It’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 years since Tama launched Star: its flagship drum range, however, the kits are still as impressive now as when they were first unveiled in 2013.
Featuring premium-level Japanese hand-craftsmanship, the Star line-up in 2020 comprises kits constructed from either Bubinga, Maple or - as we are focussing on - Walnut.
Having seen a big resurgence in the last couple of years (thanks in no small part to Tama) walnut has once again found itself in the spotlight as a serious tone wood for constructing drum shells, delivering a unique combination of warmth, punch and attack.
Of course, the wood is a key starting point for any drum shell, but Tama’s Star series is all about maximising resonance and tone incorporates plenty of design features to enhance these tonal properties, offering some of the greatest drum sounds on the planet, straight out of the box.
This is first achieved by Star’s bearing edge - at 35-degrees it offers great contact with the head than Tamas traditional bearing edge, increasing vibration transfer to further activate the tone of the shell. Next, the robust die-cast hoops and Hold Tight washers mean that tuning stability and a focussed tone are firmly maintained.
Star’s Super Resonant Mounting System makes contact with the shell in three places to ensure that the weight of the shell is supported both horizontally and vertically, and when combined with minimal shell contact and weight from lugs, plus Tama’s innovative quick-release, rubber-isolated tom mounts, you can be sure that you’re hearing the true sound of the shell.
Joined by Eddie Thrower (Lower Than Atlantis, Busted, Five Seconds of Summer), we took a trip to Northstone Studios in Wales, home to Jayce Lewis’ phenomenal stone-clad live room and stellar collection of Neve outboard preamps and summing to hear how the Star Walnut performs under the microscope of a top-level drum room.
Tama Star Walnut (Satin Black Walnut)
Bass Drum: 22”x16”
Toms: 10”x7”, 12”x8”, 16”x16”
Snare: Tama Starphonic Steel 13”x7”