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I've owned my Starclassics for nearly a year and love 'um! Mine are Antique White Sparkle lacquer which looks amazing and is really rare. (rare? launched as a finish in 2008, it was discontinued in 2009 because the factory was having too much trouble getting a consistent colour) The important bit - the shells came about after Tama launched the Bubinga Omnitunes (hugely expensive) in 2006. Bubinga is a really dense wood and very expensive - Tama wondered what would happen if they combined bubinga with (much cheaper) birch, so with 4 outer plys of birch, and 3 inner plys of bubinga, the 6mm shelled Starclassic Birch / Bubinga was born. (Bass drums have an extra ply of birch taking thickness to 7mm) The effect is really low rich tones thanks to the bubinga, but lots of crack, projection and volume thanks to the birch. Hit any size tom and you think you're hitting something bigger and deeper - awesome! The finishes are immaculate. Inner shells and bearing edges are super smooth. Hardware and badges are really nice. Starcast tom mounts are a superb design and, unlike most others, are really unobtrusive letting the drum be the star. I was in the studio with them last week, and it's the first time I've not had a sound engineer moaning about overtones etc. and come out of the control room with rolls of gaffa tape!! He even remarked that it's the first time he'd not had to adulterated a customers kit in some way in 30 years. The best news is the price. Make no mistake, these are high end pro drums that can compete with top line Sonor, DW, Yamaha etc but are now where near as expensive. In fact the price has come down significantly in recent years, deliberately taking the fight to the overpriced 'big name' drums like DW. If you're in the market for a new kit, try these - you won't be disappointed. If maple's your thing, they do those too! They are, as the name suggests, stars and classics. (IF ANYONE HAS A FLOOR TOM IN ANTIQUE WHITE SPARKLE THEY DON'T WANT, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH)