For the optimum transfer of vibrations from head to shell, a thinner shell is better. However, less thickness often equals less strength. Instead of simply making thinner shells by using fewer plies, TAMA slims down each ply and then cross laminates them into a 6ply 5mm thick shell (8ply 7mm bass drum). This combination results in a thinner shell that's actually stronger than others of greater thickness. Starclassic shells utilize maple, the most popular shell material today because of its warm clear sound.