Vintage Tama confusion Help please!

DWSlingerland45

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I found another vintage Tama deal I think. Local shop has a Tama Superstar ( black T badge) in natural maple with complete hardware pack, excluding throne. No snare it was sold separately. They appear to be maple shell? Standard sizes 22/12/13/16 not power or Xtra depths. My question is I thought superstars were Birch shells? Also when did these appear in the catalogs? I've been searching scanned catalogs but can't find much info that doesn't confuse me lol. I'm picking them up today so pics and serial numbers to follow tonight I hope. Could these be " Super Maple" I saw a mention of them but no explanation of that term. Thanks in advance
 

DWSlingerland45

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I believe these were all birch drums and one of the finish options was simply named super maple.
Thanks Camdrums, that's got me wondering why my super mahogany kit has what appears to be a stained interior and this new kit has just clear coat apparently ? That's what had me wondering if they were in fact maple shells. Or I suppose they could be two different shell manufacturing methods if they're separated far enough by year of manufacture?
 

levelpebble

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Cam is correct - all vintage 70s/80s superstars are 100% birch, no matter the finish naming.

Superstars first appeared in the 1975/76 catalogs, primarily with satin finishes. Four ply with rings, and the first year bass drums were 15" deep, not 14". Transitioned to lacquer finishes and six ply with no rings by 78/79. Power toms on superstars did not appear until around 1983.
 

Rich K.

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I found another vintage Tama deal I think. Local shop has a Tama Superstar ( black T badge) in natural maple with complete hardware pack, excluding throne. No snare it was sold separately. They appear to be maple shell? Standard sizes 22/12/13/16 not power or Xtra depths. My question is I thought superstars were Birch shells? Also when did these appear in the catalogs? I've been searching scanned catalogs but can't find much info that doesn't confuse me lol. I'm picking them up today so pics and serial numbers to follow tonight I hope. Could these be " Super Maple" I saw a mention of them but no explanation of that term. Thanks in advance
Is it possible you were looking at the new Superstar classics? Similar lugs and badges as the originals but maple shells.
 

singleflammedmill

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CAMDRUMS and levelpebble are correct, vintage Superstars are 100% birch.
There are two maple finishes, Natural Maple which is a satin finish and Super Maple which is a gloss finish.

Here's my 1979 Natural Maple Superstar.
 

supershifter2

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i have been playing 1980's tama superstars since about 1986. i have about 75 of the drums. all birch 6 ply shells. all the 80's tama superstars are all birch. no other wood was used. the finishes are called > mahogany,super maple, etc and refer to the color only. some colors were only offered a year or 2. candy apple red was offered in the usa during part of a years and a limited amount was sent same with aquamarine.
 

Santos

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CAMDRUMS and levelpebble are correct, vintage Superstars are 100% birch.
There are two maple finishes, Natural Maple which is a satin finish and Super Maple which is a gloss finish.

Here's my 1979 Natural Maple Superstar.
Your Superstars look beautiful!

My old Superstar kit was a mutt - satin finish bass drum but with gloss finish toms. Still the best sounding kit I ever owned. I no longer own it but still
0-10.jpeg
have a picture of it...
 

Bri6366

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Those kits sure aged well. Tama did a great job with the Super Maple finish. Their early 80s catalog is my all-time favorite catalog and it took years before I was able to pull the trigger on a Superstar kit.
 

Tama CW

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Cherry Wine SS owner since 1984 and added the Super Maples last year. Generally superb build quality and the hardware is killer.

Cruising around FaceBook market place today I ran across a 1 week old ad near Binghamton, NY (Owego) for a 1980's Tama Swingstar set. Thing was they were green. That smelled fishy. The owner was stating that the rack toms were painted over to match the original paint on the kick drum. A closer inspection of their photos showed an original aquamarine kick drum and apparently matching aquamarine toms. Swingstars? The badges even said "Superstar." $200 for this 13x9, 15x12, 16x16, 24x14 kit. No doubt it was long gone. Someone in upstate NY is smiling from ear to ear at $50/drum. In a couple years of looking I think that's the first AM kit I've seen for sale in the northeast.
 

RIDDIM

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Cherry Wine SS owner since 1984 and added the Super Maples last year. Generally superb build quality and the hardware is killer.

Cruising around FaceBook market place today I ran across a 1 week old ad near Binghamton, NY (Owego) for a 1980's Tama Swingstar set. Thing was they were green. That smelled fishy. The owner was stating that the rack toms were painted over to match the original paint on the kick drum. A closer inspection of their photos showed an original aquamarine kick drum and apparently matching aquamarine toms. Swingstars? The badges even said "Superstar." $200 for this 13x9, 15x12, 16x16, 24x14 kit. No doubt it was long gone. Someone in upstate NY is smiling from ear to ear at $50/drum. In a couple years of looking I think that's the first AM kit I've seen for sale in the northeast.
- I had a large aqua kit from 1978 to maybe 2006. Lovely drums, but not UV protected; they eventually turned green. I caught the Gretsch disease and found a gentleman in the UK, who found a discount ticket, came by and took them home with him - in 2 cases (all the hardware was removed before the shells were packed).
 

Tama CW

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That super maple kit looks to be around 1979-1981 based on the older style floor tom legs and hi hat clutch. Probably 6 digit badge numbers beginning with 1XXXXX.
 

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