Tama Club Jam Suitcase-Review and thoughts

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Greetings,

Member dani1720 had reached out to me about my thoughts on this kit. I responded to him and I also thought that everyone might gain some knowledge or perspective if I make my "review" available to all. So.....................here it is. Enjoy!

Overall I really like it. I got the bag set that comes with it (bag for each tom and bass drum). Having to carry one case for three drums is very convenient, but it is pretty darn heavy; just something to be aware of. The bass drum is not beveled at the split and doesn't "lock in" to itself. Both edges are flat and you just line them up. The L-shaped spurs have two brackets per side, one on either side of the bass drum split. The bass drum is held together by the spurs going through both brackets. I had concerns initially, but it holds it tight with no problems. It could easily take being set up and taken down every night with no issues. Here are my pros and cons for the kit:

Pros:
-Convenient
-Sounds Good
-Small Footprint
-Good build quality
-Cymbal bracket for bass drum included (cymbal arm not included)
-Wood bass hoops
-BD Riser included
-Long floor tom legs for versatile height adjustment

Cons:
-Heavy to carry the three drums together
-Rack tom mounts to a clamp (you provide your own stand to clamp it to). To me, this totally defeats the purpose of the lightweight/portable aspect of the kit, because you can't really use lightweight or flat base hardware to hold a tom from (although you can certainly use another heavier weight type of stand....again, to me, this defeats the purpose of a compact/portable/one trip aspect of the kit). I added a Pearl BT-3 bracket and a 7/8" tom L-arm to the bass drum (front half). The BT-3 is low profile and having the tom on the bass drum is a much better solution, in my opinion. It doesn't look weird or out of place at all, at least to me.
-Direct to shell mounting bracket on the rack tom (I added a suspension mount and filled in the two original holes)
-Shallow, 12" floor tom is hard to get deep tones out of (floor tom is 6" deep, the rack tom is 7" deep. One of the few kits where the rack is deeper than the floor!)
-No eyebolts on any of the brackets. Trusting a T-screw/memory lock combination on the rack tom is a little precarious
-No snare included or available. I did order (separately of course) a 14" Superstar Classic Maple snare in Indigo Sparkle (Same exact wrap). It's another drum to carry, but you would need to carry a snare anyway. I like to have matching snares. Because it's a Tama in the same wrap, it looks perfect with the suitcase kit. Even though it's a "smaller" kit, it's nice to have a full size 14" snare. Better for brushes, cross-sticking and overall versatility. Plus, the Superstar Classic Maple snares are affordable.


Overall, I really enjoy the kit and it makes a nice addition to the collection! The Tama Bag set (sold separately) is really well made. The rack tom still easily fits in it's bag with my after market suspension mount. Both toms fit comfortably/snugly in the bass drum. Tight enough to be protected but no too tight to make them impossible to get in/out. It's really fun to play and sounds really good. Like I said,, if you want the floor tom to sound like a 16" x 16"...well you're probably out of luck, but it can be tuned quite low and using double ply/muffled heads would help even more.

Sizes are:

Rack Tom: 10" (7" Deep)
Floor Tom: 12" (6" Deep)
Bass: 16" (15" Deep)

I hope this helped! Stock photos below.

V
 

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single-ply

Senior Member
That looks like a nice set! Not to highjack this thread, but I have a Farmers Footdrum kit that I really like. Similar thing.

The 20"x8" bass drum comes apart and the two 12" and 16" single-headed toms go inside. I found out that taking apart the bass drum for a quick setup is a PITA, so I leave it together and put the toms on top of the bass drum. It all goes into a 20x12 Protection Racket case and is pretty light.

The original heads deadened the kit and it sounded horrible when I got it, I put non-ported PS3s on the bass drum and diplomat fiberskyns on the toms and it sounds big and full. I used it for a big band rehearsal yesterday.

I put the 16" tom on an old Ludwig flat-base snare stand and I installed a DW rail for the 12"
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
This reminds me of Yamaha's Hip Gig kit. I love this video of Dave Weckl mastering it:
 

dani1720

Junior Member
Hello,

Thanks again for your amazing review!

I will order my Tama Club Suitcase soon :)
I´m just wondering if you could share some pictures with me of your kit. I wanted to see how you mounted the tom to the bass drum.

I was checking this parts, with the B-3 like you said you used.

Pearl BT-3
Pearl TH-88 I don´t know if this one would be too long
Pearl ISS-0810 ISS

Would these work?

There is also other type of tom holder like this one:
Pearl OPT0910

Thanks for your help.

Regards,

Daniel
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
Thanks for the honest review! I was intrigued by the Suitcase kit and truthfully if I didn't already own the DW Frequent Flyer kit (which I've managed to get the whole kit in just 2 bags) then I would have opted for the Tama. I agree, it was a head-scratcher why they didn't put a tom mount on the kick shell; your solution I can picture it working very well.
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
it was a head-scratcher why they didn't put a tom mount on the kick shell

Just a guess: Maybe the shell, having only one rim to support it (on each half), isn´t strong enough for the weight of a tom. I´m sure Tama´s designers had their reasons for not installing a tom holder so I personally wouldn´t take the risk...
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Just a guess: Maybe the shell, having only one rim to support it (on each half), isn´t strong enough for the weight of a tom. I´m sure Tama´s designers had their reasons for not installing a tom holder so I personally wouldn´t take the risk...

I see your point, but the weight of the tom is only on the bass drum when both "halves" are together and locked in place by the spurs (the tom or arm isn't mounted when the bass drum is taken apart). Honestly, a little 7" x 10" tom isn't going to put much stress on a shell anyway.
 

Horst Du Noch

New Member
Hi there!!
I got my Suitcase a few months ago. I use it in a weird way :)
My question is : I want to change the stock heads, and I'd like to know if anyone tried tom heads on the kick or if I have to go with kick heads...???
Thx beforehand!!
 

roncadillac

Member
Hi there!!
I got my Suitcase a few months ago. I use it in a weird way :)
My question is : I want to change the stock heads, and I'd like to know if anyone tried tom heads on the kick or if I have to go with kick heads...???
Thx beforehand!!
It has a proper bass drum hoop so Tom heads will technically work but there is a chance they could slip under the hoop and/or not tune evenly. A 16" bass drum with wood hoops? Emad is all you need, It really emphasizes the low end. Even if you are playing jazz the emad tuned high without either of the foam rings will give you a great tone without the 'bonk' sound.
 

Horst Du Noch

New Member
It has a proper bass drum hoop so Tom heads will technically work but there is a chance they could slip under the hoop and/or not tune evenly. A 16" bass drum with wood hoops? Emad is all you need, It really emphasizes the low end. Even if you are playing jazz the emad tuned high without either of the foam rings will give you a great tone without the 'bonk' sound.
OK thanks, that's what I wanted to know!!
I don't play jazz, I'm more into... let's say psychedelic postpunk..!!
 

roncadillac

Member
OK thanks, that's what I wanted to know!!
I don't play jazz, I'm more into... let's say psychedelic postpunk..!!
Cool, same type of stuff here with my current band. Easy recipe for you: clear Evans emad (make sure you get the 16" bass drum hoop version) tuned about medium range, meaning not jazzy bop tight but not sloppy loose either, no JAW. Use the small ring if you want more life to the drum and the large ring if you want more control. Port the reso with a small offset port, tune the reso higher then the batter. No other pillow or muffling. I absolutely assure you that the final sound with this combo will have plenty of low end and punch but also not have restriction of volume, playability, or versatility. I've used this on many 16" bass drums in many different styles of bands and it always delivers.
 
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