My Tama Rockstar DX "mini ha-ha" kit


Well-Known Member
May 29, 2019
Reaction score
Cohoes, NY
I took toms from a conventional-sized 22" kick Tama Rockstar DX 5 piece kit
and converted them into a miniature drum kit with my 16" floor-tom now as a Kick drum,
and my 14" rack tom now as a Floor-tom. I started this project last summer
and the work is still in progress to achieve my ideal setup.
I just wanted to post pics already, so here it is.
Today I added a 10" Remo roto-tom as a 10" "rack tom"...

My Drum Head Setup...
The batter head on my 10" roto-tom and on 14" my floor-tom have 3-ply heads
(2 factory plys, plus a cut sheet of drum head Mylar taped on top).
My floor-tom has an Evans 360 Red Clear Hydraulic (oil-filled) batter head
on the resonant end of the drum to minimize resonance, no damper gels needed.
This gives me a fat dark drum sound on my toms with almost no sustained overtones,
for a crispy stick attack and pronounced crazy high-speed tom fills.

My 16" kick drum has my custom made 4 ply batter head set with an internal
"EMAD" homemade damper ring taped against it inside the shell, and a
homemade PE plastic "impact pad" on the outer ply for punchy attacks
with my DW5000 plastic double-kick beaters.
On the resonant end (the front) is an Evans 360 Red Clear Hydraulic batter head,
with a vinyl cut band logo, to choke the overtone and pronounce a deeper
punchier attack sound from the kick beaters; this makes my double-kick rolls
sound much more defined.

My homemade kick drum riser was built from parts of a cast-aluminum
cargo rack from a pickup truck.
I'll post closeup pics of the riser next week after band rehearsal.



I'm so fiendishly Ready to demolish frat houses with this kit
for our next rehearsal/live show!


Well-Known Member
May 29, 2019
Reaction score
Cohoes, NY
Throughout the progressive buildup of this project drum kit,
I admit that I am battling two voices: the Purist; and the Practical.

The Purist voice tells me that if I ever wanna be endorsed by Tama I should
stick to using Tama EVERYTHING on this kit, right down to the last tension rod.
In short, the lil booger is guilt-tripping my conscience by saying
"Using mixed hardware is Cheating". lol

The Practical voice tells me I okay with my mixed name-brand hardware
of Tama, Pearl, Yamaha, Gibraltar items as long as they are sturdy and will
perform efficiently under the rigors of rehearsals and live shows.

I designed my kit for portability and quick setup on stage, Less = More.
And I wound up with this cool visual appearance.
I do a helluva lot on this kit while playing it.
You can make a crappy instrument sound awesome if you trick it good.
No rules, no boundaries. Just build it!

I wish that someday I could be endorsed by Tama.
I would love to design drum kits like this one for Tama so that
drummers who fancy the "low-rider" appearance can enjoy
a tricked out small "big-sounding" kit like this.

The first time that I debuted this kit in a live show people laughed
expecting a small kit to fail the show.
But as soon as this kit got mic'ed through the house PA jaws dropped
and all eyes and ears were glued onto this lil drum kit during my show.
I get a bigger kick out of sharing my ideas and DIY stuff with
other musicians in the scene.
As musicians, we learn to lead by Inspiration. :)


Well-Known Member
May 29, 2019
Reaction score
Cohoes, NY
Thanks everyone!

@D. B. Cooper ...right now I don't have any recordings with this current setup as
as we can see the kit shown in my photo.
And as of last week I bought a 12" rack-tom from a seller at
I swapped the roto-tom out for the rack-tom so that I could tune it and play it within
tuning range of my 14" floor-tom.

That room there is my bassist's living room where my band rehearses, therefore I only get to
see and play my kit once a week for the 3 hours that we rehearse... I don't have much
time to rearrange my setup, and since I live across town and don't have a car I can't haul
my kit home to tweak it.
So, I do all my drum tweaking as fast as I can before we start rehearsing, because once
we gather for rehearsal we just wanna rip right through our set list and then make
some quick time to write new songs before we leave.

I currently have videos of my kit in action recorded from back when I only had my snare,
kick, and floor-tom setup as you see here...

Hopefully by or on Halloween night I will have new video showing my latest kit setup.
My band will be playing a Halloween party at a private location, COVID Safety will be
observed of course.
During that time I will capture some live footage of our show, along with video
and photos of my kit in its latest setup with the added toms.

I still have my roto-tom, set aside for use when I want it... therefore I want to try
setting it up flanked offside behind my snare/hi-hat area near my rack-tom as a
high-pitched percussive add-on to experiment new ideas for my band's music.

But here comes the tight spot: Me having no car, I gotta try to keep my kit as
minimal as possible because my other two band mates also have to fit their
guitar/bass gear inside my bassist's little SUV hatchback whenever we travel
to play shows... so, it's not like I can go all out "Niel Peart" with my kit or else it
would no longer be a mini-haha kit. lol

Guess what, the band is also minimalist... those little amps you see my
bassist and my guitarist/singer using in that jam video is the same amp gear
which they use for live shows! So, we definitely gotta fit all our gear plus
3 band members into my bassist's SUV hatchback, lmao

As for my new addition rack-tom: my kit is a Tama Rockstar DX...
and the rack-tom which I had just bought through Reverb is a 12" Ludwig Accent rack-tom.
The wrap on the rack-tom matches the wrap on my Tama kit, and I wanted to have
a rack-tom as soon as possible.
Another seller had a 10" Tama Rckstar DX rack-tom but it had Chrome wrap
that was scratched and had some deep gashes on the surface, a torn batter head,
and some rusty hardware; and it cost almost $75 more than what I paid for
my Ludwig tom ($50)... I needed a tom asap so I went with the Ludwig...

...I bought it Used in mint condition for a $teal bargain, the hardware came clean and shiny,
and it came with a used Evans G2 clear Hydraulic batter on top and a generic no-name
resonant head on the bottom. The heads were a bit played but they look very clean with
no dents or stick marks, so they still have a lifetime ahead of them.

Someday I will replace the hardware on the Ludwig tom for Tama Rkstar DX hardware.
But until then, the tom looks good as is, and it practically sounds very good for its size;
therefore I'll settle for the practical function over the cosmetic appearance.