TAMA Imperialstar Drum Set Review

Buy the TAMA Imperialstar Drum SetReview Summary: Everything is included in the TAMA Imperialstar 5-piece drum set which makes it the best value of the drum sets we review in $750-$1050 price range. TAMA's drums sound good because of their materials and construction techniques.  Paired with Meinl cymbals, this is a valuable combination that can't be beat.

Pros: 100% Poplar wood shells for a full, warm sound with medium attack. 100% glued finishes eliminate warping/buzzing and allow the drums to fully resonate. Original small lugs for greater drum resonance.

Cons: Tom mounts are attached to the drum shell instead of using a tom suspension system, cutting down on resonance.

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Your dream of playing the drums can start with the TAMA Imperialstar drum set! This kit includes drums, hardware and cymbals for one low price.  It is the best valued set we've reviewed.  Tama has been in the drum business for over 40 years and is one of the top five drum manufacturers today.  Their drums are known for sounding good and their hardware is known for being durable.  I have owned a TAMA drum throne for over 25 years and it is still comfortable and sturdy.

Quick Stats:

Pricing $779.99 Complete TAMA drum set included for one price
Drum Sizes 22"x18" bass, 12"x9" and 13"x10" toms, 16"x16" floor tom, 5.5"x14" snare.
Hardware TAMA Stage Master hardware: snare, straight, boom and hi-hat stands. Bass drum pedal and drum throne.
Cymbals Meinl 20" ride, 16" crash, 14" hi-hats, FREE 12" China.
Drum Shell Wood 100% Poplar - Warm sound, medium attack but not as hard as Birch.
Advanced Edge Cutting Yes - Precise bearing edges allow drums to ring more and make them easier to tune.
100% Glued Finishes Yes - Eliminates warping, buzzing and lifting allowing drums to fully resonate.
Drumheads Thick, single-ply factory heads are durable but do not sound as good as name-brand drumheads.
Suspended Tom Holders No - Holders attached directly to the drum shell reduce drum resonance.


100% Poplar Drum Shells - Imperialstar drums are made of 100% Poplar, a wood that has been used in drum making for over 50 years.  Poplar is known for its warm sound quality with a medium attack.  This means the drum shell resonance is mellow and you don't have to hit the drums too hard to get a nice sound.

Precise Bearing Edges - TAMA uses an advanced edge-cutting process that provides extremely precise bearing edges.  Drumheads rest on a drum shell's bearing edges so having well-cut edges allow the shells to ring openly and fully, and makes the drums easier to tune.

100% Glued Finishes - Drum coverings, called wraps, are not spot glued or taped on Imperialstar drums. They are glued 100% to eliminate warping, buzzing or lifting. Having a wrap strongly attached to the shell causes the drum to resonate fully and consistently.

Original Small Lugs - TAMA drums use lugs that are 10% smaller than the last generation of TAMA drums.  These semi-circle metal "turtles" are attached to a drum shell and are used to tighten the drum head to the shell's edge.  Smaller lugs means less impact on the drums ability to resonate.

Thicker Drum Heads- Thicker drum heads mean warmer tone and greater durability.


Tom Mounts Attached to Drum Shells - Tom mounts are attached to the drum shell by drilling holes through the wood, reducing the resonance of the drum.  Other sets use a tom suspension system where the top rim of the drum is attached to the tom holder.

Single Ply Drum Heads - This set comes with single ply drum heads that are harder to tune and do not sound as good as double ply drum heads.


If you want a great sounding kit for a great price, the TAMA Imperialstar drum set is your best option. Because of it's great value, it can be your first kit and because of it's high quality, you can continue to use it after turning pro!

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