Tama Rockstar Custom 5 Piece Mahogany Set Reviews 4

After working an entire summer with my dad I went to Music Central in Muskogee (in Oklahoma) and had planned to buy an Iron Cobra hi-hat stand, but the guy told me about this Rockstar Custom 5-piece standard mahogany set. He gave me a great deal ($750, about 150 bucks cheaper than I had found it anywhere else), plus I got to upgrade all the hardware to double-braced roadpro series. No cymbals or throne came with the kit, though it did come with a bass pedal which I sold back to the dealer for 75 bucks or so.

First of all, after I got it set up and replaced the heads, I noticed the resonance of the toms created by the star-cast mounting system. It was great! Also they had a great tone and attack overall. The floor tom especially had a great sound. The hardware is extremely professional and durable as well. The versatility of the omni-ball mounting system allows you to arrange the toms in virtually any way you want pretty easily. As far as the heads go, I replaced the batters with Remo Ebony Pinstripes, which create a wonderful deep tone with amazing sustain (after applying a thin strip of weather-stripping on bottom and top heads) on the toms that I've always wanted to create, yet could not be found on my old set because of the poor resonance.

The wood snare is not my favorite, though the throwoff and tension adjustment is pretty professional. It lacks the loud crack found in metal snares or even some professional wood snares. Also, for some reason the bass lacks punch; it sounds dead. I replaced the batter heads on all the drums with Ebony Pinstripes, which may account for the deadness in the bass, and possibly even the lack of crack in the snare.

The drums have 7 (?) inner plies of basswood with two outer plies of phillipine mahogany. This may be reversed, I can't remember and don't believe it really matters in this case. The quality of the kit was great for about 3 months, then I noticed it started to rattle. I stuffed the lug casings with cotton, but there's a layer of rubber between the casings and the drum that vibrates terribly on the 13" tom. I don't know what to do to fix it. Also, though the omni-ball mounting system is great, I can move the 12" tom easily by just barely pushing on it. No one can get it any tighter and it is still moved easily. However, it hasn't ever moved while I've been playing.

For the price, I don't believe you could ever beat the overall quality and performance level of this kit. The most outstanding features are the hardware and resonance of the toms. If it wasn't for the buzzing problems listed above, they would sound completely professional. The snare and bass could use a little work though.

Justin rated this unit 4 on 2003-11-19.

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