Old Tama Rockstars new to me input needed

fatchoppers

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
2,615
Reaction score
61
Location
USA
Picked these up today local sale
I always thought Mij Rockstars and swingstars had Zola coat . Anyone familiar with the year ? I'm gonna guess early 90's. Wood ? Also looks like a granstar style tom mount

How do these compare with Zola coat swingstars ?
Any input welcome
 

Attachments

mudjacker2

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
1,230
Reaction score
88
Location
At my computer desk
Cant say Ive seen the zola on the Rockstars, but definitely the older swingstars had it. I think the early Rockstars(86 ish) had clear interiors like yours. Then a few years later, while they had the same badge but with connected lugs, they were painting some of them black insideand clearly using luan. I think thats when they added Rockstar, DX and Pro lines......and each probably had a slightly different shell, etc........dont know after that.....
 

fatchoppers

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
2,615
Reaction score
61
Location
USA
Thanks mud. Mabey your right the Rockstars never had Zola For some reason I thought maybe they did. The toms are clear wood and bass drum is painted black interror. I've owned Taiwan Rockstars that looked exactly the same
 

67Mopar

God Speed Jerry
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
3,094
Reaction score
77
Location
Mass
Rockstars took over when the swingstars /Imperialstars were discontinued, Tama in name only, several drums came out of that factory under different no name companies. I had a plus percussion kit that was exactly the same as those, with the Sonor knock off lugs minus the lolly pops, They dont compare to the Zola coat shells, and the zola coat shells are pretty crappy. Embarrasing and ugly era for Tama
 

JBernie

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
37
Location
NW Ohio
I've seen Rockstars with the zolacoat. In the early 90's my band shared a practice space with another band whose drummer had a set of Rockstars there with Zolacoat interiors.
 

Bunnyman

Stuarto Pidasso
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
5,845
Reaction score
149
Location
another planet
Big fan of the old MIJ Rockstars. Most of the hardware was meh, but the drums sound great!!!
 

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,142
Reaction score
205
Location
SF Bay Area
Dean said:
Rockstars took over when the swingstars /Imperialstars were discontinued, Tama in name only, several drums came out of that factory under different no name companies. I had a plus percussion kit that was exactly the same as those, with the Sonor knock off lugs minus the lolly pops, They dont compare to the Zola coat shells, and the zola coat shells are pretty crappy. Embarrasing and ugly era for Tama
What's crazy is thinking all zola coat Tamas are crap! I don't think you're saying ALL of them are, but it could lead to a false impression. The kit I've posted about before - my '78 Imperialstar - is among the best kits I've played, and I've played quite a few. You might be thinking of a different era luan-shelled, zola coat Tama like the mid to late 80's. The shells got much thicker in the 80's. People have spoken favorably of the 80's kits too, so maybe you just don't like them, but they certainly aren't crap!

In my opinion, mid to late 70's Tama rivals or beats Rogers of the same era, which Tama was closely emulating if not downright copying. Rogers didn't have a luan kit at the time, but if they did I think it would've sounded very much like the Imperialstar line.

My impression is generally that lower level Tama kits began to suffer in quality when they switched from the flying T badge to the one shown above, but that's not always the case. Granstar and early Artstar are great kits, but again they weren't bottom of the heap, more mid and high end. I don't know enough about the different versions of Rockstar to comment on them. I do know that Tama sold an assload of them because I see them on craigslist constantly.
 

fatchoppers

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
2,615
Reaction score
61
Location
USA
Dean said:
Rockstars took over when the swingstars /Imperialstars were discontinued, Tama in name only, several drums came out of that factory under different no name companies. I had a plus percussion kit that was exactly the same as those, with the Sonor knock off lugs minus the lolly pops, They dont compare to the Zola coat shells, and the zola coat shells are pretty crappy. Embarrasing and ugly era for Tama
Actually I think the zola coat swingstars and imperialstars are damn good drums. especially the early to mid 80's
 

67Mopar

God Speed Jerry
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
3,094
Reaction score
77
Location
Mass
all zola coats are the same be it swingstar or imperilstar , there were some re ring imps in the late 70's, but they are all the same, Im a Tama guy, but I also call it what it is. I have a Royalstar kit which is my goto kit, im well aware of what they are, I also have a Imp kit, a couple SS kits , a Camco, Slingerland, bcs, some Pearl masters Maple etc. hot pressed asain mahogany errr firewood, it is just that. the rockstars are below that, the dx and pros are better, dont want to get into a water match, just calling it as I see it
 

mudjacker2

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
1,230
Reaction score
88
Location
At my computer desk
Dean said:
all zola coats are the same be it swingstar or imperilstar , there were some re ring imps in the late 70's, but they are all the same, Im a Tama guy, but I also call it what it is. I have a Royalstar kit which is my goto kit, im well aware of what they are, I also have a Imp kit, a couple SS kits , a Camco, Slingerland, bcs, some Pearl masters Maple etc. hot pressed asain mahogany errr firewood, it is just that. the rockstars are below that, the dx and pros are better, dont want to get into a water match, just calling it as I see it
**sigh**.....Mr. Dean, here we go again....they were not all the same(im only doing this because I love you :) ). Hopefully, this will help you see what I've been talking about. There were 3 distinct eras of Imperialstar and I think you may be focused exclusively on the final era....and YES, the early one's were top line pro drums and then started cheaping down after Superstars became established as their Premium line.

Pic #1)....The early shells were amazing and remind me of old Radio Kings. They were thin mahogany, with super thick maple rings and an old school rolled edge. THESE were THE imperialstars that the pro's used allllll the time and they sound AMAZING.....THIS shell was NEVER available as a Swingstar or any bottom line drum and is THE one that put Tama on the map.....

Pic # 2) ...Next(late 70's) came the thicker 6 ply shell, with thinner rings. This shell was a great sounding drum and might have been used on Swingstars/Royalstars too. Ive never seen em with rings, as I thought they both had the 9 ply shells w/o rings. And of course, by now concert toms and thick reflective shells were the big thing(not shell resonance).....and these drums served that purpose perfectly .......

Pic #3) ....Final generation 9 ply mahogany. By now Tama(and everyone else) was moving toward pure woods(maple, cordia, birch, etc). So, early 80's, Mahogany was relegated to entry level and this same shell has lived on with Rockstar, swingstar and the last of the Impstars....

All 3 eras also had different edge cuts. I would also like to point out, that while many were using the same mahogany, TAMA was years ahead in shell construction and figured out how to cross laminate and stagger seams....they were pioneers in this and THAT alone made there shells a million times better than the other luan shells out there.....

Here's some pics to help .......
 

Attachments

67Mopar

God Speed Jerry
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
3,094
Reaction score
77
Location
Mass
I meant to add that the early ones with rerings were the best ones, I know that but John the rest is nothing close to the quality series even back in the day. The Bottom line is they reeled you in with a quality hot pressed mess, then went downhill with all the zolacoat stuff, first the tone controls dissapeard , then the lugs got thinner and lighter, then they just said screw it to the spatter paint altogether.

My Royals used the same lugs as the Swingstars but had the tone control intact , and shared the same mounts as the Imps which are more HD and shared by all the better Tama stuff, where the Swings had those thin smaller mounts. the same yr or close to it 1983 I believe the only quality part if an Imp was those same mounts, as the lugs lost mass, and the shells were no different than the 3 models available in zolacoat, The premium lugs had the black spring retainer , and the 2nd generation had the white retainer in the lugs. I love you too man. Your Right , but I also have a good argument, whats it been 4 yrs we bang at each other on this :)
 

davezedlee

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
145
Location
Toronto
the "T badge" luan drums were a case of using solid craftsmanship with cheaper materials... cut across a swingstar tom and you'll notice that the cheap wood plies are very consistent and well manufactured, the wrap is fully glued, and seams are tight, but the zola coat hides the use of multiple veneer panels

not bad for a low end kit
 

Attachments

fatchoppers

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
2,615
Reaction score
61
Location
USA
Mudjacker2 said:
Cant say Ive seen the zola on the Rockstars, but definitely the older swingstars had it. I think the early Rockstars(86 ish) had clear interiors like yours. Then a few years later, while they had the same badge but with connected lugs, they were painting some of them black insideand clearly using luan. I think thats when they added Rockstar, DX and Pro lines......and each probably had a slightly different shell, etc........dont know after that.....
In the linked tama brochure says Zola coat but the pics on the same brochure shows wood interior. ? Hmm

Rockstar Pro- 1988
http://www.tamadrum....cat_id=81&now=3
 

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,142
Reaction score
205
Location
SF Bay Area
Mudjacker2 said:
all zola coats are the same be it swingstar or imperilstar , there were some re ring imps in the late 70's, but they are all the same, Im a Tama guy, but I also call it what it is. I have a Royalstar kit which is my goto kit, im well aware of what they are, I also have a Imp kit, a couple SS kits , a Camco, Slingerland, bcs, some Pearl masters Maple etc. hot pressed asain mahogany errr firewood, it is just that. the rockstars are below that, the dx and pros are better, dont want to get into a water match, just calling it as I see it
**sigh**.....Mr. Dean, here we go again....they were not all the same(im only doing this because I love you :) ). Hopefully, this will help you see what I've been talking about. There were 3 distinct eras of Imperialstar and I think you may be focused exclusively on the final era....and YES, the early one's were top line pro drums and then started cheaping down after Superstars became established as their Premium line.

Pic #1)....The early shells were amazing and remind me of old Radio Kings. They were thin mahogany, with super thick maple rings and an old school rolled edge. THESE were THE imperialstars that the pro's used allllll the time and they sound AMAZING.....THIS shell was NEVER available as a Swingstar or any bottom line drum and is THE one that put Tama on the map.....

Pic # 2) ...Next(late 70's) came the thicker 6 ply shell, with thinner rings. This shell was a great sounding drum and might have been used on Swingstars/Royalstars too. Ive never seen em with rings, as I thought they both had the 9 ply shells w/o rings. And of course, by now concert toms and thick reflective shells were the big thing(not shell resonance).....and these drums served that purpose perfectly .......

Pic #3) ....Final generation 9 ply mahogany. By now Tama(and everyone else) was moving toward pure woods(maple, cordia, birch, etc). So, early 80's, Mahogany was relegated to entry level and this same shell has lived on with Rockstar, swingstar and the last of the Impstars....

All 3 eras also had different edge cuts. I would also like to point out, that while many were using the same mahogany, TAMA was years ahead in shell construction and figured out how to cross laminate and stagger seams....they were pioneers in this and THAT alone made there shells a million times better than the other luan shells out there.....

Here's some pics to help .......
That's the most informative and complete post on Imperialstar/Swingstar/Royalstar I've seen.

However, in my experience, mixed-year Imperialstar shells don't quite follow the number/era system above. I have a metallic black (looks very much like Rogers midnight blue, hmm) mid and late 70's re-ring Imp kit with shells that are all the same thickness or quite close, yet the re-rings, edges and muffler knobs differ. I believe my 9x13 and 13x15 are both early model, thicker re-ring, while the rest have thinner rings, but again, the shell thickness doesn't change much if at all. More importantly to me, they both sound amazing and I can't perceive any sonic change between them. I'm guessing they're slightly less than 1/4" thick.

I picked up another Imp today, kit because the only thing better than a good kit is more of the same! lol
I got lucky. It's another 70's re-ring model, 10x14, 13x15, 16x18, 14x24. On this one, the re-rings and all else match, so they weren't pieced together at a later date by someone, like the other kit. I got an even better deal on it than on my last Impy. I'll make a thread for a proper introduction eventually. Gotta shift or maybe merge the kits first. Lovin' the shine of the metallic blue on these!
 

fatchoppers

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
2,615
Reaction score
61
Location
USA
Cauldronics said:
all zola coats are the same be it swingstar or imperilstar , there were some re ring imps in the late 70's, but they are all the same, Im a Tama guy, but I also call it what it is. I have a Royalstar kit which is my goto kit, im well aware of what they are, I also have a Imp kit, a couple SS kits , a Camco, Slingerland, bcs, some Pearl masters Maple etc. hot pressed asain mahogany errr firewood, it is just that. the rockstars are below that, the dx and pros are better, dont want to get into a water match, just calling it as I see it
**sigh**.....Mr. Dean, here we go again....they were not all the same(im only doing this because I love you :) ). Hopefully, this will help you see what I've been talking about. There were 3 distinct eras of Imperialstar and I think you may be focused exclusively on the final era....and YES, the early one's were top line pro drums and then started cheaping down after Superstars became established as their Premium line.

Pic #1)....The early shells were amazing and remind me of old Radio Kings. They were thin mahogany, with super thick maple rings and an old school rolled edge. THESE were THE imperialstars that the pro's used allllll the time and they sound AMAZING.....THIS shell was NEVER available as a Swingstar or any bottom line drum and is THE one that put Tama on the map.....

Pic # 2) ...Next(late 70's) came the thicker 6 ply shell, with thinner rings. This shell was a great sounding drum and might have been used on Swingstars/Royalstars too. Ive never seen em with rings, as I thought they both had the 9 ply shells w/o rings. And of course, by now concert toms and thick reflective shells were the big thing(not shell resonance).....and these drums served that purpose perfectly .......

Pic #3) ....Final generation 9 ply mahogany. By now Tama(and everyone else) was moving toward pure woods(maple, cordia, birch, etc). So, early 80's, Mahogany was relegated to entry level and this same shell has lived on with Rockstar, swingstar and the last of the Impstars....

All 3 eras also had different edge cuts. I would also like to point out, that while many were using the same mahogany, TAMA was years ahead in shell construction and figured out how to cross laminate and stagger seams....they were pioneers in this and THAT alone made there shells a million times better than the other luan shells out there.....

Here's some pics to help .......
That's the most informative and complete post on Imperialstar/Swingstar/Royalstar I've seen.

However, in my experience, mixed-year Imperialstar shells don't quite follow the number/era system above. I have a metallic black (looks very much like Rogers midnight blue, hmm) mid and late 70's re-ring Imp kit with shells that are all the same thickness or quite close, yet the re-rings, edges and muffler knobs differ. I believe my 9x13 and 13x15 are both early model, thicker re-ring, while the rest have thinner rings, but again, the shell thickness doesn't change much if at all. More importantly to me, they both sound amazing and I can't perceive any sonic change between them. I'm guessing they're slightly less than 1/4" thick.

I picked up another Imp today, kit because the only thing better than a good kit is more of the same! lol
I got lucky. It's another 70's re-ring model, 10x14, 13x15, 16x18, 14x24. On this one, the re-rings and all else match, so they weren't pieced together at a later date by someone, like the other kit. I got an even better deal on it than on my last Impy. I'll make a thread for a proper introduction eventually. Gotta shift or maybe merge the kits first. Lovin' the shine of the metallic blue on these!





Pics of the new Imperialstars please :laughing6:
 

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,142
Reaction score
205
Location
SF Bay Area
Maybe later this week I can get pics. I wanted to get them out in the sun, but it would mean transporting them to the rehearsal building. Anyway, pics eventually.
 

Latest posts



Top