Old school Yamaha was on another level!

dirtysicks

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So my good drum favor has continued lol... a few months back, I stumbled upon a little studio room in the church where I play and I saw this old school Yamaha 7000 kit in there just collecting dust. I asked how long it had been sitting back there and the saxophyplayer said it was his and that he put it in there a few years ago because he got it cheap off Craigslist just because. I told him that I’d buy it off him but at the time he was not budging. Every week, I’d tell him that eventually he’d give in. Well last week, I offered to replace it so that he keeps a kit on there just in case and he bit, then the keyboard player told me he had a 90’s Pearl Export in storage I could have for $100 to put in there... so I got a 12x8, 12x9, 16x16, 22x14 7000 Series (in Real Wood finish) and an Iron Cobra for $100.

The kit has a Camelia/Philippine Mahogany shell and the fit, finish and feel of this kit is unlike any other mahogany kit I’ve seen or played. it cleaned up really well (I should’ve taken before pics since it was so dirty with a little rust). The shells look great and I have always loved this real wood finish on 7000, 8000, and 9000 series kits. The insides of the shell are a gorgeous smooth and dark brown. The bearing edges are great. They sound amazing too. Open resonant tone with great sensitivity and projection. I had a few coated Ambassadors around for the rack toms and an Ebony Emperor around for the floor Tom. Not sure which heads I’ll use when I eventually put matching heads on it and I think I’ll put a Remo Black Dot Powerstroke 3 on the kick. All of the toms sound great but the kick needs a few claws and rods plus it needs some wood hoops or a matching metal hoop (leaning towards wood hoops). This kit can hang with any drum set with good heads and tuning. I’m glad to have it.
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El Larry

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You are right on about those early Yamahas. I had a 5000 kit, the luan with an inner ply of beech, and they were built solid, and sounded great.
 

rculberson

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dirty, I think you might actually have the even more elusive Dark Wood finish. According to the Yamaha catalogs, Dark Wood was only offered on 7000 series drums. Not available in the 9000 and later 8000.
 

Marquisjohnson22

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I was actually just reading the same thing online a few minutes ago while trying to pin down exactly which model it was. I saw a 7000 GA model from 1977ish with Birch/Meranti shells then I saw YD-7000 models with the Camelia/Mahogany shells which I believe is what I have in Dark Wood finish. These drums look and sound great. Not sure if I want to add a coated head to the floor tom, add Ebony heads to the rack toms or just go Clear Emperor on them all to show off the beautiful finish inside of the shells.
 

TrickRoll

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I had this kit in 14x20, 14x14, 9x13, and 8x12 sizes.

Wonderful drums. The bass drum punched above its size.

A friend and former student has it now and he continues to use it as his primary gigging set.

Thanks for the memories!
 

Tama CW

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dirty, I think you might actually have the even more elusive Dark Wood finish. According to the Yamaha catalogs, Dark Wood was only offered on 7000 series drums. Not available in the 9000 and later 8000.
Yes. It looks to be the more elusive Dark Wood. I have the 7000 series 14x5.5 1981 SD755 snare in dark wood....it came with my lighter Real Wood 9000D kit....and it's a great little snare with pop. The only finish they apparently offered that wood snare in.

I don't think your kit is 1977-78 as most or all of those have pointy top "shield-like" badges. Check the badges and post the serials. You have rounded silver tinted badges which came about some time in 1979. If it's "MIJ" vs. the more available "Made in Taiwan ROC" drums it's more desirable.

The 7000 kits are the most elusive of all the higher level Yamaha's from the 70's and 80's. They were a pro kit....and basically the forerunner to the 8000 Tour Series kits. The 7000 had similar mixed ply birch/mahogany-camelia-agathis shells as the 9000DA....with only the lugs really being different. I almost never see 7000 kits show up....and almost never in real wood....and even less in "walnutty" dark wood. Best I can tell the 7000's were made from 1977-1981.

The tom mounting hardware on your kit is the 1990's or later as you have the art-deco style wing bolts that Yamaha still uses today and the black caps on the tube bottoms. The 2 earlier styles of bolts used from 1977-1981 were quite different and can be seen in the 1978, 1980 and 1981 catalogs. From the photos posted your badges seem to have "Made in Taiwan ROC" on them which takes up 2 lines of print vs. 1 line of Print for the MIJ's.......which with the round corners probably places them in 1979/1980. I don't see many, if any MIT-ROC drums in 1981 as the transition back to 100% Japanese production was about done. Your badges would show date codes of N (1977), O (7 eight), P (79), Q (80), or X (80) for leading letter. The Yamaha 1981-1989 dating guide works just fine for all 2 letter codes from 1977-early 1999. Then a second letter for month (HIJKLMNOPXYZ). The ROC drums are "always" followed by "5XXX" for the number sequence code, which apparently reset back to 5000 each and every month. You have a very cool set of drums there.

http://www.drumarchive.com/Yamaha/
 
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Tama CW

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I used coated ambassadors on all my 9000D and 8000 toms and kick drums - both sides....one exception is the batter head on the 9000 which is a power stroke 3 pin stripe. You could go up to a coated emperor on the floor toms and they'll still sound great. They tune up just fine in both directions with the coated ambs. I was lucky to find a batch of NOS 1980's Yamaha coated ambs and have been using those on my Yamaha's.

Yes, Yamaha made wonderful drums back then, esp. the 7000/8000/9000 series drums. And most of them under-appreciated today. The 7000 doesn't get its due.
 
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Marquisjohnson22

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Yes. It looks to be the more elusive Dark Wood. I have the 7000 series 14x5.5 1981 SD755 snare in dark wood....it came with my lighter Real Wood 9000D kit....and it's a great little snare with pop. The only finish they apparently offered that wood snare in.

I don't think your kit is 1977-78 as most or all of those have pointy top "shield-like" badges. Check the badges and post the serials. You have rounded silver tinted badges which came about some time in 1979. If it's "MIJ" vs. the more available "Made in Taiwan ROC" drums it's more desirable.

The 7000 kits are the most elusive of all the higher level Yamaha's from the 70's and 80's. They were a pro kit....and basically the forerunner to the 8000 Tour Series kits. The 7000 had similar mixed ply birch/mahogany-camelia-agathis shells as the 9000DA....with only the lugs really being different. I almost never see 7000 kits show up....and almost never in real wood....and even less in "walnutty" dark wood. Best I can tell the 7000's were made from 1977-1981.

The tom mounting hardware on your kit is the 1990's or later as you have the art-deco style wing bolts that Yamaha still uses today and the black caps on the tube bottoms. The 2 earlier styles of bolts used from 1977-1981 were quite different and can be seen in the 1978, 1980 and 1981 catalogs. From the photos posted your badges seem to have "Made in Taiwan ROC" on them which takes up 2 lines of print vs. 1 line of Print for the MIJ's.......which with the round corners probably places them in 1979/1980. I don't see many, if any MIT-ROC drums in 1981 as the transition back to 100% Japanese production was about done. Your badges would show date codes of N (1977), O (7 eight), P (79), Q (80), or X (80) for leading letter. The Yamaha 1981-1989 dating guide works just fine for all 2 letter codes from 1977-early 1999. Then a second letter for month (HIJKLMNOPXYZ). The ROC drums are "always" followed by "5XXX" for the number sequence code, which apparently reset back to 5000 each and every month. You have a very cool set of drums there.

http://www.drumarchive.com/Yamaha/
I have one pic that seems to show OL when I zoom in, so I assume from your post that it is from May 1978. Thanks for that breakdown. I'll confirm when I get home.
 

Tama CW

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OL would be May 1978. That would be a good data point too where the pointy top badges were phased out. I had always figured by 1979. But what looks like an O could end up being a Q as well....which would be 1980. Either way, I learn something new....which is half the fun. The OPs photos are too fuzzy for me to zoom in on and make out the badge numbers and letters.

,
 
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Marquisjohnson22

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OL would be May 1978. That would be a good data point too where the pointy top badges were phased out. I had always figured by 1979. But what looks like an O could end up being a Q as well....which would be 1980. Either way, I learn something new....which is half the fun. The OPs photos are too fuzzy for me to zoom in on and make out the badge numbers and letters.
Yeah, I couldn't clearly make it out from the one in my phone so I'll check in a few hours when I make it to the house. Either way, I can't wait to get some playing time in on it! I have a Yamaha Seamless Steel 6.5x14 (SD-256 from 87ish) that will undoubtedly be a great match with this kit.
 

Stretch Riedle

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Just wanted to add how great old Yamaha drums are.
I scored a 1987 Recording Custom in 8x12, 9x13, 16x16 and 14x22 (with a newer steel 6.5x14 snare). Stupidly cheap. Standard cherry lacquer finish.
It's got a really nice sound.

Stretch
 

BobY04

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So my good drum favor has continued lol... a few months back, I stumbled upon a little studio room in the church where I play and I saw this old school Yamaha 7000 kit in there just collecting dust. I asked how long it had been sitting back there and the saxophyplayer said it was his and that he put it in there a few years ago because he got it cheap off Craigslist just because. I told him that I’d buy it off him but at the time he was not budging. Every week, I’d tell him that eventually he’d give in. Well last week, I offered to replace it so that he keeps a kit on there just in case and he bit, then the keyboard player told me he had a 90’s Pearl Export in storage I could have for $100 to put in there... so I got a 12x8, 12x9, 16x16, 22x14 7000 Series (in Real Wood finish) and an Iron Cobra for $100.

The kit has a Camelia/Philippine Mahogany shell and the fit, finish and feel of this kit is unlike any other mahogany kit I’ve seen or played. it cleaned up really well (I should’ve taken before pics since it was so dirty with a little rust). The shells look great and I have always loved this real wood finish on 7000, 8000, and 9000 series kits. The insides of the shell are a gorgeous smooth and dark brown. The bearing edges are great. They sound amazing too. Open resonant tone with great sensitivity and projection. I had a few coated Ambassadors around for the rack toms and an Ebony Emperor around for the floor Tom. Not sure which heads I’ll use when I eventually put matching heads on it and I think I’ll put a Remo Black Dot Powerstroke 3 on the kick. All of the toms sound great but the kick needs a few claws and rods plus it needs some wood hoops or a matching metal hoop (leaning towards wood hoops). This kit can hang with any drum set with good heads and tuning. I’m glad to have it.View attachment 413871View attachment 413872View attachment 413873View attachment 413874View attachment 413875View attachment 413876View attachment 413877View attachment 413878View attachment 413879
They really are. I remember using my uncle's old Yamaha back when I was in my teens. The quality of how they make it and the sound is superb.
 

Marquisjohnson22

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Just wanted to add how great old Yamaha drums are.
I scored a 1987 Recording Custom in 8x12, 9x13, 16x16 and 14x22 (with a newer steel 6.5x14 snare). Stupidly cheap. Standard cherry lacquer finish.
It's got a really nice sound.

Stretch
There are many stories of the great tone of RC kits. I wish I could come across one of those as well lol.
They really are. I remember using my uncle's old Yamaha back when I was in my teens. The quality of how they make it and the sound is superb.
I don't what they did to the wood on this kit but it has a much different look and feel than most Philippine Mahogany kit. Really smooth to the tooth with smooth grain and I am assuming they stained the inside of the shell. These project much better than say a Mahogany Gretsch Catalina or vintage stencil Mahogany kit.
 
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These are great drums. If you are a jazz fan, or even more specifically an Al Foster fan, then you might have seen Al back in the 70's and 80's (with Miles or Newk) playing a purple Yamaha set, those were these same Yamaha 7000 drums. I have played them many times, (he even left them at my house for a while, it hurt to give them back.) They do indeed sound, and feel, fantastic!!! If I remember correctly Al's have really big die cast "like" hoops on them (like the Ludwig dual channel hoops,) and the purple "wrap" is just a really thin contact paper type of stuff that Yamaha put on for him.

I I could ever find some of that same purple contact paper (with the same metallic sheen,) I might even put it on an older beater set of Yamaha tour customs that I have in 18,12,14 just for kicks and as a "tribute" to my friend.

He has since moved on to his white or black Recording Customs, and his green Maple Customs, and his sig portable kit. But those purple ones are really special!!! Every once in a while he even pulls them out for a special local gig. Al was Yamaha's first drum endorser. I don't know if these were the first drums that Yamaha gave him, but they are the most special ones.

MSG
 


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