Very recently, we have received a parcel from the German town of Guttenstetten, where the HQ of Meinl Cymbals is. They are also the official Tama distributor in Europe. Due to that fact, the parcel contained a Tama Superstar Classic NEO-MOD and a set of Meinl HCS cymbals. Today, we present the effects of a video session featuring those instruments. Let us focus on the drums first…
Now is a time of COVID-19 scare, quarantine requirements and restrictions of all sorts. For this reason, we did not invite any drummer to “tap” on the drums. On your screens, you will see head of marketing at beatit.tv and chief teaching methods specialist at BEATIT Drum School, Maciej “Blindman” Głuchowski.
We are testing a Tama Superstar Classic NEO-MOD drum kit
1. The test
The test was carried out in our own recording facility. The kit comprises a rack tom, a floor tom and a kick drum. We also used a beech 14″x5.5″ Sonor Ascent snare drum with an Aquarian Texture Coated batter head and a Remo Ambassador Clear resonant head, as well as a Meinl HCS cymbal set.
2. Basic specification of the drum kit tested here:
- Manufacturer: Tama
- Model: Superstar Classic NEO-MOD
- Kit elements: 12″ x 7″ tom, 14″ x 9″ floor tom, 20″ x 10″ bass drum
- Finish: Mod Blue Duco (MBD)
- Material: Maple (6-ply, 5 mm)
- Tom mounting system: Star-Mount
- Tom holder: MTH1000S, single, ball
- Claw hooks: Rubber pads
- Hoops: Triple Flanged
- Snare drum: No
- Hardware: No
3. Product and sound
As the name suggests, the Tama Superstar Classic NEO-MOD kit is inspired by the vintage style, while maintaining today’s standards thanks to the use of modern technologies. It comprises the following: a 12″x7″ rack tom, a 14″x9″ floor tom and a 20″x10″ bass drum. The drums make a positive impression from the first contact, without even listening to them. The tasteful finish of the Mod Blue Duco (a fade from black to blue and back) is embellished with the famous classic logo, i.e. that fancy T-shaped badge drummers all over the world know. In addition, the well-made bass drum rims as well as bearing edges, the nice plywood (one hundred percent maple), and the non-invasive Star-Mount tom suspension system make one like the kit at first glance. A buyer also receives claw hooks with rubber pads, sturdy bass drum legs (without telescopes, but with notches inside for a comparative scale and even positioning on both sides), triple flange hoops, and a single tom holder with a ball suspension system. It is also worth noting that the tom holder can be unscrewed and the ball positioned the other way round, so left-handed drummers who do not play open-handed need not worry about incompatibility.
Let us not neglect the sonic qualities. We tested the drum kit using the following tuning achieved with the help of a Tune-Bot device:
- Bass drum – G (first octave, 79 Hz on the batter head and 90 Hz on the batter head)
- Floor tom – F (second octave, 116 Hz on the batter head and 194 Hz on the batter head)
- Rack tom – C (third octave, 174 Hz on the batter head and 291 Hz on the batter head)
All the drums in the kit have a distinct attack and power. The depth of the bass drum, amounting to 10 inches, does produce a slight sustain, which means that the drum is alive. It can especially be heard from the microphones (we were not as delighted when listening in the room by ear). The drums have quite a lot of warmth and a quick response, but a certain dynamic threshold cannot be jumped over. You can bash on the toms from behind the ear, but simply will not squeze more dynamics out of them. These are not drums from metal players, but it should be clearly stated here that this was certainly not the producer’s goal. This drum kit will deliver in Fusion, Jazz (although orthodox jazz people would probably prefer a 16″ or 18″ bass drum) and all types of acoustic performances.
Apart from the Mod Blue Duco (MBD), the kit is offered in the following finishes: Metallic Gold Duco (MLD), White Smoke (WSM), Seafoam Green (SFG) and Turquoise Satin Haze (TSH). The first four are lacquer finishes while the last one is covered with a wrap.
Distributor in Poland: Meinl Distribution Polska
OUR VERDICT: 5/5
- Well crafted
- Warm sound
- Stylistic versatility
- Great look
- Slightly limited dynamic range
Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put the TAMA Superstar Classic NEO-MOD drum kit to the most important test of all, i. e. the en.beatit.tv viewers’ test!