Tama Drums was founded by Hoshino Gakki back in 1965 and has since become one of the largest drum manufacturers in the industry. There’s no doubt why players like Mike Portnoy, Stewart Copeland, and Simon Phillips endorse these drums. Today we will be looking at and reviewing the company’s entry-level acoustic drum set: the Tama Imperialstar. Is it the perfect pick for a student’s first drum set? Will it hold up over the years? Is it worth the money? We will find out right now in this Tama Imperialstar review.

I got a wonderful overall feeling when I played the Tama Imperialstar. It sounds amazing for such a cheaply priced drum kit. This drum set is by no means low-end. You could easily make this a touring kit if you had a more expensive one sitting at home. If you’re a first-time player, the Tama Imperialstar is a perfect first drum set. Here’s all the finishes the Tama Imperialstar is available in.

Tama Imperialstar Review – Colors and Finishes

Tama offers the Imperialstar drum set in a variety of differnt finishes and colors! You have the option of buying an additional floor tom if you desire. Check out the table below to pick out the best one for you!

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  • Candy Apple Mist
  • Free 10" Meinl Splash Cymbal
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  • Champagne Mist
  • Free 10" Meinl Splash Cymbal
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  • Hairline Black
  • Free 10" Meinl Splash Cymbal
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  • Hairline Blue
  • Free 10" Meinl Splash Cymbal
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  • Midnight Blue
  • Free 10" Meinl Splash Cymbal
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  • Vintage Red
  • Free 10" Meinl Splash Cymbal

What’s In The Box?

The Tama Imperialstar 5-piece drum kit is the most affordable set to include so many high-end features. Included in the box is everything you need to get playing, minus drum sticks. You get the drum shells, hardware, cymbals from Meinl, and a kick pedal.

Drums

  • An 18 x 22″ bass drum with mounted 8 x 10″ and 9 x 12″ toms
  • A 14 x 16″ floor tom
  • A 5 x 14″ snare drum

Cymbals

  • Meinl HCS 14″ HiHat cymbals
  • Meinl HCS 16″ crash cymbal
  • Meinl HCS 20″ ride cymbal
  • Additional FREE Meinl HCS 10″ splash cymbal

Hardware

  • HP200P Iron Cobra bass drum pedal
  • Boom cymbal stand
  • Straight cymbal stand
  • Hihat stand
  • Snare drum stand
  • Drum throne

Features of the Tama Imperialstar

Despite what people say, Poplar shells are not bad sounding. Tama Imperialstar comes standard with poplar. It offers a full and warm tone with a medium attack.

A poorly cut bearing edge can make a world of difference when it comes to drum tone. Tama uses extreme precision to ensure a high quality bearing edge.

The Tama Imperialstar offers black nickel hardware, opening up a bigger selection of finishes: Blacked Out, Vintage Red, and Sugar White.

Some drum makers will only glue the drum wraps at the point of contact, letting the wrap buzz and eventually come apart. Tama glues the entire wrap to the shell.

Not only do these lugs look great, the smaller lugs allow for more resonance and much better tone. These lugs are 10% smaller than the Swingstar series.

Instead of using traditional clawhooks and T-rods, Tama developed a special hi-tech material that offers faster and more stable tuning of your bass drum.

Tama’s strong spur brackets provide excellent durability and stability. Your bass drum won’t be sliding forward with these spurs.

Tama’s TAMA L-Rod and Omnisphere have received positive appraise over the years. The Imperialstar comes with the same awesome hardware.

The tom brackets are rock solid and will keep your Tama Imperialstar drums in place for all your gigs.

Included with your Imperialstar kit is the Iron Cobra HP200P kick pedal. This pedal was made with the same design principals as the high-end Iron Cobra 900 series pedal. It’s a very smooth-feeling pedal and definitely is a perfect first kick pedal. It features a metal plate on the bottom for added stability when playing.

All of the new Tama Imperialstar drum kits comes with a free 10″ splash cymbal from Meinl, as well as a cymbal stand for it.

How Does The Tama Imperialstar Sound?

This is the perfect drum set for a beginner or for an experienced professional. Tama is able to make an affordable drum kit that is both high-quality and durable. When you hear these drums in a room, they really sing.

The poplar shells are not going to be as beautiful sounding as a maple or birch kit, but these shells still resonate and have a great attack. The toms have a very warm sound and, depending on the drum heads you use, will either be brighter or deeper in tone.

The drum that sticks out the most? The snare drum. It’s very bright in nature, but still has a nice thud when tuned low. This snare drum will stay in your collection even after you upgrade to another drum kit.

As with any new drum set, the stock heads are usually junk. I suggest you purchase some new drum heads with this kit and, if you’ve never changed drum heads before, watch a YouTube video and follow along changing drum heads on your new Tama Imperialstar drum kit!

Tama Imperialstar Review
Tama Imperialstar 5-Piece Drum Set
Drum Sound8.9
Cymbal Sound7.6
Hardware Quality9.7
Value9.5
Reader Rating1 Vote8.1
Amazing Sounding Drum Shells
Double-Braced Hardware
Long-Lasting Drum Set
Excellent Value
Included Cymbals Not The Best
Poplar Shells (Not Everyone's Favorite)
8.9
WHERE TO BUY

Posted by Mike Williams

Mike Williams is an accomplished studio/touring drummer and percussionist who has played with many national bands. In addition, he is also a record producer and mix engineer.