Tama Superstar Classic Review
Ultimate Buying Guide
Tama is one of the most popular drum companies in the world and they have a knack for producing kits with punchy tones. One fantastic kit that they have on offer is the Tama Superstar Classic. It’s an intermediate kit that can definitely hold its own in a professional setting.
Tama offers this kit in several different setups and each one is highly affordable. If you’re looking for a kit, this one will spark your curiosity. So, let’s have a look at everything it has to offer.
Some key characteristics of the Superstar Classic kit is that it’s made of maple shells, has punchy tones, and is easy to tune. There are many more details to the kit that we’ll mention later, but those three points make it a fantastic choice already.
The kit is also offered in three different configurations, making it a versatile option for any drummer looking for a kit. If you’re a metal drummer, you could get the 7-piece. If you’re a jazz drummer, you could get the 3-piece.
There are a huge amount of finishes to choose from when it comes to this kit, meaning you can get a color that best suits you and what you like. Many drum kits have a limited amount of finishes to choose from. That’s not the case with the Tama Superstar Classic.
Tama Superstar Classic Review:
What To Expect from This Kit
Wood and construction
The shells are made of maple wood. The Superstar drums from Tama have been an iconic choice of kit for decades. The maple wood gives these drums a full tone with powerful character and rich resonance. Tama put heavy focus on keeping these newer Superstar Classic kits sounding like that.
The drums come equipped with Tama’s Superstar Power Craft II drum heads. These heads are fairly decent to begin with, but you may need to change them out if you want the best tones possible from the kit.
As said previously, the large number of finish options also adds to the high value of the wood and construction aspects of the kit.
One of the fantastic qualities of the Superstar Classic is the hardware, especially for the price. The shells use small low-mass lugs that don’t take up much space on the shells, allowing them to resonate more.
Tama’s L-Rods are used to hold the toms. You can see these being used in many of Tama’s intermediate and entry-level kits. They allow you to position the toms quite comfortably and keep them secure.
Supporting the rods is Tama’s Star-Mount System. This system connects the toms to the rods and supports them from different areas, allowing the drums to resonate freely without feeling locked tightly to anything.
Price to Value Ratio
The Superstar Classic kit has an excellent price-to-value ratio. This is because it falls under the category of being a relatively affordable kit that can hold its own in professional settings.
There are a few kits like this on the market and the Tama kit does well to stand out amongst them.
TAMA Superstar Classic 7 Piece
Coming in at just over $1000, the 7-piece is a great option for anyone needing 3 rack toms and 2 floor toms. Tama is a popular brand amongst metal drummers and the 7-piece Superstar Classic is high on most of their lists.
The rack toms are 8, 10, and 12 inches while the floor toms are 14 and 16 inches. Add to that a 14 inch snare drum and 22 inch kick drum and you’ve got yourself a fill building machine.
The 8 inch tom needs to be mounted on a cymbal stand, so you’ll need to have a heavy-duty one that keeps it from wobbling too much.
TAMA Superstar Classic 5 Piece
The 5-piece is your standard setup at a more affordable price than the 7-piece. The drums are the same, except there is no 8 inch rack tom or 14 inch floor tom. This setup is versatile and can be used to play many styles of music.
The 22 inch kick drum is powerful and exhibits punchy tones while the snare drum cracks and the toms sing. The toms sit comfortably on the L-Rods and the kit is versatile enough for any drummer to be comfortable behind it.
If you need you’re not looking for a larger drum kit, the 5-piece would be the safest option to go for.
TAMA Superstar Classic 3 Piece Neo Mod
The Tama Superstar Classic Neo-Mod has many differences from the standard 5 or 7-piece Superstar Classics. This kit comes with a vintage vibe to it and is intended to be a portable and compact drum set.
The shell sizes are smaller and more shallow, making the kit lighter and easier to travel with than a standard size kit. The Neo-Mod shell pack just includes a 12 inch rack tom, 16 inch floor tom, and 20 inch bass drum.
The tom holder that is included only caters to the one rack tom, meaning you can’t attach another. So, this 3-piece kit can’t have any extra rack toms. It’s the perfect setup for the drummers that play in clubs and pubs with limited space.
Unfortunately, it has a similar price to the 5-piece kit, even though it includes fewer drums in the shell pack.
PDP Concept Maple
The PDP Concept Maple is a kit made by DW that is a lot more accessible to many drummers than the expensive DW kits are. The Concept Maple kit uses many of the same design techniques and build features.
Some of those would be the True-Pitch tuning rods that make tuning easy and the MAG throw-off on the snare drum which makes turning the snares on and off an effortless action.
The Concept Maple kit also has punchy maple shells that make it sound fantastic in many different situations.
Here’s my buying guide for PDP Kits for more info.
If you’re looking to buy a kit that costs slightly more than the 7-piece Superstar Classic, the Gretsch Renown will come by your radar. It’s a professional kit that has so many applications in the music world. It’s incredibly versatile.
The maple shells along with the lighter 302 hoops make it such a beautiful sounding drum kit. The toms have a warm character with a bit less attack than the toms from the Superstar Classic.
Unfortunately, this kit doesn’t come with a snare drum, meaning the higher price gets even higher when you go looking for a good snare to match it with.
Pearl Decade Maple
The Pearl Decade Maple is arguably the direct competitor to the Tama Superstar Classic. Both kits have similar prices, meaning your choice of which one to get will come down to deciding which features you like better.
One thing that makes the Decade Maple stand out is the quality of the hardware. Pearl makes such long-lasting and solid hardware and the Decade Maple flourishes with it. The toms sit extremely comfortable on the mount and the lugs and hoops all feel very solid.
With regards to sound, the Decade maple exhibits a smooth mid-range and warm low-end.
Things To Consider:
TAMA Superstar Classic in the Studio
Maple shells are known to work well in studio environments. They’re fairly warm and transfer well through microphones to the sound desk. However, the Superstar toms are quite punchy, which sometimes isn’t great in a studio.
The Pearl Decade Maple or Gretsch Renown may be better options for this. Although, the Superstar Classic should be fine if you use the correct drum heads for the job.
TAMA Superstar Classic
for a live Gig
Live performances are where this kit shines. The punchy toms and thumping kick are perfect for getting the crowd moving. The drums cut through mixes easily and sound great through live microphones.
The multiple finishes are also a great addition to this. You could find that color that fits the aesthetic of your band perfectly.
TAMA Superstar Classic Review
- Build Quality
If you’re in the market for a kit, the Superstar Classic is undoubtedly one you should consider. The punchy maple shells are great for most styles of music. If you’re a metal drummer, you could get the 7-piece option. If you’re a jazz drummer, you could get the 3-piece Neo-Mod option. The 5-piece is for everyone in between those.
Just remember that this kit comes as a shell pack in all its forms, meaning you’ll need to buy hardware and cymbals separately. Overall, it’s a good kit with great value-for-money and it will work well in amateur and professional situations.