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

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,327
Reaction score
340
Location
SF Bay Area
If you can cut off the bass drum from the batter side without leaving extra holes from the lugs, I'd do it. Not sure of the placement of the vent hole or badge on your drum.
Precision will probably have great ideas when I give them a call. I'll bet they've worked on almost every drum out there and no doubt they've worked on a MC bass before.
 

Targalx

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
938
Reaction score
569
Location
Los Angeles
Had a 1997 Yamaha Maple Custom with the gold lugs- bought it in 1998....sold it in 2015. It had a 22x16" kick drum and I'm pretty darn good with tuning. Tried many different batter heads and started unported and then ported and I could never get the sound I wanted...It sounded boxy.
Yes. I, too, am not thrilled about my MC bass drums (both are 22x16). I've owned two MCs (vintage and black maple finishes), and neither kick was ever all that satisfying to me.

The MCA I have is a better kick, in my opinion. Easier to tune, provides more oomph, just feels better in general.
 

snappy

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
1,238
Reaction score
847
Yes. I, too, am not thrilled about my MC bass drums (both are 22x16). I've owned two MCs (vintage and black maple finishes), and neither kick was ever all that satisfying to me.

The MCA I have is a better kick, in my opinion. Easier to tune, provides more oomph, just feels better in general.
Try filling a MC bass drum close to half full and then hit it.
 

halldorl

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
2,561
Reaction score
1,976
Location
Iceland
A friend of mine had a 20” MC cut down (I think it was 16” deep) hoping it would bring it to life. It went from bad to worse.
 

Tommy D

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
1,608
Reaction score
559
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
Or you could try an Emad batter head. Many people love them, myself included, others say they turn every bass drum in to sounding the same. If the latter is true, your bass drum should sound great because Emads sound great.
 

BennyK

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
14,963
Reaction score
1,951
If you want to keep it Yamaha , wait and see if someone will trade you an Absolute Maple .

I love Yamaha drums, except their bass drums - Oak Custom , Birch Custom , Maple Custom ,have been problemical for me . Today I try to exclusively use the thinnest shelled bass drums and matched to whatever combo of toms are appropriate .

Don't cut it, you might be worse off .
 

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,327
Reaction score
340
Location
SF Bay Area
I'm still going to try snappy's idea of filling the drum halfway with blankets, but it looks like everybody is equally divided between cut and don't cut.

One other factor is how much it would cost shipping a 22x18 from one coast to another and back. It might not be worth the trouble, but I'll call Precision and see what they know about keeping the cost down.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,327
Reaction score
340
Location
SF Bay Area
Or you could try an Emad batter head. Many people love them, myself included, others say they turn every bass drum in to sounding the same. If the latter is true, your bass drum should sound great because Emads sound great.
That might be a good suggestion except I'm not an Evans guy. Don't mean to rain on the idea, just being honest.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,327
Reaction score
340
Location
SF Bay Area
If you want to keep it Yamaha , wait and see if someone will trade you an Absolute Maple .

I love Yamaha drums, except their bass drums - Oak Custom , Birch Custom , Maple Custom ,have been problemical for me . Today I try to exclusively use the thinnest shelled bass drums and matched to whatever combo of toms are appropriate .

Don't cut it, you might be worse off .
When I had a set of the newer Tama Superstar Classic, the bass drum was thin, punchy and about half the weight of some of my others. The only problem with the whole kit was a lack of projection and power, and not enough sustain. The tone was great, though. If I was mostly playing live gigs with mics, I would've kept it.

I had an Oak Custom awhile ago. That kit needed a bigger room to handle the power, projection and attack. That kit had a brittle attack and I had to let it go.

One area where I think Yamaha have improved in recent decades would be their bass drum sound. I've heard a lot of people mention issues with older basses.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,311
Reaction score
918
Location
Germany
With a natural finish kit, you could also get another shell, maybe 7mm maple, and put the MC hardware on! No idea how much this would cost though. You could get another 18x22 and compare, or go for a shwlloer drum right away if you prefer this size overall.
 

Targalx

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
938
Reaction score
569
Location
Los Angeles
I love Yamaha drums, except their bass drums - Oak Custom , Birch Custom , Maple Custom ,have been problemical for me . Today I try to exclusively use the thinnest shelled bass drums and matched to whatever combo of toms are appropriate .
I agree, except for the Oak Custom. I have a 24x17 OC that will shake the walls of any venue! It is the most thunderous kick I've ever played and provides an extremely satisfying pedal feel.
 

BNK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
176
Reaction score
75
Location
Oakville, ON, Canada
You're hearing the bass drum from the drivers seat, have you had someone else play the drum and stood ten feet away to hear from an audience perspective?. Have you heard it on tape?. How big is your port hole?. Exactly what head combinations have you tried?. What type of bass pedal beater do you use?. How is the batter tuned in relation to the resonant head?. Have you considered installing a KickPort?. Have you considered muffling only the batter side head?.

Another thing to consider is, what if the drum is damaged in transit?. Can you live with a crack, scratch or worse on a classic drum?.

Personally I would only consider cutting the drum down after exploring all other avenues.
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
16,922
Reaction score
5,697
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Only thing I can think of with all these "complaints" about "yamaha bass drums---

as an aside does anyone remember when Modern Drummer road tested 10 Top line sets? ( the Yamaha MC was the only one a bass drum complaint was noted...)

two things:
Either the Shell is too Thick?
Or the Edge.

So maybe new edge (which could be done locally) would fix it

Is there something "unusual" about the edge ?
Is the shell unusually thick?
The toms have always sounded great... but the bass drum is a dud.
 

Trilock_Gurtu

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
984
Reaction score
793
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
As the guy that drew the best wrath of 2019 on the custom threads for cutting down just an older Japanese made Tama birch Starclassic... I say... CUT IT DOWN!!!!

True, the resale value may take a hit but it may not! The guy who bought my Tama kit bought it BECAUSE of the kick, Tama never offered a 14X20 for that line and he loved it!
I agree. I would be more likely to buy that kit because it was cut down, especially if Precision did the work.
 

michaelg

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
1,119
Reaction score
310
Location
Ireland
I had a MC way back and the bass drum (a 22) was the punchiest bass drum I've ever played. Perhaps not my favorite drum but it definitely could cut and project a punch in a large room.
 

BNK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
176
Reaction score
75
Location
Oakville, ON, Canada
I had a MC way back and the bass drum (a 22) was the punchiest bass drum I've ever played. Perhaps not my favorite drum but it definitely could cut and project a punch in a large room.
I had a 1991 Yamaha MC, turquoise with gold lugs but the bass drum was 22x16 deep.

I have to think an 18" should be boomier, even if it's a thinner shell late version MC.
 

kire

Member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Location
Sweden
Some bass drums are flat/weak from the player’s seat but can sound awesome in front or miked. I think it’s a feature of thicker shells, just live with it.
 

EyeByTwoMuchGeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
274
Reaction score
97
Location
Maryland
If you aren’t local-ish to Precision, try to find a decent tech in your area. Have the edges recut first. On a MC, it will be easy. That might fix the issue. If that still won’t help, then cut it up!!!
 


Top