Tama Superstar SL vs Pearl Forum

I have the Pearl Forum 5 piece drum kit. I am ready to upgrade my kit to a much better one. The drums i really want are Tama Starclassic Maple. I am only 15 and i do not have a job. I do however make a decent amount of money doing work for my neighbors. Im not sure if i should get the Tama Superstar SL. Its alot cheaper than the Starclassic, and they did sound pretty good. But im not sure if i should just go all the way and pay a couple thousand for the Starclassic, or just go ahead and get the Superstars. Im just tired of my Pearl Forum and im looking for better sound. Are the Superstars worth getting? How much better are they than the Pearl Forums? Or should i just go all the way and get starclassic Maple? Thanks.
 

drums_n_surf

Senior Member
I have a Tama Superstar kit and are one of the best drum kits in that price range i believe. The Pearl Forum is made from Poplar which is what most budget beginner drums use. The Superstar is Birch with an inner and outer layer of Basswood.

The Starclassic Maples do sound alot better than the Superstars, but its up to you whether you can justify spending that much extra on a kit. For me, the Superstar is doing its job fine.
 

uniin

Gold Member
i also have a forum and am thinking about upgrading.

in australia the starclassic bubinga i want is $8,000 wihtout a snare ~ the birch/bubinga is $5,000 with a snare ~ and the superstar is about $2,500 with a snare.

so what im PROBLY going to do is laybuy a birch/bubinga. may not have all the depth/lows of a full bubinga but its much more versitile imo. and all i have to do is pay a minimum of $300 a month which is MUCH more practical for me.

if you really can't fork out the extra cash go for superstar - but if you can save up for your starclassic maple save up for it. starclassic is a drum you keep for your life, where as a super star you would probly resell later in life.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I play a Tama Starclassic Bubinga Elite kit (quite a bit more expensive than the maples, and I think they sound even better) but I'm on the fence about your request.

On the one hand, you're only 15, you don't absolutely need a really expensive kit. But at the same time, I'm all about playing what you want to play. Especially if that means you will actually want to play it! This is the same reason why friends you have in the school band aren't playing really expensive horns or woodwinds - you're learning and having a high-end instrument may not make a big difference yet in your learning curve.

A friend of mine just bought his first drumset (and he's in his mid-40s) and he chose a Tama Superstar and he couldn't be happier. They are quite nice, and he got a complete kit brand new for $700. My kit, before any kind of discount, cost $4400, and the wait time to get it (it was a custom finish) was 4-6 months.

I suppose if you start saving your money now, you can get what you want. But I think for Tama special orders, you have to pay for them in full up front, and then wait for however long Tama takes to make it. The local Guitar Centers do not stock the maples, they always stock the cheaper Birch/Bubinga ones, and then you're only limited to what they have (if you don't want to wait months). Although I did see some limited edition Tama Birch/Bubinga kit with a wrap that looks exactly like Dream Theater's Mike Portney's drumset. I think they called it "dark clouds".

You must decide what you want, but you can't really go wrong with the Superstars, those are good drums. The price is great too, I think Musicians Friend sells them with cymbals and hardware for $700 - straight to your door! Put some high-quality heads on 'em and you won't be able to tell if you're playing Tama's mid-line, or high-end line. Imperialstars are even cheaper, and still built well. Have you considered those?
 
I have a Tama Superstar kit and are one of the best drum kits in that price range i believe. The Pearl Forum is made from Poplar which is what most budget beginner drums use. The Superstar is Birch with an inner and outer layer of Basswood.

The Starclassic Maples do sound alot better than the Superstars, but its up to you whether you can justify spending that much extra on a kit. For me, the Superstar is doing its job fine.
+1

I was somewhat in the same boat last year. However, luckily in my case I can afford to get the Starclassics if I wanted. I just couldn't really justify the added expense. In the end I went with two sets of Superstars (I wanted double bass) for way less than it would've cost for a Starclassic set. New skins all tuned up and I am in love with my Superstars. I really plan to keep this set for the rest of my playing days, that's how much I like them. The value in what you pay for what you get is really good.

 
Well, after hearing great reviews, i may get the superstars...http://drums-percussion.musiciansfriend.com/product/Tama-Superstar-SL-7Piece-Shell-Pack?sku=584299.this is a really good price for all this. Maybe i will get the whole kit, which is going to be close to mike portnoy's purple monster, and then later replace all the shells with starclassic maple. Thanks for all the help. One more question: I wanted to get both of the melody master snares, but that would be close to $1000. I really dont plan on paying $625 for a snare right away. Any good recommendations for a snare? is the one that comes with this kit good? If so then i wont worry about it for now haha
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
People I meet always assume that the stock snare with these mid-level kits are gonna suck before they even get them. This is probably because so many 'pros' have their favorites and blah blah blah...

I tell you what, wait to get the stock snare with the kit, put good heads on it and maybe replace the snare wire if you want with something nice. Give it a good tuning and see what happens. I've made more than one decidedly 'cheap-o' snare sound great, and it's not that hard to do, so anyone should be able to do it. I would bet you could do it. Snare physics is a little different than tom and bass drum. You're going for a nice "white noise" sound, not necessarily ringy and resonant as you would on your toms. I highly suggest trying to make the stock snare sound good first. You'll be surprised.
 
Yea i could save a lot of money doing that. I cant wait to get this. I will at least get it by christmas. It wont take long to save $1000.. it was like $2500 for 4 toms, and a bass drum that was tama starclassic maple. Expensive!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
It does come with a snare yes? It should. If it doesn't, those Tama 5x14 metal works snares for $200 aren't bad, either!

Trying to hold your breath 'til Christmas?
 
oh yea thats only a few months. The pearl forum i have is alright. Just i dont like the snare and toms. But it will do for a while!
 

drumhead61

Gold Member
Totally with Bo on the snare issue, although its nice to have a great snare the stock snare that came with my stage custom is a dang good snare once I tuned it up and that was a suprise to me! The only drum on my old ludwig combo (cheap kit) that tuned out well was the cheap snare...HA!
 
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