(SOLD) TAMA Japan Starclassic 14x5.5 SMS55 Maple Snare Drum
Oh snap, what a lovely snare. With TAMA introducing the Starclassic as their new flagship kit at the end of the 90s, a ton of great gear followed. Starclassics have always been consistently good, whether kits or just snares. Their offerings with bubinga, maple, and hybrid shells were especially outstanding.
We've enjoyed having this guy in the shop. You can feel the build quality when simply picking it up. The MSL-SCT Starclassic lugs are solid and sturdy. The throw off is well-designed and looks a treat. Each tension rod has two washers – one steel and one plastic – we assume for tuning stability and smooth tensioning. The vent hole grommet is made of wood which is a really nice touch. The long butt creates a symmetric break angle on the snare straps making for even tension with the bulkier throw.
We don't really want to sell this because it sounds so good. The thin 5mm shell is comprised of 6 plies of gorgeous Canadian maple. The thinner shell gives it more sensitivity and resonance. Combine this with the diecast hoops that give a thick fundamental and focused attack, and you get an impressively well-rounded piece of gear. When playing gentle you'll get sensitivity and articulation that allows for singing subtleties. Ramp up your strokes and it'll come back at you with a tight projection and an expressive barky sustain. The cool discontinued Champagne Sparkle finish is a win too!
Manufacturer: TAMA Drums
Model: SMS55 Maple Snare in Champagne Sparkle(?)
Made: Japan, late 90s/early 00s
Dimensions: 14" Diameter / 5.5" Depth
Shell: 6 ply 5mm maple
Hardware: 16 MSL-SCT Starclassic Lugs
Strainer/butt: 6302 / 6303
Batter: Remo Coated Ambassador (6/10)
Reso: Evans CAD/CAM 190 Resonant Snare Side 300 Clear (8/10)
Wires: Ludwig 20 strand wires with plastic straps (8/10)
Additional Notes: The throw is smooth and doesn't get stuck. The snare wires and heads are in good condition. There is some light surface damage on the hoops, throw and butt. The lugs and shell are overall in very good condition with very few minor scratches and marks. The batter head is worn with tape residue near the logo. No dimples, however, and it holds tune, still a little life left. Overall: very good condition (7/10)