Acoustic Drums

Best TAMA Drum Sets Reviewed (2024)

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Japanese drum maker, TAMA Drums, produce some of the finest drum sets on the market, perfect for beginner, intermediate and professional drummers. Big names like Lars Ulrich, Dave Grohl, Mike Portnoy, and Neil Peart (at one point in his career) endorse TAMA drums.

So whether you are just starting out or already on your way to mastering your craft, TAMA has a set that fits your needs. 

From their selection of wood finishes to superior hardware construction, they have something for everyone. This blog post will look at the top TAMA drum kits available and which may be right for you. 

Drums sound like drums. One brand, in general, isn’t better than another. So take your time when reading these lists. Get out there and listen to different kits to see what you like.

1) Tama STAR Walnut (Best Quality)

Dream Kit
Tama STAR Maple Factory Vault 5-piece Shell Pack

5-piece Maple Shell Pack with 10" and 12" Toms, 14" and 16" Floor Toms, and 22" Bass Drum - Cerulean Birds Eye Maple Burst

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TAMA’s STAR Walnut drum set is the flagship line of their products, offering punchy-sounding toms and a visually appealing design that makes it a genuinely gorgeous instrument. 

The bearing edge features a design allowing for better contact with the drum head. This allows vibration to travel more efficiently for greater tone and overall projection. 

Premium die-cast zinc hoops provide consistent tuning, superior tone, and additional resonance when paired with the Super Resonant Mounting System. The walnut shells are handcrafted in Japan, providing a rich low tone and robust projection.

The tension rods feature washers with rubber rings, helping keep the drums in tune better. The included Remo heads deliver great sound from the moment you tune up. Drum stands, cymbal stands, and throne are purchased separately.

2) TAMA Imperialstar (Best Intermediate)

The TAMA Imperialstar drum set is an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced drummers. This 5-piece poplar wood drum set features a 22″ bass drum, 10″ and 12″ toms, 16″ floor tom, and 14″ snare.

The set also includes cymbals, a throne, a pedal, and all necessary mounting hardware. It also features double-braced hardware, making it incredibly stable, which is ideal for gigging. 

Its poplar wood shells offer natural warmth and balanced dynamics with precision bearing edges that enhance sensitivity. The 360° glued wrap finishes eliminate buzzing, while the black nickel hardware provides a nuanced look. 

The Meinl HCS cymbal pack includes 14″ hi-hats, a 16″ crash, and a 20″ ride, while the TAMA single-chain drive kick pedal with base plate plays fast and smooth. These cymbals could be better sounding but are perfect for new drummers. 

Finally, its ultra-stable TAMA Imperialstar hardware includes double-leg bracing, 3-tier height adjustment, and a convertible boom stand with comfortable beyond its price point throne.

These features combine to make the TAMA Imperialstar one of the drum market’s most reliable and versatile entry-level sets.

3) TAMA Starclassic Walnut/Birch (Best Intermediate/Professional)

Tama Starclassic Walnut/Birch

4-piece Walnut/Birch Shell Pack with 10" and 12" Toms, 16" Floor Tom, and 22" Bass Drum - Lacquer Molten Brown Burst

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The TAMA Starclassic is a 4-piece drum set made from walnut and birch shells. It comes with 10″ and 12″ toms, a 16″ floor tom, and a 22″ bass drum. 

Combining these two kinds of wood creates a warm yet focused sound perfect for all types of music. The smaller lugs look fantastic and offer easy tuning. In addition, the double-braced hardware ensures stability while playing. 

Additionally, this drum set is equipped with Remo heads to ensure a professional sound every time you play (but you’ll eventually want to change the stock heads after you wear them out). 

The TAMA Starclassic features walnut/birch shells that provide incredible warmth and punchy attack. In addition, it has premium die-cast zinc hoops for consistent tuning and extra high-end resonance. The rubber claw hooks deliver consistent tension and rattle-free operation. 

For added sustain, air pocket rubber feet eliminate the transfer of vibrations to the floor. Setup is made faster and easier with the bass drum spur bracket with memory markers, and Evans drumheads ensure excellent sound. The MTH1000 double-tom holder and bass drum mount are included; other hardware is sold separately.

With its versatile sound and reliable construction, the TAMA Starclassic is a perfect option for more advanced drummers looking to upgrade to better shells.

4) TAMA Club Jam (Best for Gigging)

Tama Club-JAM 4-piece Shell Pack with Snare

Configuration: 10"x14", 6"x8", 9"x10", 5"x10"

Shell: 6-ply poplar/mersawa

Finishes: Aqua Blue, Candy Apple Mist

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The TAMA Club Jam drum set is the perfect choice for beginners who want to play drums. The kit is more suited to jazz, blues, and pop, but younger drummers will also benefit from its smaller profile.

In addition, it’s great for traveling due to its compact size and a great little drum kit for the money. With its high-quality construction and excellent sound, it packs an impressive punch in a small package.

Inspired by jazz kits of the past, this kit features shallow and compact sizes that are quick and responsive. Its 6-ply, 7mm Poplar/Mersawa shells speak with authority, while natural finished wood bass hoops add to its classic character. 

There’s also a convenient kick-mounted cymbal boom, antique round badges, and curved bass spurs for additional stability. Shell sizes (depth x diameter) include 7″ x 10″ tom, 7″ x 14″ floor tom, 12″ x 18″ bass drum, and 5″ x 13″ snare.

Note: this is just a shell pack, minus the kick-mounted cymbal boom, so you’ll need to buy other hardware and cymbals.

5) TAMA Superstar Classic 7-Piece (Best for tom lovers)

Tama Superstar Classic 7-piece Shell Pack

7-piece Maple Shell Pack with 8"/10"/12" Toms, 14"/16" Floor Toms, 22" Bass Drum, and 6.5" Snare Drum - Gloss Java Lacebark Pine

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For over 40 years, the TAMA Superstar Classic has been beloved by musicians worldwide. This iconic drum set features an exotic lacewood pine wood finish, and its thin 100% maple shells boast great attack and projection. 

With 45-degree bearing edges that honor the original Superstar design, low-mass, low-profile lugs to reduce weight for increased sustain, and the Star-Mount system to protect your high toms from choking, this kit is sure to impress. 

Fans will also love the classic T-badges that adorn each drum, plus a double tom holder is included in the package. All other hardware must be purchased separately.

6) TAMA Starclassic Performer 5-Piece

Tama Starclassic Performer 5-piece Shell Pack

5-piece Maple/Birch Shell Pack with 10" and 12" Toms, 14" and 16" Floor Tom, and 22" Bass Drum - Caramel Aurora

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The TAMA Starclassic Performer provides an unbeatable combination of a more mellow birch with the stiffness of maple, allowing drummers to enjoy a unique playing experience. Also, the kit is incredibly warm and packs a powerful punch with its distinct maple-birch shells.

Premium die-cast zinc hoops provide exceptional tuning, superior tone, and extra high-end response, while Evans drum heads offer both durability and consistency. In addition, the rubber-based claw hooks ensure consistent pressure and rattle-free operation. 

The Air Pocket rubber feet help preserve sustain by eliminating vibrations transferred to the floor. To top it off, the bass drum bracket features memory locks, making setup faster and easier.

These top-shelf drums come in sizes 7″ x 10″ rack tom, 8″ x 12″ rack tom, 12″ x 14″ floor tom, 14″ x 16″ floor tom, and 16″ x 22″ bass drum (snare not included). With its unique design and high-quality craftsmanship, TAMA’s Starclassic Maple/Birch Lacquer series is perfect for any top-shelf drummer.

About TAMA Drums

TAMA Drums has been a leading manufacturer of drum kits and hardware for over four decades. Founded in 1965 by Hoshino Gakki, TAMA had humble beginnings but quickly rose to prominence as they revolutionized the drum industry with innovative design, advanced technology, and superior quality craftsmanship. 

By introducing features like their Star-Cast Mounting System in 1981 and Superstar Classic Series in 1984, they quickly became renowned worldwide for their excellence in drum equipment. 

Today, TAMA continues to lead the industry with its high-end constructions and reliable performance, delivering products trusted by professional musicians worldwide.

Nick Cesarz

Nick is a drummer, percussionist, and blogger from Milwaukee, WI. He toured extensively with Vinyl Theatre, opening up for acts like twenty one pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and more. Now no longer touring, his passion lies in gear and playing the kit as much as time allows.

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One Comment

  1. I have a Tama SLP Fat Spruce Drum set with the 22″, 16″, 12″ and 14″ snare. Out of the 5 acoustic sets I have, this one is my favorite.


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