yamaha maple custom versus absolute

janeybug

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wats the diff and why is the maple custom considered collectible or is it?
 

franke

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Maple Custom series toms were 7 plies thick, the bass drums 10. They were a bit heavy. They are distinguished by their square brass lugs and steel hoops.

Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute are thinner — bass drums are 7 plies and the toms are 6 plies. MCA's have aluminum diecast hoops (a Yamaha exclusive).

A thinner shell will resonate longer but a thicker shell will have greater projection, volume, and structural integrity.

As for which is more collectible, I would say the MC's since they are no longer made. MC kits are usually priced high in the used market, though the sizes and colors usually offered seem (to me, at least) to be a bit dated.
 

A J

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Here's how I understand it:

Maple Custom: Thicker shells, small gold lug casings held with a single bolt. Discontinued a few years ago in favor or absolute series.

Maple Custom Absolute: Thinner shells, oval chrome lug casings held with two bolts. Supposedly, has more sensitivity and better low end.

Personally, I can't hear the difference between the two. Both sound very good. I wouldn't call the Maple custom series "collectable". Actually, "discontinued" or "slightly obsolete" are better terms.
 

retired

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Here's how I understand it:

Maple Custom: Thicker shells, small gold lug casings held with a single bolt. Discontinued a few years ago in favor or absolute series.

Maple Custom Absolute: Thinner shells, oval chrome lug casings held with two bolts. Supposedly, has more sensitivity and better low end.

Personally, I can't hear the difference between the two. Both sound very good. I wouldn't call the Maple custom series "collectable". Actually, "discontinued" or "slightly obsolete" are better terms.
One correction here----Absolute lugs are held with only one bolt, which is on the bottom of each lug, with a small insert on top going into only a couple plys, and not all the way thru the shell.
RonR
 

jeffh

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The Maple Customs were the flagship of the Yamaha line, but fell victim to the trend toward thin shells. A lot of this trend had to do with DW's rise in popularity, and other companies have been jumping into the line -- Pearl's introduction of Reference Pure last year is a good example, getting their premium line away from thick shells and heavy hardware. Yamaha brought in the MCA's to provide a thinner-shell option, and when it sold well they finally discontinued the MC's. The MCA's had a couple of advantages over the MC's besides just the shell configuration -- you could mix and match maple, birch and beech when using opaque finishes, and the MCA's carried a lower price tag. (Aluminum diecast hoops were available on the MC's in their last years of production, so that wasn't an issue.)

A thinner shell will resonate more and generally produce a nicer, fuller tone, but it doesn't have the power or projection of a thicker shell. However, with drum mics the volume issue isn't as important as it used to be. Thicker shells are still great for live acoustic playing, but the bigger the gig the less chance of that being the situation.

All of this applies mainly to ply shells -- with solid wood shells (steambent, stave and segment) there is more pure wood tone, so a slightly thicker shell can have a nice sound to it. (I'm referring to 1/4" to 3/8" of thickness. A 1/4" thick shell is roughly equivalent to a Keller 10 ply or a Pearl 6 ply.)

Used MC's carry a pretty healthy price tag, but keep in mind that they used to have a very high price new. I paid $1,400 for my MC shell pack used, but it went for about $2,000 more than that when it was new. My guess is that they're not in the collector category just yet, though I don't doubt that they will be as time goes on. As for the trend to thin shells, it's hard to say whether this is long-term or whether it will reverse at some point. A lot of these trends are temporary -- deep bass drums and shallow bass drums, for example, come and go in popularity. There's a certain amount of "everything old is new again" in consumerism -- drums, cars, clothing, etc. So it's possible that thicker shells may be more in demand in ten years or so. Who knows?
 

TDM

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CarolinaDrumworks:
The MCA's had a couple of advantages over the MC's besides just the shell configuration -- you could mix and match maple, birch and beech when using opaque finishes, and the MCA's carried a lower price tag. (Aluminum diecast hoops were available on the MC's in their last years of production, so that wasn't an issue.)
I remember when the MCA drums first came out. The price was almost half what a similar MC kit cost. So yes, price was a significant selling feature at the time. Though there were a few differences, essentially the MCA line was the same quality as the MC line. Many drummers in my city bought them because of this (i.e. extremely high quality with a low price) and I almost bought a kit, at that time, because of this too. They were a massive bargain. The MCA line is now priced more in accordance with its high-end nature and, of course, it ultimately replaced the MC line. Regarding shell thickness, I prefer the thinner shells of the MCA line so if I had to pick one over the other, I'd choose MCA over MC.
 

drummerbill

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I've seen a few roadworn Yammy Maple Customs recently in the tri-state area for chump change. {4 or 5 pcs minus a snare for $500- 800} Usually they are in the green or blue stain with the gold looking lugs.
Nice sounding and looking drums, I would agree with the "heavier" drums comments.

Up until a few months ago when I got "layed off", I would travel upwords of 200 miles a day for my day gig in NJ and NY. I had the opportunity to stop in dozens of GC's and Sam Ash's a few times a week along with Hock shops, Cash Converters, thrift stores.
There are a lot of really nice used kits {Including Yammy MC's} available for silly money in this area during this terrible economic downturn. IMHO
 

A J

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In 2008 when I was serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army I found a complete set of Yamaha MCs in the back of a dusty storage room on post. It was all beat up, dirty and neglected. I would have loved to grab that old kit and bring it back to life. Sad thing is, it was probably abandoned when they closed the post and is currently being used by Iraqis to store goat dung. :(
 

tkillian

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Anyone know what the bearing edge and angle was on the original maple custom drums?

Im going to guess a simple outer 45 degrees?
 

snappy

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The MCA's are great kits
The MC's are greater.
If you are considering buying a MC I suggest you do it.
The market has been down on them for a few years. Before that they were very expensive.
A+ drums
 

JDA

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Anyone know what the bearing edge and angle was on the original maple custom drums?
Im going to guess a simple outer 45 degrees?
along those lines...Elvin had the ultimate Maple Customs ( +/-_ They were 30th Anniversary (1967-1997) . That Gold Sparkle finish I'm not sure was ever used (exactly) ever again.

here's some MC (Not Be Bop size) from Reverb.



typical (?) pic








I sat in front of that hoop one night in 2000 at the Blue Note NYC.
The sparkle was gorgeous. He didn't have that snare. He had a (wood hoop) 5.5x14 Yamaha in a Mardi Gras Black multicolor. That was the night K Stasher got up on stage and took pictures from behind the Kit. Two old K 20s on the right. 1 New K Con 20 on the left. And "Camco" Logo, new old stock white heads on the drums..

I've seen the 30th Anniversary Gold MC on ebay (we all have) about 4/5 years ago. So there were a few sold (besides to Elvin..
 

VinSparkle

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I have a rock configuration MC kit as well as a jazz MC kit, both in natural gloss maple with gold hardware. They are highly collectible for a couple reasons: they were marketed as the flagship kit for many years even thru the late 90s/early-mid 2000s when Yamaha pivoted to the MCAs (I also second comments above on the DW trend to thinner shells) AND because some serious artists—jazz and rock—in the 90s were using them. Example: the MCs are all over the old Pumpkins records.

I had an MCA kit from the late 90s in plum maple. Lost it in a bad trade. Amazing kit. These are also very collectible, but I would say a little less so than the MCs, particularly in jazz sizes.
 

musiqman

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His was a custom model to his specs.

The 30th anniversary was a regular MC, pre configured and in sparkle laquers (solid and burst).
 
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VinSparkle

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One more thing: I haven’t A/B tested the MCA vs MC, but I’d assume they are identical in sound. For example, I’ve A/B tested the old Beech Customs with my MCs and posted video results on DFO. Beech has slightly less sustain, but that’s it.
 

Bri6366

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Even in the days Japanese drum manufacturers ruled in the 80s to mid-90s, I'd probably see Pearl and Tama kits at a 10:1 ratio. There aren't tons of MC's out there in the same way there were tons of 70s 3 ply Ludwigs and Slingerlands in the 80s. They MC's were expensive to start with and if you're looking to pick up a kit in good shape, it's going to cost you.
 

musiqman

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It does depend on the sizes. Square sizes and hanging floors are mich less valuable than the jazz/short sizes.

The real downside (together with its beauty) of all the MC’s are the lugs. Beautiful when new. Quite bad when bought Used nowadays.

Unless it was and will be kept in once home studio not to be moved.

The demographic also helps with the price. In Europe these can be had for under 2k easier.

There are some MC’s here for sale right now:







And 30th anniversary toms:

Personally, kit-wise I like the MCA more because of the size options, finishes and hardware, but regarding snares they don’t that top the original MC for me.

These are all the Absolute finishes they have ever made:
49BEB16E-5D5F-46A0-962A-A39D32F978E9.jpeg
 
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tkillian

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Does anyone know the answer to my question?

Vin. Maybe you missed it.

I'm the one who bumped this old thread


Anyone know what the bearing edge and angle was on the original maple custom drums?

Im going to guess a simple outer 45 degrees?
 

tkillian

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Also..they were 7 ply toms and 10 ply bass drum..but are all 7 plies the same thickness on any maple drum?
 

JDA

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Does anyone know the answer to my question?

Vin. Maybe you missed it.

I'm the one who bumped this old thread


Anyone know what the bearing edge and angle was on the original maple custom drums?

Im going to guess a simple outer 45 degrees?
Start a New Thread " Does Anyone Own original Maple Customs?"
What you want me to type it for ya ;)
 

Matched Gripper

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along those lines...Elvin had the ultimate Maple Customs ( +/-_ They were 30th Anniversary (1967-1997) . That Gold Sparkle finish I'm not sure was ever used (exactly) ever again.

here's some MC (Not Be Bop size) from Reverb.



typical (?) pic








I sat in front of that hoop one night in 2000 at the Blue Note NYC.
The sparkle was gorgeous. He didn't have that snare. He had a (wood hoop) 5.5x14 Yamaha in a Mardi Gras Black multicolor. That was the night K Stasher got up on stage and took pictures from behind the Kit. Two old K 20s on the right. 1 New K Con 20 on the left. And "Camco" Logo, new old stock white heads on the drums..

I've seen the 30th Anniversary Gold MC on ebay (we all have) about 4/5 years ago. So there were a few sold (besides to Elvin..
along those lines...Elvin had the ultimate Maple Customs ( +/-_ They were 30th Anniversary (1967-1997) . That Gold Sparkle finish I'm not sure was ever used (exactly) ever again.

here's some MC (Not Be Bop size) from Reverb.



typical (?) pic








I sat in front of that hoop one night in 2000 at the Blue Note NYC.
The sparkle was gorgeous. He didn't have that snare. He had a (wood hoop) 5.5x14 Yamaha in a Mardi Gras Black multicolor. That was the night K Stasher got up on stage and took pictures from behind the Kit. Two old K 20s on the right. 1 New K Con 20 on the left. And "Camco" Logo, new old stock white heads on the drums..

I've seen the 30th Anniversary Gold MC on ebay (we all have) about 4/5 years ago. So there were a few sold (besides to Elvin..
That turquoise lacquer with gold lugs is gorgeous! If I recall correctly, that’s the same drums that Gary Chaffee uses in his method videos.
 

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