Could it have a functionality benefit? Maybe, but not noticeably. I'm asking why rival kits of the Starclassic have 10 lugs while the Starclassic costs the same but has 2 less. Are they saying that it is originally a higher end drum but they cut down the features to make it accessible to 1400 dollar paying customers? Well the previous Performer proves otherwise, I think. If the hardware was downgraded to keep price down, that means the shell is the main thing here. Also, the Mapex Armory costs 500 dollars less and has the same shell, but that's asian sourced wood. I would hope that this Performer has US shells especially since the DW Design has north american maple and costs the same. If we find out that the Performer has asian maple/birch, I don't think this kit will be anything special. I hope that's not the case.

"Starclassic Performer offers uncommon value for an undeniable drum set experience" is what Tama has to say about this kit, is anyone seeing the value here?
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
North American maple is harder than Asian or european maple, it's used in most high end maple drums. It's more expensive too.

That depends on where in Europe or Asia or in the US the material is sourced.

The price is only higher because it has to be transported back to Asia (and sometimes Europe) and I expect it also due to be less usable wood available then in Europe.

Like Europe and to a lesser extent Asia, has no great Maple (and certainly not other) wood.

Really its all between the ears, because of marketing (“high end drums only”) and tell tale stories over the years.
 

marratj

Active member
I actually like 8 lugs over 10, mostly because apparently I'm too limited to be able to keep track of which lugs I've already turned when tuning a 10 lug drum.

It seems I can only keep track with up to 8, maybe because it's cardinal directions. I'd probably also be good with 12, because then it's like a clock.

Not like I'm going out of my way to find an 8 lug bass drum (or even considering buying this kit), but to me, it's at least a happy surprise.

Well, that's an easy one... I'm the same when trying to tue in a star pattern, so I simply switched to tuning in a clockwise fashion and keep one finger on the lug I started.

As for the general thread topic: I do also think that the SC M/B is mostly a Superstar Hyper-Drive with more "classic" sizes, Starclassic lugs and badge and the hybrid shells. Everything else is just copied 1:1 from the Superstar Hyper-Drive (which are not bad drums in any way). Even the cost is very similar between the two.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Why do most drum companies put 10 lugs on bass drums? Since Brushes says "companies always do research", what would be the research done to justify 10 lugs? There's got to be a reason.
Most (all) drum companies offer both 8 and 10 lug bass drums in some fashion or another. If you just look around you will see. It isnt a "high end" thing either. There were Pearl Exports with 10 lugs, and there are Sonors with 8. If you look at vintage drums, most have 8.

Drum companies do research their product, and I feel its rather evident that 8 or 10 is the acceptable number. No one uses 6 or 12. If 6 was good enough, why doesnt anyone do it? If 12 is needed, why doesnt anyone do it?

The drum companies know what they are doing. And in this instance what they have done is given consumers another thing to nit pick about. And it works too. Just look at this thread.

10 lug Export, complete with wrinkly wrap:

20210105_050646.jpg
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
Most (all) drum companies offer both 8 and 10 lug bass drums in some fashion or another. If you just look around you will see. It isnt a "high end" thing either. There were Pearl Exports with 10 lugs, and there are Sonors with 8. If you look at vintage drums, most have 8.

Drum companies do research their product, and I feel its rather evident that 8 or 10 is the acceptable number. No one uses 6 or 12. If 6 was good enough, why doesnt anyone do it? If 12 is needed, why doesnt anyone do it?

The drum companies know what they are doing. And in this instance what they have done is given consumers another thing to nit pick about. And it works too. Just look at this thread.

10 lug Export, complete with wrinkly wrap:

View attachment 99739
Some lower end kits do have 6 lugs. The smaller Stage custom, in the bop configuration with 18" bass, has 6 lugs. Everyone complains about it.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Some lower end kits do have 6 lugs. The smaller Stage custom, in the bop configuration with 18" bass, has 6 lugs. Everyone complains about it.
Your argument was 22" kicks. Make up your mind what you want to complain about. No one said anything about anything smaller than a 20".

My Midtown has a 16" kick and 6 lugs. Guess what?
1. I'm not complaining about it.
2. It tunes up and stays there just fine.

Maybe you should email the drum companies and ask them the question if you are really that concerned about it.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Nice to know my Premier's are "cheap" and that the lug count is what differentiates cheap from not.
To be correct, since it's a quote from one of my post, I said kits from cheap to mid level are sporting 8 lugs. Indeed mid level Premier APK / XPK had 8 lugs, Signia like mine or Genista had 10. XPK can't be labelled cheap : they were the best sounding / looking mid level kits.
It's the case for most brands since ages... Nothing to be eager about.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
That depends on where in Europe or Asia or in the US the material is sourced.

The price is only higher because it has to be transported back to Asia (and sometimes Europe) and I expect it also due to be less usable wood available then in Europe.

Like Europe and to a lesser extent Asia, has no great Maple (and certainly not other) wood.

Really its all between the ears, because of marketing (“high end drums only”) and tell tale stories over the years.
If North American Maple costs more because it has to be shipped to Asia and Europe...why does it also cost more for America-made drums too? I think it's universally considered to be a higher quality wood for drum building, due to it's extra density. How much of that price is determined by high demand is a valid thing to consider though.

The same thing holds true for Scandinavian Birch...it's just higher quality for drum building. It has sonic qualities that aren't present in softer Birch from other areas of the world.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Labour costs? :unsure:
That could be part of it, surely. But if you were to price out Keller shells made from North American Maple vs EU/Asian Maple, I'm fairly certain the NA Maple would cost more. And they're theoretically made in the same plant.

But where are Keller shells made? I dunno. My head hurts now.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
The thing is, the previous Performer had the exact same features as the W/B, in fact the W/B is the official replacement of the Performer B/B since Bubinga is a protected species and costs a lot to get, that's why only the Star series has a bubinga option.

Actually, I think I remember the W/B being called the Performer when it came out a few years ago, but I'm not sure. Still, the new Performer has had a drop in quality, no arguing about that. What Over50drumguy said is what I would sum it up as: It may sound nice, but it has less features than competition and undoubtedly has less quality than the previous Performer or other Starclassic drums. Is it worth the asking price? That's up to every individual to decide, for me it's a hard no. Compared to competition, this is a case of pay more get less.

Cost had nothing to do with Tama’s decision to limit bubinga offerings to its Star line, at least not directly, as all business decisions are ultimately driven by $. When CITES declared bubinga at risk, Tama decided to use its remaining inventory only on Star drums. By removing bubinga as an option for Starclassic and B/Bs, which sold way more units than Star, Tama is able to extend the length of time bubinga can remain an option for Star. Once its bubinga stock is used up, that’s the end of the line.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
Cost had nothing to do with Tama’s decision to limit bubinga offerings to its Star line, at least not directly, as all business decisions are ultimately driven by $. When CITES declared bubinga at risk, Tama decided to use its remaining inventory only on Star drums. By removing bubinga as an option for Starclassic and B/Bs, which sold way more units than Star, Tama is able to extend the length of time bubinga can remain an option for Star. Once its bubinga stock is used up, that’s the end of the line.
Yeah, point being, the Bubinga is only avaliable to top end Star kit and Tama decided walnut was a good alternative to Bubinga (not gonna argue about that, it's good).
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
The thing is, the previous Performer had the exact same features as the W/B, in fact the W/B is the official replacement of the Performer B/B since Bubinga is a protected species and costs a lot to get, that's why only the Star series has a bubinga option.

Actually, I think I remember the W/B being called the Performer when it came out a few years ago, but I'm not sure. Still, the new Performer has had a drop in quality, no arguing about that. What Over50drumguy said is what I would sum it up as: It may sound nice, but it has less features than competition and undoubtedly has less quality than the previous Performer or other Starclassic drums. Is it worth the asking price? That's up to every individual to decide, for me it's a hard no. Compared to competition, this is a case of pay more get less.


The W/B has the quick release tom mounts and the quick release floor tom legs. Not sure if the previous B/B Performers had them since htey were introduced with the STAR series (minus the little extra sliding support bar).

It appears that they don't brand the W/B as a Performer anymore, and that the "Performer" name is associated with a budget line of drums.

Still, the new Performers do have memory locks for the Starcast mounting system , they just don't have the quick release.
 
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