Tama Rockstar Custom Standard Drum Kit Reviews
I had just graduated 8th grade, and due to the fact that I was having a graduation party at my house with my friends and family, I was rolling in cash. I had $426. I had a sunlite drum kit back then. It was crap. So, I went online and looked at the tama stagestar kit. It was only $390. I had no idea it was so small. I just thought it was cheap. So, I waited a few days and then while I was playing video games, I got a phone call. It was my drum teacher. She said that a guy at guitar center(her husband works there) ordered a rockstar custom kit and then backed out on buying it at the last minute. They were selling for super cheap---$359. I always wanted a rockstar, but a custom for that price? Deal! I told her to tell guitar center to hold it for me. I went over there a few days later and picked it up. I wanted to set it up, but we were moving, so I had to wait a while.
Being that I only saw one truly informative review(for a DW custom collectors kit, by Nick Scudd) on this site, I decided to do the same thing he did, and inform you about why you may or may not want this kit. Some reviews for this kit are just jokes, but here I go.
I was told that it was in a nice finish, but when I got there, I was too surprised for words. It was in the custom charcoal finish, and was beautiful. It came with standard heads and a tom mount, but nothing else. Aww, well, at least I have the other hardware I need. I brought it home and set it up a long while after. Now I will discuss the good things about this kit. I loved the finish. I have only gotten one complement on the finish, and that was by my drum teacher. Another great thing about these is the sound. At my church building(we donít use it for services yet), there is another rockstar custom in a mahogany fade finish. I donít like the sound of that one, but everyone at my church likes how mine sounds. Anyway, I love how it sounds. In my room, it sounds ok, but due to the size, the amount of windows, and objects in it, the acoustics are just awol. They donít sound their best in my room. However, when put in their true environment, like a giant gymnasium, or a venue(will happen someday) of some sort, they project very, very well, and sound excellent. Half of that is because of the drums and heads, and the other half is just because I am an expert at tuning drums. Once, I made a pearl export that was bent, beat up, and scratched sound ok. Anyway(I say that a lot), it is a great kit, and have gotten great complements on the sound. Now, for every pro of the kit, there are cons, which I will talk about right now. Another pro, which has a con as well, is the star cast mounting system. It is extremely helpful in unleashing the drumís full resonance. Anyway, on we go.
Now, I want to tell you about the things I donít like. Modern Drummer, tama drums, and lots of others(including the heads themselves), whether in words, writing, or sign language, say that the heads that come with it are quality. I have to say that, on the contrary, I donít think they are. The bass head sounds ok, but still, not what I want. I had the heads for about 4 months before I gave them up, although I did have to use the bass again after denting another bass drum head. I donít normally consider myself a hard hitter, but am on the bass drum. Unless I play hard, I am not that hard of a hitter. Still, the snare headís coating flaked off in just a few weeks. The whole center of the head was clear now. The tom heads however, were even worse. They were much too thin, and they were completely warped, dented, bent, and literally caved in at the center, even though I never really played my hardest on them. I play about 2x as hard as I used to play, and I havenít even left 1 dent on my current heads. I tried all sorts of dampening methods, and none made them sound good. I knew that at this point, I needed some new heads. I was suggested the evans G2 heads, so I got those. I had to get some tips on how to tune them, but with experimenting and hours of tuning up in my room, I got them to sound excellent. I put moongel pads on my mounted toms, and for the floor tom, I used a remo muffl. The muffl sounded a little dead, so I went and got a hydraulic head. That sounded like a remo pinstripe, aka crap. So, I had to stick with the relatively dead sound. As far as my toms go, I got the best sound out of the Evans G2 heads. Like the author I mentioned earlier, I have never liked remo, and thought they were overrated. They sound like absolute crap, too. My friend got a new power dot snare head, and the coating in the middle wore off within a week. Also, the pinstripes are supposed to be good, but in reality, they are just pure crap. I try to tune them, but canít. If I canít tune them, then they must be crap. Every pinstripe head I ever tried to tune was un-tunable, for both me and my friend. Heck, my teacher couldnít do it either. So, my advice is, at least with this kit, stay away from remo, they are bad news. As far as the snare head goes, it was wearing out pretty fast. I decided that I needed a new one. I had been interested in the Evans Super Tough Dry for a while, so I ordered one of those. They sound excellent and they are extremely durable. They want to be tuned high however, as they are 2 ply, and want to get a very resonant sound, which you need to get through a high tuning. As for the bass drum, I had been interested in the EMAD for a while. I got one later, and thought it sounded superb. It was very dented in 6 months, however, so I needed to go back to the stock head. My friend has an aquarian superkick 2 on his bass drum, and it is great sounding, especially in larger settings. I wanted to get one, and saved up, worked around the house for money, and eventually, I had enough for the head and a patch, which I need because I hit my bass drum hard. When I got to guitar center(same one I got this kit at), they were out. I was bummed, and was suggested to that I get the superkick 3. That was my second choice, so I did. I put it on my bass drum and it outranks my EMAD by far. I have gotten the best sound out of my bass with the aquarian heads, and am thinking now of switching to them permanently. I want to say something else that the earlier-mentioned author said. Although aquarian heads are getting progressively popular, I must say that it is a pity how underrated they are. They are very good heads with good sound and durability. They are also made well. So, I have gotten the best sound overall out of Evans and Aquarian drumheads. The next thing I donít like about it is that the star cast mounting system is that it may be helpful, but it is hard to install, being that evans and aquarian heads have large edges on them. You have to hold the clamp down, and screw it in with the other hand, and I donít like that. The last thing I donít like about the kit is the projection. If you donít play in any place larger than my room(between 50 and 100 square feet), this kit may not be for you. It is only for large gyms and venues, being that it projects so well, and with the help of the star cast mounting system, it projects even better. So, in conclusion, if you donít play in a band in a large place, this kit might not be for you.
The kit is very nice quality, actually. The finish, as long as you take good care of it, will last you a long time. Mine only has a few dents and/or scratches on it. The shells are made of 1 ply basswood, 5 ply mahogany, and another inner ply off b-wood. This was a short part of this review, but there isnít much to say about the quality besides, this is good.
Overall, this kit is worth it. If you need a pro kit at a cheap price, this kit is the way to go. See you next review.x_drummer2000
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