Words by Andy Lloyd-Russell
From practicing to performing, Tama’s new models and finishes have you covered
Within the drumming community, the name Tama is certainly synonymous with reliability, innovation and for many, is very much the industry standard.
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Since the brand’s inception in 1974, Tama has always had a strong focus of innovation and building the most reliable instruments and hardware. With their main headquarters based in Seto, Japan, and a US counterpart in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Tama have earned a solid street rep from all corners of the globe over the decades, and for very good reason.
Incredibly robust drum shells matched with equally sturdy, reliable, and pioneering hardware are true touring and studio workhorses; worthy of any hard-hitting touring band or demanding studio session. You just never hear of a Tama blow out.
Flagship Innovation – Entry Level Dependability
A company never to rest of their laurels, Tama have always pushed the status quo in both their drums and accompanying hardware, continually bringing exciting and revolutionary products to the table.
Their flagship STAR line of kits offer unique wood shells, being bubinga, maple, and walnut. The accompanying hardware includes multiple US-patented designs such as Quick Lock tom brackets, Hold Tight washers, bass drum spurs and the Super Resonant Mounting System.
The ever popular Starclassic line offers a classic all maple shell (always nice to have as an offering it has to be said), and a walnut/birch blend.
Both of these high end lines have earned their respective places as being some of the most respected kits available today, comfortably sitting with the numerous usual suspects in the upper echelons of drum manufacturing.
As for Tama’s medium tier and entry level kits, there’s good reason why there are so many of these kits around. The Superstar Classic and Imperialstar lines are maple and poplar shell composites respectively, clearly stating their positions in the intermediate/semi pro and beginner kits lanes, and both comfortably meet the needs of their players in true Tama style – reliable, powerful and versatile.
What’s always struck me with Tama as a drum brand is their versatility in shell construction and this gives their range breadth that many others can’t match. Their long list of long-standing players of the brand ranges from jazz to the deepest chasms of metal, let alone everything in between.
Long time Tama players include the likes of Stewart Copeland (The Police), Simon Phillips (Toto), Lars Ulrich (Metallica) and Kenny Arnoff (John Fogerty, LA session drumming royalty) with the modern era of players including guns such as Adam Deitch (John Schofield, Lettuce) and Australia’s own Nic Petterson (Northlane) to name but a few.
What’s New in 2022
Never ones to shy away from limited edition runs, Tama’s 2022 Starclassic line features a walnut/birch shell in a new stunning Gloss Natural Tamo Ash finish. As for the Starclassic Performer line, the maple/birch shell composition is available in a striking Sky Blue Aurora finish.
Aside from their superb new acoustic kits, it seems Tama have created something rather special for those unable to work on their chops on a full acoustic kit, ala apartment living and alike. Their True Touch series is an exciting new and revolutionary line of practice kits pitched directly at these types of players, coming in a simple kick, snare, hats, and ride configuration, through to four and five-piece setups. Boasting incredibly realistic feel and sensitivity on the heads, it looks as though Tama have set the new standard for the practice kit market, something sure to be appreciated in 2022.
As for hardware, the flagship Iron Cobra series of kick pedals features a very fancy limited edition gold single and double kick pedals; for those looking for that extra bit of something special in their traps case. Very tasty indeed.
It’s always nice to see some updated finishes and it’s all too enticing when limited edition runs are done, particularly when it’s done right. In true Tama fashion, the new limited edition finishes for their Starclassic series are equally striking as they are deep, and their hardware offerings continue to impress, and that’s saying something for traps!
Head to Tama Drums for all the latest. For local enquiries, reach out to Australis Music.