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There Are Only 2 Real Kits

by Gretschman
(Hartford Ct USA)

Yamaha Recording Custom

Yamaha Recording Custom

As my name says, I am a avid devoted Gretsch drummer, but also a devoted Yamaha Recording Custom can that be? Well, i've been a professional drummer/educator, clinician, collector/refinisher, customiser for over 47 years.

I've played every type of kit over the years but only two remain as standards in the industry as the most sought after and played by professionals over the last 30 years.

Also, the most copied and immitated as to be a standard to all others attain to be thats Gretsch and Yamaha Recording Custom.

I know professional drummers, many that you all know also, who are endorsed by other makers but go back to there homes or personnel studios and many many of them own these two kits.

I'm also stating here and now that absolutely it's a personnel choice or reference that each of us has. There nothing wrong with Sonor they are spectacular in there own right, or any other brand but the two that are standard above the rest are Gretsch and Yamaha Recording Custom.

For warmth and that one of a kind sound, and the company that were more innovative than others Gretsch, that great Gretsch sound is no joke it is uniquie their shells 6 ply Maple with Gumwood, their staggerd xyxxyx seams, silver sealer, 30 degree bearing edges, and die-cast hoops and Lugs are a pleasure to tune, so effortlessly and a varying degree of pitches.

Yamaha Recording Custom drums with their Hokido birch wood exclusive to a region of japan, their designer Haggi was so innovative, the first series with a thinner shell black edges called pre yes, or earlier version known as the 9000 series, set the drum world on its heels.

Never before was Birch considered a wood for drums, later they changed again, all have a 6 ply Birch shell using there exclusive Air Seal system for a perfect in round and stay in round shell.

All toms are 6 ply and bass drums were 8 ply, this until 2005 when Haggi reired as their ace Number 1 Drum Engineer/Designer.

Now there are still 6 ply toms but 7 ply Bass drums, they basically changed the formula as xxyxxyxx BD to xxyxyxx, now they're actually using the same configuration as there Absolute Bitch custom line standard or noveau.

Also, what makes these drums sing is that they're also inside the shell finished with a piano sound board stain and lacquer unquie to the process exclusive only to the Recording Custom line.

High tension lugs that aren't damped with gaskets between them and shell so nothing inhibits the resonates or notal vibration of shell. All materials as true with Gretsch are of the highest quality and craftmsanship.

Their metal, works, and plating are done in the same shop were they make their motorcycle parts. Both kits are well engineered and thought out, to be the drummers choice wether playing club dates, concerts dates or recording, they both offer that very unquie sound, and although pricey, they maintain there value much more so than other brands because they endure well.

They can be beat up a little but still maintain that quality of sound. What's needed today in America is for us to make a drummer's playing kit road worthy, less expensive, lighter, and made more for the working club drummer and not just the concert Drummer.

Most of the equipment is still too heavy, and geared for the heavy metal rocker rather than working club drummers. Thankfully both of these companies keep that in mind. And, both offer drums and equipment that's lighter, durable, less expensive, and now offer their off shore kits made in Tailand, Indonesia, and China.

But, because they're off shore does not mean there junk, both offer kits for less money but are well made, their standards are kept to a high degree, their product control sometimes has higher standards to keep, but none the less are great, this unfornuately makes our State side drums very pricey.

Can you tell the difference? Depending on the drums, you can tell, a blindfold test well like yours truely you have to be a purist a real connosier of drums to be able to tell.

(for your reference I was tested by several drummers this test 4 out of 5 I naied it) the one I did not get was a Greatch snare drum next to a Ludwig Snare, chalk it up to age!

So there it is, only my perspective! Good Day!


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Aug 18, 2012
A Brotha From A Different Muthah NEW
by: Gary Dean Olson

From '82 to present I've played drums in a band called Undercover. I joined with chrome Slingerland but immediately bought a new 5-piece Sonor kit for an upcoming record - released in 1983 and called "God Rules," and they sounded great. By the end of '85 I'd tired of their unappealing "furniture" look and began researching my next kit. I ended up with a Fire-Engine-Red 7-piece Yamaha Recording Custom kit with that awesome piano finish. The sound AND appearance on stage was just unparalleled. My wife bought me a Gretsch Renown kit in 2005 and they sound fantastic. I haven't had an envious moment in 28 years and couldn't be more pleased with either kit. I decided a few months back to sell my Yamaha kit. Thank GOD I'd over-priced them! All 7 drums sit on the floor in front of me as I write this. I'll be cleaning them up today so I can begin using them again and give the Gretsch kit a rest.

24X16 bass
7X14 snare
12X10 rack tom
12X12 "
13X13 "
14X14 "
16X16 floor tom

8, 10, 12, & 14 rack toms
22" bass
4X14 Noble & Cooley snare (purchased NEW in 1989)

Good day!

Jun 08, 2010
I can agree
by: Tom

I can agree on much of what is said here. I cannot remember being in a studio that did NOT have a birch Yamaha kit. Not always the Recording Custom but always birch. My own experience is that one of the studios that I'm currently working in has a Yamaha Stage Custom birch kit (budget priced so they say) and it's one of the better sounding sets that I've played at any price. I've also owned a Gretsch "budget priced" birch kit a few years ago and that kit holds the the record (for me) on getting complements on its looks (Dark Walnut laquer finish with blond hoops on the bass drum) and more importantly SOUND. I've owned and currently own much higher priced kits from Ludwig and Premier that sound really good but for some reason have not gotten the notice from audiences and fellow musicians that my Gretsch kit did.

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