Vintage (80's) Tama Superstar questions...

Jazz Turkey

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I have a couple of questions regarding 80's Superstars.

Snares - did the snares all come with the extended wires? I ask because I recently aquired a 8 x 14 without the rollers for the extended wires. I was expecting to swap out the snare assembly from a steel Imperialstar, but on inspection the Superstar did not have the appropriate holes for the rollers.

Bass drum tom mount assemble replacements. Anybody got a lead on an original or know of a modern replacement?

And the bonus question... Are 80's drums considered vintage?

Thanks All!
 

bubo

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The snare drums been sold in 2 versions that time:
-Mastercraft, which came with the extended wires, rollers on both sides and a v-shaped die-cast butt-end, plus die-cast hoops.
-Powerline, which came with standard lenght wires, without rollers and a more "economical" butt-end made of sheet-metal plus standard hoops.
Strainer/adjustment been the same on both.

What irritates me is the depth of 8" which is new for me, i only heard of 5" and 6,5" deep Powerlines ´till now.
ref: 80s Tama-Catalogue

For the tom bracket either look for used replacement parts through the web or complete, cheeper imperialstar toms and deassemble it.
You will have a use for the spare lugs one day because all the Super-, Imperial-, whatever -Star of this eara are known for lugs (as well as other hardware parts -see your tom mount) having issues.
From my knowledge you also could use more modern brackets since the hole distance of 52mm (sure) and rod diameter (need to double check) should be the same, also will be more stable.
Ref. Current Tama Parts-Catalogue

[EDIT]
I just realised you did not ask for the Tom-Bracket but the Tomholder Base mounted on the bassdrum.... :-/
Only advice i could give here is also to look for used replacement parts or cheeper Imperialstars to deassemble.
Nothing know about modern replacement parts that would fit the holes.
[/EDIT]


Hope that helped, cheers.
 
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Ptrick

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There are a couple Facebook Tama groups that are great for info and searching for parts.
 

Tama CW

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Parts for that Superstar bass drum are all over Ebay. I picked up a mint spare base plate flange with tongue and backing plate/felt for around $25. And I recently bought a spare double tom Opti mount assembly with the 3 memory locks for $40 delivered....just in case I needed one someday when building a kit. These mounts are all over Ebay. It's just a matter of price and condition. I recently picked up a spare Imperialstar kick drum that is probably unsaleable at $100 because it has bubbled wrap in places. On the other hand, all those nice chrome parts on it are worth over $200 parted out. Which is what I'll probably end up doing.....20 sets of lugs/t-rods, hoops, rack tom mount flange, legs and mounts, heads.

Oh yeah, those 1980's Tama SS/Impstar rack tom assemblies are extra thick at approx 1-1/8th inch OD....or 1" ID. The Granstars shifted to 1" OD by later 1980's. Today's are probably 1" as well. So you'd probably need to go full vintage unless you changed both base plate and mount assembly.

I consider 80's Tama Superstars as vintage and collectible. And they stand up well against the best birch drums of today. They were some of the best drums of the 1980's and Tama's flagship line. The Superstars and Imperialstars basically helped threaten the very existence of the USA drum companies, especially Rogers and Slingerland. I consider Yamaha 8000/9000 drums and Tama Superstars to be kings of the 1980's....the Rogers XPK were good too into the early 1980's. The maple and birch Ludwigs and Pearls of the 1980's don't seem to get as much respect...despite being outstanding drums (Classic, Superclassic, BLX, MLX, DLX, etc.).

I too wasn't aware of a 1980's Tama Superstar snare in the 14x8 that didn't have the extended wires and rollers (ie a fixed butt plate). And the Imperialstar/Power tone shouldn't come in that size. But by the later 1980's Tama was mixing and matching the parts of their snares such that you'll see them in almost any configuration of hoops, throw offs, lugs and snare wire mountings. Fixed butt plates became the standard drum for Crestar/Granstar/Art star snares in the late 1980's....the follow on drums from Superstars.
 
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Tmcfour

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I've been gathering all my Vintage Tama hardware needs from ebay. I'm looking for imperialstar stuff but I've seen a lot of Superstar gear too.
 

Jazz Turkey

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Thanks guys.

The snare in question has a Superstar badge and diecast rims.

I will check ebay for parts, but if any of you have a bass drum post mount to sell send me a pm.
 

Big Beat

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The mount on the bass drum does not have any modern analog that would fit without drilling holes, but the originals are not really rare, they made tons of them. Sometimes it is worthwhile to get a complete parts drum to get the mount and any other parts you need, plus extras to keep or sell off. Just make sure the screw threads haven't been stripped.

The tomholder itself is harder to find, not because it is so rare, but because people tend to hoard them. With those, make sure that it is of the correct era and NOT a late 1980s one or the top half of a tom stand, as both of those are of thinner diameter. It is possible to find a knock-off Tama style tomholder off a 1980s stencil set that would work, if you know what to look for. Those can be found cheap but the original is much better.

And yes, 1980s drums are definitely vintage today. 30+ years would do that :)
 

dexter74

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I think I have the bracket you're looking for. Mine came off a swingstar bass drum. Not sure if it's the same, though. Feel free to message me.
 

Tama CW

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Thanks guys.

The snare in question has a Superstar badge and diecast rims.

I will check ebay for parts, but if any of you have a bass drum post mount to sell send me a pm.

That's interesting as "Superstar" snare drums (1977-1986) that are badged as "Superstars" are no less than uncommon....I've never seen one in hand or being sold. But, I have read that some were badged like that. Nearly all Superstar Mastercraft metal snare drums with die cast hoops are badged as "Imperialstars." I've not seen enough wood ones to address those. Don't ask me why Tama did this. Probably to save on badges....lol. My Superstar kit that I bought new in July 1984 came with a Mastercraft metal snare badged as Imperialstar. And such a snare NEVER came with an Imperialstar kit. IMPs either came with a Powertone or a Kingbeat super sensitive.

Post a photo of your snare as it would be interesting to see.
 

bubo

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That's interesting as "Superstar" snare drums (1977-1986) that are badged as "Superstars" are no less than uncommon....I've never seen one in hand or being sold. But, I have read that some were badged like that. Nearly all Superstar Mastercraft metal snare drums with die cast hoops are badged as "Imperialstars." I've not seen enough wood ones to address those. Don't ask me why Tama did this. Probably to save on badges....lol. My Superstar kit that I bought new in July 1984 came with a Mastercraft metal snare badged as Imperialstar. And such a snare NEVER came with an Imperialstar kit. IMPs either came with a Powertone or a Kingbeat super sensitive.

Post a photo of your snare as it would be interesting to see.
Not uncommen at all, but regular badges!

All wooden Snare drums -including the Rosewood, the Gibraltar and the Bellbrass- (of this era of course) been badged Superstar
-except the later Artstar from 83 (Cordia outer plies) which got it´s own Artstar badge but same High-Tension-Lugs (6,5" and 8" deep) like other snaredrums.

Steel shells
with the typical Superstar lugs been badged Imperialstar (except Swingstars and probably Royalstars which also came with different hardware)

Fibreglass shell been badged Fibrestar


A couple of quick shots.
hmmm, never seen anything like this drum, -and i own quite a few and saw some more... as i stated before, Powerlines -are not know (at least to me) to been offered as 8" deep. Die cast hoops could be mounted later on, at least the snare side hoop looks like Tama original, so does the snare butt-end (lowcost version out of sheet-metal).
Could you please take a detailed photo of the badge so we can read the serial number.

Me, i don´t get any futher at this stage. A documented drum that comes closest to yours can be found here: 1981 Imperialstar Catalogue

[EDIT]
Some further research brought this one to light: 1981 Tama general catalogue
3 different types of strainers are mentioned, so you could custom order your configuration.
[/EDIT]

[OBSOLETE]
Maybe a photo of the interior could be interesting to be sure that ain´t some fiddled around with another shell; -but i am pretty sure it´s not.
Oh, um: this one got 10 lugs and it´s 14" in diameter, right?
Or maybe 8 lugs and/or 13" dia?

[/OBSOLETE]
Cheers
 
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Tama CW

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I reviewed Tama 1978, 80, 82 and 84/85 catalogs and didn't see any high end snares without the roller snare beds on both sides. The OP's drum clearly has the extended wire/roller bed, die cast hoops....without rollers. I think the mounting easily allows removal of the roller beds to install a simpler butt plate set up. But two empty holes under the butt plate should remain....or be plugged....as the roller beds required 4 holes to anchor the butt end. I don't see that on the OP's drum.

Powerlines were metal shells. So the OP's wooden shell can't be a Powerline. Maybe a special order from Japan, a one-off, etc. ???

Sorry for any misunderstanding on my last post. "Uncommon" superstar badging was in reference to the metal shells....and I clarified a few sentences later. I have little experience in hand on the wood ones, and essentially none on the wood 14x8's except for dozens of Ebay listings I've reviewed. When I was on the Tama Forum in 2017 I recall some posts/references that Tama did sometimes use a "Superstar" badge on a Mastercraft metal snare. While some may have been badged as such, I've yet to see one.
 

bubo

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"Powerline" did not necessarily mean steel shells, also been (the same) wooden shells used for Mastercraft Snares.
Just the hardware was different, so the hoops -triple flanged instead of die cast- and the strainer -missing rollers and the lower priced sheet metal butt end.

See my link : 1981 Tama general catalogue in above post and read through the (catalogue) text. Me i mostly don´t read either but look at the photos, so missed the explanation about the custom configurations ´tll now.

All former Tama Catalogues

cheers.
 
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Tama CW

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That is true....I stand corrected. Even back to the 1980 cat and up to around 1983 they mention the wood option for a powerline. In the 1984/85 catalog the wood shell option for Powerline no longer appears. Interesting that I've never seen a wooden Powerline drum, having all Powerline features. They must be quite scarce. Only sizes the Powerlines were offered "in the catalog" were 5" and 6"....no mention of 8" deep drums in either metal or wood....not to say they couldn't have been made.

The OP's drum doesn't appear to be a Powerline for multiple reasons: 8" depth, die cast and roller bed hoops, and the Mastercraft lugs. So seeing the Powerline type butt plate is quite unique...as long as there aren't extra holes there. From the catalogs, all Mastercraft snares came with double roller beds and die cast hoops.
 

Tama CW

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Those appear to be original snare wires (short style) with the wide rectangular cut out. If they say "Japan" on them almost certainly original ones.
 

bubo

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That is true....I stand corrected. Even back to the 1980 cat and up to around 1983 they mention the wood option for a powerline. In the 1984/85 catalog the wood shell option for Powerline no longer appears. Interesting that I've never seen a wooden Powerline drum, having all Powerline features. They must be quite scarce. Only sizes the Powerlines were offered "in the catalog" were 5" and 6"....no mention of 8" deep drums in either metal or wood....not to say they couldn't have been made.

The OP's drum doesn't appear to be a Powerline for multiple reasons: 8" depth, die cast and roller bed hoops, and the Mastercraft lugs. So seeing the Powerline type butt plate is quite unique...as long as there aren't extra holes there. From the catalogs, all Mastercraft snares came with double roller beds and die cast hoops.
Tama_PL_wood_00.JPG
Tama_PL_wood_02.JPG
Tama_PL_wood_03.JPG
Tama_PL_wood_04.JPG



These are not my photos. Took them from a site for used equipment.
All rights belong to "Manicke".
 

Tmcfour

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Doesn't the 84 at the beginning of the serial number mean it was made in 1984? I know that's how the imperialstars were numbered. (I have both 83s and pre-serial, 75ish I believe. )
 

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