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New Recording Custom Owners: Any YESS tom choking?

PerfectImposter

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TDM said:
I find TDM's points interesting, and it brings to mind a question I've had for a long time but have never really tried to get an answer to. Do drum companies typically have physicists or engineers on staff to help with the design process?
Whether certain drum companies do or do not have physicists and engineers on staff is difficult, if not impossible, to answer. This is likely an internal matter and not something that is published, for various reasons. However, I do know once you train your ears and take an objective, empirical, make no assumptions approach, it's easy to hear certain things.
Just to be clear, I'm not talking about sound engineers, I'm talking about design/mechanical engineers. I agree with what you're saying, I've never thought the YESS mounting system was a particularly good design, and with the move to the YESS III mounts I really feel like Yamaha are throwing [email protected] against the wall to see what sticks. In general I think there are some pretty clunky designs in the drum business.

Interestingly I have an MIJ recording custom kit made from orphans. My 12", 14" and 16" are all pre YESS and yet I have the most problems getting my YESS mount 10" to resonate. I don't use it often, but I'm tempted to convert it to RIMS mount to try to improve it.
 

drummaman1

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The YESS mount in its current state on SC, LC, RC, and older Sakae made model drums is nearly 30 YEARS old.

What happened when they introduced PHX with the newer YESS-II mount? Complaints.
What happened when they introduced the YESS-IIm mount on late 2010 - 2013 Yamaha MCA/BCA drums? Complaints.
To add, not many of these complaints are about the mount's function, but about aesthetics.

The YESS III mount seems to be functioning as designed, yet all of the other models of drums in production still have that original YESS mount designed almost 30 years ago. And, people complain about how that one looks as well, and I happen to like its look. More than the YESS-IIm mount, anyway.

My point here is, Yamaha had redesigned the mount twice now. Yet, they still use the original design on over 60% of its drum lines. It tells me that while claims of choked sounding drums is valid and should be addressed, to use that mount still tells me that most of those claims are sour grapes.
 

hefty

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thewedge said:
Don't know but the tom sound ridculous mounted on that YESS mount and attached a post coming out of the bass drum. Sounds massive...and tons of resonance. Can't see why messing around with the mount would produce anything you'd want more than that. Play em and enjoy them...Yamaha did a really good job on the kit (reluctantly admitted).
Ditto this with regard to my Live Customs. The toms including mounted 12" sound awesome. I mean really, really great. Maybe they could get x% awesomer with the YESS mount removed and drum mounted on a RIMS, but I'm not gonna bother because again, it's great as-is, plus I love the look and functionality of the YESS mount.
 

TDM

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PerfectImposter said:
Just to be clear, I'm not talking about sound engineers, I'm talking about design / mechanical engineers. I agree with what you're saying, I've never thought the YESS mounting system was a particularly good design, and with the move to the YESS III mounts, I really feel like Yamaha are throwing [email protected] against the wall to see what sticks. In general I think there are some pretty clunky designs in the drum business.

Interestingly I have an MIJ recording custom kit made from orphans. My 12", 14", and 16" are all pre YESS, and yet I have the most problems getting my YESS mount 10" to resonate. I don't use it often, but I'm tempted to convert it to RIMS mount to try to improve it.
I should have been clearer, too. Yes, I meant industrial design and mechanical engineers, not sound engineers. What I think Yamaha is trying to achieve with YESS and all the YESS variations is the convenience and features of a shell mount with the sonic qualities of a proper isolation and suspension system, like Gouger RIMS. There is no question that of all the mounting system I've used, direct shell mounts are still the most convenient and offer several benefits other mounting systems do not.

I dislike mounting systems that interfere with the hoops, tension rods, or lugs. Similarly, I dislike mounting systems that place the mounting force under lugs or around lugs. It has been my experience that all these approaches impact tuning and tuning stability. Also, I like the ability to take heads on and off the drum without the mount falling off. And indeed, when the mounting system is attached to the hoop or tension rods in such a way that it pulls the hoop and head to one side of the drum, this makes initial head seating and tuning difficult.

From an engineering standpoint, probably the most technically sound mounting system I've seen is Tama's Super Resonant Mounting System. This is embodied in their Star Cast and other mounting systems of this ilk. Tama attaches the mounting system to the hoop of the drum, hanging the drum downward. This creates the least amount of mechanical advantage (force) on the shell when the drum is struck. Contrast this with Sakae's bottom lug mounted system, which causes maximum mechanical advantage (force) on the shell when the drum is struck. I'm not using the proper engineering terms, but this is fundamental lever theory.

The Tama Super Resonant Mounting System has another key advantage over other mounting systems, taking a cue from the Gouger RIMS playbook. RIMS mounts the drum at the drum's center of balance, such there are no twisting forces on the hardware and shell. However, this center of balance is when the drum sits straight up and down, heads parallel to the floor. Most drummers don't mount rack toms this way, instead tipping them somewhat inward, toward the player. This is exactly what Tama's Super Resonant Mounting System accounts for. It moves the attachment points on the hoop so that the drum's center of balance remains in a "tipped slightly inward" state. Brilliant! And, it's technically sound from an engineering standpoint.

Here is the irony. Remember, as a drummer, I dislike mounting systems that interfere with hoops, tension rods, and lugs? The Tama Super Resonant Mounting System does exactly this, attaching at the hoop. Sonically, I appreciate the result. From a usability perspective, I greatly prefer direct shell mounts or something like Yamaha's YESS systems, all which stay entirely away from hoops, tension rods, and lugs. Ha! Too funny! We drummers are a tough audience to please!

Regarding Yamaha's changes with YESS III, actually, this is congruent with my own findings. When Yamaha changed the wooden plate of YESS II on the Phoenix drums to a metal plate for YESS IIm on MCA and BCA drums, they made the entire system more rigid. This is not a good thing and it prohibits resonance. Removing as much of the metal plate as possible and using arms to attach at the three mounting points accomplishes two things: (1) It makes the system less rigid and thus promotes resonance, and (2) the arms slide and adjust so you can use a given mount on more than one size of drums, which saves cost. I don't think there is anything random about these changes. Seemingly, Yamaha is thinking them through very carefully and with specific goals in mind.

Final comment. I wish Yamaha would get rid of all the YESS stuff and put the mount directly on the shell. Yamaha's mount is a four point design, so it distributes the mounting force over a large area of the shell and over multiple dimensions. It's a great design, providing a lightweight, compact solution that is convenient to use and that does not interfere with hoops, tension rods, and lugs. If it wasn't for the modern perception that drums must use isolation systems, I think Yamaha drums would be much better served with straight-up shell mounts!
 

TDM

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drummaman1 said:
My point here is, Yamaha had redesigned the mount twice now. Yet, they still use the original design on over 60% of its drum lines. It tells me that while claims of choked sounding drums are valid and should be addressed, to use that mount still tells me that most of those claims are sour grapes.
I disagree. I think when someone says a drum chokes, it means exactly that. It means the drum chokes. This has nothing to do with sour grapes. Moreover, I think the fact the drum industry is still addressing this problem thirty to forty years later illustrates what a complex problem it is. When you consider other factors, such as convenience, tuning, head changes, aesthetics, and, probably the key one, variability due to shell materials and other comments, it's a tough problem to solve with one hundred percent reliability and satisfaction.
 

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I think we're in agreement here TDM. However, I feel you're overstating the effects that force on the drum shell will have on resonance. The only reason that force would stop the drum from resonating is if that force also holds the drum in place after it is stuck. Not sure if I'm explaining that well, but imagine if you take a direct to shell mount that puts stress on a shell but then the mount is attached to a spring. The drum is going to sing for days. It's all about if the drum is allowed to vibrate.
 

TDM

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PerfectImposter said:
I think we're in agreement here TDM. However, I feel you're overstating the effects that force on the drum shell will have on resonance. The only reason that force would stop the drum from resonating is if that force also holds the drum in place after it is stuck. Not sure if I'm explaining that well, but imagine if you take a direct to shell mount that puts stress on a shell but then the mount is attached to a spring. The drum is going to sing for days. It's all about if the drum is allowed to vibrate.
Re "It's all about if the drum is allows to vibrate". Yes, agreed. Remove inhibitors of shell vibration and sonically things turn out pretty well. However, when mounting a drum, in practice, for various reasons, removing all inhibitors of shell vibration becomes hard to do. For example, Yamaha's YESS II, IIm, and III systems are essentially exactly what you describe: attach the mount to a spring. In this case, the spring is embodied in the rubber isolation pillars. This works semi-effectively and as I discovered, those rubber pillars can become twisted, exerting forces on the shell that actually choke the drum!
 

PerfectImposter

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Rubber and spring are two very different things. The rubber kills vibrations, the spring would not. Furthermore the amount of stress placed on the shell by the mount alone is negligible. It would have no effect on the vibrations at all.
 

thewedge

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Can't see what the griping is all about. Snapped two short videos of a new RC 13" tom sitting on a tom arm attached to a kick. Thick two ply head (vintage emperor), a piece of moongel, and not even really tuned. What more are you looking for?


 
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TDM

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PerfectImposter,

"Rubber and spring are two very different things. The rubber kills vibrations, the spring would not."

Yes, I see what you're saying and I think you're onto something.

"Furthermore, the amount of stress placed on the shell by the mount alone is negligible. It would have no effect on the vibrations at all."

You'd be surpassed. I've tested this. Sometimes, the weight of the mount alone, on the shell, even without the drum mounted, is enough to choke the drum. Some shells are totally intolerant of mounting hardware whereas others sing for days regardless of what you put on them and how you mount them.
 

PerfectImposter

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TDM said:
PerfectImposter,

"Rubber and spring are two very different things. The rubber kills vibrations, the spring would not."

Yes, I see what you're saying and I think you're onto something.

"Furthermore, the amount of stress placed on the shell by the mount alone is negligible. It would have no effect on the vibrations at all."

You'd be surpassed. I've tested this. Sometimes, the weight of the mount alone, on the shell, even without the drum mounted, is enough to choke the drum. Some shells are totally intolerant of mounting hardware whereas others sing for days regardless of what you put on them and how you mount them.
I'm not disputing that the mount is choking the drum. The mount isn't choking the drum because of the force though. It's because you've bolted metal and rubber to the drum and now when you hit it the whole thing, mount and all needs to vibrate. That mount is killing the vibrations just by adding mass and different materials to the shell.

I'm only trying to drive this point home because I see this idea of force on a shell inhibiting resonance come up from time to time. It's only an issue if that force on the shell is also holding it in place and not allowing vibrations. When a drummer has an issue with a choked tom they should be trying to figure out how to get it to vibrate freely. Making sure your stands aren't bottomed out, make sure you're mounted towards the top of the, make sure you've got as little hardware as possible bolted directly to the drum etc....
 

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Re: "spring" mount -
With my very first drumset, an 80s Pearl Expoert, I experimented with mounting the rack toms off cymbal stand clamps. Pre-ISS whatever. With the multiclamp, tomholder and drum mounted a certain way, the tone had a nice long decay. No rubber or loose parts involved, just he springiness of the mulitclamp. The tom resonated together with the tom holder. The decoupling point was the multi-clamp.

Decay time and effectiveness of the iso mount depends on how the drum is tuned. In the above video the 13" is tuned very low, no wonder the decay is long. Tune the same drum up to near choking (SImon Phillips tuning) and that's where the mounting makes a difference, between choked and non-choked.
 

TDM

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PerfectImposter,

Hey, this is a good conversation. Very useful! Thanks for sharing your ideas! Something you said about forces, those that prevent the shell vibrating versus those that vibrate along with the shell, got me thinking.

One thing I've noticed with the various YESS systems is they seem to choke smaller drums more often than larger drums. Part of this may be that the resonating surface area and acoustic chamber of larger drums is greater, and therefore the drum as a whole may be less impacted by the mount. However, what you said reminded me of something I discovered in my various YESS experiments. This may affect original YESS too, but I'll use the YESS three point systems to demonstrate.

The isolation pillars of the YESS three point system are not radiused to the curvature of the shell. Well okay, they are to a degree, because the mounting plate is radiused, but it seems generic mounting plates are used for certain drum size ranges. Thus, the mounting plates are not exactly radiused to the curvature of each diameter of shell. Also, the metal ends of the rubber isolation pillars are not radiused at all. With larger diameter drums, the shell is flatter and more naturally meets the contact points of the pillars and less than exact radiusing of the mounting plate. This causes less "flattening out forces" on the shell when the mount's fasteners are tightened. With smaller diameter drums, it's the opposite. The shell is rounder and thus there is more tenancy for flat pillar ends and any mismatched radiusing to cause strong "flattening out forces" on the shell. I speculate that these "flattening out forces" are of the type that inhibit shell vibration and thus choking occurs.
 

PerfectImposter

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TDM,

The reason why your small drums are choked more is because the mounts are the same size and weight, regardless of the drum size. So when the mount is attached to a 10 it represents a much larger portion of the total mass of the body that needs to vibrate vs say a 14. That YESS doesn't want to sing when you hit it by itself so it's really killing those vibrations.
 

Drum Mer

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Regarding the PHX mounts (or at least mine and the ones I had under my hands):
https://soundcloud.com/musiqsounds-3/fills-10x7-12x8-14x13-toms-yamaha-phx
This is an un-edited recording (straight form the mic to the interface with no effects or such) of 10x7, 12x8, 14x13 toms. Straight from the box only with new Suede Emperor heads batter heads, nothing changed to the Yess IIw bolts too (which someone once advised)

Sustain for days. This is also due to the shell. Even on a flat surface the tom sings a lot when played.

I personally never had a problem with any Yess mount model. But I do love the bolt directly to the shell kits like the old RC and RTC.
 

tnsquint

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For what it is worth, my MCAs do choke a little when mounted on YES mounts on the bass drum. I've opted to leave this as is because a.) they still sound good and b.) it's what drummers are used to.

Saw Gadd last night with James Taylor. His drums sounded nice and articulate but the Yamaha toms were quite dry. Monster player as you all know of course.
 
J

jaymandude

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TDM said:
Regarding Yamaha's changes with YESS III, actually, this is congruent with my own findings. When Yamaha changed the wooden plate of YESS II on the Phoenix drums to a metal plate for YESS IIm on MCA and BCA drums, they made the entire system more rigid. This is not a good thing and it prohibits resonance. Removing as much of the metal plate as possible and using arms to attach at the three mounting points accomplishes two things: (1) It makes the system less rigid and thus promotes resonance, and (2) the arms slide and adjust so you can use a given mount on more than one size of drums, which saves cost. I don't think there is anything random about these changes. Seemingly, Yamaha is thinking them through very carefully and with specific goals in mind.

Final comment. I wish Yamaha would get rid of all the YESS stuff and put the mount directly on the shell. Yamaha's mount is a four point design, so it distributes the mounting force over a large area of the shell and over multiple dimensions. It's a great design, providing a lightweight, compact solution that is convenient to use and that does not interfere with hoops, tension rods, and lugs. If it wasn't for the modern perception that drums must use isolation systems, I think Yamaha drums would be much better served with straight-up shell mounts!
I could almost get with this last comment. But I sold a boatload of Recording Customs in the 80's and have continously owned a set since then, even if it sat in storage for a while

The shell mounted bracket chokes the drum, depending on tuning and placement on the hex rod. You can of course get it to sound great. Open, full, resonant. But only at a certain tension and placement. It's very inconsistent. Change the tension of the drum ? chokes... Change the placement on the hex rod ? Chokes... RIMS mounting solved this, then Yamaha came up with their own solution ( Like it or not :)
 


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