Tama Imperialstar Review - What Can You Expect From It!

Posted in Drums | Last Updated on October 4, 2018

In the percussion world, since 1962, Tama is synonymous with a considerable amount of success due to multiple product hits and innovative features. The history of the brand founded by Hoshino Gakki goes back after the II World War when they just fabricate guitars and amplifiers for later starts to fabricate drums which quickly attracted the attention of famous drummers, and Tama made a name in the industry due it's high quality. Some names like Mike Portnoy, Dave Lombardo, Simon Phillips, Lars Ulrich and Scott Travis are included in the list of famous drummers who use and prefer TAMA.

In this lines, you will find all you need to know about the TAMA ImperialStar. A drum set of the economic series but with a really good sound quality and a popular hardware in the drummer's world, preferred by beginner drummers and even by intermediate ones.

I bet you will love all the ImperialStar includes when you buy it. This kit includes a "Stagemaster" hardware and brings all you need in one box (in fact the only accessory that doesn’t include is a pair of sticks).

Below is a list of everything that is included in the box:


  • 18 x 22″ bass drum with mounted 8 x 10″ and 9 x 12″ toms
  • 8x10" and 9x12" toms
  • 14 x 16″ floor tom
  • 5 x 14″ snare drum


  • Meinl HCS 14″ HiHat cymbals
  • Meinl HCS 16″ crash cymbal
  • Meinl HCS 20″ ride cymbal


  • Iron Cobra HP200P kick pedal - it is very very smooth.
  • Double tom holder - you got plenty of room for maneuver with it.
  • Boom cymbal stand
  • Straight cymbal stand
  • Hi-hat stand
  • Snare drum stand
  • Drum throne

Available Colors:

  • Champagne Mist
  • Candy Apple Mist
  • Hairline Black
  • Hairline Blue
  • Vintage Red
  • and Midnight Blue.

Hit it!

This is a solid kit with poplar shells which seduces you at first sight due to its different and attractive colors (my favorite is the stunning Hairline Black). It has a deep bass drum sound, equilibrated toms, a snare drum with excellent response to fast attacks (but with a sound controlled in harmonics) and a respectable hardware. Having all that in the package gives you satisfying feeling because the kit is simply “plug and play”. There won’t be the moment when you say “I just need to add this and everything will be perfect”, certainly that won't happen with this kit.
It combines high range features, perfect for intermediate drummers and beginners with a powerful attack who want a sound full of brilliants tones.

In general, the drum kit is easy to tune, so you can immediately open the box after you have it, put it all together, tune it quickly, and start to enjoy and hit it.
Tama glues the entire wrap to the shell. They differentiate themselves from others drum makers who only glue the drum wraps at the point of contact, that's the reason why others drums made by the same material have the problem with wrap buzzing with the pass of time till it finally comes apart. Not that Tama drums are indestructible but you get the point.

The nitty-gritty

This bass drum is with Accu-Tune hoops, a quality feature, exclusive by Tama, made of plastic reinforced with fiberglass, which is making it less heavy but more resistant than wood. When talking about the bass drum it is inevitable to emphasize the depth of the sound, it is amplified with a microphone which is one of the best features of this drum kit.  Another Tama exclusive feature is the bass drum spurs because they have a removable spiral rod. A feature that provides excellent durability and stability.

Of course, not everything can be perfect, the bass drum rings are made of plastic, which places it as a disadvantage at the moment of tuning, I don’t think it’s a big deal though.
The bass drum doesn’t have a hole in it, and if you consider it necessary you can pierce it or play your Tama ImperialStar as it comes.

Discovering the snare

The snare shell is made of poplar wood, the sound is strong and acute especially when you hit at the center of the snare. Its sound quality can’t be compared to one of the toms and the bass, this drum is clearly lacking from the rest in that regard.

The stool is adjustable and that gives you some flexibility but the stability is under questions.
I love to emphasize the fact that it includes a drum throne, accessory that is not included in most of the drum kits, and which has an individual price value that ranges between 25 and 63 dollars.

Hear the toms

picture of the two toms in black color

Personally, I like its toms, because their sound is very clear as I expected it to be, it's drawn back is the Taiwanese drumhead, which produces an entry-level sound, this detail makes the toms sound weaker, but even though the sound is more than satisfying. Fortunately, that can be improved further by changing the heads for good quality heads.

Also, the toms cant be moved closer to you, they can be moved outward and inward around 90 degrees. That makes them very flexible. It should be noted that there is a good tone difference between toms and floor tom.


Meinl Cymbals - HCS 14″ HiHat, HCS 16″ crash, HCS 20″ ride

Entry level made of brass alloy. They are a bit controversial, some people love them, others not so much. Their mode is Meinl HCS.

Impressive Hardware

For a start, all the hardware is double brassed. I mentioned spoke about some of the stuff above, so there will be the addition.  The stands are pretty necessary accessories, they are adjustable and firm, taking into consideration the middle price range of this model it is pretty cool that you can find all this in a set.

The sensibility of the Hi-hat pedals and bass drum are comfortable and has a broad range for you to adjusts, highlighting the bass drum stand, which is responsive to its stability.  Double tom holder, also, The Iron Cobra HP200P kick pedal is designed to prevent it from loosening on hard executions.

On the Scales

Tama Imperialstar, pros and cons


  • Price, not much to say about it, it is simply a very good deal for what you pay. With few adjustments, you can make it sound like a sets way expensive than this one.
  • "The strongest name in drums", that’s how the company like to present itself, and it's known that slogan it not far from the truth. Their products are super durable.
  • The hardware is more than decent.
  • Responsive
  • Huge tone

  • You need a lot of tunning to make it sound good, but once you make it you won’t be disappointed.
  • The heads, they are not that bad, but at some point, you might consider upgrading. That seems like one of the weakest spots that are confirmed by the majority of the users.

Sound Check - Hear it for yourself

Final Verdict

If we summarize this review article, the Tama ImperialStar is a well designed and fabricated drum set, at the moment you sit down and play it you can feel the weight of their drums and an extra confidence thanks their stands, We remind you that belongs to the entry-level series of Tama, so it is a viable option for those drummers who are looking their first drum kit or for drummers who want a new drum to practice which offer good quality and durability.

Don't doubt it in buying it if you have the chance to do it.