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Old 09-03-2018, 07:05 PM
The_Peeper The_Peeper is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
Question TAMA Artstar ES - Japan / Taiwan

Hi all,
I'm Dan, a drummer since 1989 & this is my first post here.

I'm wondering if any TAMA boffins can help me:
I have an Artstar ES kit that I bought in 1993.
Recently I purchased another Artstar ES (reportedly from 1994) for the purpose of transferring a few chrome parts to my original kit that had worn down a bit after years of gigging.

Both kits have the usual TAMA / Made In Japan badges, but I was surprised to find when I took both kits apart that my lugs and mounts were engraved inside with "JAPAN", yet my 2nd matching bass drum that I purchased the same year had lugs engraved with "TAIWAN", and were slightly lighter in weight. The recently purchased Artstar ES was not engraved with any country at all, but matched the casting and weight of the Taiwanese lugs from my 2nd kick.

Overall it's a little bit disappointing to find this out, because the Japanese lugs feel heavier, sturdier, and appear to be chromed more nicely. So I won't be swapping any lugs off my original kit. They aren't too bad anyway, and I've moved them around so that any really bad ones are in the least conspicuous places, like on the bottom of the bass drum.

My main question is - does anyone know much about the Mighty Hoops, and if they too may have been manufactured in different factories?
Some of the hoops on my recent purchase are in nicer condition, but I have a slight apprehension that they may be Taiwanese too.

Any thoughts or info greatly appreciated
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:27 AM
Trilok_Gurtu Trilok_Gurtu is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 319
Default Re: TAMA Artstar ES - Japan / Taiwan

to the forum.

There are some Tama experts here, I'm sure someone can help you. If not, I suggest you also join some Tama Facebook groups. Lots of knowledgeable people there as well.

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Old 09-06-2018, 05:26 AM
dukekamaya dukekamaya is offline
Advanced Member
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: South Coast, NSW, Australia
Posts: 249
Default Re: TAMA Artstar ES - Japan / Taiwan

The ES were originally Rockstars with Artstar hardware - 9ply/9mm Phillipine Mahogany shells with a inner Basswood ply.
Tama 'upgraded' the shells (theres essentially a Mk1,Mk2 and Mk3 Artstar ES) in 1996 to replace the inner Basswood ply with Birch for the inner ply as well as the outer ply on painted models.
Perhaps when the Swingstar/ Rockstar production moved to Taiwan they started producing hardware for other series there as well
2000 saw the shells upgraded again, this time to thinner 7mm shells with 6 plies Phillipine Mahogany and 3 inner plies Birch. These last ones are probably the pick

Last edited by dukekamaya; 09-06-2018 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:08 AM
Mo Tonkie Mo Tonkie is offline
Vintage Drum Guru
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: S of Nash
Posts: 629
Default Re: TAMA Artstar ES - Japan / Taiwan

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what happened to the official Tama forum? I used to visit there but can't find it now.
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:50 AM
The_Peeper The_Peeper is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
Default Re: TAMA Artstar ES - Japan / Taiwan

Thanks Dukekamaya, that's very interesting info
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Old 09-30-2018, 03:09 PM
clubdate64 clubdate64 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: California
Posts: 906
Default Re: TAMA Artstar ES - Japan / Taiwan

This was about the time TAMA stopped looking like TAMA and started trying to be another Gretsch clone.
I like Drums...
1964 Leedy (Slingerland) Blue n Silver Duco
1964 Ludwig Club Date Sparkling Silver Pearl
1966 Ludwig Super Classic Sparkling Silver Pearl
1972 Slingerland 85N Pop outfit Light Blue Pearl
1981 Gretsch SSB Gran Prix Rosewood
1987 Yamaha Turbo Tour Custom Mellow Yellow
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artstar es , artstar esprit , japan , restoration , tama

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