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Help me identify a Vintage Tama Imperialstar kit! Last viewed: 7 minutes ago

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Hi!

So, as I just 2 days ago got my first drumkit, I thought I'd get more information about the kit, and what other place than a drumforum? Cool Dude

(Also, just to clarify, I've been a drummer for a while, I just recently wanted to get a kit myself :cool: )

I have a few questions about the kit, but I'll start with what's for me most important; what year is it from? From what I've gathered myself, it's obviously not earlier than 1974, since Tama wasn't founded before that (well, under the name Star) It's probably not that old since the serials are low. They are:

Bass Drum 22": 14500869

Tom 1 10" (Additional purchase by previous owner, 10" from Swingstar series): 13601611

Tom 2 12" : 14503001

Tom 3 13": 14503179

Tom 4 14": 13600060

Floor Tom 16": 83-19348

Snare: 83-23340

First of all, can someone clear up why the floor tom and snare has a different type of serial? Is it a later purchase added to the kit, or just Tama's vintage serial mess...?

Also, here's some images to help with the age identification:

[IMG]http://i64.tinypic.com/sg3cax.jpg[/IMG]

Logo with serial from base drum

[IMG]http://i67.tinypic.com/16h51sl.jpg[/IMG]

The old base drum legs that goes into the drum itself

[IMG]http://i65.tinypic.com/2wc2uy9.jpg[/IMG]

The whole kit. The old metal rim around the base drum that was removed later.

The kit is made in Japan, if that may help. If there's any more images or info you need to identify the age, I'll fix it asap.

The second question is, was it worth the cost? Again, it's the Japanese made kit for which I paid 6500 SEK (as I am and bought it in Sweden) which is about 790 USD, 545 GBP or 700 EUR. For that I got the shell kit of 10" (Swingstar), 12", 13", 14" tom tom and 16" floor tom, with 22" kick and the original 14" steel snare. With that, I got a ****load of entry-level cymbals. These are:

Older Sabian B8 Hi-hat

Older Sabian B8 20" Ride

Older Sabian B8 China

2X Paiste PST5 18" Crash

Paiste PST 19" Crash

Paiste 14" Crash (Drilled as effect cymbal)

Meinl HCS 20" Ride

Meinl HCS 16" Crash

Meinl HCS 8" Splash

Meinl Classics 8" Splash

Stagg 14" Hand-made Crash

Thomann's self-made some sort of China?

With that, I got stands and clamps for just about anything, a DW 3002 double-pedal and of course, a chair :cool:

Overall, the kit is worn, but still in a good playable conditions. The wraps are a bit worn especially on the base drum and Tom 4, but otherwise there's nothing more than it should be on a kit that old.

One thing I noticed aswell, is that drums are a bit more expensive than in the USA.

So to summon, if you can help with the production year of the set, please do share what you know. Also, as a more of a question of opinion, was it worth it? I think myself yes, but what do you think?

Thanks in advance for all the help!

Rock on!

/Chris Blake

Posted on 8 years ago
#1
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Looking at the serialnumbers, the hardware and the depth if the toms I can say that they are 1980's, especially the snare and floor tom are 1983. Sometime in the 80's Tama started using the two last digits of the year as the first two digits of the serial number so 83-xxxxx means made in 1983. Another thing I noticed is that the toms don't have rerings, clear indications of later Imps.

Posted on 8 years ago
#2
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I came up with the same info as neorich. Xtra's came out in 1983. All the double headed Imp's were standard dimensions before that.

Posted on 8 years ago
#3
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neorich05;381554

Looking at the serialnumbers, the hardware and the depth if the toms I can say that they are 1980's, especially the snare and floor tom are 1983. Sometime in the 80's Tama started using the two last digits of the year as the first two digits of the serial number so 83-xxxxx means made in 1983. Another thing I noticed is that the toms don't have rerings, clear indications of later Imps.

Thanks for the quick and helpful reply!

So, if I'm guessing correctly, if the serials with 83-xxxxx are from 1983, then the others with 8 digit serials are from an earlier period? For example, shell kit was bought, snare and floor tom replaced/added with later models, and some dimwit at some time added a Swingstar 10" tom.

Posted on 8 years ago
#4
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Yes in the 1980's Tama added the year before the number. Such as 80-xxxxx , 81-xxxxx, etc.... Mine are from '84 and my Superstars from '83 are the same. As far as value I think you did good. You got cymbals,stands, ans drums in good condition. Cymbals may be lower end but at least you have something to play with.

18 Kits & 40+ snares..
Not a Guru, just addicted to drums

- Jay
Posted on 8 years ago
#5
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ARCHxANGEL;381558

Yes in the 1980's Tama added the year before the number. Such as 80-xxxxx , 81-xxxxx, etc....

Thanks for the reply!

So without the snare and floor tom, the toms and base drum must've been made before 1980? How can I differentiate the year more precisely? As 74-79 is still quite a big span... Help2

Posted on 8 years ago
#6
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It's a bit harder to place an exact year on the 1970's models. Generally though the higher the number the later it was made. I think the Imperialstars fist came out between '72-'74. I recently bought a kit in a lot that is from the '70's and has the re-rings. Here are the numbers for comparison.

22" - 118741

12" - 118789

13" - 118796

16" - 118893

All mine are 6 digit, yours are 8. I'd say they are likely 78/79 from the higher numbers. In the '80's they added the year since otherwise the numbers would be longer than the badge itself,lol

18 Kits & 40+ snares..
Not a Guru, just addicted to drums

- Jay
Posted on 8 years ago
#7
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ARCHxANGEL;381567

Generally though the higher the number the later it was made. I think the Imperialstars fist came out between '72-'74.

All mine are 6 digit, yours are 8. I'd say they are likely 78/79 from the higher numbers. In the '80's they added the year since otherwise the numbers would be longer than the badge itself,lol

But the first Imperialstars where under the Star brand, right? With your 6 digit serials in mind, it would be most probable that they are indeed 78/79, depending on when Tama put added 8 digit serials. Thanks for the help!

Posted on 8 years ago
#8
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I don't think they have been labeled as Imperialstars while under Star. I think that name came to be once the name Tama was officially branded. Also not sure if those had the re-rings, or the zola coating inside the shell. I do know that they did not have any serial numbers. The early Tama kit in the other thread has none. I think too that " Tama " actually came to be in '74 was it?

Looking at the Tama / Star kit in the other thread I noticed that the interior of the drums doesn't have the coating or the re-rings. It's basically a Star kit with the Tama badge. So I think a lot of the features on the Imperialstar first came to be once they came out officially with the line.

18 Kits & 40+ snares..
Not a Guru, just addicted to drums

- Jay
Posted on 8 years ago
#9
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Tama came out in 1974, yeah. I think the Star brand only had Swing-, Royal- and Superstar, aswell as Starclassic before '74, and the new series were put up when it rebranded at Tama, and that the first Imperials came out then. I think that it was during the rebrand that they added 6 digit serials and expanded to 8 digits, which was then replaced by the year-xxxxx

Posted on 8 years ago
#10