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

glaze148

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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.
They cut down a GMS from 18x16, to 18x12, drilled, and moved a badge, and re cut an edge
$119. 00
Just an FYI
 

b/o 402

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I agree that cutting it down is unlikely to help.
If I were in your shoes, I'd order a Keller 6 or 8mm shell and transfer the hardware over. If it sounds better, then finish it yourself or hire somebody to, Natural maple is the easiest finish to match.
If it doesn't sound better, at least you haven't ruined a valuable shell.
 

Elvis

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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!
Removing depth from a drum dries it out, so if your bass drum seems a bit overly boomy, that's one way to lessen that effect.
I have a 22x8, which I suspect was originally a 22x16, and it sounds remarkably "normal". The biggest thing I pick up is that its not as boomy as other 22's I've played in the past, but that change isn't all that drastic, either.
..SO...
I suspect going from 18" depth to a 14" depth won't change the overall sound of the drum much, but you should notice a slightly drier bass drum.
If the drum comes across much like the box it came in, you might need to have the edges trued and/or try going with lighter/tighter head setup.
Maple Customs were really nice drums and Yamaha's flagship series for years. I'd be surprised if it had wobbly edges, but I suppose there's a first time for everything.
Anyway, good luck and let us know how this works out for you.

Elvis
 
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Neal Pert

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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.
Talk to Jeff Kirsch up in Portland. https://www.instagram.com/kirschdrumsportland/. I've only worked with him through his instagram account but he's super-responsive and will talk you through it.

Another thing to think about when it comes to cutting down a Yamaha drum is that they've been using Noble and Cooley's "Nodal Point" theory for mounting their lugs and hardware. I don't remember when they started this. The lugs are spaced 1/5 of the way from either edge. Anyway, as you cut it down, if you want it to look authentic you'd want to put the lugs 1/5 of the way in from either side. That'd mean recutting both edges and redrilling for every lug. That's what's kept me from getting my AHM bass drum cut down.
 

Slingwig26

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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!
I had a 22x18 Tama B/B cut down to 14” (professionally, of course), and it now sounds and feels better. I love it, I recommend it.
 

cobaltspike

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My suggestion would be a single ply reso tuned pretty tight and maybe a PS3 for the batter tuned medium, should bring any drum to life. Porting kills the reso heads response so no porting and again, pretty tight to where it sounds timpani like. Leave all pillows on your bed, if you need any muting just use a felt strip.
 

Matched Gripper

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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!
That drum should be a cannon! Have you checked to see if the bearing edges are true (on a flat plane)? That may be the issue.
 

Elvis

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My suggestion would be a single ply reso tuned pretty tight and maybe a PS3 for the batter tuned medium, should bring any drum to life. Porting kills the reso heads response so no porting and again, pretty tight to where it sounds timpani like. Leave all pillows on your bed, if you need any muting just use a felt strip.
...or roll up a towel and set it on the hoop so its up against the head.
I like this advice....doing the least (permanent) first and seeing how that works.
 

cruddola

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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?
I feel for you having sold your drums. I passed on a DW Collectors kit in Natural maple for my Forever Kit, a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute kit in Plum Stain.
WP_20171122_13_31_50_Raw.jpg
WP_20171122_13_32_13_Raw.jpg
 

Cauldronics

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Don't mean to be a complete naysayer, but:

Like I said before, I have tried everything on this drum, including almost everything recommended in the thread except for Evans or Aquarian heads. Let's say neither head does much for the drum - which is what I expect. Then I'm stuck with two heads I don't normally use or like, and out $85. The reason I don't care for Evans is how quick the sound I was enjoying left the drum head and never came back. I always felt like I wasted my money. Didn't happen that quick with Remo.

The edges are probably, typically perfect for Yamaha. Every time I've seen them, there was nothing to be critical about at all. I haven't set them down on a flat, stone counter top (suggested earlier), but I can do that too. I doubt the shell is out of round, or that the edges aren't true all the way around, but I'll check. I'd be surprised and maybe I will be. I'd be thrilled if the drum came to life from either a change of heads that I haven't used, or if it only needs new edges.

It does make sense to try everything down to the last detail first before having any cuts done, so I'll do that.
 

Elvis

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Don't mean to be a complete naysayer, but:

Like I said before, I have tried everything on this drum, including almost everything recommended in the thread except for Evans or Aquarian heads. Let's say neither head does much for the drum - which is what I expect. Then I'm stuck with two heads I don't normally use or like, and out $85. The reason I don't care for Evans is how quick the sound I was enjoying left the drum head and never came back. I always felt like I wasted my money. Didn't happen that quick with Remo.

The edges are probably, typically perfect for Yamaha. Every time I've seen them, there was nothing to be critical about at all. I haven't set them down on a flat, stone counter top (suggested earlier), but I can do that too. I doubt the shell is out of round, or that the edges aren't true all the way around, but I'll check. I'd be surprised and maybe I will be. I'd be thrilled if the drum came to life from either a change of heads that I haven't used, or if it only needs new edges.

It does make sense to try everything down to the last detail first before having any cuts done, so I'll do that.
jOe has a point, it may be that particular edge shape is just not your cup of tea.
If you can find them, maybe try A-B'ing your drum against a Gretsch Renown or maybe a Ludwig Classic Maple, both of which feature unique edges that are different from what you have now.
....otherwise, if you do cut it down, maybe try something a little different. Cut it down to 12" instead of 14".
As I said before, it will pretty much retain the sound of a normal sized bass drum, it will just be a little drier.
The 6" you cut off will allow you more comfortable positioning on smaller stages, too.

Elvis
 
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