> > > BeatIt Vintage Test: TAMA Artstar II Drum Kit

Some time ago, we locked ourselves away at Perlazza Studio (based in Poznań, Poland), where we tested quite a number of vintage drum kits and snares provided by Mateusz Wysocki and his MW-Vintage company, which (as the name suggests) specializes in vintage drums. We performed the test under the sonic supervision of musician, award-winning producer, studio owner and, most of all, a drum maniac, Przemysław Wejmann. To be more exact, it was drummer Max Psuja, who tested all the gear while the beatit.tv team recorded the video and the sound engineer/producer took care of the sonic side of things.

Max Psuja, as an utter vintage drum maniac, a former employee of a drum shop, and a great drummer, who has collaborated with a host of popular acts in Poland, such as Kumka Olik, Holak, Lilly Hates Roses or Yoachim, was perfect for the role of ’lab tester’. Needless to say, he was more than eager to do the job.

We have been publishing the results of our tests successively in the last few months, and there’s lots more to come. Today, it is time for a…

TAMA Artstar II Drum Kit

1. Basic specifications:

  • Manufacturer: TAMA
  • Series: Artstar II
  • Year of production: Late 1980s
  • Material: Canadian Rock Maple
  • Configuration: BD 22” x 16″; TT 10″ x 10″; TT 12” x 11″; TT 13” x 12”; TT 14″ x 13″; FT 16″ x 16”
  • Finish: Piano White

2. Test and sound

When testing the TAMA Artstar II drum kit, we also used a Majestic Brass 14″ x 10″ snare, Impression cymbals and Aquarian drumheads

Max first presented the sound of the toms and the kick drum produced by single strokes at different levels of dynamics, then the kick drum together with the toms only to add the snare after a while. The whole thing was finished off with a rhythm figure using all the kit elements as well as performing a groove.

The sound of this drum kit can be described as classic heavy metal. Hundreds, if not thousands, of metal albums have been recorded on such drums. One of the most controversial drummers in the world – Lars Ulrich – used to play them at some point in his career. What we are dealing with here is an instrument with a very characteristic, perhaps slightly dated sound coming from a specific era, but it is indeed a classic sound still loved by many.

TAMA Arstar II is characterized by warm and dark tom and kick drum sound. The bass drum has a lot of low frequencies and an interesting-sounding click. The toms, despite their huge depths, sound quite shallow and sharp. The shell sizes would even make a 2-meter-tall guy look like a 10-year-old child when sitting behind this set. 🙂 An instrument created for studio and heavy duty heavy metal shows.

Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put the 22″, 10″, 12″, 13″, 14″, 16″  TAMA Artstar II drum kit to the most important test of all, i. e. the en.beatit.tv viewers’ test! Exclusively for you, we give you Max Psuja!