18 inch superstar tom conversion

jamesgdrummer

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
New Hampshire
(tom conversion threads are all over but I had a hard time finding certain info in search)

So I have a spare 18 inch superstar tom in aqua-marine and would like to use it with 10, 12, and 14 inch cherry-wine toms as a bass drum.
I bought generic metal bass hoops and claws (with tension rods) only to be reminded that tom and bass tension rods are different thread sizes, as they didn't fit into the tom lugs.
I also got a mapex bass drum lift to make sure the beater hits the center of the drum. So it's almost there. But I'm wondering if anyone has done a full conversion of this drum and knows what size tension rod I should look for?

Thanks!
 

Santos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
168
Reaction score
37
Location
Swinging London
I did a full conversion on an 18" Superstar tom a few years back.

The bottom bearing edge was trashed, so I cut the depth down to 12", like a Jazzette but Tama. I bought matching black hoops (Gibraltar if I remember correctly) and also found that generic tension rods didn't fit so I just bought some vintage Superstar T-rods and claws off ebay and went with those.

I didn't use a riser or anything, but I don't mind whether the beater hits the centre or not. It sounded great anyway.

I no longer have the kit, but it was great while I had it!

399007
 

Santos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
168
Reaction score
37
Location
Swinging London
I later did a 16" Superstar conversion, but kept the tom hoops and tension rods this time.

I found the extra depth that the bass drum hoops added made it too long to fit in my floor tom case. But also it sounded better with tom hoops which surprised me. Superstar toms do make great bass drums, or mini bass drums in this case...

399009
 

jamesgdrummer

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
New Hampshire
I did a full conversion on an 18" Superstar tom a few years back.

The bottom bearing edge was trashed, so I cut the depth down to 12", like a Jazzette but Tama. I bought matching black hoops (Gibraltar if I remember correctly) and also found that generic tension rods didn't fit so I just bought some vintage Superstar T-rods and claws off ebay and went with those.

I didn't use a riser or anything, but I don't mind whether the beater hits the centre or not. It sounded great anyway.

I no longer have the kit, but it was great while I had it!

View attachment 399007







So the stock 70s/80s superstar bass drum t rods will fit in the tom threading? Or did you switch to bass drum lugs to accommodate the tension rods? Great looking sets btw
 
Last edited:

Santos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
168
Reaction score
37
Location
Swinging London
Thanks man. The stock 70s/80s Superstar bass drum T rods should usually fit in the tom threading. I've done a few tom conversions using the same T rods on Superstars, Imperialstars, Royalstars etc and they all fit bass and tom lugs. Added bonus is keeping everything the same brand, but that's by the by.

One time I put together a rat rod 16-12-13 Tama set for acoustic gigs where the drums cost £11. The 16 was cut down to 12" depth and it sounded great unmic-ed for small bar gigs, cafe gigs etc.

Apologies for the ghetto Craigslist vibe of the pic, but you can see the T's fitting into tom lugs a bit clearer here. I'm actually a bit shocked by how untidy my music room was back then... :unsure:

399010
 

Santos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
168
Reaction score
37
Location
Swinging London
Do you know what size rod the threading takes?
Ah, sorry man, that's something I can't help with.

I never owned anything to measure any of the threadings or inserts with. If I still had any Tama T's I'd mail you one to check it out.

But, there's some serious Tama collecting folks on here though, I'm sure someone will know ;) Good luck, and post pics when you're done!
 

multijd

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
838
Reaction score
170
Location
Buffalo, NY
I have a tama tom to bass conversion for sale on this site under drums for sale. I didnt do the conversion but i have the parts to sell.
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
7,460
Reaction score
828
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
That's weird the T rods don't fit. Not a big Tama guy but pretty much every drum I've ever had/played in the last 35 years had standard T rods/bass rods, except DW's (& some PDP's) with their fine tuning rods. I actually also just picked up a 60's MIJ that has metric rods which is annoying.

What I'm gonna do is toss the lug inserts (as I have extras that are "normal") and replace those in the MIJ snare with them so regular rods will be accepted.....
maybe consider that, too, since you already have all the other parts. Inserts will probably be $1-2 each........
 

bongomania

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
3,283
Reaction score
326
Location
Portland, OR
I bought generic metal bass hoops and claws (with tension rods) only to be reminded that tom and bass tension rods are different thread sizes, as they didn't fit into the tom lugs.
Usually tom and bass rods have the same threads, so it is likely that the generics you bought are the oddballs here. As JDG suggested, they could be metric or DW-style fine pitch.
 

CAMDRUMS

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2013
Messages
967
Reaction score
53
Location
Beverly, MA
In my experience the threads are the same, but what is different is that the lugs for a floor tom won’t work if you use bass drum hoops rather than drum rims. This is because the lugs for a bass drum, at least in my experience, need to accommodate the extra space that the hoop takes up. In other words, the hole on the lug that accepts the tension rod is a bit further from the shell.
 

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
10,912
Reaction score
362
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
(tom conversion threads are all over but I had a hard time finding certain info in search)

So I have a spare 18 inch superstar tom in aqua-marine and would like to use it with 10, 12, and 14 inch cherry-wine toms as a bass drum.
I bought generic metal bass hoops and claws (with tension rods) only to be reminded that tom and bass tension rods are different thread sizes, as they didn't fit into the tom lugs.
I also got a mapex bass drum lift to make sure the beater hits the center of the drum. So it's almost there. But I'm wondering if anyone has done a full conversion of this drum and knows what size tension rod I should look for?

Thanks!
You could keep the new tension rods and simply replace the nuts inside the lugs with ones that would fit those new rods.
...or...
You could sell/return the hoop and new rods/claws, and simply replace it with a clip on BD pedal mount, like a Pearl JG16.
 

Rich K.

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
10,677
Reaction score
564
Location
Savannah, GA
Pearl uses (or used) fatter tension rods than standard on their bass drums but all the Tamas I had used standard 12/24 rods.
 

mlucas123

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2013
Messages
946
Reaction score
73
Tama BD and tom tension rods are the same diameter.
 

jamesgdrummer

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
New Hampshire
Thanks for the replies all! I definitely got dw or pearl sized tension rods. So I guess I wasn’t wrong to assume these “standard size” rods would work when I bought them. I ended up actually having enough extra long regular diameter tension rods from a different drum to allow me to get one side done. Now I just need another metal hoop, and 8 original tama bass t rods. Then I’m done! Surprisingly there is very minimal splay despite using tom lugs without trying to make or find rubber spacers. Also I haven’t done anything about legs yet so I just use one of leg holders to attach the drum to a cymbal stand. Here’s what I’ve got so far:




I figure I’ll eventually get a green/blue inlay wrap for the hoops, or maybe get wood hoops and stain them to match, or contrast
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Latest posts



Top