The whole scoop on the Tama Silverstar Cocktail-Jam Kit. Everything you need to know. All the specs, Owners Comments, Value, Street Prices, Included Items, Strengths, Weaknesses, Options, and of course, CompactDrums.com’s final verdict.
Tama’s Silverstar Cocktail-Jam Kit is available in seven rather snazzy wrap finishes
Introduced at NAMM in 2014, Tama Silverstar Cocktail-Jam Kit now has a little over a year under the belt. Sources claim development took about nine months, making it comparable to a human toddler at today’s date. With a street price hovering around US$500, Tama’s aim is square in the centre of the segment Compact/Portable/Cocktail Drum Kits. However it’s distinct character makes it challenging to provide an apples to apples comparison. Even an attempt at comparing the CJ, (Cocktail-Jam) to other cocktail kits is futile as the CJ is the only one in the herd with a sit-down driver’s position.
Let’s take a quick look at what you get strictly from a “nuts and bolts” perspective; The same high quality, 100% birch shells as the rest of the Silverstar line-up; Ditto for the hardware and metal components which are all sturdy, nicely finished and of typical Tama-quality; A 200 series Iron Cobra pedal, modified with vertical action (US$70 value in itself); and of course the bags. At US$500 it’s hard to beat the value regardless of what you compare with. There are quite a few kits in that price range, but not with birch shells, Silverstar-grade hardware and a decent pedal included.
The single headed toms and bass allow them to nest in each other and fit all the drums in the quite small looking cylindrical, padded bag. Another rectangular padded bag holds all the hardware. If you’re thinking; “Yeah right, like that camping gear I bought that all came out of one bag but would only go back in if I burned it and stuffed in the ashes”, It’s not like that at all. On the contrary, without an engineering degree, the entire kit goes from playable to packed up in under 10 minutes. Unpacking and setting up is done in under 15 minutes. We confirmed it ourselves at the local music store, much to the amusement of staff and customers.
Our test run at above mentioned music store confirms what we have already heard from owners/players. The snare is very nice, has a wide range with both crack and growl and could easily hold it’s own in just about any kit you would want to through it in. The toms, while a bit lacking in volume and character, do a passable job and can be tuned lower than would be expected. The bass also lacks in volume and has a disappointing “flatness” to it, which can however be largely rectified with some careful tuning of the floor tom, making the floor tom act as a secondary resonance chamber for the bass drum. The volume would be adequate for coffee house muzac, but would require the assistance of a PA for playing Sex Pistols or Iron Maiden covers. Micing could be as simple as attaching one on a bass/tom post and one overhead.
While beating the value for money would be challenging, the lacking in volume and punch makes it a no-go as your single everything kit unless you never expect to use it for other than jamming at home or hotel-lobby muzac. It will never have the versatility of a regular kit, nor is it capable of keeping up acoustically with a standard four-member garage band. However, as a practice kit or second kit, depending on your needs, it may very well be a good choice. Bonus points for unusual styling which will get you both positive comments and suggestive glances from attractive members of the opposite sex.
Model no: VK46CB
Bass Drum: 16″ X 6″, 7-Ply, 8mm Birch, 8 Lugs
Floor Tom: 14″ X 5.5″, 6-Ply, 6mm Birch, 6 Lugs
Rack Tom: 10″ X 5″, 6-Ply, 6mm Birch, 6 Lugs
Bass and Toms are all single headed with 45 degree bearing edges on batter side and square open-side edges, sanded smooth
Snare Drum: 12″ X 5″, 6-Ply Birch, 6 Lugs
The snare drum has 45 degree bearing edges on both sides and a 20 strand, 12″ snare
Rims: Triple-Flanged, “Sound-Arc”
Lugs: Low mass, Spring-less
Legs: Two Floor Tom Legs, Two Posts that double as Pedal attachment
Rack Tom Mount: Shell Mounted Bracket, Post Mounted Clamp with ball-joint
Snare Drum Mount: Shell Mounted Bracket, Post Mounted Clamp with ball-joint
Tom Heads: Clear Powercraft II
Bass, Snare Heads: Coated Powercraft II
Bass Pedal: Vertical Action Iron Cobra A200
Included Bags: One Padded Drum Bag, (Fits all drums) One Padded Hardware bag
Finishes: Seven nifty high quality wrap options pictured above
List Price: US$830
Street Price US$500
MCAX5366 Cymbal Mounting Attachment Kit
Closed hi-hat attachment
List Price: US$150
Street Price: US$90
Tama Silverstar Cocktail-Jam Kit In Tama’s own words:
“The “Cocktail-JAM” Kit™(PAT.PENDING) is a TAMA original, in both appearance and sound. Ideal for hip-hop, jazz, intimate acoustic settings, or tight rehearsal rooms. Completely compact, this kit can easily be set up and played using a throne in much less space than a typical drum set. The “Cocktail-JAM” kit™ and its hardware can be completely packed easily in just two bags, which are included with the kit, making it super portable and easy to transport to any gig.”
Tama’s Website: http://www.tamadrum.co.jp/