Older Tama Swingstar?

dexter74

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I picked up a mid-80s MIJ Swingstar. Has the later lugs [not the longer, teardrop style] Has the black "flying T" badge, and the zola-coat inner. Not sure what I'm gonna do with it, but am thinking it may be a good beater/gigging kit? Seems rock solid and doesn't sound half bad even with the ancient, beat up heads that are currently on it.

Anyone own or have experience with these?
 

Tmcfour

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80s Swingstars are great sleeper kits. Decent sound and damn near indestructible. The Zola coat on the inside makes them resistant to water (although that's not the purpose of it). Not water proof but resistant. I'm doing a project with 70s imperialstars and I have found the wiki article on Tama to be pretty cool. The swingstar is 9ply Luan with the Zola coating in the interior which is pretty much the same as the Imperialstars in the 80s and Stewart Copeland used those with the Police... so not too shabby!
 

dexter74

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Sweet! Thanks for the info. We'll see how things shake out. Bass drum is pretty heavy for my tastes, but I may swap out the steel hoops to wood, which should help.
 

Ghostin one

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Wow, I never thought of them as heavy drums. I played a Swingstar / Imperialstar hybrid for decades and switched to a Renown... THAT's a heavy bass drum!
 

lossforgain

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I know @trappemann uses these old Tamas regularly, maybe he will chime in. I had a set of them as my first drum set! Wouldn't mind playing one again but probably won't go out of my way to find one.
 

dexter74

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Wow, I never thought of them as heavy drums. I played a Swingstar / Imperialstar hybrid for decades and switched to a Renown... THAT's a heavy bass drum!
Ha! I suppose. I mainly play vintage 3 ply stuff, or Rogers Big R's, which are also fairly light, if you don't use the memriloc hardware. And I've also gotten pretty soft & lazy in my middle age. In my mid-20s I had a first gen Yamaha maple custom and never thought twice about the weight.
 

icetech

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Honestly.. a friend loaned me a set of just beat to death swingstars he had for like 30 years and i was blown away by how they sounded.. just so full and rich.. I think they are just an amazing deal for a good sounding kit if you want one that's not expensive and you don't need to worry bout dinging up.
 

supershifter2

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1980's Swingstar and Imperialstar have the same shell. Only difference is the lug design. Dave Holland of Judas Priest and other big name drummers played imperialstars. I had a set for about a year. Great sounding drums. I went to superstars for more mid range treble.

 

trappemann

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If your Bass drum is a 22 and you don't want the metal hoops, please let me know. I need a set for a rebuild I am doing.

I love MIJ swingstars.

Yes they are heavy. I think the bass drums are more like 12 ply!!!
 

funkypoodle

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I had this Swingstar from '84 & gigged it a bunch while it was in my possession, even did a big gig at the Montreal Jazz Festival. I had initially picked them up because they came with a KS Supra, but ended up loving the tone, build and feel. I had them mounted with clear EC2s and they sounded like "Rock Kit 1" from the high end edrum module of your choice. I also remember regretting not having the hi hat stand once it was sold. It was gig-worthy without being "clunky".
 

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Ghostin one

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Trappeman, I have a spare Japanese Swingstar hoop (all chrome, no inlay).

The other hoop became part of an old head display

DSC02828.JPG
 

Stretch Riedle

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My first new kit too in 1985. In of course.......black!
Sounded decent [I didn't know much about tuning at the time], held up to manhandling/gigging, and nice yet inexpensive.
Definitely worth using them as a gigging kit.

Stretch
 

nitro bengal

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My set of 86 Swingstars. I have pinstripes on them now. Have been debating about switching to clear Emperors like I have on my Starclassics and Silverstars.
51046134_2143898689004110_4639455975588233216_n.jpg
 

dexter74

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I cleaned up the 13" today and threw on a coated emporer over clear ambassador. Sounds good!

Its 12" deep and I'm not sure I can handle the power of this power Tom. Leaning towards having it cut down.
 

Ghostin one

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A friend painted that for me, and he charged more than the Stones paid for their logo!
It's artist oil paints, "like the Mona Lisa", said to last forever.
 


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