My mini-review of DW Ultralight and Tama Classic

Iristone

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Hi all,
I bought one of each cymbal stands in my attempt to lighten my hardware bag. Now I LOVE them both!

Build:
Despite their low price tags, both stands were built as nicely as everything else out there. The Tama has a tiny bit of rough edges around the cup washer, no big deal since they don't contact anything. Both have similar sizes of tubing (except the solid top rod of the Tama). The DW has a trio of nicely machined heavy gauge aluminum legs. The Tama legs are vintage style steel, but actually lowers the center of gravity a bit, and folds a bit more smoothly than its DW counterpart. Both are light enough to go into my cymbal bag. :wink:

Stability:
I've not yet tried the Tama in action, but I took the DW to a rehearsal and guess what, it seemed to wobble less than the DOUBLE-BRACED Gibraltar (with small diameter tubings) of the house kit. None of the joints or the glide tilter had slipped on mine (caveat: I wasn't exactly bashing it either). And I didn't notice any sign of over-tightening . Now I'm the type of guy that tend to over-tighten my bottle, kettle, etc., but this time I just tightened them firmly yet not too tightly, and it held up just fine. :thumbleft:

Pros of the DW:
  • ULTRA light! (just 1.2 kg/2.6 lb)
  • Gearless "Glide" tilter
  • Virtually no wobble room
  • Can be dialed into "tripod" shape for overlapping positions
  • Sleeker look
Pros of the Tama:
  • Slightly lower center of gravity
  • Softer felt, better swing for my Chang china
  • Faster setup, grabbier feet
  • Classic vintage look
And finally, the obligatory photo "p#%n". :wink:
(At home, Armand 21" ride on the DW, Chang 18" China on the Tama)
image.jpg
 

idrum4fun

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Hi Iristone!

Excellent "mini-reiview"! I think both stands are excellent. I must admit that I do favor the Tama, simply because it takes the venerable Ludwig 1400 to the next level! Tama really did a great job with this stand!

-Mark
 

thin shell

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The Tama is almost an exact copy of the Ludwig 1400 with a few improvements. I have one and it is great. My only complaint is the 8mm cymbal thread. If they offered a 6mm version or even a replacement 6mm ratchet half they would be perfect.
 

Mcjnic

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Excellent review. Thanks.
The DW are an excellent choice and have a wonderful feature of allowing the user to kick the legs up just a tad to allow for close stand positioning. I just can't like the feet, though.
I run the Tama Classics here on one of my kits in the studio. Hat, pedal, snare, and six cymbal stands.
Outstanding quality. As Mickey once told us ... I'm a believer. Incredible stands ... and yes, it's like they took the Ludwig design and "fixed" those little things that bothered me for years.
 

fun2drum

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I have three DW UL cymbal stands and they're great for the right gigs, but I've been wondering about the Tamas. A lower center of gravity would certainly be a strong point. Thanks for the comparison review.
 

davidh

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I gig with a full set of Tama classic stands and the lightness and stability is good. My old Ludwig 1400 stands had gotten to feel loose and collapse prone - I regularly took a hammer to the rivets at the joints to keep them going,so these Tama Classics came out just in time. The hi-hat stands up well to a lot of pedal work which I do but at first it did not seem like it would. Tama Classic pedal also very nice to play but it is not a light weight as the rest of the stands. I also have the snare stand and a hanging tom stand which really frees up the sound for both tom and bass drum. A set Yamaha single-braced 600 stands stays at home now which are considerably lighter that most normal hardware packs, but the Tama design take me back to when I started in 1962 - I recall in the 1970s when Pearl stuff came out that was super-solid - but I was in my 20s and could easily carry stuff. I shall be 70 soon and the Tama's keep me able to get out to gig still.
 

Gunnellett

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Thanks for the review! Now you just need to get a Yamaha crosstown cymbal stand to complete the review

I've been thinking of getting a full lightweight set with the bag. I have some of the Tama stuff and love it. I've always liked the look and light weights of the DW UL but read about stability issues so have been hesitant. The reviews of the Yamaha crosstown stuff have been great but I'm not sold on the projector stand legs look.
 

Rich K.

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I love the Tama Classics, but I don't use the case that came with it. It's not really big enough to hold everything you need. You can get a throne base in it but not a drum pedal or much else besides the 4 stands.
 

Iristone

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I also recommend the Chang cymbal as well. Looks (and is priced) like a Wuhan, but very throaty sounding, and highly sensitive volume-wise. :thumbleft:
 

Gunnellett

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I love the Tama Classics, but I don't use the case that came with it. It's not really big enough to hold everything you need. You can get a throne base in it but not a drum pedal or much else besides the 4 stands.
I wondered about the Tama case. I really like how the DW case has dividers in it to separate the stands to keep from scratching, how it is more structured, and how the top zips wide open. I think I'd like the Tama gear with the DW case.
 

Neal Pert

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I have owned both sets and the Tama set is still in the Marketplace here.

I have been very impressed with both of these sets of hardware. They work extremely well and are so much lighter than their predecessors. I've had no problems with stability. There's certainly a personal taste issue regarding pedals: After years of playing smooth pedals, I couldn't get used to to the DWs. The Tama pedals were much more similar to the old Yamaha pedals I've been playing forever. But if you're already a DW pedal user, you might prefer the DW stuff.
 

Seb77

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Just got a set of the Tama Classics. I don't remember thinking "cute" ever before when it came to drum stuff. It's all so neat and small. Agree the bag probably doesn't hae space for much more (music stand anyone?), but very nice for what it is. The stands feel good, too. (not sure about the adjustment options on the ratchet tilter though).
Funny how my heaviest cymbal stand and now my lightest are both Tama. My seat is a Tama as well, just some of the best hardware in general, imo.
 

Mcjnic

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It’s funny ... I had my vintage Slingerland hi hat stands in play for years ... then I put one of these Tama Classic Flats in play. It felt nice. It’s been in play for about a year.
Fast forward to this week.
I set up my heavier stand (other brands and weights).
Ugh.
I could not believe how much smoother the Tama (and vintage Slingerland) stand was.
I am removing my heavier high hat stands.
These Tama flats are freekin amazing.
 

bongomania

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I’ve had a full set of Tama Classics for about a year now, and they’re great in many ways, but there really is a point where light weight doesn’t hold up to rough or non-level conditions.

The snare stand height adjustment has started binding up, the snare scoots around while I play, and both the hihat and the cymbal stand have fallen over at gigs. I’m a light touch player, not a hard rocker.

All the stands look great, feel great, pack light and small, the hihat pedal action is great, lots of things to like. But I don’t really trust them anymore, and I’ve been bringing my heavier old hardware out more.
 

Seb77

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The snare stand height adjustment has started binding up
i really hope to avoid that. Seems like this might be a weak point. I guess I won't have anyone else touch them, people often use too much torque on those parts.
 

Rich K.

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I’ve had a full set of Tama Classics for about a year now, and they’re great in many ways, but there really is a point where light weight doesn’t hold up to rough or non-level conditions.

The snare stand height adjustment has started binding up, the snare scoots around while I play, and both the hihat and the cymbal stand have fallen over at gigs. I’m a light touch player, not a hard rocker.

All the stands look great, feel great, pack light and small, the hihat pedal action is great, lots of things to like. But I don’t really trust them anymore, and I’ve been bringing my heavier old hardware out more.
I found that when I set up on a smooth floor with just my thin drum rug, the snare stand moves around. The memory lock on the snare stand stripped early on... I replaced it with a thumb screw hose clamp. I have also had the cymbal stand fall over...not when I'm playing, but if I go to move something and bump it, it can tip over. That used to happen the same way with my Ludwig 1400. I keep Tama Stagemaster single braced hi hat, snare and once cymbal stand in my car just in case...
 

Radio King

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All the stands look great, feel great, pack light and small, the hihat pedal action is great, lots of things to like. But I don’t really trust them anymore, and I’ve been bringing my heavier old hardware out more.
Same for me. I bought an early set of the DW Ultralight stands and was impressed - at first. Then one night on stage, I did a cymbal choke at the end of a song. I let go of the cymbal (as I've done a million times) and watched in horror as the stand toppled away from me. The cymbal itself slammed onto the stage floor. I've also seen a stripped snare basket tilter (not mine) and indents in the thin chromed pipes of the stands themselves. I'm not an over-torquer, so it was a little alarming. All this was enough for me to sell them off and go back to medium duty single braced stands.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I had the DW Ultralight pack and the Tama Classic pack and quickly cane to the realization the Tama was far superior for my needs . The DW snare stand is flimsy and frequently collapsed on me . The memory lock tension bolt snapped on me with very little tension . The DW hihat wobbled far to much for me .

Till the virus crisis I was gigging and rehearsing about ten times a month and the Tama Classic hardware has been issueless . They pack very compactly on the included bag and make load in and out a breeze .
 
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Iristone

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The memory lock on my DW snare stand hasn't stripped out. Maybe I just didn't tighten it all the way but it holds fine. For hi-hat I bought a used Ludwig 1124 so I can use a double pedal if I like.
 

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