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  • Yamaha Recording Custom Stainless Steel Snare Drum

    By Dendy Jarrett |

    Yamaha Recording Custom Stainless Steel Snare Drum

    A cracka-lackin' snare drum that's not lackin'!


    by Dendy Jarrett




    Stainless steel is used for so many things because it’s sleek and clean. It’s also very durable and versatile. It translates those qualities very well when formed into a cylinder with two tympanic membranes stretched across it and coiled wires added to the bottom. The result can be stunning.



    Stainless Steel


    Choosing a snare drum that "speaks" to you can be a challenge. Many of us who began playing in middle school started with a metal snare drum. Metal snares tend to be more versatile in various music genres than their wooden counterparts. Steel drums have a characteristic ring when played wide open, or the overtones can be reined in by applying the correct combination of heads and muffling. Stainless steel snare drums have a much wider dynamic range than most wooden snare drums; you can go from a concert arena forte sound to a pianissimo volume without losing definition.  Stainless steel has a neutral  finish and will fit right in with anything from sparkle finishes to classic wood grains - and look great doing so.  


    Recording Custom Snare 


    The snare drum I reviewed is the 14” X 5.5” snare drum. The drum also comes in a 7” depth. The snare drum I was sent has 2.3mm power hoops, which Yamaha refers to as a “Dyna” hoop and appears to be standard (however, there is some confusion on their official web page as the drum is pictured with both power hoops and die-cast hoops). 

    The drum is equipped with a Steve Gadd signature 20-strand snare wire, which has a very crisp response. It also comes bundled with the Steve Gadd signature 10-strand wires, which is what he prefers in this particular drum. 

    The stainless shell is 1.2mm thick, has a 45° bearing edge pitch, and features an outwardly raised center-bead that produces a more open sound but also provides a keen visual aesthetic. The strainer is a heavy-duty Q-type strainer I find extremely responsive, easy to turn on and off, and very adjustable for dynamic articulation.

    The drum is also equipped with my favorite snare drum head combination – a Remo Ambassador-coated batter head  and a clear snare Ambassador on the bottom. 


    Cracka-lackin’ – not – lackin’


    This drum has the credentials: it’s Steve Gadd’s drum of choice. There's really nothing I can say that would carry a higher endorsement; however, since this is a review, I’ll add my personal experience. This is a very diverse drum that would serve any genre of music well. I liked the wide dynamic range it offers, particularly because it never loses definition and clarity. It never becomes muddy with any changes in tuning. It's also very visually appealing. The stainless is a pleasing matte-brushed finish that translates well with any kit color and was right at home behind three different drum sets I used it with.

    Also note that the drum has some weight to it. I never placed it on a scale, but it's notably beefy. You know it’s well made, not only by the looks but by the weight. This drum is cracka-lackinly good, but the one thing it doesn’t lack is crack! It can be a monster, but when tamed, it can be subtle.




    For a general-purpose snare drum that can pull its weight in any music application, I highly recommend this drum. With an MSRP of $935, it sports a price tag that puts it in the mid-high to high range, but, of course, the "street" price makes it more affordable. It measures up both in sound and visual appeal, and you won’t be disappointed.




    Yamaha Official Product Webpage 


    Steve Gadd on Yamaha Recording Custom -



    Recording Custom Sound Comparison -





    To purchase the Yamaha Recording Custom Stainless Steel Snare Drum



    Musician's Friend

    Guitar Center




    This year Yamaha Drums is celebrating their 50 year anniversary. Here is a video of some of their on-going events -






    Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.


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