Cut down a Yamaha Maple Custom bass drum or live with it?

Cauldronics

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It's a 22x18 Yamaha Maple Custom, gold lug 1997.

The toms have always sounded great... but the bass drum is a dud. For a Long time, I've debated shipping it off to Precision to have them make it a 22x14, but cutting it down doesn't guarantee it'll suddenly come to life. I've tried everything else: many different heads from most of the head makers, porting or not porting the front head, tuning every which way. You name it. But the drum sounds like a wet cardboard box.

I told myself I'm not selling this kit but with the way of the world, things could change one day and I know cutting it down will probably drop resale value. Just looking for ideas and suggestions from my DFO family!
 

fun2drum

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If it were a set I would love keeping assuming the bass drum were right, AND if it's in round, then cutting it down with new bearing edges would be a bet I would make. I've had Precision do a tom cut-down for me years ago and it was money well spent - a game-changer for that drum set.
 

Soulfinger

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I know cutting it down will probably drop resale value.
Not necessarily.
Extra deep shells seem to have fallen out of favor for good, and if you keep the documentation to prove that the work is not a hack job but has been done by a pro shop, the resizing could actually be an asset. I for one would appreciate it.
 

madsplash

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Don't cut that drum down. Maple Customs were actually pretty rare in 18 depth during their run, most were 16 depth and some 14. Someone will want that if you sell it. Just don't cut it down.
I'd love to have another 18x22 MC bass drum again. By chance are the toms standard/jazz depths? The deeper power toms were pretty much standard with 16x22 bass drums on the mc's. If you have an 18x22 bass drum with standard depth toms, it's pretty rare. I'd LOVE to have that setup again. I foolishly sold several mc sets that I'd love to have back.
What are the sizes and finish of your drums?
 

shuffle

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Not necessarily.
Extra deep shells seem to have fallen out of favor for good, and if you keep the documentation to prove that the work is not a hack job but has been done by a pro shop, the resizing could actually be an asset. I for one would appreciate it.
Great idea!
Verifying the work was legit.
 

Radio King

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I agree that any mod is going to hurt resale value, current trends notwithstanding. If it were my set with a dud bass drum, I'd just sell it and get something I like better. But if you're convinced you'll be keeping it, I'd cut it down with the hopes that the mod will improve the sound. If nothing else, it'll look cooler and take up less room. :)
 

bob

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it might sound like a dud behind the set to your ears
have you had a chance to listen to it out front ? ... might not sound that bad
i had a couple yamaha drum sets in the past and the bass drums always sounded good
personally i wouldn't cut it down
 

Cauldronics

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If it were a set I would love keeping assuming the bass drum were right, AND if it's in round, then cutting it down with new bearing edges would be a bet I would make. I've had Precision do a tom cut-down for me years ago and it was money well spent - a game-changer for that drum set.
I can spin a head freely on the edges, so the drum is probably in round. Yamaha didn’t drop the ball on QC, not anywhere that I can tell, but it might just be a chunk of wood that doesn’t want to play music. Maybe it should’ve been a table? lol

I am planning to keep the kit (almost) no matter what. That answers that part of question. Might as well get it ready to ship to Precision after I give them a call.
 

Cauldronics

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Not necessarily.
Extra deep shells seem to have fallen out of favor for good, and if you keep the documentation to prove that the work is not a hack job but has been done by a pro shop, the resizing could actually be an asset. I for one would appreciate it.
That’s a great point. If I were to sell the kit, mentioning that the bass was a dud until it was resized by Precision and providing the paperwork could be an asset.
 

Cauldronics

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Don't cut that drum down. Maple Customs were actually pretty rare in 18 depth during their run, most were 16 depth and some 14. Someone will want that if you sell it. Just don't cut it down.
I'd love to have another 18x22 MC bass drum again. By chance are the toms standard/jazz depths? The deeper power toms were pretty much standard with 16x22 bass drums on the mc's. If you have an 18x22 bass drum with standard depth toms, it's pretty rare. I'd LOVE to have that setup again. I foolishly sold several mc sets that I'd love to have back.
What are the sizes and finish of your drums?
Well, I’m not too keen on selling it, but the kit is high gloss natural maple. 8x8, 10x8, 12x10, 14x12, 16x14, 22x18.
The only way I’d consider letting it go is if I get the bass back and it still sucks.

Even then the offer would have to be in the high range for me to let it go. I’ve always played another kick with this kit; almost always my Eames 22x15 which is a great bass drum.
 

Cauldronics

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Set it aside and pick up a 22x14 maple “place holder” or fitting replacement (a matching 22x16 maybe?) can be located.

Best of both worlds...
The odds of finding the same finish, the size I want, and being able to play it in person to avoid another dud don’t seem great. But it’s an idea worth investigating. I’ve looked on eBay and craigslist over the years and it’s a drum that doesn’t show up often if at all, or at least never by itself.
 

Cauldronics

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Send it to Precision, go 22x14, you won't regret it. While they're at it, maybe change the edge type. Ask them, they'll know what to suggest.
On that point, it has plenty of attack but nothing after that. So maybe a 60 degree edge on the resonant side would be a good move, along with making it a 14. I’ll be talking to them about what the best move might be.
 

Cauldronics

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it might sound like a dud behind the set to your ears
have you had a chance to listen to it out front ? ... might not sound that bad
i had a couple yamaha drum sets in the past and the bass drums always sounded good
personally i wouldn't cut it down
Yes, I have heard it out front at gigs, a recording studio and practice rooms. Other bass drums do what it can’t - project low end and have resonance, punch and sustain. It has been tried and tested many times over the years. It just won’t do what I want.
 

Seb77

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Hm, I doubt it will suddenly turn more resonant when cut down. More sensitive to lower dynamics, yes, but the shell is what it is. Do you know how tick it is? I think earlier ones were 10mm, later ones a bit thinner.
My Gretsch new Classic 20" is 10.5mm which is a lot but it somehow works. Started out as 20x18, I had it cut down before even taking it home, so I'm all for modding drums the way they fit you, but that scarcity argument above seems valid, too. You could get a Yamaha Absolute bass drum, or any 22x14 in natural wood. How does that Eames look with the toms?
 

Tommy D

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You could buy a new shell and get a clear spray on it. Drill it for the hardware and edges you want and swap everything over. This way you don't damage the existing shell, which may still be a total dud even after cutting it down.
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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On that point, it has plenty of attack but nothing after that. So maybe a 60 degree edge on the resonant side would be a good move, along with making it a 14. I’ll be talking to them about what the best move might be.
Totally. Again, the people at Precision would have great advice about that.
 

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