Drum Set Reviews
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The Yamaha Tour Custom is a mid-priced 100% maple kit. It's proved to be quite popular in this price range, as drummers get the benefits of maple, without taking a huge chunk out of their wallets.
The kit is available as a shell pack only, or with the hardware as well.
You can choose either the single braced 700 series hardware, or the 800 series which is bouble braced and stronger.
The kit i'm reviewing has a 22"x17" bass drum, 14"x6" snare, 12", and 16" toms. We've also got Yamaha's 800 series hardware to try out as well. Ok, let's start...
The Tour Custom shells are made from 100% maple (no suprise there). The toms and snare drum are made with 6-plies, and are 6mm thick. The bass drum is a little thicker, and has been made with 7-plies for added projection and volume. Interestingly, all the shells have rounder 60-degree bearing edges instead of more common 45-degree edges. The result is a more focused low-end sound and warmth.
Taking off the heads and hoops, It's clear to see that the wood and bearing edges are as you'd expect...consistent and well put together. Not a flaw to be seen. Good job.
All the toms have Yamaha's YESS (Yamaha Enhanced Sustain System) to increase sustain. This works by using a mount that attaches to the shells with just two bolts.
It seems to work well enough and lets the shells do their thing. They also have sleek looking low-mass lugs that function nicely as well.
Putting the toms in place is easy thanks to the 360-degree ball clamp on the tom holders. It's quite a simple design really, but it works a treat, and I was up and running in no time.
However, if you're quite choosy when it comes to finishes, you might be disapointed. There are only 4 lacquered finishes to choose from - Brown sunburst, Ocean blue, Sakura white, and Black onyx. The review kit came in Brown sunburst and was actually really attractive, and was good quality.
Setting up the Yamaha 800 series hardware was quick and it wasn't difficult to place everything where I wanted it. It's all double braced and I'd happily put my favourite cymbals on the stands anytime. Included is a snare stand, 2 boom cymbal stands, a hi-hat stand, and a bass drum pedal.
I quite liked using the bass drum pedal, it's pretty good and can be tweaked to get the feel that suits you. In the same way, the hi-hat stand feels solid and has a nice, swift action.
The cymbal stands are both just as good and let you position them anywhere you like. The quality of the 800 series hardware in general is very good and it's made to last.
100% maple and thin shells...this can mean only one thing. A warm and resonant sound. And that's exactly what you get when playing this drum kit.
The 12" rack tom is decent sounding, not quite as powerful as the other other drums, but it still has that nice warm, sustained tone. The floor tom continues the warm sounding trend, but is much deeper and has a bit more 'oomph' (a very techniqual term) to it.
As for the bass drum, it produces a big deep sound, but there is a fair amount of punch present too. If you like a bass drum that is soild and powerful, then you won't be disapointed with this. I wasn't!
One of the star features of the Tour Custom is the snare drum. I got a good quality sound from it, and it was responsive to even the softest of touches.
It's fairly warm and has a fat, punchy quality, with rim shots being bright and purposeful. It's a good snare and i'd be very happy to use it often.
As for the tuning, I managed to get a range of flexible sounds out of the Yamaha Tour Custom, and it wasn't difficult to tune at all. The toms sound good at higher or lower tunings, and the bass drum gives some diverse sounds too. As I was hoping, the snare drum gave just as much flexibility, but I prefered it at a mid tuning where it sounded nice and fat. So, quite versatile in general, due in no small part to the average shell sizes.
Well, does the this kit get the thumbs up? For the price - totally. The maple shells have a good warm tone with plenty of power. The tuning options are versatile too, and the functional 800 series hardware finishes of the package well.
I said above that the set is good for the price, and by that I mean there are better 100% maple sets available. But, you would have to pay more for them. Compared to other maple sets in this price range, the Custom is a solid deal. But, there are other kits just as good out there too.
Any downsides? There's not too much to complain about really. I'm not sure that the maple used is the absolute best quality, however it does still sound good. I think the lower price of the set has something to do with that. Otherwise, everything was pretty much what I was expecting for the money.
What about the price? The price of the Yamaha Tour Custom is actually fairly competitive. The shell pack goes for a good price, and even with the 700 or 800 series hardware included, it's still not bad at all. Where's the cheapest place to buy it? Here's the cheapest site i've found. They usually have the lowest price and sometimes free delivery too, so I recommend checking them out for the best deal!
The final word: here Yamaha offer a good all round 100% maple sound, in a mid-price set. Not the greatest maple sound you'll ever hear, but for the money, it's as good as anything else in this price range. A soild set.
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