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BEST DRUMMER EVER?

Buddy Rich
Neil Peart
John Bonham
Steve Gadd
Ringo Starr
Keith Moon
Carl Palmer
Gene Krupa
Max Roach
Elvin Jones
Ginger Baker
Billy Cobham
Stewart Copeland
Dennis Chambers
Jaki Leibezeit
Terry Bozzio
Bill Bruford
Hal Blaine
Mike Portnoy

Oak Is A Rockin' Wood

by Anthony Rodebaugh
(Lansing, MI, USA)

Yamaha Oak Custom

Yamaha Oak Custom

I've owned a Tama Rockstar (Basswood/Mahogany, I think) since 1999. I played it until it started to fall apart. Literally. The wood began to deteriorate, the hardware was pitting, etc. Then began my search for the new kit.

I went with a 6-pc Catalina Maple set from Gretsch. I was very disappointed with the lack of punch, definition, and over-warmth of the kit. It was so warm, the drums did not speak over the guitars, even after levels were adjusted.

I then decided on a Yamaha Stage Custom Birch, which was a beast. I mean that in the most constructive way possible. The birch wood was the exact opposite of the maple, much to my surprise. It was a beautiful kit, but way too loud and obnoxious.

My next kit was an Epic from Ludwig. This was a hybrid of birch/maple/birch (outside, mid, inner plys). I was expecting the warmth of maple and the pronounced bark of birch. What I got was a kit that was dull and thuddy. Okay, it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't what I expected.

The next kit was the Yamaha Oak Custom. It was EXACTLY the sound I was looking for. The Yamaha Oak Custom has the attack and warmth of maple, but still is pronounced and barky like a birch drum.

It's also got a suitable amount of beef in its resonance to carry through the drum head strike. Also, the drum cuts through at high volumes without becoming aggressive; it's able to maintain its dynamic range when needed while still being heard.

Overall, I think this kit is a great purchase. Drums are very personal, though. To say I highly recommend this is to say I highly recommend heavy strings to a bassist, or the thinnest picks to a guitarist.

I do recommend trying one out if you can, though. It's a pleasant sound that does earn respect without asking for it. As an Oak Custom player, I also think this review is very accurate.

Happy Drumming.

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