Introduction and first question regarding Tama Star Maple

drums1225

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Congrats, and welcome to the forum!

I also have a Tama STAR Maple in Ocean Blue Curly Maple (finish code: ROLC) which, as you say, is really something special. I'm sure you know you got a SCREAMING deal on that kit, not to mention saving yourself the 5-8 month wait for a STAR kit from Tama Japan (my kit took 8 months). To order that kit, even at the best price, you're looking at roughly $6000 USD. That snare drum alone costs $1000; there's actually one on Reverb.com right now. You saved yourself around 40%!

I ordered my 4pc STAR shell kit in late May of 2019 (20x16, 10x8, 12x9, and 16x16) and picked it up from Drum Center of Portsmouth in early Feb 2020. I haven't changed the stock heads, and did not cut a hole in the bass drum resonant head. As Halldor said, the toms were tuned quite high, from the factory, but they really sang with a pure and unwavering note, which sustained for a long time. I prefer a med-low tuning, so I brought the toms down in pitch, and tuned the resonant heads a third higher than the batters. This reduced the sustain a bit as compared to the factory tuning, but in a good (necessary?) way. I believe my 10" tom is tuned to D# and the 12" is tuned to A#, but I'm not 100% sure. It's been a while since I measured it with the TuneBot.

The 16x16 floor tom is an absolute beast. It sounds so great at a low tuning that it made me regret not ordering a 14x14 to fill the sonic space between where the 12" should sit and the sweet spot of the 16" floor tom. In the luckiest break of my music gear life (and I've had some pretty good ones), about 2 months later, I found a store demo 14x14 with a only few stick marks on Reverb.com, for $750 (as compared to around $1400 plus the 5-8 month wait for a new one). I drove 90 minutes to pick it up in person, no tax, no shipping. Not only do you never see individual STAR drums for sale (aside from snares) on the auction sites, but one in the exact size and color I wanted? Within driving distance? Pure luck.

That 14x14 floor tom instantly won me over. It sounds and feels amazing. Actually, when I got it home, it was tuned LOWER than my 16" floor tom, and sounded great. You would never think a 14 could get that low and maintain tone and resonance, without getting thin and papery. At first, I set the 14 up on my left, because I don't really like the two floor tom configuration. Eventually I decided it would better serve on my right side, as a bridge between the 12 and 16. That way, I can keep the 16" tuned as low as I want, without compromising. If I'm doing a rock session, I can always pull the 14 out and get the 16 more comfortably under my right hand.

The 20x16 bass drum was tuned perfectly (to my taste) right out of the box, and I haven't changed it, aside from tweaking it back to pitch if it drops.

The stock heads remain on the kit and I am happy with them, but when it's time to replace the heads, I'm going to try clear (or Colortone) Ambassadors and Emperors on the toms because I like a bit more stick attack. I don't have any complaints about the coated PS3 bass drum batter, but I generally use (and love) clear PS4s on my bass drums.

I VERY rarely change the heads on my drums, so it might be awhile!

Enjoy that kit and send some pics when you get it set up!

Best,
Chris Milillo
New York, USA


20200427_STAR Maple_NewConfig.jpg
 
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Moredrums

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Santiago, Chile
Congrats, and welcome to the forum!

I also have a Tama STAR Maple in Ocean Blue Curly Maple (finish code: ROLC) which, as you say, is really something special. I'm sure you know you got a SCREAMING deal on that kit, not to mention saving yourself the 5-8 month wait for a STAR kit from Tama Japan (my kit took 8 months). To order that kit, even at the best price, you're looking at roughly $6000 USD. That snare drum alone costs $1000; there's actually one on Reverb.com right now. You saved yourself around 40%!

I ordered my 4pc STAR shell kit in late May of 2019 (20x16, 10x8, 12x9, and 16x16) and picked it up from Drum Center of Portsmouth in early Feb 2020. I haven't changed the stock heads, and did not cut a hole in the bass drum resonant head. As Halldor said, the toms were tuned quite high, from the factory, but they really sang with a pure and unwavering note, which sustained for a long time. I prefer a med-low tuning, so I brought the toms down in pitch, and tuned the resonant heads a third higher than the batters. This reduced the sustain a bit as compared to the factory tuning, but in a good (necessary?) way. I believe my 10" tom is tuned to D# and the 12" is tuned to A#, but I'm not 100% sure. It's been a while since I measured it with the TuneBot.

The 16x16 floor tom is an absolute beast. It sounds so great at a low tuning that it made me regret not ordering a 14x14 to fill the sonic space between where the 12" should sit and the sweet spot of the 16" floor tom. In the luckiest break of my music gear life (and I've had some pretty good ones), about 2 months later, I found a store demo 14x14 with a only few stick marks on Reverb.com, for $750 (as compared to around $1400 plus the 5-8 month wait for a new one). I drove 90 minutes to pick it up in person, no tax, no shipping. Not only do you never see individual STAR drums for sale (aside from snares) on the auction sites, but one in the exact size and color I wanted? Within driving distance? Pure luck.

That 14x14 floor tom instantly won me over. It sounds and feels amazing. Actually, when I got it home, it was tuned LOWER than my 16" floor tom, and sounded great. You would never think a 14 could get that low and maintain tone and resonance, without getting thin and papery. At first, I set the 14 up on my left, because I don't really like the two floor tom configuration. Eventually I decided it would better serve on my right side, as a bridge between the 12 and 16. That way, I can keep the 16" tuned as low as I want, without compromising. If I'm doing a rock session, I can always pull the 14 out and get the 16 more comfortably under my right hand.

The 20x16 bass drum was tuned perfectly (to my taste) right out of the box, and I haven't changed it, aside from tweaking it back to pitch if it drops.

The stock heads remain on the kit and I am happy with them, but when it's time to replace the heads, I'm going to try clear (or Colortone) Ambassadors and Emperors on the toms because I like a bit more stick attack. I don't have any complaints about the coated PS3 bass drum batter, but I generally use (and love) clear PS4s on my bass drums.

I VERY rarely change the heads on my drums, so it might be awhile!

Enjoy that kit and send some pics when you get it set up!

Best,
Chris Milillo
New York, USA


View attachment 472363
Hi Chris, thanks for sharing, good tip on the 14x14, Im quite interested in one now : ). Yes, I knew in the shop it was a one time deal, they had that kit for over a year and just wanted to get it out of the door. It's a very large musical instrument shop and the salesguy I talked to had no idea about drums, he just checked the codes on their system for prices and was told by his manager that they wanted that set to get out... well, lucky me. I'm sure they sold it for the cost or they actually did loose some on it, its almost the same price as the starclassic maple, crazy. Yeah, I have not been able to try it, but I hope to do so by the end of december and take some pictures. I need to buy tom holders, my other sets (Gretsch) use the 1/2 inch rod, it doesnt work with this, is the smaller size, and the Yamaha and Sonor are not compatible either. It will happen eventually .
Thanks for the tunning tip, I also usually go mid-low on a set of this characteristics, I will try the ambassadors and see how I feel about them, Im tempted to try emperors on the toms too, the coated p3 is fine for me.

Thanks and best regards
Felipe
 


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