I am always excited to review Tama products because this is one of the best brands around. Many of their kits have arrived at my doorstep, waiting to be reviewed. It even hard to know how many of these kits have gone through my hands.
As a reviewer, however, and perhaps Tama’s #1 fan, I can never wait to see the brand’s latest designs and products.
The Starclassic Bubinga has been on the market for several years now. Each time Tama produces another, it comes with a better feature. The kit is designed for rock drummer, which means it features a thick shell and extra-sturdy hardware.
When it comes to delivering the best quality, you can always count on Tama. I mean, how many drummers out there swear by this brand? It’s hard to tell.
The whole Starclassic line is defined by incredible features and the best sounds on the market. They are known for delivering a remarkable tonal range.
In this guide, I will be looking at some of the best products from this line.
TAMA Starclassic Bubinga Drum Sets & Kits
A few years ago, Tama transferred the production of Starclassic Bubinga Maple to China. Lines line Starclassic Performer Bubinga/ Birch were already coming from China. Hence, only Omni-Tune and Bulinga Elite series remained in Japan.
Nevertheless, one thing clear is that Tama has always found a way to double-check the quality of their kits. And this the Starclassic Bubinga is no different.
I was reading through some online comments about this line and realized I am not the only fan. An enthusiast says, “everyone who comes in touch with the kit was happy, and many of them did not care about the country of origin – they just loved the sound that came out.”
This could be the best summery I have seen of these kits. After all, Tama has established its reputation on manufacturing power, design, and innovation.
Even though China is seen as a destination for lower-end levels, and such pro ranges as this are rare, you will love how the kit performs.
The idea was to lower the cost. Hence, the difference between Chinese-made Starclassic Bubinga and its Japanese-made in Starclassic Elite is quite significant. And yet they are not very far in terms of quality.
Let’s look at some of the top products from this line.
The mixture of birch and Bubinga is an exciting combination that delivers incredible characteristics. You get the best of each wood in these kits.
In a nutshell, this is another pro-level kit from a brand that has stopped at nothing to offer the best.
It is evident that Tama has become the biggest user of Bubinga over the past few years. The African hardwood is seen on the company’s high-end Starclassic line.
The Tamaclassic Bubinga/Birch heads on this drum kit have been in use since around 2006. Apart from these high-end shells, the kits come with Hyper-Drive to lengths and a wide selection of finishes.
Bubinga is the hardest wood used for drum kits, 50% harder than maple and birch. It is famous for delivering immediate attacks and rich lows.
Whereas this could be a great feature that gives it impressive acoustic qualities, it’s harder to work with it. Also, it’s not as abundant as other woods, which makes it more expensive.
Theoretically, mixing Bubinga and birch should give a brilliant attack with a solid bottom. Birch adds on an extra oomph.
Snare and toms carry seven-ply 6-mm thick skin. Birch is found on the outer four plies, while Bubinga is on the inner three.
The bass drum is thicker, with eight-ply 8-mm. Bubinga is also on the inner three.
You can find the Tama’s Starclassic Bubinga Birch kit in four different shell packs, including the four-piece kit in this review. The configuration include a 22 by 20-inch bass drum, a 10 by 6 ½-inch/12 by7-inch inch rack toms, 14 by 12-inch/16 by 14-inch floor toms, and a 13 by 6-inch snare drum,
Die-cast hardware is standard in all the drums, except the kick, which has wooden hoops. Also, the drums feature chrome-plated Star-Cast mounts.
Setting this kit in place was relatively easy. It was easy to set the Hyper-Drive toms in place with its size and super-long, undrilled bass drum.
There are rich fat and warm sounds from each drum, which does not tire – the bass drum. It’s impressive that it’s quite dry for its size.
• Birch and Bubinga is a great combination
• Affordable and high-quality
• Incredible finishes
• A wide range of sizes
• It is a huge kit that will require you to have a lot of space.
Tama’s Starclassic Bubinga kit comes in a wide range of configurations. The most common is this snareless five-piece shell pack.
The kit comes with an undrilled 22 by 20-inch bass drum, a 10 by 8-inch and 12 by 9-inch rack toms, and 14 by 12-inch and 16-by 14-inch floor tom drums.
The first thing you will notice on this drum kit is the striking finish. Mine came with Silver Snow Racing Stripe, which is outstanding.
The toms are all-bubinga with 9-ply 6 mm thickness. The bass drum, on the other hand, is 7mm thick.
Bubinga is a very dense wood, 50% more than maple birch. Hence, expect the Star Classic bubinga drums to be distinct but not uncomfortable.
Bearing edges at 45-degrees makes them easy to use. The precise attach of bubinga wood adds smoothness to your sounds.
These kits come with zinc die-cast hoops with tribal graphics on top of each kit. Die-cast hoops have more weight than regular ones, promising a consistent tuning approach. And strong floor tom legs with rubber feet.
The hoops come coated with black nickel. This improves its appearance without affecting its price.
Three extra eyes on the zinc hoops ensure easy threading of the Star-Cast suspension. The mounts and tom brackets are attached directly to the hoops, far from the tension rods, which means you can change the heads with ease.
The length of the undrilled bass drum promises a deep and powerful response for drummers. Every stroke assures a beautiful performance.
Tama understands how to deliver great sounds, and they have not been disappointed in this kit. Bubinga’s attack is well articulated. The floor toms legs are quite strong, just like other hardware.
The floor tom legs are quite strong. This makes the floor toms perform better.
• It comes from a reputable brand
• Solid construction with quality components
• Incredible sounds
• Nothing to complain
Buying any Tama’s drum set means getting the best sets on the market. And here is one kit that proves it all.
The Starclassic Bubinga kit: Volcanic Red Burst promises a professional appearance with a beautiful performance. African maple is about 53% harder than birch and maple, which makes this kit durable.
Concerning sounds, Starclassic Bubinga is known for delivering a sharp and aggressive attack combined with rich fat lows. The Starclassic Bubinga shells are thicker than maple drums, which allows for a full performance.
The first thing you will notice on these drums is the fantastic finish. And then, it comes with Star-Cast mounting system, which has always assured maximum resonance and stability. Tama’s pro drum comes with these features.
Its streamlined design ensures better positioning on toms, closer together for comfortable playing. The use of aluminum provides lighter hardware. Strong floor tom legs assure stability.
Die-cast hoops ensure impressive tuning for the drums. We know that hoops affect drum tuning; that is why you need to choose very carefully. Die-cast hoops are denser and more consistent than triple-flanged ones.
Starclassic drums feature Star-Cast mounting system, which makes them stronger.
• A beautiful Volcanic Red Burst finish
• High-end performance
• Die-cast hoops
• Nothing notable
The Starclassic Bubinga Exotic Crimson Tigerwood in this review came as a five-piece carrying a 22-inch by 18-inch bass drums, 10-inch by 8-inch and 12-inch by 9-inch toms, and 14-inch by 12-inch and 16-inch by 14-inch floor toms. You can also get a three – and four-piece kit.
Four matching snare drums are sold separately, including 13 x 6-inch, and three different depths of 14-inch drums.
There are more than 30 different drums to expand your basic configuration. Tama has thought of any ways to make your drumming journey as easy as possible.
The finish and sound
Exotic kits Starclassic Bubinga shells come with either quilted Bubinga or tigerwood external plies, with two finish choices for each. Every drummer can find what they need from these finishes.
For this kit, we have the Exotic Crimson Tigerwood Fade finish. Tigerwood is renowned for its unusual grain pattern that creates parallel stripes. The strands branch outward, creating something like the limps of a tree. Tama uses vertical running with the grain, applying subtle reddish near the top, which fades in this wood’s naturally rich brown.
The kits come with chrome, black nickel, or smoked black nickel hardware. Floor tom and bass drum have die-cast hoops which deliver a sturdy performance.
All the shells are 9-ply 100% Bubinga. The toms are 6mm thick, while the bass drums are 7-mm. They don’t have reinforcing rings, which assure are full sound from each drum.
Concerning sound, this is one of the drum sets you can always count on. Although the sound is subjective, we can all agree that bulinga is superior.
• All bulinga shells with die-cast hoops
• Great performance
• Tama’s high-end products
Tama Starclassic Bubinga Snare
Tama introduced the Bubinga wood on the market, and now it has become increasingly popular. The wood is defined by ultra-high density, which makes rich, fat low, and deep, dark tones from the shells.
The shells on the snares are 4.5mm thick, making them thinner than on other Starclassic kits. Hence, the material vibrates more freely, enhancing its resonance.
They feature 9mm in thick Sound Focus Rings (SFR), which assures a clear projection and sustain of a clear sound.
Snare bed shapes determine any snare’s sound. It’s particularly important for sustain and sensitivity of the wires.
Different snare beds feature on the Starclassic Bubinga snare. The goal was to create a snare that offers the same rich resonance while staying extra crispy and articulate. They have a flat bottom that ensures consistent contact with each coil on the snare.
The snare also features three holes around the shell, unlike only one on the toms and bass drum. These holes assure a brighter, dryer sound to the snares.
These drums come with super sensitive hi-carbon snare wires and specialized plate and winding patterns for the wire coils. The hi-carbon steel assures a crisp, sensitive snare sound.
Newly designed one-piece lugs are designed with a clean look and construction. Also, the snare comes in different finishes, which all good for every drummer.
• Newly designed one-piece lug
• Linear-Drive strainer
• Super sensitive Hi-Carbon snare wires
• Other than that, there nothing much to complain about
First Chinese-made Starclassic Bubinga is spot on here since entering the American market. With Bubinga’s top performance, you can always count on these drum kits to delivers the most incredible performance.