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  • Writer's pictureWil Cameron

A Spa Day for my Old Friend

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

I purchased this beautiful Yamaha Maple Custom drum set over 15 years ago! Since that time it has been my go-to kit for gigging, regardless of the musical genre.

Yamaha Maple Custom - Natural Gloss Finish

After providing me with years of flawless and dependable service, countless hours of traveling all over everywhere with me, and withstanding over 100K+ drum strikes annually, my beloved circa 1990s Yamaha Maple Custom is receiving a much needed spa day (with music and everything else)!

This line of drums was introduced back in the early 90s when drummers wanted loud, penetrating tones for the jazz and fusion music of that era. The drums produce very true tones, so they were very "clear and cutting" whenever they were used with or without microphones. They still sound amazing and I was able to personally touch one of the last Maple Custom set that was played by the legendary Elvin Jones, when visiting a drum shop in Seattle a few years ago.

These drums weigh a TON, as the kick drum has 10 ply shells and the toms have 7 ply shells. The kick alone weighs 36.8 pounds (with the pillow inside) which is pretty heavy by today's standards. This kit was way overpriced back in the day, which is one of the factors that led to it being discontinued by Yamaha. They were beautiful and performed flawlessly but not many real "working" drummers were interested in buying one.

Other major drum makers like DW, Pearl and Tama started to introduce their new lines of drums with thinner shells and lighter drum hardware with their premium drums sets, at a fraction of the cost of a Yamaha Maple Custom. Yamaha eventually had to follow to remain competitive and the rest is history. Thinner drum shells remain popular today but the thicker maple shells of the Maple Custom series drums really project and this is still my favorite kit to play in live situations without mics.

Since drums are struck repeatedly and can literally shake apart, I'm doing a total disassembly, cleaning each drum, tightening all the screws/bolts and treating her to new Evans UV2 heads. These are gonna sound GREAT!

I can't think of a better way to spend my time indoors.😁🥁

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more, please let me know. My email is below if you'd like to send me a note.

Stay safe, everyone! 😷



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