Trying to decide which of these kits is best

Which would you say is best for the price?


  • Total voters
    40

harryconway

Platinum Member
None of them are "entry" level. Entry level from those companies would be the Yamaha Rydeen, Tama Imperialstar, and Sonor AQX.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Fair enough, I would still consider the stage custom to be entry level
You consider the Superstar Classic and SQ2 "entry level" also ????? Or are you comparing 1 "entry level" birch kit against two intermediate level maple kits????;) 'Cause if so ..... you've already answered part of your own question.
 

Oliverjc04

Member
In comparison to other sonor kits (not including bop kits etc) I’d consider the AQ2 to be more of an entry level kit, but yes overall I guess it couldn’t be considered entry level.
So you would consider the Tama superior to the Yamaha? A genuine question, I have little to no knowledge of drum gear
 

petrez

Senior Member
I practice regularly on a Stage Custom and use it sometimes for gigs, but I still chose the Tama. I prefer the finishes on the Superstar Classic, and as far as I've heard from soundclips, they sound pretty great with the right heads and tuning. I have no experience with the Sonor kit mentioned (allthough I have plenty with older Sonor models) but I just personally dislike their appearence (hardware fittings/design especially). I would love to own a high-end Sonor, but their entry/lower end kits do nothing for me. Again, only personal preference, and any of these kits will do a good job for anything you throw at them. Yamaha have great hardware and overall quality though (and they're cheaper, so more money can be put into snare/hardware/cymbals), but I still think the Tama's are a bit more desirable.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
OK ..... well modern entry level kits typically are either poplar or basswood shelled. Pearl Roadshow, Tama Imperialstar, Yamaha Rydeen, Sonor AQX, Mapex Venus, etc.

Intermediate level kits tend to be birch or maple or mixed wood. Pearl Export is poplar/asian mahogany, Decade is maple, Mapex Armory is birch/maple. And certainly there is a wider range here. You almost have low, middle, and high intermediates. Or certainly low and high. Pearl Export (low). Decade (high), Tama Superstar Classic, Yamaha Stage Custom, Mapex Mars (low) and Armory (high), etc.

As far as when kits get rated ..... well, then you start asking yourself if you like the colors and the hardware, the sizes (widths and depths), add on drum availability, etc. And then there's price. The 22" 5 piece Stage Custom kit, is $709. The AQ2 is $1179. That's a $470 difference, which right there, might be the deciding factor for a lot of people.

The short answer is ...... they're all good kits. Buy the one you like, and can afford.
 

Oliverjc04

Member
I practice regularly on a Stage Custom and use it sometimes for gigs, but I still chose the Tama. I prefer the finishes on the Superstar Classic, and as far as I've heard from soundclips, they sound pretty great with the right heads and tuning. I have no experience with the Sonor kit mentioned (allthough I have plenty with older Sonor models) but I just personally dislike their appearence (hardware fittings/design especially). I would love to own a high-end Sonor, but their entry/lower end kits do nothing for me. Again, only personal preference, and any of these kits will do a good job for anything you throw at them. Yamaha have great hardware and overall quality though, but I still think the Tama's are a bit more desirable.
I’ve heard that the stage custom is great for the price, but I absolutely agree with you about the Tama finishes and sound. While I like the overall look, the sonor badges on the AQ2 I don’t like at all also.
 

Oliverjc04

Member
OK ..... well modern entry level kits typically are either poplar or basswood shelled. Pearl Roadshow, Tama Imperialstar, Yamaha Rydeen, Sonor AQX, Mapex Venus, etc.

Intermediate level kits tend to be birch or maple or mixed wood. Pearl Export is poplar/asian mahogany, Decade is maple, Mapex Armory is birch/maple. And certainly there is a wider range here. You almost have low, middle, and high intermediates. Or certainly low and high. Pearl Export (low). Decade (high), Tama Superstar Classic, Yamaha Stage Custom, Mapex Mars (low) and Armory (high), etc.

As far as when kits get rated ..... well, then you start asking yourself if you like the colors and the hardware, the sizes (widths and depths), add on drum availability, etc. And then there's price. The 22" 5 piece Stage Custom kit, is $709. The AQ2 is $1179. That's a $470 difference, which right there, might be the deciding factor for a lot of people.

The short answer is ...... they're all good kits. Buy the one you like, and can afford.
Absolutely, the price of the Yamaha was what initially drew me to the kit, however more recently I’ve questioned whether I just hold off for longer and go for the sonor once I have the money for it. In term of pure aesthetics the superstar classic has a wide range of colours which I really like.
I’d love to be able to play these kits in person and decide based on that experience however with the limited amount of music shops where I live that’s not possible.
Thanks for the insight, I have some more deciding to do
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
In term of pure aesthetics the superstar classic has a wide range of colours which I really like.
And maybe that's the deciding factor for you. Both the Tama and Sonor kits are maple. So, I think, between the two, they're pretty close. If one looks better to you, well then, that's one box checked off. Certainly, both Sonor and Tama have their respective fan bases, so you get some people who just like one over the other due to brand loyalty. All three of these kits get plenty of stage time with gigging drummers. If you choose the Tama ..... I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 

RichFaulk

Active Member
I have the AQ2 Stage, Studio and Martini. It's pretty cool to be able to essentially have an entire shell bank that sounds 95% as good as some top of the line offerings. I've never played the Tama to compare but imo Stage Custom isn't even in the same league.

I'll be sitting with the AQ2 monster kit for the foreseeable future, but my next "some day" kit is going to be Pearl Session Studio Selects and I plan on doing the same thing: multiple kits in the same finish to make a nice big shell bank.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
From one store:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...piece-shell-pack-with-snare-aqua-silver-burst $1349

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=tama+superstar+classic+5+piece&sb=low2high $849 to $949

https://www.sweetwater.com/yamaha-stage-custom-birch/series $709.99

So the AQ2 costs almost twice as much as the Stage Custom.
To compare a similarly priced Yamaha set, you should be looking at the Tour Customs:
https://www.sweetwater.com/yamaha-tour-custom/series $1359.99

And for something from Tama in a similar price range, you should be comparing one of these:

Oh - and BTW, do you know how to play drums, or will this set be for learning?
 
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Bozozoid

Gold Member
I pressed the Tama button. I have no issues with the other two. Back in the day the Tama starclassics just impressed the H.E. double 🏒 hockey sticks out of me. Finishes..price..quality..sound. Back in my letter writing days Tama bent over backwards with sent info..and appreciative response. I really have a soft spot ❤ for that company. I suppose that could change overnight but they were thee most helpful company I'd ever contacted. I was thrilled when Erskine went to Tama.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I couldn't really vote for any one of them to be better than the others. They're all about the same. The deciding factor for me would be how easy is it to add drums if I wanted to in the future? How readily available is the particular hardware for either one of those? Depending on where you live, one of them will be in better stock (or at least easier to get). But in this instance, Yamaha would win that hands-down. Stage Custom extra drums are even available on Amazon, and their hardware is great and readily available in alot of stores and on line. I couldn't really say that for the other two.

But if you're just planning on buying one of them and living with it the way it came, then any of those three would be great.
 
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