Tama Granstar : Worth ?

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Hello guys,
I have the opportunity of purchasing what seems to me a good bargain.
A guy is selling a complete Tama Granstar (22 12 13 16 + snare) with some hardware (hi hat stand snare stand cymbal stand, complicate tom arms). The price is low after little talking : 400 € > 472 $.
Seems in good shape, the only unconformity are the front claw hooks (the hoop is fine).
The seller just told me that the drums were very heavy, some little scratches.

I don't need a new kit really, I just like very much those triangular lugs and old Tama. I was wondering about doing a good bargain, restore, clean and resale, or, cut down those tube like 12*11 - 13*12 toms to regular and keep the kit.

What is your opinion on that ? This kit is well known because of Grohl and Ulrich, but you hardly ever see it on sale here, and it use to be high end.
Looking forward for your advise about the offer.
Tam.

EDIT : it looks like that but in piano black :

granstar1986.jpg
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I had a set of those. Very solid drums. That's a good price. Go get them!
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I had a set of those. Very solid drums. That's a good price. Go get them!

thx for the push :) I guess I'm gonna crack on that one !
They're good sounding drums ? Maybe you know, the guy didn't remember, how is the snare ? a metal basic or a good steel snare drum ? Maybe a metal over wood ?
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
thx for the push :) I guess I'm gonna crack on that one !
They're good sounding drums ? Maybe you know, the guy didn't remember, how is the snare ? a metal basic or a good steel snare drum ? Maybe a metal over wood ?

Not sure about the snAre, but Tama didn't make bad snares in their upper lines. The Granstars basically replaced the older Superstars - heavy birch shells with redesigned hardware. Birch was happening at that point since Yamaha debuted the Recording Customs around the same time too. Tama at this time was declared the strongest name in drums then and drumming took on a more "athletic" approach too. The rarest Granstars were traditional sizes in this light purplish satin color. The red power tom sets were quite common. I remember seeing a Modern Drummer mag featuring Phil Gould on the cover, totally Granstar'd out!
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Not sure about the snAre, but Tama didn't make bad snares in their upper lines. The Granstars basically replaced the older Superstars - heavy birch shells with redesigned hardware. Birch was happening at that point since Yamaha debuted the Recording Customs around the same time too. Tama at this time was declared the strongest name in drums then and drumming took on a more "athletic" approach too. The rarest Granstars were traditional sizes in this light purplish satin color. The red power tom sets were quite common. I remember seeing a Modern Drummer mag featuring Phil Gould on the cover, totally Granstar'd out!

Don't start me on Phil Gould and his Tama Granstar. Due to him using one in the "It's Over" video (bizarrely absent from YouTube), I lusted after one in Cherry Rose (think bubble gum pink) for years. They also did them in a pastel blue and a pastel yellow too, I'd have had any of them. A few years ago a yellow one turned up in my local drum shop but it had led a VERY hard life so I didn't take the plunge.
As a bizarre aside I recently bought a used CD Single of "It's Over" which was iirc the first Video CD released in the UK. The included "It's Over" video still hasn't been watched though as I don't have the old technology to play it on!
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Don't start me on Phil Gould and his Tama Granstar. Due to him using one in the "It's Over" video (bizarrely absent from YouTube), I lusted after one in Cherry Rose (think bubble gum pink) for years. They also did them in a pastel blue and a pastel yellow too, I'd have had any of them. A few years ago a yellow one turned up in my local drum shop but it had led a VERY hard life so I didn't take the plunge.
As a bizarre aside I recently bought a used CD Single of "It's Over" which was iirc the first Video CD released in the UK. The included "It's Over" video still hasn't been watched though as I don't have the old technology to play it on!

In a way, the Granstars were totally a product of their 1980s era. The pastel colors were so......I remember Fender did some 1980s stratocasters that nobody bought ;)
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
I love my Granstar Customs! Great drums! Pretty heavy, but great nonetheless. I say if the deep toms don't work for you, cut 'em. If the drums aren't the way you want them, you'll never be able to fully enjoy them. Especially when it comes to those deep toms. That will make for an entirely different experience when you're playing the kit. I had my Granstar Custom 12" cut down, and it looks and sounds great.

IMG_20170724_182054.jpg
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
I love my Tama Granstars! They sound fantastic. Probably by favorite sounding drums overall. That's a great price IMO. I would be all over them. I stalk ebay for a 24" bass drum. LOL.
 

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thebarak

Senior Member
With a big bass drum and deep toms, you have to be comfortable with having your arms up at shoulder level. If you think this sounds tiring, and you like to hit lower, then consider walking away from this deal.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
In a way, the Granstars were totally a product of their 1980s era. The pastel colors were so......I remember Fender did some 1980s stratocasters that nobody bought ;)

I was within a hairs breadth of getting my Premier Projectors recovered in a similiar bubble gum pink at the time :) I had good contacts with automotive decal appliers (car stripers, sadly a redundant role in the uk car industry these days) so it wouldn't have cost me too much either.
It won't happen now but like Road Bull I might stalk eBay for a Granstar snare in Cherry Rose to scratch that itch.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Thanks very much for your answer !

I'm gonna check out my own organisation ; but I guess, since it's not for my own use (pretty satisfied with my Premier) I'm gonna keep the deep tom, deep cleaning, pimping and take her out to some gig rehearsal.
I keep in touch.

EDIT : question, was the Granstar available in standard size at the time ? To me the ideal sizes are the basic 22x16 12x8 13x9 16x16 - really. If I can cut them to those size, I'd keep this drum ;-)
 
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cutaway79

Silver Member
Thanks very much for your answer !

I'm gonna check out my own organisation ; but I guess, since it's not for my own use (pretty satisfied with my Premier) I'm gonna keep the deep tom, deep cleaning, pimping and take her out to some gig rehearsal.
I keep in touch.

EDIT : question, was the Granstar available in standard size at the time ? To me the ideal sizes are the basic 22x16 12x8 13x9 16x16 - really. If I can cut them to those size, I'd keep this drum ;-)

Only the Granstar Custom (lacquer finish), and Crestar (original name of Granstar Custom) series were available in traditional sizes. But those are seriously hard to find. And when you do find them, you'll certainly pay for them. Cutting the 12 and 13 down will leave you at about 7.75" and 8.75" depths, respectively, if you cut just past the lug holes. Very close to traditional sizes.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Actually the Granstar & Artstar II lines were available in standard sizes as well as power tom sizes.

If you notice the Granstar and Granstar II badges are the same. It's my understanding that the "Granstar II" and "Granstar Custom" thing was for North American markets (and a few others). In the Japanese market you could get Artstar II or Granstar w/ either the shark tooth lugs or the longer version, wrapped or lacquered.

I've seen several kits (Granstar) that originated in the Japanese market and eventually made it here w/ traditional/standard sized toms.

I still own a kit from 1990 and am always looking for additional drums that match its finish - dark blue. The "Grannies" are 7ply, 9mm birch. Some catalogs list them as 8ply but maintain the 9mm.

The stock steel snare drums that came w/ Grannies is a great steel drum, I have 2 and have owned about another dozen through the years. The color in question in the original post is known as Nile Blue. The yellow referenced later in the thread is Silky Yellow.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Thank you very much for the info.
I was also wondering about cutting less, by using the bottom hole of the lug, which would lead to a 12x9.5 and 13x10,5. If I calculate well, but maybe not worth the effort.

road bull : these are some badass looking drumkit !!!
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
Actually the Granstar & Artstar II lines were available in standard sizes as well as power tom sizes.

If you notice the Granstar and Granstar II badges are the same. It's my understanding that the "Granstar II" and "Granstar Custom" thing was for North American markets (and a few others). In the Japanese market you could get Artstar II or Granstar w/ either the shark tooth lugs or the longer version, wrapped or lacquered.

I've seen several kits (Granstar) that originated in the Japanese market and eventually made it here w/ traditional/standard sized toms.

I still own a kit from 1990 and am always looking for additional drums that match its finish - dark blue. The "Grannies" are 7ply, 9mm birch. Some catalogs list them as 8ply but maintain the 9mm.

The stock steel snare drums that came w/ Grannies is a great steel drum, I have 2 and have owned about another dozen through the years. The color in question in the original post is known as Nile Blue. The yellow referenced later in the thread is Silky Yellow.

The wrapped Granstars may have been available in traditional sizes in Japan (though I've never seen one), but were definitely not offered in traditional sizes in the US. At least not according to every Tama catalog or Modern Drummer price guide I've ever seen. I've heard about the different lug options for the Artstar II/Granstars in Japan though.

Either way, finding a Granstar/Crestar of any kind in traditional sizes is pretty rare. And if you do find them, you'll spend a good deal on em. Definitely easier and more cost effective to cut down the deep toms. They only end up like 1/4” shorter than traditional depth, and you'll save yourself a lot of money/time/hassle over trying to locate a factory 12x8 and 13x9 wrapped Granstar... At least, that's been my experience here in the States. I don't know where OP is located though... Close enough to Japan to check out their used drum market?
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
Thank you very much for the info.
I was also wondering about cutting less, by using the bottom hole of the lug, which would lead to a 12x9.5 and 13x10,5. If I calculate well, but maybe not worth the effort.

road bull : these are some badass looking drumkit !!!

Using the bottom lug hole will leave less distance between the lug and the bearing edge than on the uncut end. Especially after you cut the bearing edge. I went through that whole thing when I had mine cut.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
What is your opinion on that ?
Those ultra deep toms are not functional, and doing all the work to cut them down seems like more trouble than it's worth. I say pass.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Thank you very much for the info.
I was also wondering about cutting less, by using the bottom hole of the lug, which would lead to a 12x9.5 and 13x10,5. If I calculate well, but maybe not worth the effort.

You should be able to do this. I cut down a Superstar tom to make a snare drum and did it that way. Turned a 10" deep drum to 6 1/2" deep taking off the first hole on both sides. So you would remove about 1 5/8-3/4" taking off only one side. You will end up with dents in the wrap from the old lug position and the spacing to the bearing edge will be off by about 1/8" - 3/16" from the factory position because the hole spacing is a bit smaller than the spacing from the first hole to the original edge.

35582656460_4c601f102d_c.jpg
 
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