Tama Starclassic Performer (birch/maple) vs. All Maple

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Hey everyone,

I'm looking to upgrade my drum kit sometime in the next 6 months or so. I won't be going into any music stores to test out the kits for myself for a while (I will be doing this though). In the meantime, I was hoping those with more knowledge than me could give me some things to think about.

I believe my skill level is somewhere in the upper beginner range. I don't play in a band but my ultimate goal is to one day be a decent intermediate level drummer (don't get me wrong - I'd love to be a pro but I'm also 50 years old and just being a realist LOL).

My current kit is: 6 piece Tama Silverstar (all birch kit) with Ludwig Supraphonic metal snare and AAX & HHX cymbals. I'm happy with my cymbals and hardware. I'm only looking to upgrade the drums. I built myself a fully-contained 8ft. x 8ft. x. 7ft. high drum room in the garage and it's fully insulated inside. Good practice environment and good for recording if I ever wanted to do that.

I like all genre's of music but I primarily listen/play to rock & metal. Now that I've bored you to death with details about me, and if you're still reading. . . . .

I've never played a maple kit and was thinking about eventually saving up to get a Tama Starclassic all-maple kit. But being that I'm not a pro, nor will I be a pro, it seems like I'd be throwing away a lot of money. So instead, I've got my sights on the Starclassic Performer birch/maple line. Given everything I've described above, does this make sense? And given that the type of music that I prefer, does the birch/maple line make more sense than the Performer B/B or Walnut/birch lines?

Like I said, I will ultimately test out all of the above for myself but I don't have a trained ear for the real differences between the wood variances.

Thanks in advance!
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Starclassic. All day ,every day. The hardware is better than the performer and colours are better as well. Just my $.02
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Starclassic. All day ,every day. The hardware is better than the performer and colours are better as well. Just my $.02

But the Performer is Starclassic. Or do you mean the all-maple Starclassic vs. the birch/maple Starclassic Performer?
And you think it's worth spending that much money on an all-maple professional kit even with my skill level?
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I'd get the Walnut/Birch kit, personally. I play a lot of the same things you do. The performer does wear the Starclassic name, but they are not the same. There is an entire thread on that kit here that goes over everything in fine DW nitpicking detail.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
If you're set on getting a Tama, I'd get the Walnut/Birch as well. The Birch/Maple Performer has cheaper hardware, and presumably a lower grade of Maple from EU or Asia. It's not North American maple.

The Walnut/Birch kit sounds better to my ears, and they'd be perfect for rock and metal.
 

roncadillac

Member
Honestly if you slap diecast hoops on your silver star it's not going to sound that different from the birch blend starclassic. Not to sway you, just saying.

Beyond that, I think the answer lies in if you are keeping the silverstar or not. If so, I would get the maple because it gives you different tone. If you are getting rid of the silverstar in place of a new kit I would go birch maple.

Those walnut kits are fantastic as well.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Another vote for the Starclassic Walnut/Birch. In your current drum room situation, I think roncadillac is right on the money ..... but if you're just plain tired of the Silverstar kit, and yearn for an upgrade, the Walnut/Birch Starclassics would be my pick.
 

Thin Shell

Active member
What is wrong with the Silverstars? Something wrong with the sizes or the sound or you just want to spend some money?
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Thanks for all the responses! Much-appreciated. My head is spinning! Much to think about. So if I’m understanding right, you guys are saying that if I just swapped out my silverstar hoops with diecast hoops, it will sound comparable to the Starclassic walnut/birch kit? I like my current kit but I’ve been putting money aside over the past 3-4 years and just wanted to make a noticeable upgrade at some point. You guys got me excited about the walnut/birch option but now I’m confused about the hoops option. I obviously don’t want to throw money away but I assumed a Starclassic would be a major sound upgrade to a Silverstar.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
I like my current kit but I’ve been putting money aside over the past 3-4 years and just wanted to make a noticeable upgrade at some point.

Get a set man ! .. You have been saving for years and you deserve it !

You don't have to buy new......... Most of these BELOW sound just as good as the new sets and they have the better metal fittings than the new El Cheapo Performers..... just find the closest Guitar Center to you for shipping.. sometimes it's cheaper to store.. and sometimes to your house : https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Acoustic-Drum-Sets.gc?Ntt=starclassic#narrowSideBar
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Get a set man ! .. You have been saving for years and you deserve it !

You don't have to buy new......... Most of these BELOW sound just as good as the new sets and they have the better metal fittings than the new El Cheapo Performers..... just find the closest Guitar Center to you for shipping.. sometimes it's cheaper to store.. and sometimes to your house : https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Acoustic-Drum-Sets.gc?Ntt=starclassic#narrowSideBar

LOL Now you’ve got me all fired up to go to the store right now hahaha! Yeah I went used for all my hardware and cymbals so that I could get higher quality stuff. The Silverstar shells were the only thing I bought new. I guess another question I would have now would be: if I found a used all-maple Starclassic for the same price as a new Starclassic walnut/birch kit, is the all-maple kit going to sound way better?
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
if I found a used all-maple Starclassic for the same price as a new Starclassic walnut/birch kit, is the all-maple kit going to sound way better?

No.. It Won't IMO....... Only If you are recording then it might really be worth it.. but I've had birch, maple and hybrid shells and the maple didn't stomp the others or anything like that.. They were warmer by a little but if you are in a band situation with moderately heavy bass..... then that warmth doesn't come through as much unless it is in a studio situation.

But you can also get brand new pretty nice maple kits that don't cheap out on the metal parts with both of these below

DW Design : https://reverb.com/item/37341473-dw-design-series-4pc-shell-pack-piano-black

Sonor AQ2: https://reverb.com/item/15764245-so...x7_14x6-kit-shell-pack-bags-authorized-dealer
 
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brushes

Well-known member
Having owned/played almost every Tama drumset-Series there is, here are my two cents.

The Silverstar is one of the best bang for the buck drumsets ever made. Period. It has a huge dynamic range and is of very good built quality. A drumset that will last for a very very long time. Sonically, it has a bit more of a vintagesound, primarily because of the Soundarc hoops. Those can be switchted to something else, if you want, Diecast hoops will give you more attack and dryness. But they are not cheap if you go for an upgrade there.

The Starclassic Performer is a more afordable Starclassic, more or less a "resurrected" 90's Starclassic Performer. Good drums but not really a significant upgrade over the Silverstar. The SC Walnut/Birch and the Maple have slightly beefier hardware and are - all in all - higher quality drums - which reflects in the price. They ARE an upgrade over the Silverstar, mainly because of the hardware and better quality control and lacquer quality. But... sonically they are - especially for rock/pop/metal - not really a significant upgrade. They do sound a bit different (because of the mix of all the components used, from hoops, to lugs, to shell dimensions) but these differences will get lost once you play loud, heavy rock and metal music. The strength of the SC Maple: it has thin shells that will allow more precise and delicate playing in low-volume situations, like jazz or singer-sowngwriter stuff. It can do everything else just as well, but there, it has a slight advantage over the other Starclassics. Once you record and mix songs or play jazz in a club, you might appreciate this little add-on. But is this worth the money? If you don't need that special ability, no.

The Walnut/Birch (and previous Birch/Bubinga) are like the SC Maple, the only difference is - apart from the wood - a slightly thicker shell which will give it a slight tad more projection and volume, which means, it would be the slightly better option for loud, heavy music. But we are speaking about nuances here (you can also play jazz with the SC B/B or SC W/B). Nuances that could matter when recording or performing live on stage.

Now... wood. No, you cannot hear huge differences between woods, it is a marketing myth. You can only hear very subtle differences if your ears are trained, but only if the shell and the hardware and the heads and the tuning are exactly the same. Change the pitch of the drums and it's impossible hear, which wood has been used. And: In the final mix in a rockband, it does not matter at all, nodbody will hear the wood. 90% of what you hear are the used heads (top and bottom) and the tuning.

I can understand that you might want to play a different drumset after all those years, that's perfectly fine. If you want to go that route, buy the drumsets that really appeals to you. Buy with your heart. That is the only thing that matters if it's a hobby.

I do currently own a Starclassic Maple, a Starclassic Birch/Bubinga and a Silverstar (and had other Tamas in the past as well) and the Silverstar is hands down a wonderful drumset - if equipped with good heads and tuned properly. Don't expect a huge sound upgrade if you buy a Starclassic because... fact is, todays midrange drumsets usually sound pro already. It was different 25 years ago, but now.... not really.

Yes, buying a new drumset is - bottom line - burning money. But it is your hobby, so if you want to spend the money, go for it if it makes you happy. But as said: Don't expect big leaps when it comes to the sound.
 
Starclassic Maple. Beceause me and this fella said so.

 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
No.. It Won't IMO....... Only If you are recording then it might really be worth it.. but I've had birch, maple and hybrid shells and the maple didn't stomp the others or anything like that.. They were warmer by a little but if you are in a band situation with moderately heavy bass..... then that warmth doesn't come through as much unless it is in a studio situation.

But you can also get brand new pretty nice maple kits that don't cheap out on the metal parts with both of these below

DW Design : https://reverb.com/item/37341473-dw-design-series-4pc-shell-pack-piano-black

Sonor AQ2: https://reverb.com/item/15764245-so...x7_14x6-kit-shell-pack-bags-authorized-dealer

Thanks! So much to decide on!
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Having owned/played almost every Tama drumset-Series there is, here are my two cents.

The Silverstar is one of the best bang for the buck drumsets ever made. Period. It has a huge dynamic range and is of very good built quality. A drumset that will last for a very very long time. Sonically, it has a bit more of a vintagesound, primarily because of the Soundarc hoops. Those can be switchted to something else, if you want, Diecast hoops will give you more attack and dryness. But they are not cheap if you go for an upgrade there.

The Starclassic Performer is a more afordable Starclassic, more or less a "resurrected" 90's Starclassic Performer. Good drums but not really a significant upgrade over the Silverstar. The SC Walnut/Birch and the Maple have slightly beefier hardware and are - all in all - higher quality drums - which reflects in the price. They ARE an upgrade over the Silverstar, mainly because of the hardware and better quality control and lacquer quality. But... sonically they are - especially for rock/pop/metal - not really a significant upgrade. They do sound a bit different (because of the mix of all the components used, from hoops, to lugs, to shell dimensions) but these differences will get lost once you play loud, heavy rock and metal music. The strength of the SC Maple: it has thin shells that will allow more precise and delicate playing in low-volume situations, like jazz or singer-sowngwriter stuff. It can do everything else just as well, but there, it has a slight advantage over the other Starclassics. Once you record and mix songs or play jazz in a club, you might appreciate this little add-on. But is this worth the money? If you don't need that special ability, no.

The Walnut/Birch (and previous Birch/Bubinga) are like the SC Maple, the only difference is - apart from the wood - a slightly thicker shell which will give it a slight tad more projection and volume, which means, it would be the slightly better option for loud, heavy music. But we are speaking about nuances here (you can also play jazz with the SC B/B or SC W/B). Nuances that could matter when recording or performing live on stage.

Now... wood. No, you cannot hear huge differences between woods, it is a marketing myth. You can only hear very subtle differences if your ears are trained, but only if the shell and the hardware and the heads and the tuning are exactly the same. Change the pitch of the drums and it's impossible hear, which wood has been used. And: In the final mix in a rockband, it does not matter at all, nodbody will hear the wood. 90% of what you hear are the used heads (top and bottom) and the tuning.

I can understand that you might want to play a different drumset after all those years, that's perfectly fine. If you want to go that route, buy the drumsets that really appeals to you. Buy with your heart. That is the only thing that matters if it's a hobby.

I do currently own a Starclassic Maple, a Starclassic Birch/Bubinga and a Silverstar (and had other Tamas in the past as well) and the Silverstar is hands down a wonderful drumset - if equipped with good heads and tuned properly. Don't expect a huge sound upgrade if you buy a Starclassic because... fact is, todays midrange drumsets usually sound pro already. It was different 25 years ago, but now.... not really.

Yes, buying a new drumset is - bottom line - burning money. But it is your hobby, so if you want to spend the money, go for it if it makes you happy. But as said: Don't expect big leaps when it comes to the sound.

Hey there - your response was extremely helpful and educational for me. I'm definitely not complaining about my Silverstar kit. In fact, it's a gorgeous kit aesthetically. And given that I don't play in a band and won't be moving the drums around much at all, maybe the super fancy hardware upgrades wouldn't benefit me all that much. Once I position my kit the way I like it, it'll pretty much remain that way.

You've given me a lot to think about. I'm embarrassed to say I'm clueless as to how to properly tune a drum kit. I've watched Youtube videos on how to put the heads on and I feel like I've done it correctly but I can just tell that my drums aren't in tune. I just downloaded an app called DrumTunePro but haven't tried it yet. Any recommendations on mastering the art of tuning would be super appreciated. There is also quite a bit of buzzing from the snares but I suppose that's just normal? I put on some of those moon gels but I'm not thrilled about how they look on the heads. The heads that I have are about 4 years old (Evans G2's on the tops & G1's on the bottoms).

I'm still very intrigued by the Starclassic Walnut/Birch kit and may pull the trigger at some point (maybe it's just out of boredom and wanting something new like you mentioned LOL). Sweetwater quoted me $2100 (total) for a 5-piece (2 rack toms, 2 floor toms & a bass drum). My Ludwig suphraphonic is a nice snare, although I may want to go back to a wood snare at some point).

Otherwise, if it were you, what immediate upgrades would you make to the Silverstar to noticeably improve the sound (other than tuning)? You mentioned switching to diecast hoops? I have $2K right now that I've saved up. I guess I just need to decide whether or not to just bite the bullet on the Starclassic Walnut or spend money on upgrades to the Silverstar.

I'm going to post some pics of the drum room I built, along with some pics of my set up. Would love any critique on the kit arrangement.

Thanks again.
 
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