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  • Yamaha Tour Custom Maple Drumset

    By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)

    Yamaha Tour Custom Maple Drumset

    Like a familiar pair of blue jeans...


    by Dendy Jarrett




    Sometimes you just know. Sometimes it's the moment you see something that speaks to you and says, "Hello, old friend." This was the case with the Yamaha Tour Custom Maple Drumset.


    Yamaha as a musical instrument company has been around since 1887, but they didn't start making drums until 1967 - so they've had 50 years to refine their manufacturing.  And refine they have! 


    In 2010 Yamaha invested $10 million in their Hangzhou Xiaoshan plant and in 2011 re-introduced all their high-end drums, which are now manufactured in that facility.







    The Subject


    Yamaha gave me a choice of kits to review. The configuration I chose was the Chocolate Satin and the sizes are as follows:


    • 20” X 15” Bass Drum
    • 14” X 13” Floor Tom
    • 12” X   8” Mounted Tom
    • 10” X   7” Mounted Tom


    I also tested this kit with the Yamaha Recording Custom Stainless Steel Snare Drum (not Included in shell pack).



    The Packaging


    Packaging can tell us a lot about a company. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a difference. It's obvious that Yamaha put some careful thought in both protection and minimizing waste when they designed the packaging for this shell pack. Everything in this shell pack came in one box that was approximately 32 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 19 inches tall. The box had a total weight of 67.5 lbs. The package, delivered by UPS, had absolutely no damage to the box or its contents.



    Hello, Old Friend


    The kit color I chose to review has a deceiving name – Chocolate Satin. I worried this would simply be a “brown” satin finish kit. And, while that’s what it was, it was simply gorgeous with the subtle wood-grain showing. I expect, because I grew up falling in love with drumming in the late 60s to early 80s, this kit simply said "hello, old friend" from the moment I pulled one of the toms out of the box. These shallow (classic) tom sizes took me right back to my early days of drumming, and I fell in love with them even before I heard them.


    The color was not only gorgeous and the drums reminded me of a fine piece of furniture. It screamed jazz, funk and R&B.








    Quality – And More Quality


    I shouldn’t have been surprised. When I reviewed the Yamaha Recording Custom Series, I mentioned just how impressed I continue to be with the quality and care that goes into Yamaha’s drums. Their quality control bar is set very high. From the packaging to the sound, there is a higher-than-normal attention to detail.


    The finish on this kit is a satin finish and simply flawless. Again, it presents like a fine piece of furniture. The hoops are the same chocolate satin finish on the outer perimeter of the hoops, but the front edge and interior finish are a satin natural maple finish.


    The chrome on the kit is perfect. Even some high-end kits have an oily residue on their chrome to keep it from corrosion, but Yamaha’s plating doesn’t seem to need this. Also the bass drum tension rods don’t come with messy lubrication on them. The threads are so perfect that they don’t need it.




    • Lug – Absolute Lug (Chrome Finish) – One Per Side
    • Shell – 100% 6 – Ply Maple
    • Bearing Edge – 45 degree
    • TT/FT Hoop – Inverse DynaHoop – 2.3mm
    • BD Hoop – Wood Hoop - Maple
    • BD Claws – Die-Cast with anti-scratch/anti-vibration neoprene insert
    • TT/FT Head – Top: Remo Clear Ambassador/Bottom: Remo Clear Ambassador
    • BD Head – Front: Remo Smooth White PS3 with Yamaha Logo/Batter: Remo PS3 Clear
    • Tom Mount – Y.E.S.S. TH945C - included
    • FT Bracket – Open Type
    • BD Leg – Convertible Type
    • MSRP – Starting from: $2,150.00


    Colors - They are available in a candy-named array of colors:

    • Butterscotch Satin (natural wood grain)
    • Candy Apple Satin (red wood grain)
    • Chocolate Satin (as reviewed)
    • Caramel Satin (an amber hue wood grain)
    • Licorice Satin (black wood grain)


    Sizes - The Tour Custom Maples are available in two size variations

    • TMP2F4 - Bass Drum - 22" X 16", Floor Tom - 16" X 15", Tom Tom - 12" X 8" & 10" X 7"
    • TMP0F4 - Bass Drum - 20" X 15", Floor Tom - 14" X 13", Tom Tom - 12" X 8" & 10" X 7"
    • Optional Components Available - Floor Tom 14" X 13"/ Tom Tom 13" X 9"



    Butterscotch Satin



    Caramel Satin



    Candy Apple Satin



    Licorice Satin


    All other mages In this review are Chocolate Satin



    Sound – Bright Yet Warm


    You would naturally expect that drums that look this good would sound great as well. No surprises here! I’m a maple guy, so I may be biased, but these drums do not disappoint. As mentioned, they are a throw-back to my early drumming years, and they provide that bright attack, yet warm roll-off tone, that I desire from drums. Yet these drums are wide open but controlled. Since the heads that come on the kit are not some inexpensive import heads – and also my head of choice—it was very easy for me to dial in the sound. These drums would fit in nicely with any pop, funk, R&B or jazz gigs—a very versatile kit.




    It was love at first sight. There are things in your life that you cling to, and this kit would be one of them. I tried to find something not to like about these drums, but there was nothing. Perhaps you’d need to be concerned about the weather with the finish if you were playing any sort of outside gig that could threaten their getting water on the satin finish, but that’s something easy to mitigate.

    There was nothing to hate and everything to love. These drums stole my heart and I felt completely comfortable with them. Like an old familiar pair of blue jeans. –HC-







    Yamaha Official Tour Custom Maple Webpage






    Available for purchase:




    Musician's Friend

    Guitar Center








    Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive 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.


    Edited by Dendy Jarrett

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