Tama Starclassic or DW Performance?

Bring it back again! 30 year player here (public school, university, post university recording, gigging, etc. as a semi-pro), I have played most brands in most acoustic environments. Currently own a Tama Starclassic Maple kit (my true love) and recently was craving something with a little more punch. I spent a six month period examining, researching and testing both kits.

The DW Performance kit is a great kit for live performance on a budget. It's what a maple kit should sound like (if you know how to tune properly, to which many do not).

I eventually went with a special order of the Tama Starclassic Walnut Birch kit as the build quality is on par with my Starclassic Maple kit (impeccable) but was floored at the fullness and depth of fundamental that the W/B shells generate. Very unique sound, with more body, clarity of sound, but still a sweet, warm, resonant fundamental that I did not expect. With a PUNCH and presence that makes them a little better for live performance.

If I was ever playing a large enough venue that offered enough channels for a microphone on every drum I would take the maple kit every time, as it produces a deeper and fuller resonance.

But like most of us I'm lucky if I get one on the bass drum and two overheads so the W/B shell carries a little better up to the overheads (slightly elevated highs of birch with the reduced mids 'cleans' the sound and it's a little louder).

The ONLY reason I did not choose the Performance Series kit from DW is because I already own a maple kit. I own 4 DW collectors series snare drums (5, 5.5, 6.5 10+6 maple and one 5.5x14 brass) and love them all. They bring a little more grunt to the snare (compared to the SCM snare drums) and work a little better with the W/B kit for projection and clarity into the room.


Active Member
I've been way too agreeable my whole life and I'm growing tired of it. I consider that growth.
That is growth, brother. Congratulations. Being agreeable is for the birds. Say what's on your mind, always. People respect it. And, they know they can put stock in what you say, for better or worse.