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Tama's old catalogs online

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#1
Splat

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Man, what a time warp I just went thru! I don't know how long they've been up but Tama's posted most/all of their old catalogs online. I just ventured over and found them. Wow. I actually remember paging thru them when I was a kid dreaming about all those big kits and being just like Stew, Neil, and all my other idols. I actually still have a lot of Titan and Mercury hardware and still use some. They were built like tanks back then. Anyway, if you haven't already been there, surf over and take a trip. http://www.tama.com
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#2
NashvilleGull

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I still have some of those Titan counter-weighted boom stands, those things are S O L I D !
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#3
Hemant*

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Wow - thanks so much for sharing. I wore out that 81 General catalog and the Digest when I was a kid. I lusted after that metallic white 7 piece swingstar set for two years, and finally scrimped and saved (with my parents chipping in a substantial amount of the difference) to buy it in 1983.

In the early 80's they were the "IT" drum company. Look at the roster of endorsers during that time -- Peart, Copeland, Bruford, Elvin, Cobham, Simon. Beautiful catalogs and top notch quality from the flagship line down to the entry-level. Hardware that raised the bar for everyone. Once MTV broke around that time - you could not go 3 videos without seeing a Tama logo. Local music stores here in the DC area could not keep their stuff in stock. Venamens and Chuck Levin's had waiting lists for Tama kits.

Innovative products, hot endorser list, slick marketing - there was a time when they were at the top of the heap and forced every other company to raise their game.

I will always have a soft spot for that company. They were a very important part of my youth. I probably thought about Tama everyday between 8th - 12th grade.
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#4
wflkurt

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That was cool! I have the 1981 Tama catalog that I got when it came out. I looked at the 60's-70's catalogs and some of those finishes look really cool. I love the satin finishes and the Tama "psych red". Cools stuff.
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#5
Sonorlite

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In the early 80's the were the "IT" drum company.

Local music stores here in the DC area could not keep their stuff in stock. Venamens and Chuck Levin's had waiting lists for Tama kits.


I got all Nostalgic reading that. It took me back to the Drum Shop in Shaftbury Avenue -Music City iirc - which had a wooden spiral staircase into the basement, where the hallowed 8 Tama Concert toms on their stands got salivated on, regularily. :oops:

That Tama history site is great. Scott/The Rev has done a fantastic job on the Sonor Museum, too. I only wish there was a YAMAHA site.
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#6
Rich K.

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Just went through the sixites catalogs...it's amazing how much they copied Slingerland. Three point throw offs, "Stick Saver" hoops...they actually use that in the copy. And the second Tama catalog uses the same or similar kit names and layouts and fonts as Slingerland's.
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#7
Splat

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I hear ya, Hemant! I got my first "real" drumset, a Tama Swingstar in jet black, from Loria Music in Rahway, NJ, when Joe was on St. Georges Ave. They had all kinds of sets back then but Tama sold the best. The innovative and solid hardware were key, and the big endorsers didn't hurt either. I must have drove my folks crazy playing that set every day, days at a time. :D Sweet memories. Of course, to make my kit bigger I put my first kit, a red sparkle 3-piece, together with the Tamas for a double-kick kit. Nice! 8) I guess I, too, will always have a soft spot for Tama. I'm not fond of their hardware these days, preferring DW now, but their drums are still solid. I love my Starclassic maples. I'm glad the quality has remained.
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#8
trixonian

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I didn't check to compare if they have these catalogs but http://www.drumarchive.com has tons of catalogs. I only found the site less than a year ago. After being a drum nut for so long I stumbled across it doing a google search for zickos or something odd. I was very surprised at how comprehensive of a catalog collection they have scanned and yet I had never heard of it! So I'm just spreading the word.
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#9
Splat

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Cool! Thanks for the link, Trix!
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#10
elcid

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Not long ago was digging through some boxes stashed in the garage and wadda 'ya know--found a 1983 full line Tama catalog and couple of supplemental X-Tra drums sheets plus a 1982 full line Pearl catalog and two loose Yamaha top of the line drum sets sheets.
Actually I had a bunch of them early 80s Tama catalogs that I got from NAMM shows but they got swiped by some scum kid (at the time--am talking 80s here!) so-called friend of my son. Too bad 'cuz they sure are pretty to look at! I still lust after a 7-piece Artstar kit. Wish I had bought one back then. :(

Bought a 9-piece X-Tra Superstar super-mahogany set in 1983 with all Titan hardware (too bad I didn't get the smaller toms though! :cry: ), which my son took over long ago.
But recently I brought the 14x8 Artstar snare drum back home to work on the throw off, which somehow got damaged years ago, so the drum just sat there on storage collecting dust.
Took the drum apart for cleaning, etc., and got the throw off working properly again. Replaced the original snare side head with a medium weight Attack head (my son recently replaced the batter head with an Aquarium Focus X, so being new I left it on) and a 15" strainer (yep, 15").
The drum is beautiful to look at (well, at least to me anyway! :D ) and the super-mahogany finish looks like new. Is currently being used on my '64 Ludwig set and I actually prefer it over the '64 Supraphonic or the Ahead brass shell snares drums; is deeper and darker sounding than the latter two, but more like one hears from studio recordings. I simply love it! Oh, yeah...it ain't going back to my son's place! :D

Anyways, still think them 80s Tamas are some of the best non-custom built drums ever made (and I have some frames of reference to judge them by; vintage Ludwigs, Custom Studio Yamahas, Gretsch round badge, and a very recent vintage Tama Imperialstar kits)...

-elcid
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#11
Splat

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Month ago I picked up a 14x24 Imperialstar kick. I love its sound! I actually swapped it out with my gigging PDP maple kit and it sounds pretty damn good. I get a lot of compliments from SR guys on it. Who needs all these new 18x22 or 20x22 kicks that take up the whole riser?! Not me, sir! :occasion5:
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#12
elcid

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Splat said:

Month ago I picked up a 14x24 Imperialstar kick. I love its sound! I actually swapped it out with my gigging PDP maple kit and it sounds pretty damn good. I get a lot of compliments from SR guys on it. Who needs all these new 18x22 or 20x22 kicks that take up the whole riser?! Not me, sir! :occasion5:


One of the 1983 Superstar bass drums is a 24 inch job (the other is 22"), and now that my son put on an Aquarium Superkick 1 (I think) batter head the thing sounds really good and better than ever has before! The Tamas stay put at his place as he uses the Yamaha kit for gigging with his band, so they're well taken care of.
He picked up the 5-piece Imperialstar (the snare drum isn't Tama, though, but matters little as my boy has more than a dozen snare drums to choose from) couple of months ago for $175. The set looks like new, although am not too crazy about their red color wrap.

Anyway, I understand them PDP maple drums are supposed to sound great. Personally I like their looks better than most drums available out there now days. How do you like them?...

-elcid
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#13
Splat

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Anyway, I understand them PDP maple drums are supposed to sound great. Personally I like their looks better than most drums available out there now days. How do you like them?...


I like my PDP kit a lot. I tried a few different heads to see what I could get from them but the Pinstripes sound the best. IIRC I have a Powerstroke 3 on the kick with a standard black Remo ported reso head. It sounds great. I just like a bigger kick and got a deal a the 14x24 Imperialstar kick which I'm now using. The only thing with the PDP kits, and I've heard this from other guys, is the 12 and 14 toms don't really gel together. No matter how I tune each drum they just don't sound as good as they should together. I am still thinking of getting the 12's edges redone. I don't know about PDP's hardware but it seems OK from what I've seen. I do get compliments on the sound of my kit. If you tune them well they sing nicely. I highly recommend them for the price they're asking.
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#14
elcid

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I like my PDP kit a lot. I tried a few different heads to see what I could get from them but the Pinstripes sound the best. IIRC I have a Powerstroke 3 on the kick with a standard black Remo ported reso head. It sounds great. I just like a bigger kick and got a deal a the 14x24 Imperialstar kick which I'm now using. The only thing with the PDP kits, and I've heard this from other guys, is the 12 and 14 toms don't really gel together. No matter how I tune each drum they just don't sound as good as they should together. I am still thinking of getting the 12's edges redone. I don't know about PDP's hardware but it seems OK from what I've seen. I do get compliments on the sound of my kit. If you tune them well they sing nicely. I highly recommend them for the price they're asking.


I seen Tommy Igoe playing PDPs as well as DWs; the PDP kit he used on one of his instruction DVDs sound terrific, which aroused my curiosity.
Too bad about the rack toms, though, but am sure you'll find an eventual fix.

Recently bought a bunch of lower priced PDP cymbal stands (straight and boom) and a mid-line hi-hat and found them to be of excellent quality, finish, and good looks for the money, though boom cymbal stands tend to be a bit unstable if accessories such as extra cymbal arms, etc., are attached to them, that's why I use 80's Tama Titan boom and double tom stands for that particular application...

-elcid
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#15
Kevin O'Connor

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Splat,

Thanks for the post. I have a Tama Camco DBL BD pedal from the mid 80's that functions very well 8)
my brother in NY still has my mid 70's stands as well
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