Drum Set Reviews
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The Tama Starclassic Performer B/B is part of Tama's high-level Starclassic series. Made from a combination of birch and bubinga, it's a unique offering on the market.
The review set has a 22"x18" bass drum, 10"x8", 12"x9" and 16"x14" toms. There's no snare drum with the set and no hardware, it's mainly sold as a shell pack.
There are some very good sets in Tama's Starclassic series, so does the interesting combination of birch and bubinga make the Starclassic Performer a success too? Let's see...
The Starclassic toms are made from 4-plies of birch with 3 inner plies of bubinga and are 6mm thick. The bass drum is a little chunkier with 5-plies of birch and 3 inner plies of bubinga at 8mm thick. So why the inner plies of bubinga? Tama have used it to increase the low end of the drums, we'll find out what effect it has later.
It's good to see that the shells have been well put together and are without any flaws. The bearing edges are sharp and precise and the wood looks good quality and is super smooth. The Black Nickel plated shell hardware is very attractive too, with tidy low-mass lugs, die-cast hoops, and Tama's Star-cast tom mounting system that connects to the lugs on the shells giving maximum vibration.
Your choice of finishes is reasonable with 6 options available including Dark Cherry Fade, Tri-Burst Tobacco, and Dark Mocha Fade. The Tri-Burst Tobacco fade on the review set was pretty swish and really well done. Some nice wood grain and a high-gloss laquer always goes down well.
So, what kind of sound does this combination of attacking birch and deep bubinga produce? It's an attacking, darker sound with a double helping of low end power. Very tasty. The bubinga really adds a lot of depth to the sound and makes the set much chunkier.
The toms really project well and have a rich, deep sound that's wide open. The floor tom is especially deep and you'd almost think it's a bigger sized drum. But, the influence of the birch is still present and the toms keep that attacking, punchy quality too.
Playing the bass drum doesn't dissapoint either, and it has a powerful, deep sound to match the toms. The volume and projection are excellent, and with a small bit of dampening in the shell, it becomes more focused and attacking. A great sounding drum.
Tuning the Tama Starclassic Performer B/B high, low or medium gives some very pleasing results and whatever pitch you prefer, the bubinga wood ensures that there is still a good amount of deep, low end to the sound. I thought the bass drum was best at a lower tuning where the low end had maximum effect, while the toms have good balance between attack and depth at a medium tuning. There are a decent range of pitches available to suit most drummers and styles.
The Tama Starclassic is a gem in Tama's Starclassic series. The bubinga and birch combination is very effective at matching attacking brightness with warmth and depth, and i'm impressed with what Tama have managed to come up with at this price range. Other than the sound, the Black Nickel plated die-cast hoops, lugs, and tom mounting system are really attractive too and work brilliantly.
Any downsides? There's not really anything much wrong with the set as such, it's what's not included with it. A birch/bubinga snare drum included with the set could have been very interesting and some Tama hardware wouldn't have gone a miss either. Still, you can buy hardware seperately and good value snare drums are easy enough to pick up.
What about the price? Considering the quality sound, you'd probably expect to pay more than Tama are asking for it. There are other sets around that cost much more than this and only sound slightly better. For that reason, this set is a definately a good deal. Where's the cheapest place to buy it? Here's the cheapest site i've found. They usually have the lowest price and sometimes free delivery too, so I recommend checking them out for the best deal!
The final word: the Starclassic Performer B/B is another success in Tama's Starcalssic series. With a really good sound and a suprisingly cheaper price, it's super set.
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