Value and quality of Tama Starclassic Birch?


New member
Hi there, I'm looking for information on the Tama Starclassic Birch, more specifically:
- how much was it sold for back then?
- How does it compare to other similar sets like Starclassic Maple and Starclassic Bubinga?
- What music genres is it most suited for?

I might get my hand on one for € 1750 including cymbals (two crashes, ride, hi-hat, three splashes, all hardware and DW5000 double bass pedal (see photo) but since I'm not familiar with it I'd like to know more. My goal is to find something of the same quality as the Maple and Bubinga one.



Local Oaf

Well-known member
I have no helpful information to provide but to tell you that I play a Starclassic Performer (the level right below Starclassic) and I play all sorts of genres on it. Seems like the higher end model would have similar abilities.


Platinum Member
That era of Starclassic Performer was great. The biggest difference from Starclassic Maple was (other than the birch shell) limited sizes, fewer finishes, and no option for reinforcing rings. I was this close to buying a set in walnut finish the local shop had way back when. They were absolutely beautiful. The amber finish of that set pictured above is really nice too.

My 17-year-old memories might not be perfect but I recall a 5-piece shell pack selling for about $1500 in 2003, so really the price point on the Performers hasn't really changed all that much.

Those are definitely "rock" cymbals included in the set, but the 10/12/13/16 toms are pretty versatile. I'm genuinely shocked the original heads seem to look brand new, so that leads me to believe these drums have been either well cared for or just not played very much.

If I needed a whole kit like that and I had 1750 to spend I think they'd satisfy very well.


Junior Member
From the one badge I can see, On the bass, that appears to be a made-in-Japan kit, which definitely has more resale value than their later drums made in China. It may or may not actually be better quality, but there is for sure a _perception_ of better quality with the MIJ era Tama.


Senior Member
Starclassic Performer drums with all birch shells and the metal badge were all made in Japan. The B/B kits came after, and were made in Japan for a very short time before production was moved to China, if memory serves.

I think all the Japanese Starclassic are of equal quality and sturdiness, but the Performers were the least expensive option due to the limited finishes. They’re super well made and sound great. Very powerful, satisfying sound.

Is that the kit you’re looking at? 1750 Euros seems steep to me, but it does come with the 16” floor tom, which are surprisingly rare. The vast majority of SC Perf kits I’ve seen are 22/10/12/14 with all mounted toms.


Platinum Member
I have a 2003 to 2005 model starclassic performer Birch kit. And I have to agree with what the other said about the performers. They're great drums. They may have a little more attack and a little less sustain than their Maple counterparts but they have great tone and probably a good resale value also. I'm totally happy with mine


The early to mid 2000s starclassic birch kits are still some of my favorite to this day. I'm not sure of conversion rates off hand (I live in the US) but if you are getting everything in that pic I would think it's a good deal.


Junior Member
I just bought a gorgeous 1998 piano black Starclassic set (10,12,14,22 plus 14" snare) for a $1,000. They were advertised as excellent condition and they were pristine. There's no way the previous owner gigged with 'em. I'm very happy with them although they have so much attack I can't play small rooms without taming them. They're very rock'n'roll with Pinstripes, but still sound great for blues with different heads and some muffling. I think the price is fair for what you're getting.