Are you a budding drummer hoping to one day earn the legendary status? You have to start somewhere, you know. The Tama Imperialstar 5-piece Complete Drum Kit is a great entry level kit for you. Not only will it cover most of your needs as a beginner, but it is also affordable.
The best part is that Tama did not design this kit only for starters, it is also suitable for experienced performers. The drums produce great sounds that will not only serve the needs of rookies but help skilled drummers to a great performance.
Allow us to tell you a bit about Tama before we go on to talk about what this kit has to offer.
Tama is a child company of the Japanese musical instrument company, Hoshino Gakki. Tama is their brand name for drum kits and other musical hardware.
It has two lines of manufacturing. The line that makes its high-end, professional, and of course, expensive drums (which is in Japan). The other one, that manufactures the less expensive drums and hardware, is located in Guangzhou, China.
That puts the Tama Imperialstar 5-piece Complete Drum Kit in the latter category but don’t let that bother you. Tama is known for its quality kits. It has been making drums since 1965 and till now professional drummers still reckon with it.
For example, Robert Searight and Anika Nilles are great drummers who are committed to using Tama kits. Other legends such as Lars Ulrich, Stewart Copeland, Kenny Aronoff, Simon Phillips, and a host of others have signature kits with Tama.
Features Of The Tama Imperialstar 5-piece Complete Drum Kit
It is time to get down to the juicy part of this review. You will learn all you need to know about the Tama Imperialstar drum kit. This will keep you well informed enough to let you confidently reach a decision on the kit.
Before we go on, let us provide some information that will answer some questions you might have later. Not all drum kits come with the same number of components. So, we will tell you exactly what you will get right out of the box.
For The Drums
18” by 22” bass drum as well as mounted 8” by 10” and 9” by 12” toms. You will also get a 14” by 16” floor tom as well as a 5” by 14” snare drum.
Yes! It comes with cymbals too: Meinl HCS 20” ride cymbal, Meinl HCS 16” crash cymbal, Meinl HCS 14” hi-hat cymbal.
The hardware include…
The HP200P Iron Cobra bass drum pedal and Boom cymbal stand. That’s not all, there is also the Straight cymbal stand, Hihat stand, Snare drum stand, and a Drum Throne.
With that out of the way, let’s get on to the details.
The shells on the Tama Imperialstar drums are made of 8 plies of 100% poplar. The drums give off a warm tone and medium attack. The drums also have great bearing edges which are responsible for its full sounds.
The precision design Tama has been using for the past 50 years reflects in these drums. The shells will neither warp nor buzz. This precision engineering is why the shells of the Imperial resonate fully and consistently.
The bearing edges of these drums, however, are specially crafted to endure all the beatings you can give the drums. So, you can be confident that this kit will go with you through your practice stage till you become a pro and need to step up your kit.
Meinl HCS Cymbals
Tama chose to team up with this great cymbal brand to include cymbals in its Imperial kit. Trust us; that was a great idea. The reason is simple, Meinl is the go-to cymbal brand for most modern-day great drummers. Now you can count yourself among them.
The cymbals are made of genuine brass and they work seamlessly with the Tama Imperialstar drums. Together, you can perform with a band or even go solo and still rock the crowd.
The last thing you want is your drums slipping out of position during a performance. This is why you should always go for the very best hardware you can lay your hands on.
The hardware that holds the instruments on the Imperialstar together offers you a combination of strength and flexibility. The strength will help you keep your instruments in place despite the heavy hitting. Furthermore, it will also keep the hold for as long as you need it.
The flexibility gives you the freedom of precise adjustability. You can set your drums and cymbals to positions that suit you the best.
The hardware, with all the strength, is also lightweight. In case you don’t know what that means, of all things, it makes transportation a breeze. But if you think that’s all, you’re in for a big surprise…
Other Features Of Interest
The Imperialstar drum throne is a solid piece of comfort. It is padded and is 13 inches in diameter, which is quite large.
The coolest thing about this throne is its universal height adjustment. It lets you adjust the height of the seat to any position you want. Just find that sweet spot that is most comfy for you and keep it there.
Furthermore, but this time on the drum’s hardware, the drums use hoops that are made of hi-tech materials. Firstly, this makes the sound of the drums richer as the shells will resonate fully and more consistently.
Secondly, the sturdy materials used for the drum hoops are lightweight and make it faster and easier to achieve a stable tuning.
Thirdly, changing the heads of the drums and packing the whole kit is easy since the hoops use tension bolts and not claw hooks.
The lugs on the drums are small and this makes the shell resonate better. That can only mean one thing; better sound output.
The spurs on the Imperialstar provide a solid footing. This will keep your bass drum in place regardless of the floor type.
For the past 25 years, the Tama Omnisphere tom holder systems have been (and are still being) used and loved by professional drummers. It offers flexible positioning, sturdy stability, and is easy to set up. This is the version that comes with the Tama Imperialstar.
As you might know, the shell of a drum determines to a large extent the sound it produces. We mentioned earlier that the Tama Imperialstar drums have their shells made of poplar. We also told you that the drums produce sounds good enough for an entry-level kit.
Honestly, you cannot compare the sound output of these drums to what you can expect from maple or birch shells. Those are the shells of the higher end kits. They are the shells you consider for a crystal clear sound.
This does not in any way mean the Tama Imperialstar is not a solid option, though. If you check other entry-level kits, they are about the same. We can also tell you that if you compare entry-level kits, this Imperialstar will rank high.
What we are saying is that this kit produces great sound for a beginner. However, the sound might not be good enough for a professional, which is, of course, why it is an entry-level kit.
The snare drum stands out from the rest of the drums. It has a crispy attacking sound. If you love to hit rim shots, be ready to do that some more when playing this drum. The sound effect is just great.
Overall, the snare drum quality is definitely beyond entry-level. While you might need to change the drum heads of the other drums and tune them up, you can leave the snare drum as is.
Pros Of The Tama Imperialstar 5-piece Complete Drum Kit
- The snare drum on this kit is fantastic.
- This kit is all-inclusive. It has everything a new drummer can need.
- The bass drum has a sturdy metal base.
- The hardware is double-braced for extra strength.
- Tama kits are known to be durable. On that premise, this one too will last long.
- The stock cymbals are good quality and they sound great.
- This is a great value kit for its price.
Cons Of The Tama Imperialstar 5-piece Complete Drum Kit
- You might have to change the drum heads and tune them for better sound output.
- It does not come with the bass drum patch.