Tama Superstar Drums (vintage original line)

Invicta

Junior Member
I have never played a set of these myself but every single recording I hear they have this beautiful low fundamental and thuddy focused sound. I'm especially interested in the superstar's pre-1984/5 that have the big round over bearding edges. What I don't get though is how such a thick birch shell can produce such low full notes? The floor toms alone sound like bass drums going off. I am very close to pulling the trigger on a set. I LOVE big drums and big low sounds out of drums but I also play fast and do double bass work as I play metal. The big wide open ludwig classics sound awesome and with proper heading and tuning I'm sure I could clean up any mud big sized drums bring to the table but those drums are really meant to sing I feel like and they sing forever. I am wondering if these thick birch superstars with the round over edges will be just what I'm looking for in terms of big, low, full, but focused and articulate. Any one have experience with these drums?.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I thought by 84 or 85 they were using thin shells. It seems like I remember them both thinking about how their shells resonate more because they were thin. Seems like that was back when they had Neil Peart on a raft with his drum set out in the water. That was a poster it was quite popular then
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
They were thin in the 70's with reinforcement rings. They then went thick with round over edges until mid 1984 and changed to sharp 45 edges which were then carried on to the granstars.
Granstars are 9mm shells and definitely do not have sharp 45 degree edges. I still have my Granstar II set from 1990 and the edges are more of a round-over/butter type edge. The edges are vastly different from my DW Collectors kit -which have sharp 45's.
 

Invicta

Junior Member
Granstars are 9mm shells and definitely do not have sharp 45 degree edges. I still have my Granstar II set from 1990 and the edges are more of a round-over/butter type edge. The edges are vastly different from my DW Collectors kit -which have sharp 45's.
Thank you for correcting this for me. This is good to know for future reference.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Zombie thread.

I've got a set of the 6 ply birch Superstars, 14/18/24, and they sound incredibly loud and focused, even at low tunings. A definite contrast, and a welcome one, to my vintage Ludwigs.
 

Superstarman

Well-known member
I have never played a set of these myself but every single recording I hear they have this beautiful low fundamental and thuddy focused sound. I'm especially interested in the superstar's pre-1984/5 that have the big round over bearding edges. What I don't get though is how such a thick birch shell can produce such low full notes? The floor toms alone sound like bass drums going off. I am very close to pulling the trigger on a set. I LOVE big drums and big low sounds out of drums but I also play fast and do double bass work as I play metal. The big wide open ludwig classics sound awesome and with proper heading and tuning I'm sure I could clean up any mud big sized drums bring to the table but those drums are really meant to sing I feel like and they sing forever. I am wondering if these thick birch superstars with the round over edges will be just what I'm looking for in terms of big, low, full, but focused and articulate. Any one have experience with these drums?


Had a set of Tama Royalstar back in the mid 80’s with Zildjian ride, crashes and UFIP hats. Loved em, but I sold in early 2000’s when I needed cash more than the drums. Just got this 4 piece shell pack, I am not sure what age/year, these Superstars have a wonderful rich tonal quality after getting them setup and tuned properly. Rebuilding my Zildjians and stands. Using an iron cobra kick peddle which is excellent, and found vintage hat stand at local music shop.


Does anyone know approximate age or year of production?
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Lee-Bro

Senior Member
The Superstars pictured above are a different animal than the vintage 70s & 80s birch Superstar line. Those *I believe* are known as Custom Scarlet Fade which was a color option 2007-2010. Shells '07-'09 were Hybrid Birch/Basswood shell, 6ply/6mm toms & snare, 7ply/7mm bass. Innermost ply basswood for all versions, outermost ply basswood on Superstar Custom (SL) lacquered finishes. Shells on 2010 models were all birch w/ a sticker on the inside the shell denoting that.
 

Superstarman

Well-known member
The Superstars pictured above are a different animal than the vintage 70s & 80s birch Superstar line. Those *I believe* are known as Custom Scarlet Fade which was a color option 2007-2010. Shells '07-'09 were Hybrid Birch/Basswood shell, 6ply/6mm toms & snare, 7ply/7mm bass. Innermost ply basswood for all versions, outermost ply basswood on Superstar Custom (SL) lacquered finishes. Shells on 2010 models were all birch w/ a sticker on the inside the shell denoting that.
Thank you Lee-Bro this is the most detailed information I’ve seen about this set! They were a gift from my elderly folks who wanted to do something for me after helping them with some home improvements. My stepdad found them in a local shop and got the 4 pieces for around $300, which I think is a good deal. I have already spent a lot more on hardware and Zildjian cymbals! Regarding age I’ll check to see if they have the 2010 sticker but I don’t remember seeing it. Thanks again!
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Thank you Lee-Bro this is the most detailed information I’ve seen about this set! They were a gift from my elderly folks who wanted to do something for me after helping them with some home improvements. My stepdad found them in a local shop and got the 4 pieces for around $300, which I think is a good deal. I have already spent a lot more on hardware and Zildjian cymbals! Regarding age I’ll check to see if they have the 2010 sticker but I don’t remember seeing it. Thanks again!
$300 is a great deal!

Enjoy them, they're well built and you can get easily get great tone from those drums. Cheers!
 

tonirami

Member
[QUOTE = "Invicta, publicación: 1658276, miembro: 518896"]
Eran delgadas en los años 70 con aros de refuerzo. Luego se volvieron gruesos con bordes redondeados hasta mediados de 1984 y cambiaron a bordes afilados de 45 que luego se llevaron a las granstars.
[/CITAR]
tengo mi tama superstar del 81 y sus bordes son redondeados,sin aros de refuerzo....los aros son de los años 77 al 80.....saludos.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
[QUOTE = "Invicta, publicación: 1658276, miembro: 518896"]
Eran delgadas en los años 70 con aros de refuerzo. Luego se volvieron gruesos con bordes redondeados hasta mediados de 1984 y cambiaron a bordes afilados de 45 que luego se llevaron a las granstars.
[/CITAR]
tengo mi tama superstar del 81 y sus bordes son redondeados,sin aros de refuerzo....los aros son de los años 77 al 80.....saludos.
[/QUOTE] Translation ......

They were skinny in the '70s with reinforcement rings. They then went chunky with rounded edges until mid 1984 and switched to 45 sharp edges which were later carried over to granstars.

I have my tama superstar from 81 and its edges are rounded, without reinforcement rings .... the rings are from the years 77 to 80 ..... greetings.
 
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