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Tama Starclassic Performer Walnut/Birch Drum Set Review

Revamping the Performer Line

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Tama’s new Tama Starclassic Performer Walnut/Birch Drum Set. Tama was forced to move away from their popular Birch/Bubinga Performer line due to recent restrictions on harvesting Bubinga. While this initially seemed like bad news for Bubinga drum lovers, the new Walnut/Birch configuration offers a slightly different flavor of Performer that we think you’ll love!

Top-Notch Star Hardware

The new Tama Starclassic Performer Walnut/Birch Drum Set retains all of the high-end hardware features from the B/B Performer line that you’ve come to love. The Zinc die-cast hoops, quick lock mounts and the Air Cushioned floor tom feet. The Bass drum mount is also one of the most versatile on the market, giving you tremendous freedom regarding tom placement.

The Walnut/Birch shell for toms and floor toms is 6mm thick and constructed using 4-ply European Birch for the outer plies with 2-ply American Black Walnut interior plies. The bass drum shell specification is 8mm, 5-ply European Birch outer plies with 2-ply American Black Walnut interiors. The interior walnut shell ply includes a lacquer coating treatment, which adds an element of liveliness to the overall tone.

Tama Starclassic Performer Walnut/Birch vs. Birch/Bubinga

How does the sound of the new Tama Starclassic Performer Walnut Birch Drum Set compare to the old Birch/Bubinga line? To put it succinctly, the Walnut/Birch give you a full sound, while the Birch/Bubinga’s produce a more focused or quick sound. They both share an equal amount of attack, but we feel the Walnut/Birch Performer’s give you better low end and sustain. The sound would be improved vastly by swapping out the stock heads for some coated Remo Ambassadors over Clear Ambassadors.


Overall, the new Tama Starclassic Performer Walnut/Birch Drum Set retains the best qualities of the B/B line, and adds a little more depth and character. The differences aren’t dramatic enough for us to recommend existing B/B owners to make the immediate switch. If you have been thinking about upgrading your current rig to the Tama Starclassic Performer line however, there has never been a better time!

At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we know Tama. If you have any questions regarding The Strongest Name in Drums, give one of our drummers a call. We’ll set you up with the perfect Tama kit tailored to YOUR individual needs!