Custom built Maple Custom clone?

tkillian

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
2,739
Reaction score
1,249
At Ithaca College,my alma mater, they have a Yamaha Custom bebop kit.
The original series when it first came out.
I played them on a few concerts as part of the jazz faculty when I was on staff for two years.
They rocked my world but no matter how hard I searched I could never find a used one.
So I gave up.

Long story short I am researching the shell makeup so I can inquire to a custom builder to make me a "clone" kit. 12/14/18. Not looking for a snare.

Seems like 7ply toms and 10ply bass drum.

But I have a question for you builders. Are all 7ply (all maple) shells same thickness?

I remember the mc shells as seeming thicker/heavier.

It was such a "woody/dry in a good way" tone.

Obviously Precision drum company is at the top of my list but im open to suggestions on other companies cause i know precision is pricey
 

Neal Pert

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
1,316
Location
Among the Coastal Elites
I don't think you're going to have an easy time of recreating them, to be honest. The shells are maybe the biggest part of the challenge, but it's not everything. The fact that so many of Yamaha's parts are proprietary will make it difficult to get things right.

The Facebook group, "The Yamaha Drum Closet" is quite good and you'll find all the old catalogs scanned there, making your research qute easy (the catalogs and ads are under "Files" on the left side menu. You'd also get a TON of people making suggestions for how to do this. And who knows? Maybe someone will offer to sell you one.

Not to change the subject, but have you tried the AHMs? I have to say that I'm extremely impressed by them as a bop kit, and they are quite close to at least the memory of my old Maple Customs.
 

Neal Pert

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
1,316
Location
Among the Coastal Elites

tkillian

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
2,739
Reaction score
1,249
Yeah
1. Dont want another pink kit
2. Only looking for original mc. But thanks
 

Neal Pert

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
1,316
Location
Among the Coastal Elites
Yeah
1. Dont want another pink kit
2. Only looking for original mc. But thanks
I guess I misread your intention in the thread, because it started by looking for a way to clone the Maple Customs. My guess is that getting an AHM is going to get you a lot closer to cloning the sound of the Maple Custom than going the Precision route.

Anyway, if you want me to post a "wanted" ad for you on the Facebook page, let me know.

M
 

tkillian

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
2,739
Reaction score
1,249
Yes. Sure thanks.
Im looking for Natural maple finish not the green or black

And i have my Slingerlands as partial trade option
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,205
Reaction score
815
Location
Germany
You might get close, but never quite there, but that seems your motivation anyway ;) Thank me later for your new signature line :)
 

musiqman

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
974
Reaction score
440
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
You can get a lot of parts through the dealer.

You can find what you need here:

The magical part of the MC is partly the steampressed shells, which means less glue, which means a more natural and free vibrant sound.

The shells came from Japan too and were the finest of them all.

Also the nodal shell mounting of the hardware played a big role in its sound, if you prefer the MC made from the second gen with Yess mount.

The exquisite finish (finished on the out- and inside) plays a smaller part, but needs to be said.

And don’t forget aging plays a big factor too.

So even when getting the right hardware. There are many things that atribite to that specific sound we all love.

It is easier to get seperate shells to complete a preferred sizes kit to get that sound. It may take a while but it is not impossible and worth the wait.

Another optiong is getting the Maple Custom Absolute first or even second gen.

Those will still sound more close to what you like because of previous said things, than putting a kit together from generic shells.
 

Neal Pert

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
1,316
Location
Among the Coastal Elites
One thing I WILL say, contra musiqman (sorry), is that I have played the MCs and first gen Absolutes right next to each other with close to the same heads and tuning and didn't find them to be terribly similar. Both were great but the MCs had more projection. I liked the near-field sound of the absolutes better, finding them to be warmer and with more resonance.
 

musiqman

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
974
Reaction score
440
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
One thing I WILL say, contra musiqman (sorry), is that I have played the MCs and first gen Absolutes right next to each other with close to the same heads and tuning and didn't find them to be terribly similar. Both were great but the MCs had more projection. I liked the near-field sound of the absolutes better, finding them to be warmer and with more resonance.
Could this be because the first gen didn’t had the zinc die-cast hoops or (if I remember correctly) slightly thicker shells that the regular MC’s had?
 

tkillian

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
2,739
Reaction score
1,249
The thing I liked about the mc i played was the dryness and earthy, woody tone.

I have tons of Al Foster hazz CDs where he is playing his green bebop kit. And there are a few bideos of him playing it with Joe Henderson. Im sure you have all seen them.
They have their own vibe...like any drum.

Frankly I'm not going to pursue this (knock on wood). Im playing my Slingerlands.

Close enough for me. Ive got too much of my $, heart and soul in them to play anything else.

I just admire what Yamaha did with that original MC series. Those shells are thick. Remind me a little of sonor drums.
 

tkillian

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
2,739
Reaction score
1,249
What?

Oh man. Im sorry. . Im a mess

Yes. I am not looking for any more drums.
 
Last edited:

wraub

Active Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
37
Reaction score
26
I'm looking for a specific Yamaha drum, but also avoid FB... is there another place you'd suggest?

I guess I misread your intention in the thread, because it started by looking for a way to clone the Maple Customs. My guess is that getting an AHM is going to get you a lot closer to cloning the sound of the Maple Custom than going the Precision route.

Anyway, if you want me to post a "wanted" ad for you on the Facebook page, let me know.

M
 

egw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
221
Reaction score
185
As far as I know, Yamaha's shells are more or less 1mm per ply. So the Maple Custom toms would have been around 7mm, and the BDs around 1cm thick. A Keller 10-ply (6.7mm) maple shell will get you pretty close to the thickness of a Maple Custom tom.

Their dyna-hoops were just heavy flanged rims, so standard 2.3mm hoops will be the same sonically, just without the inward flange.

If you're looking to copy the Vintage finish (they also offered a glossy natural finish at one point), boiled linseed oil is what they used. A guy who used to work at the factory told me that. Tung oil is basically non-existent in Japan, but boiled linseed is quite common. It seems to darken more over time than Tung.

And the bearing edges on MCs were just a single 45 with a slight roundover on the outside. Add those elements together (thick maple shell, 2.3 hoops, oil finish, 45 degree edges) and I think you could get the vibe of an MC kit pretty well.

I also think they were great kits for acoustic jazz playing. Compared to the Absolute drums, they had a nice warm sound with fairly short sustain. The Absolute toms and bass drums resonate too long at low volumes to be of much use for a bop kit.
 

Neal Pert

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
1,316
Location
Among the Coastal Elites
As far as I know, Yamaha's shells are more or less 1mm per ply. So the Maple Custom toms would have been around 7mm, and the BDs around 1cm thick. A Keller 10-ply (6.7mm) maple shell will get you pretty close to the thickness of a Maple Custom tom.

Their dyna-hoops were just heavy flanged rims, so standard 2.3mm hoops will be the same sonically, just without the inward flange.

If you're looking to copy the Vintage finish (they also offered a glossy natural finish at one point), boiled linseed oil is what they used. A guy who used to work at the factory told me that. Tung oil is basically non-existent in Japan, but boiled linseed is quite common. It seems to darken more over time than Tung.

And the bearing edges on MCs were just a single 45 with a slight roundover on the outside. Add those elements together (thick maple shell, 2.3 hoops, oil finish, 45 degree edges) and I think you could get the vibe of an MC kit pretty well.

I also think they were great kits for acoustic jazz playing. Compared to the Absolute drums, they had a nice warm sound with fairly short sustain. The Absolute toms and bass drums resonate too long at low volumes to be of much use for a bop kit.
Seems an incredibly expensive experiment to run. I’m definitely not at all sure that a glue-heavy 10 ply Keller would react the same as a Yamaha shell. You may be right, but I’d want to watch someone else do the experiment first before dropping the money and time into it. Or heck, I’d just start looking for a maple custom kit. They do come up for sale semi-regularly.
 


Top