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Question re: "Yamaha Custom Drums"

OttawaDrumGuy

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Haven't been able to find much information about this product line, but hoping a Yamaha expert or two might have some information.

I picked up what looks to be a pretty standard Yamaha Maple Custom kit (10/12/14/16/22 + snare, YESS mounts, gold lugs, Dynahoops, blue maple finish). However, the drums all have "Yamaha Custom Drums - Maple Shell" badges. The serial numbers all start with MK, and the model numbers on each badge end in PGD (ie. 10" tom is MTT10PGD, 12" is MTT12PGD, etc).

IMG_4640.JPG

So, quick questions:

1. What period was Yamaha doing custom orders? Based on the serial number "MK" and features, I think the kit dates from 1996.

2. Any idea why this would be a custom kit? There doesn't seem to be anything unusual about it (odd sizes, different lugs, etc).

3. What does PGD stand for? Maybe the initials of the person who placed the custom order?

Any info is much appreciated.

IMG_4639.jpg
 

Thumper

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"Custom" does not indicate special order, usually is part of the nomenclature for mid to high end drum lines, e.g. Recording Custom, Stage Custom, Maple Custom, Birch Custom, Rock Tour Custom, etc.
 
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RickP

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Yamaha had a short lived series called The Custom series. The Buyer could specify wood type, finish hardware colour and type choices. It was very quickly discontinued. I recall this being around the mid 90's. The finishes available were very extensive and many non- standard colours were available. They had fades and burst, Black, chrome and gold hardware. you could get Maple Custom lugs ; RC style lugs etc. Various hoop thicknesses (1.6 mm; 2.3 mm or dicecast). I recall these being very expensive at the time , far above a standard Maple Custom or recording Custom at the time.
 

OttawaDrumGuy

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Thanks for those details, Rick - that sounds like the right time period. I haven't come across any images of that badge on Google, and the only other mention I've been able to find is a short blurb on the Yamaha Drums wiki under Discontinued Products:

Yamaha Custom — A custom series of drum kits featuring either 100% Maple or Birch wood, a variety of colors and finishes, and the "Yamaha Enhanced Sustain System" (YESS).

At first glance, the only thing custom about these might be the maple blue lacquer, which I don't think was a YMC option by the mid-90s. Still a beautiful set of drums, and I was lucky to get a good deal on them.
 

zenghost

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stickchopper said:
Yamaha had a short lived series called The Custom series. The Buyer could specify wood type, finish hardware colour and type choices. It was very quickly discontinued. I recall this being around the mid 90's. The finishes available were very extensive and many non- standard colours were available. They had fades and burst, Black, chrome and gold hardware. you could get Maple Custom lugs ; RC style lugs etc. Various hoop thicknesses (1.6 mm; 2.3 mm or dicecast). I recall these being very expensive at the time , far above a standard Maple Custom or recording Custom at the time.
you are correct. good memory.

Isn't this like what we are asking Ludwig to do now ? Gretsch comes close with Maxwell's.. It's too bad it's so difficult for is what is seeming a very rigid company like Yamaha to do. But then again, how do you confuse people ? Give them too many options..

Maple kit with recording custom lugs and a burst finish ? I'd love that.
Yamaha makes great stuff - definitely a safe choice. In my mind, it's like buying a Honda or similar brand known for getting the fundamentals spot-on pretty darn consistently. However, if you're looking for customization or simply more flexibility in certain regards, you might have to look elsewhere - or learn to be more flexible in your own equipment specs, which is also OK sometimes.

It's not a ding on Yamaha (I own a MIJ kit and love it), just an acknowledgement of where they've chosen to draw the line for their own valid reasons. I can see where accommodating various degrees of customization could get unwieldy, and to be honest, Yamaha has a big enough piece of the pie to do just fine without it.

Gretsch seems to be getting a little more loosened up lately with accommodating requests, which combined with their resolution of past QC issues, puts them on pretty good footing in my book. I recently asked if Gretsch would do Broadkaster bearing edges on a USA Custom kit, and they said OK, which shocked me, but earned more respect from me for accommodating what I thought was a reasonable request. Steve @ Russo is a Roundbadge dealer and can get things done.
 

toady

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On your website, you mentioned the cool catalog that Yamaha had...

Timing is everything! :icon_smile: I was visiting a high school buddy last weekend, and he's a huge Yamaha collector. We got to talking about NAMM, and Pearl's Music City Custom line, and I asked if he remembered Yamaha's Custom series from the mid-90s. He pulled this catalog out of a bin.

I'd say you've got quite a treasure there. Yamaha only had that line for a few years, and yours is the first one I've seen "in the wild."

If I'd had the money back then, I would have gone with maple kick, birch toms, chrome lugs, and a 7x10 rack tom - not a standard Yamaha offering in the 90s.

Congrats. Super envious of your find!
 

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OttawaDrumGuy

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That's really cool, and thanks for posting the photo of the catalog. I'll have to share that with Dave down at the drum shop - would love to see a copy of that sometime.

I think it's funny that the original owner went through the trouble (and cost) of ordering a custom set from Yamaha, and then didn't seem to do anything unusual aside from a colour that wasn't standard. Guess he just really, really liked the blue.
 
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RickP

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OttawaDrumGuy said:
That's really cool, and thanks for posting the photo of the catalog. I'll have to share that with Dave down at the drum shop - would love to see a copy of that sometime.

I think it's funny that the original owner went through the trouble (and cost) of ordering a custom set from Yamaha, and then didn't seem to do anything unusual aside from a colour that wasn't standard. Guess he just really, really liked the blue.
On the other hand, the shop could have ordered this and someone just liked it and bought it. I would bet the original buyer got this from Steve's Music as they ordered a few kits way back when.
 

mlucas123

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This series wasnt really all that extensive or custom. Choice of 1.6 or 2.3 hoops, 13 finishes, 3 lugs, stock range of sizes (7"x10" NA) and BD mount or not. That's it.


Beautiful drums. Your finish is called "#2".
 

Drum Mer

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Beautyful Love to get my hands on that catalog to add it to my private collection (with some one of a kind folders and internal notes only a few have seen)
 

RedRaider

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Absolutely beautiful kit you scored there! Found this one online a while back and it appears to be from the same "custom drums" line.
 

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jbonzo1

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stickchopper said:
Yamaha had a short lived series called The Custom series. The Buyer could specify wood type, finish hardware colour and type choices. It was very quickly discontinued. I recall this being around the mid 90's. The finishes available were very extensive and many non- standard colours were available. They had fades and burst, Black, chrome and gold hardware. you could get Maple Custom lugs ; RC style lugs etc. Various hoop thicknesses (1.6 mm; 2.3 mm or dicecast). I recall these being very expensive at the time , far above a standard Maple Custom or recording Custom at the time.
you are correct. good memory.

Isn't this like what we are asking Ludwig to do now ? Gretsch comes close with Maxwell's.. It's too bad it's so difficult for is what is seeming a very rigid company like Yamaha to do. But then again, how do you confuse people ? Give them too many options..

Maple kit with recording custom lugs and a burst finish ? I'd love that.
Today, if you want a virgin bass drum from Yamaha, your only option is the flagship PHX line.
I was interested in the Maple Hybrid and new Recording Customs but the inability to order a virgin kick was a deal breaker.
The Custom Series was the only way to order a virgin bass drum back then.
I looked into a kit but as RickP said, the price was prohibitive.
 

Drum Mer

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Today, if you want a virgin bass drum from Yamaha, your only option is the flagship PHX line.
I was interested in the Maple Hybrid and new Recording Customs but the inability to order a virgin kick was a deal breaker.
The Custom Series was the only way to order a virgin bass drum back then.
I looked into a kit but as RickP said, the price was prohibitive.

A bit late, but it was always possible to order a virgin bass drum, for all lines except the entry/mid lines.

It was just not widely known.

When you order a virgin kick (or tom, that is possible too) add an “R” behind the code.
 


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