Recording custom question

Mcjnic

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Right. This one was printed in 81 for the 82 sale season.
I believe I have the cats you are referring to ... 77, 78, 80, etc.
I think this kit was built in the earlier to mid 80s. I am unable to clearly read the Serial stamp for the date code to be more precise. I'm going by the hardware buildout and finish and such.

Here's the link to the Date code for the 80s and the 90s.

http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/musical-instruments/drums/ac-drumsets/806/4177/
 

Tama CW

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In looking at the badge again it does look more like "NZ" than anything else....so Dec 1977. And the shield type badge with 2 sharp upper corners was in production prior to 1978/79, I'd go with that. I have several Yamaha drums dating from 1978-1983 and those ranged from early 1982/83 RC's and 8000/7000 series. None of them have the 2 upper squared corner badges that the OP's drum shows. Note too that the OPs badge doesn't have a vent hole or grommet....that was the norm for the serial # badge on 1978 and later Yamaha's. The later drums got a second Yamaha badge that was either blank or stamped "recording custom." So I don't see anything suggesting a 1980's drum kit.

So everything points to pre-1978. As far as the color goes....still a mystery.
 
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Mcjnic

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That Serial code begins in 80. Unless I'm missing something (which I might be), I don't believe it is accurate prior to 80. There is a second code run for the 90 builds.
Prior to 80 has been somewhat of a crapshoot for dating. Due to the multi-country assembly locations, the tendency is to lean towards the hardware and shell makup, as that tends to tell the tale.


Last Update: 02/01/2011

When were my Yamaha Drums made?

On every Yamaha Drum logo badge there are 2 sets of number/letter sequences. The model number of the drum is on the LEFT (IE: TT-912Y). The serial number will always be to the RIGHT of the model number. Please use the information below to determine the production date.

NOTE: This will date drums from 1980 on only. If the drum or drum kit is believed to be older, please send Yamaha Customer Support a note and we will be happy to assist you further.

1980-1989: Drums are coded with two-letter prefix on the serial numbers. The first letter in the serial number indicates the year of manufacture; the second letter is the month.

Example: OL = 1988/May, OM= 1988/June.

H I J K L M N O P Q S X Y Z
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 * 10 11 12




*Indicates prototype of first run in production.


1990-Present: Drums are coded with three-letter prefix on the serial numbers. The first two letters indicate year, the third letter indicates the month (1=Jan, 2=February, etc.).

Example: PPI=February 1999(PP=99 I=Feb.)

H I J K L M N O P Q X Y Z
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 10 11 12
 
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Tama CW

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Yes, Yamaha does say the code begins in 1980. However I have done extensive research on them and back tracked them to 1978 with perfect accuracy. So they had this code in play well before saying it fit for the 1980's. I've yet to find any pre-1980 badged Yamaha that deviated from their code. The one exception is that at times they use "X" for a zero as well as "Q." They don't say that in their guide, but it's clearly the case. You can't believe everything you read from Yamaha back then. Even their own catalogs contradicted themselves from 1978 to 1982. One could say those catalogs were a bit messy at times with errors.

I've found the 2 digit letter code running into the mid to later 1990's on YRC's. From my research the higher end drums stuck with 2 letters a lot longer than the lower lines. IIRC I've even found YRC's with 2 digit codes into the early 2000's. I know what the Yamaha dating guide says. And I've found way to many exceptions to believe it as gospel. And I like this way as I've found many bargains on Yamaha drums that were mis-dated by people blindly following their dating guide. Even their drum ID guide has errors.

I've found 0 exceptions to the 7000/9000 series drums I've dated prior to 1980. When/if I find my first exception, I'll make note of it next time this topic comes up. The Taiwan ROC drums from 1977-1981 (as well as the MIJ's) also follow the dating guide....no exceptions found except for the Q/X swapping. Very few seem to understand all this....which is great for buyers. I've run across a lot of 1990-1991 year drums with 2 letter codes...which doesn't fit their stated guide. They should have been 3 letters...but they weren't. I've paid mostly attention to 9000/8000/7000 series drum dating as those were their better lines.

Another huge misunderstanding is which early 9000 series drums are all birch and which are birch/luan/camelia plies. Yamaha's own catalogs state this incorrectly at times. But at least you can always count the plies and their thickness if you don't want to go by the badging.
 
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Mcjnic

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I did some communications with Yamaha in previous years and was guided extensively by them. They provided me with quite a bit of digital archive material and cases of print for a project. We were compiling supplemental material for Yamaha Drum History at the time. I, too have owned quite a few vintage Yamaha kits through the years.

The lugs take it beyond 77 or 78. They were running shorty single lugs back then. The Long Lug didn't kick until later 79.

I may be mistaken. I’ve been wrong before ... summer of 72, if I recall ... so it’s not unheard of.
I’m not willing to discuss this negatively ... which is where it might go. I was just trying to help out and add something to the discussion.
All good with ya.
I’m going to bow out and let ‘er ride.
Best.
 
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Ionic

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I think the unique BD spur as well as the A model designation both point to these being '77's. The spur was gone by '78. I'm guessing it was changed because it spins
right off of the threads. Easy to vanish.
 

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Tama CW

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I've seen 9000's with the long lugs on either 1977/78 kits so they had them early.....possibly on the Taiwan ROC kits. My recollection is that the long lugs came out very briefly in the first year or two, then disappeared again until late 80/81. This comment appears in a number of Yamaha blogs I've read. I didn't think the long lugs came back until around 1981. A member showed us a kit he inherited here last year...a transition real wood 9000D kit MIJ with long lugs with late 1980/early 1981 date codes. That's the earliest 1980's long lug kit I can recall seeing. My thought was that the long lugs coincided with the ending of Taiwan production and shifting everything back to Japan in late 1980/early 1981.

The OPs serial numbers only give 2 options for the dates on these drums.....Dec 1977/Jan 1978....or Dec 1987/Jan 1988. No one here seems to be suggesting they are later 1980's. Those date codes give no other options. Another way to date them is to find what years the SD950M was offered....though that wouldn't be conclusive as snares often get subtracted and added to kits over the years. But this SD950 has the same date codes as 2 of the other drums. So probably original to the kit. SD950's were no longer around by 1986/1987. And these badges with the sharp upper corners weren't around in the early to later 1980's.
 

Mcjnic

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My 79 kit - long lugs.
As you can see from that example, we don’t know what we don’t know.

While I have a great respect for the open discussion of topics, there’s a danger when one states they know without doubt. None of us have all the answers. It’s sometimes best to weigh in with a bit and allow others to perhaps teach a piece that’s missing from the foundation. This is where these tend to turn negative ... when walls are put up.

Just tossing this out for mastication ... Yamaha sold these in many different countries. I have the digital and print on those that they provided for the Yamaha History project ... cats, photo shoots, factory builds, inventory lists, shipping, etc etc etc. It might be prudent to actually pause and consider other alternatives. There are several still on the table.
I can see the probable where and when on this, but it’s always going to be lacking without hands on the kit.
With that said, best to the OP.
 
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jaymandude

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My 79 kit - long lugs.
As you can see from that example, we don’t know what we don’t know.

While I have a great respect for the open discussion of topics, there’s a danger when one states they know without doubt. None of us have all the answers. It’s sometimes best to weigh in with a bit and allow others to perhaps teach a piece that’s missing from the foundation. This is where these tend to turn negative ... when walls are put up.

Just tossing this out for mastication ... Yamaha sold these in many different countries. I have the digital and print on those that they provided for the Yamaha History project ... cats, photo shoots, factory builds, inventory lists, shipping, etc etc etc. It might be prudent to actually pause and consider other alternatives. There are several still on the table.
I can see the where and when on this, but it’s always going to be lacking without hands on the kit.
With that said, best to the OP.
Yeah. I was guilty of that. The spoke spur was definitely a giveaway
 

costanzadrums

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I appreciate all the feedback - a collector recognized the finish and said it was only offered in japan and said it was in the 82/83 Japanese catalog. I’m waiting for him to send me a pic.

These will be up for sale, hence why I’m trying to get all the information so I can list it properly.
 

Mcjnic

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I appreciate all the feedback - a collector recognized the finish and said it was only offered in japan and said it was in the 82/83 Japanese catalog. I’m waiting for him to send me a pic.

These will be up for sale, hence why I’m trying to get all the information so I can list it properly.

Precisely.
I had it at 81-83ish and definitely not a U.S. buildout. So glad for you. You’ll have a buyer for this incredible kit.
I wish you the best on the sale.
 
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Tama CW

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I appreciate all the feedback - a collector recognized the finish and said it was only offered in japan and said it was in the 82/83 Japanese catalog. I’m waiting for him to send me a pic.

These will be up for sale, hence why I’m trying to get all the information so I can list it properly.
Those manufacturer dates on your drum serial numbers do not match 1982/83 or even close to it. And the sharp cornered badges don't fit this era either. So unless Yamaha shelved their dating system for a brief period, your drums shouldn't fit 81/82/83. And if they are 82/83 (letter years I and J) then we can no longer use the Yamaha dating system with complete confidence for ANY drums made in the 1980's. This works both ways. The 1982 Japanese catalog is posted on drumarchive.com along with all other mfg cats of that era....and mostly printed in Japanese.

http://drumarchive.com/Yamaha/Yamaha1982.pdf

Page 4 lists all the finishes. Nothing shows a gray. Closest might be silver silk though that's only offered on lower end lines. Silky brown showed up on some 9000 series. 14 total colors appearing on the 9000 series drums....none of them like what the OP shows. 17 finishes total...all appearing on drum kits in that catalog. Nothing looks like the OP's. Brown and Silver aren't close either. OP could have a special order...one off type color? It might not appear in any catalog....similar to Rogers "purple diamond pearl" which never was catalogued. Or does the OP have a black drum that has toned/textured to something different over the years?

If the "wing nuts" on top of the rack tom swivel mounts are of the twin "corn ear" style rather than the classic "W" Yamaha used for most of the 1980's, then it's probably 1981 or earlier. The "W" bolts/nuts appeared by 1982. And neither is fool proof since rack tom assemblies are often swapped and bolts/nuts lost along the way. But it's another piece of possible evidence that could help. The OP's kick drum shows the natural colored hoops that were so common on the 9000 series drums in the 1997-1981 period...and you see them in some of those catalogs. Not a single photo of such a bass drum in the 1982 catalog...and pointy edge badges either. The best pieces of evidence with this kit are the 5 badges themselves.

The only thing I'm confident of with Yamaha dating is that every Taiwan ROC drum I've seen from the 1977-1980 era has matched their 1980's dating guide. When I find an exception I'll let everyone know. Until then, this method has worked on dozens of MIT/ROC drums and kits I've inspected and/or researched. Did I ever say it was fool proof and no exception would ever be found....nope. Even Yamaha's own dating guide doesn't mention that "X" sometimes appeared as a "zero" not just the "Q"....mostly, or all on 1980 dated drums with the Made In Taiwan/ROC badges. It makes sense and I could see assembly line workers making such an assumption. Shouldn't even be possible though because Yamaha reps would say otherwise.

Nothing in the Yamaha world is 100%. But, I don't mind going with 95-99% accuracy. The drums that remain are the only legacy and the facts. What Yamaha craftsman, salesmen, and managers might "remember" from 40 yrs ago is not necessarily "data." We've learned as much from vintage mass-produced US made drums from the 60's through 70's.
 
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Mcjnic

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Here’s the catalog scan he sent from the 83 catalog.
I have that particular cat within my library. He is correct. The hardware and fit and finish bore that out clearly. The year could be narrowed to within the early 80s ... 81-83. Without putting your hands on it to do a complete examination, it’s a precise analysis. It was very obvious that it was not a U.S. kit. That is what seems to trip up most analysts during the ID phase.
There is a definite search bias that leans towards U.S. buildouts as that is the familiarity for North American drummers. Yamaha built the drums with interesting and very cool slight differences depending on the end countries market. The familiar Serial codes and hardware and finish clues lack some relevance to most all of the Japanese and quite a few of the European etc. etc. builds. You really need to have some sort of a repository of data from all of the unique buildout locations in order to work with any sort of precision. There are quite a few unique variables at play that some are just not familiar with living in North America. If you don’t know what should be there or shouldn’t be there, it’s difficult to recognize it when you see it ... and when you don’t.
That is what you witnessed taking place here.
Anyway, I wish you the best on selling the kit. It is a unique kit for this country. Very happy for you.
 

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Picked up this kit today but having a hard time finding the name of this wrap. It’s black/grayish and has an almost gunmetal look. Look familiar to anyone?

The wrap you have is known as Silver Silk, It was available on the 81 YD-5000 and YD-3000 MIJ drums. I don't have a 1991 Japan catalog so I cannot verify its use on the YD-9000 (recording) series. Its also not unthinkable to consider a purchaser might have requested special manufacturing of a YD-9000 kit with wrap.
Dating at that time period would have been exact without any variation
All Japanese date coding starts with the alpha character of the last name of the Japanese emperor at the time of initial manufacturer. I this case it would be 1967 and Yamaha which would have occurred under emperor Hirohito, therefore the first letter of any date coding system would have started with the letter H. The other method used is to count up in years from the emperors birth date. (exa an emperor born in 1930 and the first manufacturing started in 1967 the numeric date code would have been 37 for the year)

As stated earlier the date code used by Yamaha starts with H ........ numbers 1 through 0 are represented by H through Q ....... with 10,11,12 being represented by XYZ....
Early date coding 1967 through 1999, the company used a two digit alpha date code, for 2000 and later the company uses a three letter date code... I have observed some 1999 dated product which uses the three letter date code, which indicates the process equipment and programming for date coding was changed some time in 1999, which is not uncommon.

That said, I have observed labels with a two alpha character date code, which started with the letter X (usually represents 10), however the stamping appeared out of position with some of the alpha and numeric characters (not machine made), indicating the stamping was most likely either counterfeit or the product was a prototype which was hand stamped and provided for testing. Usually manufactures don't release prototype product, however in the case of drums (or instruments in general) it really doesn't matter as product liability risk is extremely low in that field.
 
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Tama CW

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From my research NH to MZ badges (77 to 78..) are the only ones with the pointy ears. No question about that unless Yamaha used a different dating guide for Japanese only distribution. There aren't many drums in this era to review so finding hard evidence to corroborate the OP's silver silk kit could take years.

To put the Yamaha dating guide in its place, here's an XH dated 9000D TT-916D from my Jan 1980 real wood kit - 3 drums have the XH date codes. And per the Yamaha dating guide this couldn't happen. Proof is in the photos. Bought this kit 3 months ago. I've seen some drums with the XX date code....and that couldn't happen either per Yamaha as X was supposed to be only used for the month of October as the second letter. Someone stamping badges thought differently.

IMG_20190624_212553.jpg
 
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Mcjnic

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No question about that unless Yamaha used a different dating guide for Japanese only distribution....
The Japanese and European distribution markings did not adhere strictly to the US distribution markers.
There are marked differences ... the dating code is one single variable that does not follow suit. There are actually quite a few variables that differ in the three distribution channels.
But you are on a good path for locating these.
Keep an open mind and continue gathering data and you will chip away at them.
The search is fun.
Best of luck and enjoy the ride.
 
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