October 24, 2005

Gear Review: Tama Stagestar mini drumkit

Two weeks ago, our boss master Jay Durias (of South Border, who also happens to be an accomplished producer, musical arranger and composer) bought a Tama Stagestar mini drumkit for him & his kid daughter Kahlil to tinker with. He set it up in their studio, where I had the pleasure of tinkering with as well.

The kit consists of a small 18" kick, a 13" metal snare, 10" and 12" rack toms & a 14" floor tom. Hardware consists of a basic bass pedal, hi-hat stand, snare drum stand, a straight cymbal stand & rack tom holder (which is mounted on the kick drum). Stands are double-braced yet lightweight. And yes, there's also a drum throne included. It's not the heavy-duty type, but it's good enough for kids.

The kit also came with those cheap "kiddie" cymbals. I don't see them lasting for half a year hehehe! Anyway it's easy to upgrade this kit with better cymbals & additional stands. I also read from a catalogue that silencer pads are also available as an option, for silent practice at home when needed.

What I appreciate about this kit is its height flexibility. You can set this up either real low - for small kid drummers to reach; or you can set it up high - for normal adult-sized set-ups. Another thing that I like is the kit produces a decent sound straight out of the box. I was impressed with the kick drum, which really has some low-end presence. The toms are lively. The snare produces a decent sound, though as of this writing I can't find the desired tuning or sound that I want to come out from it. I'm sure nicer drumheads can remedy that. This kit will surely sound better with higher-quality drumheads from Evans or Remo.

Overall, the Stagestar is a nice little drumkit. It's a kit that I would proudly bring with me & play on small, acoustic-style gigs. And it's also a great starter kit for kids who are learning how to play the drums. And it's a Tama, so it's well-made and solid. The price is also reasonable - about 20K Philippine pesos, more or less - which is not so bad for a top-brand mini-kit. Once the new cymbals & heads are set up, Master Jay will try this kit for recording. I'm eager to hear how it will sound on recording. This is a really nice mini-kit. I think I want one for Christmas...