Tama has been making drum sets for quite a long time now. The first drum set I ever used was a Tama. And that was years ago.
After that, I was interested in reviewing every drum set they ever made. That is how I know how to choose the best drum set.
Tama Artstar II Best to buy in 2023
When it comes to finding a great drum set, it is more than just looking at the brand and features. It matters a lot how many drummers have used that particular set.
Tama uses a wide range of great drummers to endorse their products. Lars Ulrich is one of them.
This is one of the greatest drummers of all time. The Tama Artstar II was his first signature live drum set.
Let’s see what it has to offer.
I was going through some online reviews to see if anyone else had ever used this classic. And it turns out there is a lot to compare it with in terms of quality and permanence.
The discussion that I found on drummerworld.com offered the most interesting insight comparing the Tama Artstar II/Custom with the Starclassic Maple.
One user says, “As far as I man concerned, Artstar II/Custom features 9mm maple bass drums and 7mm toms. Starclassic Maples have 7mm maple and 5mm toms.”
Perhaps we should start there. Both drum sets come with maple shells, which is a great wood for drums. It delivered deep and focused sounds that give these drums their power.
But Tama uses different woods to make these drums. This is why you will find wide variations.
I have owned an Artstar II/Custom, and its sound is out of this world. I liked the 13-inch rack tom, which offered better tonal ranges than anything else I have heard. Apart from that, I have plated Starclassics with birch, Bubinga, and maple shells. Starclassics maple seems to sound better than the rest.
In terms of price, the Starclassics are cheaper, maybe because they are out there in plenty. You can find them from $700 to $1000.
The hardware on both drum sets is impressive. But if you were to choose, I would recommend you go to the Starclassic.
• Great sound from both products
• Versatile pieces
• Excellent build quality
• Not the best seats on the market
• The hardware is good but not great
Finding a vintage drum set is quite a great feeling. It takes you back to the days when manufacturers only focused on making good drums and not competition.
Such is the Artstar 11 Late 80s piece. If you can listen to Lur Ulrich’s playing, you can hear beautiful drum sounds from every strike he made, all thanks to these bad boys. Well, on most of his record.
No matter how good such a drummer was, sometimes it’s just hard to find a good deal. It would be so much better if you found one that has not been used for too long.
I recently came across this piece. It was an incredible drum, used only a bit, and you could from the sparkles it gave.
Of course, there were a few scratches on the Piano Black finish and a few surface dings here and there. But that was only proof that someone was actually using them.
Besides, it had no gouges, cracks, or deep dents, which assures the original sound. Everything from the inner shell to the edges was near perfect.
It comes with chrome hardware, all in the best conditions.
Most importantly, the sound on these drums was crazy. They featured maple shells, which delivered a full warm sound.
Their craftsmanship and age allow them to sing fully and warmly. And if you add on some new Remo CS batter heads, you get even better sound.
• Great sound
• Excellent craftsmanship
• Good condition
Lars Ulrich continues to be one of the most influential drummers who ever lived. This Tama Artstar II 9 pieces LU Signature drum kit was the very first live kit. It was also his first maple kit.
The set is built on Tama Artstar II maple 9mm/8ply Snow White. There are a few modifications, such as short lugs from the Granstar line. It also comes in black, similar to the rest of the hard. That means the lugs, hoops, stands, tom holder, and everything else is black.
This is a nine-piece kit featuring two bass drums of 24-inch x 16-inch, four toms measuring 10 x 10-inch, 12 x 11-inch, 14 x 13-inch, and 16 x 16-inch, two-floor toms of 18 x 16-inch, and a Brass snare of 14 x 6.5-inches. It’s finished in lacquered Snow White, which makes it stand out.
Apart from the configuration, you will love how this kit is presented. It features Remo drumheads, assuring great tonal reach.
Also, it comes with:
• Powerstroke 3 beater
• Ambassador Ebony Resonant Pinstripe Clear in the beater
• Ambassador Ebony resonant on toms and floor toms
• Coated controlled reverse sound in the beater
• Ambassador clear resonant on the BB toms.
Cymbals are all Zildjian, which means they are all the best on the market. This includes:
• Zildjian A Brilliant 17-inch and 18-inch medium crashes on the left
• 18, 17, and 16-inch Rock crashes on the right
• 2 Z Custom 14-inch Dyno Beat Hi-hat
• One 19-inch China Boy Low
In terms of hardware, the 2 Pro-Beat HP45 pedals with a traditional beater are its quality away. All the stands are included with high-quality features.
• A full kit with every component included
• Excellent sound
• Nice finish and chrome hardware
• Bulky and heavy
If you have been playing drums for some time now, you understand that the snare drum is one of the most important pieces of a drum set. Therefore, picking the right snare drum is key to finding the right sounds for your kit.
The Tama Artstar II snare is quite extraordinary, both visually and tonally. Note that the Tama Artstar series became the Artstar Custom when Tama upgraded it with diecast hoops in the 80s.
Even on the older versions, the hoops were still incredible. Nothing has ever changed in terms of the tonal quality of this piece.
The drum is made from bell brass, which is the highest quality material for any snare drum. It comes with diecast hoops on the Artstar Custom.
Artstar II snare features in diecast rims and not triple flange-like in other versions.
Most importantly, this snare drum sounds amazing. It is not only the finish and hardware that bring it to the light. Start playing it, and the crisp, clear sound they produce will leave you smiling.
• Excellent construction material
• Great vintage sounds
• Sturdy hardware
If you were to pick any drum set from Tama, it would make a huge difference in sound no matter the price. The Artstar series was an excellent line of drums. And if you can get your hands on this vintage kit, I recommend you go for it.