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Yamaha 9000 series drums 1975-1981 - pre Recording Custom

Tama CW

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I've done numeorus hours of reading on the topic, some of it here. In fact, I did much of this same research back in January and forgot most of it...lol. These early Yamaha 9000 drums can be confusing.

Would it be correct to say that the 9000 D series drums of this era are always all birch? The other ones (9000 DA, DE) seem like they could be a birch/camelia/mahogany ply mixture. And this per Yamaha's own vintage drum guide and 1980/1981 catalogs suggesting or stating that 9000 drums could be either all birch or a ply. The 9000 DA is apparently always a mixed ply (ie pre-Tour Series). Seems to be conflicting information out there published by Yamaha, vs. what their historians have stated in blogs, and what actual Yahama 9000 collectors have found.

This 9000 D series kit shows a nice close up of a rack tom bearing edge. Sort of looks more like 6 equal birch plies rather than larger inner camelia/mahogany plies. The 9000D bass drum edge link under this, looks like 8 equally thick (all birch) layers to me. Per Yamaha's 1878 catalog, 9000 series kick drums were 8 ply, 18" floor tom 7 ply, other toms 6 ply. On the early 8000 Tour series, the mahogany alternating center plies are wide - birch layers are very thin.

https://reverb.com/item/6340875-vin...d-satin-14x22-16x16-9x13-pre-recording-custom

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-Recording-Custom-Drum-Set-9000-22-12-13-16-Timpani-Floor-Tom-w-Pedal-80s-/261910282064?hash=item3cfb11bf50&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&nma=true&si=d6hVgxKMIGl90le81LVf9OvCC1A%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

The 1980 catalog utilizes the names "recording series" as well as "tour series." One source mentions that Yamaha started the 9000 series in 1975-1977 with the full length tension rods. The split lugs in the 9000's seem to be offered from late 1976 through around 1981. The long single tension lugs are available the entire period....but seem to show up far less often from 1978-1980.....as the 9000D split lug shells received most of the emphasis.

http://www.drumarchive.com/yamaha/

Dating older Yamaha drums from 1975-1989

A post from a drummer world thread on this topic. This sort of makes sense.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?p=418550

Re: Help ID Yamaha "9" / "900" ? Series Drum
I realize this thread is old, but if anyone is interested, I will offer what I know of these kits. I purchased one of these Yamaha YD9000 kits new in 1979/80 and played it professionally ever since. It is the pre-recording custom kit and has all birch shells. The only real differences between this kit and the early RC's are the lugs. While the Yamaha drum vault states that the 900 "D" shells are birch/camellia, they are actually, according to both the 1978 catalog and the Yamaha rep, 100% birch. I was told there were some mistakes with the drum vault information and the site needed updating.

In 1978, Yamaha marketed the YD9000 system drums and the YD7000 series, which were camellia/mahogany, if I remember correctly. I also believe in '79 or '80 they introduced the YD5000 series. Yamaha history on the YD9000's is a little spotty and it is difficult to find the correct information-even from the company.Yamaha actually introduce the YD9000 (Recording Series) line somewhere between 1975 and 1977. Originally, the kits had the single high-tension lugs and for some reason changed to the split lugs in 1978 and 1979, but went back to the single lug design in 1980 or 1981.

As I understand it, the places of manufacture, i.e. Japan, Taiwan, England, were just different manufacturing facilities and really had no bearing on the quality of the drums, although labor costs were probably lower in Taiwan at the time.
Anyway, I hope this information is helpful to someone! The kits pictured on this page look great and I am sure sound even better. I love my Yamaha's and have definitely gotten my money's worth and then some out of them! I have a natural wood finish kit that not only still looks beautiful, it sounds incredible!
Last edited by DrummerMP; 09-16-2010 at 06:17 PM.


https://moderndrummer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/md24.pdf

June 1981 article in modern drummer magazine (pg 60) reviewing the YD 9022 kit. Seems pretty clear 9000D is birch and 9000DA is a camelia/mahog ply. I found it interesting the 16" timpani/tunable floor tom originally cost $377 new. As of that June 1981 article, the author stated that the 9000 D series was only available in Real Wood finish. They stated the rack toms are typically 7 ply. That seems to conflict with the 6 ply Yamaha publishes.

The 9000 series was made in Taiwan briefly, in 1978/1979. They were the 9000D and 9000DA with two piece lugs(these lugs were later used on the Tour and Tour Custom series)..... Any Yamaha drums that were made in England would have been made between 1989 and 1992 during the period that Yamaha owned the Premier factory in Leicester, England. There were very few Recording Custom kits built in this factory, it was mostly known for making the Power V series drums.

Jim Haler
Product Manager/Manager of Sales
Yamaha Acoustic Drums and Hardware
 
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drumtimejohn

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Ive had two MIJs. First was a 9000 DA of camelia/mahogany from 1980. It had beautiful thick 30 degree round over bearing edges and split lugs. Second was an 83 birch RC. I preferred the 9000. Excellent drums but I just went a different direction. Still have an early 80-81 7x14 snare. Its the desirable thin shell with painted bearing edges. Its an amazing snare.
 

Ryneaux

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Just picked up a set of '78 9000's. I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject to confirm all the different versions of these drums, but I can confirm I am really digging these drums so far! I've had 3 long-lugged RC sets over the years and a mid-'80's Power Tour Custom. Of all of those sets, these 9000's are my favorites. Definitely all birch shell construction.
 

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drumtimejohn

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This tool helps determine shell materials when matched with visual inspection. The way I understand it many of the early 9000s were not 100% birch and wrapped sets like mine had no birch. It seems that its really the round over bearing edge and shell thickness that had most influence over sound when compared to the RCs.

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahadrums/drumvault/

I believe most of the early sets just had a alphanumeric serial numbers only, like JI. The set posted can be confirmed and this link can help with dating.

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

Tama CW

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Nice kit RCulberson. There seems to be good evidence that the 1978 9000 series was all birch. It's 1979 and later where Yamaha documentation/catalogs muddy the waters.

I'm interested in trying out a variant of the early 9000 series with dual lugs, just want to be sure I'm in the right ball park as to value.

Talk about wide shifts in pricing. This seller was asking $2000 (Ebay) for a real wood 9000D 4 pc kit with 16" timpani tom back in June 2015. A month later they're back on Ebay and possibly sell for $700 shipped under spirited bidding. Looks like it got wide exposure too.

I've used the Yamaha dating tool, which works perfectly in the 1976-1990 period....and even through much of the 1990's on 2 letter mfg date codes. 3 letter date codes begin in the 1990's. And for something like 1979 vs 1989, both will start with a "P." You just have to know which decade applies. Likewise, "Q" (or X) could be either 1980 or 1990.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-Rec...064?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cfb11bf50

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-Nat...605?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cfe0080d5

http://vi.vipr.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBay...descgauge=1&cspheader=1&oneClk=1&secureDesc=0
 
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drumtimejohn

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Tama CW said:
I'm interested in trying out a variant of the early 9000 series with dual lugs, just want to be sure I'm in the right ball park as to value.

Talk about wide shifts in pricing. This seller was asking $2000 (Ebay) for a real wood 9000D 4 pc kit with 16" timpani tom back in June 2015. A month later they're back on Ebay and sell for $700 shipped under heavy bidding. Looks like it got wide exposure too.

I've used the Yamaha dating tool, which mostly works in the 1978-1990 period. Their drum vault ID is hit or miss. For instance if I type in the serial numbers on my 1982 Tour Series, they come back as "not in their data bank."

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-Recording-Custom-Drum-Set-9000-22-12-13-16-Timpani-Floor-Tom-w-Pedal-80s-/261910282064?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cfb11bf50

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-Nat-Birch-Recording-Custom-Drum-Set-9000-22-12-13-16-Timpani-70s-Pre-Yess-/261959483605?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cfe0080d5

http://vi.vipr.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=261959483605&t=1436336428000&tid=10&category=38097&seller=srastewart555&excSoj=1&excTrk=1&lsite=0&ittenable=false&domain=ebay.com&descgauge=1&cspheader=1&oneClk=1&secureDesc=0
I believe its only for model numbers. And it can be hit or miss.
 

drumtimejohn

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The tool is for 1980 (Q) on. Other clues like lugs, shell thickness, red stained bearing edges, Peoples Republic of China, MIJ, all can help placing a general year. Like you, I remember reading about those details in the past. Cant be too much help on price. Sold listings on eBay can help establish market value. Split lug early models may be all over the place because of preference for the many differences. For instance, I gather an MIJ would sell for more than a PR of China made set.
 

Tama CW

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Actually 1981 is H. With Q or X as the "zero" year (1980 or 1990)....which I have seen both ways numerous times. In researching a lot of these kits I found that the lettering applies accurately to 1976-1979 kits as well (ie M, N, O and P first letters). So it can be confusing that O works for 1978 and 1988, and a P works for 1979 and 1989. I know the Yahama dating guide doesn't suggest that...but it absolutely does work. I've yet to find an exception that didn't work from 1977-1980. So no need to call Yamaha tech support for pre-1980/1981 drums.

Sold and completed prices on Ebay have to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes sellers let an item go for much less than the posted price and never show how much lower it sold for. Even busy auctions with 3 bidders near the top is not fool proof. Some sellers shill their auctions with fake bidders or friends to help drive the price up for that listing or its next reappearance. Other times we don't know if the item stuck, high bidder didn't follow through, or was returned. In reviewing "sold" Reverb and Ebay listings the 4-5 piece kits appear to be in the $600-$1500 range depending on quality, wrap/lacquer, sizes, provenance, etc. Guess I'd figure $150-$200/drum is typical...at least from a value stand point. Yet, I see some "sales" push the $250-$300/drum level and I have to question it....especially when they are the 9000 DA versions. Some major retailers are not shy about asking even up to $350-$400/drum.

I've seen several of the timpani floor toms list and/or sell in the $450-$650 range...one as high as $900 supposedly. Yet in one of my links above, a 4 piece set with timpani FT sold for no more than $700. This is what makes you wonder what a proper price spread is.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VINTAGE-YAMAHA-9000-14-X-18-BASS-DRUM-ORIGINAL-PRE-RECORDING-CUSTOM-HYBRID-BLACK-/182245048202?hash=item2a6ea6bf8a:g:h9UAAOSwvg9XgDD3&nma=true&si=pjNshyvbGC6GUeHCnBvjbCejCAg%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Above kick drum photos show alternating thin birch and fatter camelia/mahogany plies perfectly. This is a wrap too which almost looks like another layer of wood in these shots. The innermost (2nd and 3rd) camelia/mahog plies look doubled up. 6 plies total.
 
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drumtimejohn

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Yes, that seems more accurate. Ill adjust above to avoid misinformation. It also helps explain how the split lug kit is noted has a PP. But what about X listed on two of the drums. What is year 11?
 

Tama CW

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I don't recall running across any of these yet with a leading Y or Z (11 or 12) hence those letters were only used for months Nov/Dec. I have seen first letters of N, O, P, Q, H which follows the Yamaha codes of years 7,8,9,0,1 (1977-1981). I've also seen the X used first. I've seen some with "XX" which by the Yamaha published dating system would be "impossible." Obviously not. Hence X would only make sense as a zero year....with XX as Oct 1980. I've seen the badges. Looking at buying a 9000D kit with 3 of the drums dated "XH" (Jan 80) and the other one "PZ" (Dec '79). It all fits. Ironically, one of the drums in that 9000D kit is labeled 9000DA....and it is a 6 ply birch shell. Yamaha did make mistakes. Yes Virginia, the dating system works for 1977-1980 and both Q & X are used for Zero Years.

Could be the guys doing the stamping might have figured both the X and Q could be used for the year (1980)? I've seen the first letter "X" on several of these early kits. Only thing that fits is 1980. And I've seen Q showing up more often than the X. They used them both in the "year slot." Have yet to see a leading Y or Z ...not that they couldn't have used those "by mistake" for 1981 or 1982....in a strange way it is "logical." Hey, anything could have happened when people are interpreting something on paper. Some of the drums didn't even get stamped. Some had 4 digit serial numbers following the letters. Others just the 2 letters or even a single letter. Some stampers lazier than the others? The 4 digit serial numbers seem to show up often on the 1978-1980 - 9000 series drums. And by 1981 you pretty much just start seeing only 1-2 letters.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yamaha-Recording-Custom-9000-Series-18-Inch-Floor-Tom-Drum-Model-FT-918-DA/173340958628?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

A 9000DA.....dated XO floor tom made in Taiwan.

**To answer the question I posed in the first post, "would all YD 9000 D kits be 100% birch shells?" From my research the past week I'd say YES. The 9000 DA's are not. Not enough info on the 9000 A or B or DE. Most of what I ran across in real wood finish plus split lugs were the D and DA's. Though from the dozens of kits I ran across on line the past 5 yrs, it does seem like everything but the 9000 DA would be an all birch shell. And I've also found a single DA rack tom sitting in a 9000D kit. The shells were all the same...D's. The DA stamp must have been applied in error.
 
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DaveT

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Does anyone know when the Pedal Timpani floor Toms where being made ?.... Those are soooo nice !
 

Tama CW

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DaveT said:
Does anyone know when the Pedal Timpani floor Toms where being made ?.... Those are soooo nice !
If you google Yamaha drum catalog (drum archive) you will see them listed in the 1978 through 1981(?) catalogs. I don't see them in the 1983 catalog. They might have gone away during the shift to Recording Customs/Tour Series in 1981-1983. Of the half dozen or so I've run across on line most are date coded 1978-1980 (ie O, P, Q, X leading letters in date code/serial). It's possible the line was only made in Taiwan in the 1978-1981 period. Just a guess though. Yamaha was late to the party as Ludwig first started making something like this in the 1930's. And starting around 1966 Italian drum maker Hollywood Meazzi made them a lot more popular into the 1970's. It could be that in the end, Yamaha made the highest quality version. From what I recall, some other drum makers made the tunable toms as well.

http://www.vintagedrumguide.com/yamaha_catalogs_drum_sets_complete.htm

The monstrous 1978 real wood kit pictured in the Yamaha catalog features the tunable floor tom. And just below that are particulars on that model, available in 14/16". Best I can find out, they only were issued with all birch shells as part of the 9000 series. What I can't figure out is why some of the lower lugs on these are triangular shaped, as used on Yamaha's 7000 series drums. And others had the egg-shaped lug seen on the 9000 and early Tour Series 8000 drums. It could be the factory grabbed what was available.

http://www.drumarchive.com/yamaha/

http://www.vintagedrumguide.com/meazzi_history.html
 

kzac

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This tool helps determine shell materials when matched with visual inspection. The way I understand it many of the early 9000s were not 100% birch and wrapped sets like mine had no birch. It seems that its really the round over bearing edge and shell thickness that had most influence over sound when compared to the RCs.

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahadrums/drumvault/


I believe most of the early sets had a two digit alpha prefix to the serial number, (such as JI). The first letter representing the last number of the year and the second the month.

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

Every YD-9000 I have observed in catalogs, has always advertised Birch shells for the YD-9000 (aka Recording). I have never observed any factual information to indicate otherwise.
 
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Tama CW

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Every YD-9000 (later renamed Recording and later Recording Custom) ever made was constructed using Birch shells. Following catalogs one can easily attest this to be fact as Yamaha continually makes the statement under the section "Shell Construction".

Well, that's not what my research (and many before me) have found. And that includes an earlier statement and quote from a Yamaha rep. who was around at that time.....stating that the 9000DA shells were not all birch. And I've seen photos of 9000DA drums for sale and the bearing edges are clearly not uniform 6 ply thickness. But they are 5 ply alternation of thin birch followed by fat plies of a softer mahogany/camelia. My 1982 Tour 8000 series have that exact same shell. I even supplied some links to drums for sale earlier in this thread (and other ones on this same subject) showing the thin/fat/thin/fat/thin plies of the 9000DA shells. You'll also notice that the 9000DA drums typically always bring considerably less than the 9000D's and other variants. In fact my 1982 Tours are an original concert tom kit. The 8, 10, 12, 13 inch concert toms match the DA shells on the BD824 kick and FT818 floor tom........yet those concert toms are labeled ET908 GE, 910, 912, 913.....supposedly 9000 series. Yet, they clearly are not all birch. No way....5 ply...thin/fat/thin/fat/thin. What they are would be 9000DA type shells. And I suspect Yamaha may have made ALL of their high end, early 80's concert toms with this shell. I still need to see more examples to verify that though. From my research the 9000DA shells remained unchanged as they morphed into the 8000 tour series in 1981.

Yamaha contradicts itself between the 1978 and 1981 catalogs on the 9000DA shells (one says mixed ply, the other says all birch). Clearly one of those is wrong (hint...the 1979 catalog is the correct one). One cannot use the Yamaha catalogs as definitive proof since they disagree with themselves. It comes down to verifying actual drums and finding statements from their techs and engineers who worked there in the late 70's and early 1980's. The Yamaha Drum Vault ID guide has numerous errors as well when it comes to shell ply construction. That's why I set out to look at all the 9000D vs. DA shells I could find over the past 3 yrs.

Thanks for the response Kzac. A spirited discussion on such topics is always interesting and hopefully helps to weed out inaccuracies such as you are presenting. That was the reason I started digging on this topic about a year ago....reading everything I could find on the internet and in catalogs on the pre-1983 - 9000 and 8000 series drums. Too many people were spouting out things that didn't jive with the catalog and the drums themselves.

What can be stated with excellent accuracy is the EVERY YD 9000D shell is all birch....and the 9000DA is not.

Ebay 9000DA auction 18" kick drum


That's a link to a BD 918 DA drum on Ebay back in 2016. The seller was kind enough to show the bearing edge photos up close. There's no way that's an all birch shell. Too many dark and fat camelia/mahogany plies in between the birch. Looks just like an 8000 shell. If you put a magnifier up to the tag on that drum you can just make out "DA". And regardless it's a 9000 series shell....and it's certainly not all birch. The catalog says these were made and this drum is part of that proof.
 
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Tama CW

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https://www.drumforum.org/threads/yamaha-9000-da-trying-to-solve-mystery.120320/

A previous thread on this topic of D vs DA

The above link shows photos of D vs DA shells. In this case a 9000DA kit being sold by Guitar Center. It's clearly 5 ply with 2 fat inner plies on non-birch wood. Pretty much sums it up. The fattest ply near the interior edge is just huge. I can supply photos of my 1980 9000D drum shells or the 1982 Tour 8000's with 9000 concert toms. But this topic has been "solved" for at least the past 6 yrs based on that old thread above. Once you've seen the YD9000DA/8000/7000 style 5 ply shell up close, you'll never confuse it with a 6 ply 9000D and/or YRC. I think Yamaha realized the confusion they caused with the 9000DA and hence turned it into the 8000 Tour Series in 1981. Many sellers on Reverb and Ebay today still sell the 9000DA's as if they are pre-recording custom or pre-recording series shells....when in fact they are pre-TOUR Series 8000 mixed ply shells.

Here's an 8000 shell up close.....similar to 9000DA. This one has a white wrap so you might see 6 layers if counting that outer wrap. Birch shells show 6 even width plies.

IMG_20190311_215719.jpg
 
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kzac

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In engineering understanding a DA revision would represent a minor (not Major) revision. Major revisions are single letter of the alphabet while minor revisions are indicated as a two alpha characters as in the case of the DA representing a minor change to version D. A drum shell material change would be a major change not a minor change and would be indicated by the next following letter in the chain.... Aka D to E in single character.

Its near impossible to look at wood drum shells and attempt to determine the type of materials used in construction, in the majority of cases. Its even more difficult if the manufacturer coats the drum shell in a stain in order to protect the wood....
 

Tama CW

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Basically, you've posted "Engineering" verbage or best practices terminology on how things might be "generally" constructed...not true facts or evidence. Yet throughout this thread are facts and photos refuting things you've posted so far. Then you took it up a notch and reposted into a 4 yr old thread which included the same engineering verbage you did here. You are working with "theories" and not necessarily reality. I prefer to work from facts and visual observations of the actual drums. Fwiw, my 30 yr work history is in Nuclear Engineering, Combustion Engineering, and Operations Engineering. I know a little bit about engineering.

Once again, you're incorrect that Yamaha has nothing in their original documents about these DA drums having mixed ply shells. Here are 3 OEM examples stating otherwise. A link to the Yamaha 1978 drum catalog. You can find them on drumarchive.com. I will quote from the 1978 catalog here:

Yamaha 1978 drum catalog

Page 23 of 48: description of their ET900D series concert toms. And they state shells of "birch and Philippine mahogany." These are the same shells and 900 series drums that came with my 1982 Tour Series concert tom 8000 kit....same shells on concert toms and the floor tom/kick drum. Yup, mixed ply shells despite being called a 900 series. Proof positive that 900 series shells are not always all birch.

Link to 1981 Yamaha drum catalog

Go to page 10 of the 1981 catalog. You will find a table on the lower right giving 2 distinct options for a 9000 series shell. Either "Birch OR Birch and Camelia." There it is in print. An option for any wood drum in a kit. Kzac's statements are in error.....Yamaha's written literature disputes Kzac in 3 distinct places over a 3 yr period. The 9000's were not always all birch....at least Yamaha says so....and the drum bearing edges say so too. You will also note that in the 1981 catalog pages for the 8000 Tour Series kits are the option for 900 series concert toms.

================

And now a quote from Yamaha's Drum Vault ID. Start by typing in "FT-916DA". It comes up with a shell made of "Camelia/Philippine mahogany." That's an observable fact for a 16x16 900 series 16 in floor tom with the DA variant. Why would this even appear in Yamaha literature if the mix ply option on a 9000 shell never existed?

Yamaha Drum Vault Identifier


And these 9000D real wood drums MIT ROC that I now own have XH date codes on the 13,16, and 22 inch drums. All made in January 1980. The 12 inch is dated a month earlier with PZ. "X" isn't supposed to be used for year dating per the Yamaha dating guide....only for the month. Here's proof they used both Q and X to denote the 1980 "zero" year. A drum with XX would be Oct 1980. I've seen one of those. My own drum badge photos follow.

IMG_20190624_212354.jpg
 

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Tama CW

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Kzac's statement of MAJOR "engineering" changes in shells being identified by a first letter change is also not proven.....ie a 9000D vs say a 9000E. And I would consider a 9000 birch/camelia shell as a major engineering change from all birch. Why they are stamped as 9000DA and not say 9000C (Camelia with birch) is beyond me. The shells exist and speak for themselves.

And as far as these pre-1982 9000D or DA drums being coated in a "stain" to hide the bearing edges? There might be a hint of clear lacquer applied....yet that hides nothing at all. These 1977-1981 Yamaha drum are wide open and easy to count the wood plies and measure their thickness. It got harder in 1982 when the Recording Customs showed up and the bearing edges and interior shells were painted black. But that's a different animal. Why even bring up 1982 and later YRC's on a discussion of 1977-1981 9000 pre-recording series shells? That just clouds things over. Let's stick to facts and observations.

We can scrutinize bearing edges and see which woods are repeated and how thick the single plies are. There are people here on the forum that can identify vintage drum shell woods from the 1960's to 1970's with accuracy. They can tell poplar, maple/birch, and mahogany from each other. It's not impossible for the trained eyes. Look at the ET900 concert tom bearing edge photo I posted yesterday. Tell me those are all birch plies....clearly they cannot be. You don't see a darker and fatter camelia/mahogany type of ply appearing twice? The fatter plies have a much darker and more porous appearance than the white colored birch. I would admit that differentiating birch from maple on a bearing edge could be tough. But there's no maple in these Yamaha's....at least Yamaha never took credit for doing it.

Well, I did look at all the possibilities of 9000's last year. And from "the best of my recollection" I ran across the following drum tag first letter ID's...and I could be confusing this with Recording Custom lettering from 1982-1983. Too much time has gone by and my notes are scattered around. The recording custom and recording series shells have a lot of Alphabet soup going on too with 900RA, 900RS, 900GA, to name some.

9000A
9000AE
9000AI
9000B
9000D
9000DE
9000DA
9000E
9000F
9000G
9000GA

There were several of them. And there could have been more. Maybe even 9000C. Too many to figure out. I typically only run across the 9000D and 9000DA. So that's where I decided to focus. I just assumed all those other single letters were versions of all Birch shells. There were enough offerings of D and DA to figure those out. Best I can come up with for now is that 9000DA is only certain non-birch shell of the group....and every 9000D I've seen is all birch.

So despite all these MAJOR single letter changes, few of them except "D" or "DA" drums are out there. And I'd bet all but the "DA" are 100% birch....and at most sporting only very minor changes....possibly just a way for Yamaha to keep tabs on where and/or when the drums were made....types of inner/outer layer/wraps, etc.

I've only seen the DA's sporting "Made In Taiwan ROC" badges. The 9000D's come both ways as "MIT ROC" or "Made In Japan." All production of these 9000 shells was back in Japan by sometime in late 1980/early 1981....not certain of the date. Recording Series shells and lugs were being made again in 1981 (the YRC's show up in early 1982)....from the drum badges I've run across. And you also infrequently find the Recording Series shells and long lugs in 1977 through 1979. It's in the window of 1978-1980 that you see the MIT 9000 series shells with split lugs...most of them dated 1979/80 when production peaked.

This topic is quite confusing....beyond the 9000D and 9000DA's. Of those 2 variants I'm pretty confident in my data and research which is based on drum bearing edge photos and badges, Yamaha catalogs and research/observations posted by others.
 
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Tama CW

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My 79 and 80 toms, snare, bass all fit the RA alphabet soup. Some are the thin lacquered edges, some sharp clean wood exposed edges. All made in Japan. All are Birch shells.
Hope that helps.

Interesting. I haven't focused enough on the RC/RS alphabet soup....and need to. I've seen the RA on badges starting in 1981. Might have seen one RA from later 1980 but can't recall anything from 1979. But since they were making Recording Series (long lugs) as early as 1977, I didn't know how many they made from 1978-1979. There aren't very many as the dual lug MIT/ROC 9000D's took up most of the slack of those years. Not a lot of RA/RS/GA MIJ drums from the 1977-1981 period to analyze.....probably why I focused on the 9000D's and DA's which nearly all seems to be MIT ROC. What would be scarce is a 1977-1981 RA being MIT ROC and not Made in Japan. Don't think I've ever seen one of those...it may not exist. They are all cool drums. In a nutshell they are either all birch 900 series RA/RS with long lugs, 9000 all birch shell dual lug, or 9000 mixed ply birch/camelia shell dual lug.
 
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jmeirhofer

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I am a little late to the party here but I have one of those 9000DA kits. 13/14 Toms, 18 FT and 24 bass. With the Chrome wrap that based on a couple of scrapes appears to be some sort of chromed metal. My kit was made in 1978 according to Yamaha. They are probably the best sounding drums I have ever played, although I have not really been playing that long. I don't get to use them much any longer and really should sell them so someone can enjoy them but right now I just can't bear to part with them. Anyway, if anyone has any questions on them that I might be able to help with, feel free to let me know. You can email me at [email protected] if you like.
 

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