Vintage Tama - Imperialstar - Perfect Percussion

BeatMachine

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In the 1972 catalog, the word TAMA does not appear, except on these badges.
Notice the badge is square, with no cutouts to form a "T".

I only see one page of a 1973 catalog on Tama's site - I wonder where Thin Shell found that picture.
Would also know where thin shell found that picture :)
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I once had a set like yours, same shells with those thick rerings, same 'free-o-matic' tom post, same lugs and tom brackets.
They were a Star brand called LOTUS from the 70s with polished metal (Chrome) wrap. Maple plies with a mixture of something else.
I contacted Ralf at star-drums.de and he was also aware of them and has photos of similar sets.

Here's a LOTUS set on VDF that's exactly like the one I had - yours are essentially the same drums only with a different name and wrap.


LOTUS badge.jpg
 
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BeatMachine

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I once had a set like yours, same shells with those thick rerings, same 'free-o-matic' tom post, same lugs and tom brackets.
They were a Star brand called LOTUS from the 70s with polished metal (Chrome) wrap. Maple plies with a mixture of something else.
I contacted Ralf at star-drums.de and he was also aware of them and has photos of similar sets.

Here's a LOTUS set on VDF that's exactly like the one I had - yours are essentially the same drums only with a different name and wrap.


View attachment 451108
Thank you, very interesting reading and nice linked thread.

Ok, so now I have to check the shells and See how many ply’s they are made of.
When you say ply, does it mean “layers of material”?
 

BeatMachine

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So if I want to find a matching floor tom to make my kit complete, I of course want a “Perfect Percussion” from TAMA. But it could also be a late Star floor tom tho they seem to be more or less the same!? Am I right?
 

thin shell

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So if I want to find a matching floor tom to make my kit complete, I of course want a “Perfect Percussion” from TAMA. But it could also be a late Star floor tom tho they seem to be more or less the same!? Am I right?
That's probably correct. If you plan on playing them you may need to pickup a later Imperialstar in gold finish to give you a complete kit while you search for a matching floor tom.
 

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I owned and played a Tama Supoerstar kit in 1980 through 1984. Yes the Aquamarine Superstars. I had to have them when Lenny White went with Tama. I had 8,10,12 Concert Toms. 14 rack and16 & 18 floors w/ 24 BD. That kit was awesome on stage under the lighting cause it almost changed colors when you hit it with different fresnel lenses. I hated the toms though, for some reason they sounded so boxy to my ears live. The bass drum on the other hand was a dream to play. 14 x 24...so fast in it's response. I also had a Tama Mastercraft Marquetry Snare with the center inlay in a 5 x 14 snare drum. That drum was eventually converted by a shop to fit a Ludwig Super Sensitive Strainer system. It had more crack than an overseas brothel. Long sold and sadly missed.
 

BeatMachine

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That's probably correct. If you plan on playing them you may need to pickup a later Imperialstar in gold finish to give you a complete kit while you search for a matching floor tom.
Good idea! Right now I got a light blue colored floor tom from Pearl. Not the best match but works to play at home for now :)
 

EvEnStEvEn

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found this from 74
Ah-Ha! It appears you have the "Latin Beat" configuration in Copper Metal finish from '73 or '74, a chrome finish was also offered.
The "Latin Beat" configuration shown it the catalog is virtually identical to my Lotus set in every detail. Same metal bass hoops & spurs, same one-touch tone controls, same Imperialstar-style lugs, identical wood interiors with the multi-ply reinforcement rings- the only difference is mine had a Lotus badge and chrome metal wrap.

Perhaps mine were tagged as LOTUS to be marketed in a different geographical region, but whatever the case, these were the premium professional series drumsets of their day and nothing like the ubiquitous Japanese luan stencil kits.
I gigged my 12.13.16.22" for a full decade as my only drumset from '87 to '97. The toms especially were explosive with meaty tonality.

Ralf from star-drums.de says "To my best knowledge, the shells are maple, not birch. And they are lacquered inside."

As for the number of plies, there's approximately 14, ten of which are the re-ring. These were seriously heavy duty drums when you factor in the metal wraps of chrome or copper sheeting.
 

thin shell

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The shells are mostly Luan. The vertical grain outer ply is definitely Luan in all of the pictures The inner ply on the shell and re-ring is either Birch or Maple. Based on the three or four pictures presented here and in the VDF threads I would lean towards Birch.
 

BeatMachine

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I owned and played a Tama Supoerstar kit in 1980 through 1984. Yes the Aquamarine Superstars. I had to have them when Lenny White went with Tama. I had 8,10,12 Concert Toms. 14 rack and16 & 18 floors w/ 24 BD. That kit was awesome on stage under the lighting cause it almost changed colors when you hit it with different fresnel lenses. I hated the toms though, for some reason they sounded so boxy to my ears live. The bass drum on the other hand was a dream to play. 14 x 24...so fast in it's response. I also had a Tama Mastercraft Marquetry Snare with the center inlay in a 5 x 14 snare drum. That drum was eventually converted by a shop to fit a Ludwig Super Sensitive Strainer system. It had more crack than an overseas brothel. Long sold and sadly missed.
Nice! My bk is 22” and I like it a lot :)
I owned and played a Tama Supoerstar kit in 1980 through 1984. Yes the Aquamarine Superstars. I had to have them when Lenny White went with Tama. I had 8,10,12 Concert Toms. 14 rack and16 & 18 floors w/ 24 BD. That kit was awesome on stage under the lighting cause it almost changed colors when you hit it with different fresnel lenses. I hated the toms though, for some reason they sounded so boxy to my ears live. The bass drum on the other hand was a dream to play. 14 x 24...so fast in it's response. I also had a Tama Mastercraft Marquetry Snare with the center inlay in a 5 x 14 snare drum. That drum was eventually converted by a shop to fit a Ludwig Super Sensitive Strainer system. It had more crack than an overseas brothel. Long sold and sadly missed.
Very nice! Thanks for sharing! :)
 

BeatMachine

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Ah-Ha! It appears you have the "Latin Beat" configuration in Copper Metal finish from '73 or '74, a chrome finish was also offered.
The "Latin Beat" configuration shown it the catalog is virtually identical to my Lotus set in every detail. Same metal bass hoops & spurs, same one-touch tone controls, same Imperialstar-style lugs, identical wood interiors with the multi-ply reinforcement rings- the only difference is mine had a Lotus badge and chrome metal wrap.

Perhaps mine were tagged as LOTUS to be marketed in a different geographical region, but whatever the case, these were the premium professional series drumsets of their day and nothing like the ubiquitous Japanese luan stencil kits.
I gigged my 12.13.16.22" for a full decade as my only drumset from '87 to '97. The toms especially were explosive with meaty tonality.

Ralf from star-drums.de says "To my best knowledge, the shells are maple, not birch. And they are lacquered inside."

As for the number of plies, there's approximately 14, ten of which are the re-ring. These were seriously heavy duty drums when you factor in the metal wraps of chrome or copper sheeting.
“Latin Beat” Ha, so cool! :)
Thanks for all that info! I’m glad I became a member to this forum.
 

BeatMachine

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The shells are mostly Luan. The vertical grain outer ply is definitely Luan in all of the pictures The inner ply on the shell and re-ring is either Birch or Maple. Based on the three or four pictures presented here and in the VDF threads I would lean towards Birch.
Thanks! Luan, Birch or maple...that’s the question ;)
 


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