Yamaha Drums

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Yamaha Drums
IndustryMusical instruments
Founded1967; 53 years ago (1967) in Japan
Number of locations
3 (Japan, Indonesia, China)
Area served
ProductsAcoustic and electronic drum kits, hardware
ParentYamaha Corporation

Yamaha Drums is a subsidiary of the Yamaha Corporation founded in 1967. The company manufactures acoustic and electronic drum kits as well as percussion instruments, marching band equipment, and drum hardware.


Most of Yamaha's drums are manufactured at two different locations in Asia. Their factory in Osaka produces their high-end professional drums as well as all of their marching percussion. The research and development of new products also takes place there. Marketing is managed from the Yamaha Corp. headquarters in Hamamatsu. The factory in China produced the entry-level GigMaker kit and the intermediate-kit Stage Custom Birch. Their factory in Indonesia produces the Tour Custom and the newly introduced Rock Tour series drums. The Indonesian factory uses the same machinery and techniques in their drum shells and all of the craftsmen working there are trained by Japanese craftsmen from the Osaka site. The only difference between these two plants is that the Osaka plant uses the more exclusive woods (maple, birch and oak)[1]

Acquisition of Premier[edit]

In 1987, Yamaha acquired the Premier Percussion factory in England in an attempt to establish the Yamaha name in the tougher European market. Yamaha placed machinery and trained the Premier craftsmen in the "Yamaha-way" of making drums, resulting in Premier producing a large number of Yamaha drums "made in England." In 1992, Yamaha withdrew and sold their stock shares back to Premier.

Current products[edit]

Acoustic drums[edit]

Drums for the professional, intermediate and beginner

Rock Tour Custom.
Drum pedal.
  • PHX - Under a completely new concept, the PHX (pronounced "phoenix") series is the pinnacle of excellence in this prototyping process. Handcrafted by our expert technicians, it is rooted in over 50 years of history, tradition, experience and technology in an all-out pursuit of the ultimate in drum craftsmanship and sound.
  • Recording Custom - All-birch. For the majority of their existence have been made from Japanese "Hokkaido" Birch, only more recently switching to North American Birch when production moved from Japan. 6-ply shells with 30-degree bearing edges are complemented by the redesigned, high-tension lug weighted to enhance lower frequencies.
  • Live Custom Hybrid Oak - Redefining the original sound of oak with a new hybrid shell, the new Live Custom Hybrid Oak enhances the dynamic range by accentuating its attack and projection and incorporates the traditional Japanese uzukuri handcrafted shell finishing, creating a unique look that defines the expression of oak.
  • Absolute Hybrid Maple - The Absolute Hybrid Maple was built from the sound up for expressive, innovative play and timeless quality that will last for generations.
  • Tour Custom - Introduced in the early 1980s, Tour Custom drums consisted of a mahogany/birch blend for a deeper fundamental tone. The line was re-introduced in 2006 as a semi-pro kit with 100% Maple shells and 60 degrees R2 bearing edges for a warm and round tone. They are finished in high-gloss lacquer, with three translucent and one solid finish. The current Tour Custom in maple was discontinued in 2011.
  • Stage Custom Birch - An intermediate-level kit made from 100% birch shells. The drums come in eight lacquer finishes and features standard YESS mounts. Succeeds the Stage Custom Advantage series. For 2011, a new bebop configuration was introduced to the line. In 2014 Yamaha introduced the redesigned Stage Custom Birch drum set at the 2014 NAMM Show with many upgraded features that make it even better. Yamaha Stage Custom Birch is perfect for the working professional to the beginner.
  • RYDEEN (5-piece shell pack) is exactly what any beginner or intermediate player would love to play. This drum set utilizes Yamaha hardware featuring Genuine Yamaha tom and pipe clamps and features solid and glitter finishes, each with three color options, for a total of six vibrant, stylish looks.

Professional Lines[edit]

Oak Custom drum kit.
Club Custom drum kit.
  • Phoenix "PHX" Series - Introduced in 2009, the PHX is Yamaha's new flagship line made from eleven-ply hybrid shells crafted of jatoba, kapur, and maple (with a thin ply of burled ash as an outer ply in the "textured" finishes). PHX features the new Hook Lug and the improved YESS II mounting system. Artists that were invited to attend the final prototype testing of the PHX were told to bring their "best" Yamaha kit for a comparison. Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews Band) chose to forgo this new PHX series in favor of his old Recording Custom toms, perhaps due to thinner shells. He still uses a PHX bass drum however.
  • Recording Custom - Yamaha's longest-running series of drums for more than 40 years. Originally called the "9000 Series", more recently changed to the current name, "Recording Custom". Made from birch and features a large, high-mass lug that extends the length of the shell. The series features a small, rectangular badge with rounded corners. They were available in 6 colors: Cherry Wood, Hot Red, Cobalt Blue, Stage White, Solid Black and Quartz Gray. A limited edition version of the Recording Custom series was introduced in 2011 for their 45th anniversary, featuring through-shell tom mounts and 60-degree bearing edges. The kits will be available in three vintage colors: Piano White, Mellow Yellow, and Hot Red, with 15 set produced for each color.
  • Absolute Series - Drums made from either North American maple or Hokkaido birch or 100% beech (from Northern Japan). Starting in 2009, the Absolute Series also feature new YESS II mounts and optional Hook Lugs shared from the PHX line. Absolute drums are available in 24 finishes, including the new Luminous White Sparkle that glows in the dark.
  • Oak Custom - Drums crafted from 100% Japanese White Oak wood which is a very dense hardwood and equipped with YESS mounts. The low fundamental and projection of oak makes it a favorite with rock drummers and the wide tuning and dynamic range makes it a top choice for jazz drummers as well. They are less expensive than their Absolute series counterparts, but are much more costly than either the Tour Custom, Rock Tour, Stage Custom or GigMaker lines. Oak Customs complement the player with outstanding volume and clarity. The tone of the Oak is in between of Maple and Birch with the warmth and attack. Yamaha is the only mass-production drum company that offers a 100% Oak kit mainly thanks to the Air-Seal shell technology.

Signature Drum Lines[edit]

  • Yamaha Hipgig - A series of compact drum kits with a variety of different configurations and finishes. Known as the Drum kit used by Ritsu Tainaka in the anime k-on
    • Rick Marotta Signature - The original series of compact portable drum kits which comes in either a Cherry Wood lacquer finish and a White Marine Pearl wrap finish. This version initially was also available in the mellow yellow finish, similar to the signature Yamaha Yellow found throughout other Yamaha product lines. They feature Birch, Philippine Mahogany and maple wood shells.
    • Al Foster Signature - A larger version of the original Hipgig drum kit which features a special "Jaguar" finish as well as White Marine Pearl and Gold Marine Pearl wrap finishes. They feature Birch and Philippine Mahogany wood shells.
    • Manu Katche Signature - A smaller version of the original Hipgig drum kit featuring new Black and Silver lacquer finishes. The feature 3% Philippine Mahogany wood shells. Later version produced with all-birch drum shells and include a second upper tom tom as a five piece ensemble.The Manu Katche kits have been produced in Indonesia, Japan and China.
    • Steve Jordan Signature - A cocktail drum kit which features a standard cocktail snare, a secondary 8" snare drum as an option, a tom drum and the choice of two sparkle finishes. They feature Birch and Philippine Mahogany wood shells.

Acoustic Drum Accessories[edit]

  • Yamaha Subkick - A reverse wired speaker mounted inside a drum shell used as a microphone to pick up low frequencies. It is commonly used in conjunction with a normal internal microphone to mic kick drums. Although similar devices have been used by recording engineers for decades, the development of Yamaha's version is credited to Russ Miller.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]