Written on: 14/12/2013
Over the years I have had three Tama kits, the first in the late 1970s was an imperial four-brother tom kit, which i used professionally for a couple of years. I chose Tama on the strength of sound produced by Stewart Copeland of the Police, I wanted a similar, snappy and lound sound from my kit. I wasn't disappointed, Tama delivered.
A number of years later, late 1990s, I bought the budget swingstar kit, which although the cheapest from the range produced by Tama, the plywood shells produced a heavy tom sound. The snare was slightly ringy and thin in sound quality but, when I gigged with the kit mic-ed through the PA and dampened to my own spec preference, I was happy with the kit. It was quite robust and I gigged with it for a couple of years.
I purchased my second Swingstar kit, second-hand two year ago, it is a swingstar hybrid with a 14" floor tom fixed to the ride cymbal stand with a Rockstar snare, in gunmetal grey finish. The quality overall is far superior to the Swingstar kit I had previously. The fittings, pedals and stands are all good, robust quality. The kit is fitted with Evans batterheads and the sound and response of the kit is good.
I would have preferred a 16" floor tom rather than the 14" tom fitted to the cymbal stand, although it is slightly quicker to set the kit up but, the 16" floor tom is both stronger and deeper in sound. However, the kit is loud and sharp and the Rockstar snare is a cleaner and faster sound than the Swingstar snare. Overall, the gunmetal grey kit looks good and sounds far better than the previous Swingstar model.
The Tama Swingstar kit is a good budget kit that would make an ideal, quality beginners kit but, it is also a kit that any comptetent drummer would be pleased with.
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