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Yamaha Oak Custom - How Nice are These?

cap217

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I have always like the yamaha oak custom since it came out. I remember seeing and playing one at GC and I have remembered it ever since. But now 15 years later, Im not sure its something I would want. There arent any local to me but I think I want to order a used set.

Were these top of the line?

What would you expect to hear from these? How are they different than a maple kit?
 

charlesm

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Been a while since I tried out one of these, but my recollection is that they are a hair less warm, a touch brighter and a bit louder compared to maple. Beautifully made, of course. Totally pro-level, top line.
 

Steech

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I never played them but I have owned two of their Live Custom Oak kits and in my opinion they are among the absolute best kits ever made (and I’ve owned a ton of different kits).
 

cap217

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Was there an oak custom and an oak custom absolute? Or just oak custom?
 

Targalx

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Was there an oak custom and an oak custom absolute? Or just oak custom?
Not the highest end of Yamaha's kits -- it was a professional kit, for sure, but the Maple Customs and Recording Customs are positioned higher, in my view.

They are the best for outdoor live gigs. I did a ton of touring with my Oak Customs; flew them out a few times across the country, truly excellent for the stage and bigger festival stuff. I was in a loud rock band and it was so nice to hear the drums cut through the Marshall stacks when you had a bad monitor mix (or no monitors at all).

I've done some recording sessions with my OCs, but I always ended up preferring to use my Recording, Beech or Maple Customs for studio work.
 
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BennyK

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Very powerful drums . I had the 10 12 14 20 config. I didn't get along with the bass drum and after endlessly fiddling with it , down the road they went . Not sure I should have done that . I still have fond memories of the gigs and concerts I did with them .

Oh well ...
 
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Targalx

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There was an Oak Custom Absolute. Or, at least Keith Carlock had a set. Used for Sting's Sacred Love tour.
I stand corrected. I do see that there are Oak Custom Absolute-badged drums with a Google search, but I have no memory of those ever being sold in the U.S. Must've been in other markets, though.
 

Targalx

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Very powerful drums . I had the 10 12 14 20 config. I didn't get along with the bass drum and after endlessly fiddling with it , down the road they went . Not sure I should have done that . I still have fond memories of the gigs and concerts I did with them .

Oh well ...
Interesting. The bass drum is my favorite component of the kit and was by far the easiest for me to dial in and keep tuned throughout the tour.

I had tried a variety of tom batter heads in the studio and couldn't seem to land on something that would work. Smooth white Emperors, coated Ambassadors, clear Emperors — none of those worked for me in the studio.

I solely used clear Pin-Stripes over clear Ambassadors when I was on the road, primarily for durability as most of our gigs were outdoor, festival-style shows with a really large PA. That worked totally well for the circumstance, as I didn't have to swap heads very often.
 

jashoup

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I had an Oak Custom kit for a minute back in the late 2000's, but I never really dug them. I much more recently had a Live Custom kit that I thought was bonkers amazing. I had a "shell bank" with several toms and two bass drums - 18" and 22".

My 22" was 14" depth, and it was absolutely killer for rock shows and larger rooms. My intention was that I could use the same basic kit for my jazz stuff too, switch in the 18" kick, and tune the toms a little higher. But I never really got with the higher tunings on the Live Customs. The toms could be decent at higher tuning, with coated Ambassadors or the like, but I could never really get that 18x14 bass drum to sound good. It might have sounded great tuned lower for "rock," but I was always going for Max Roach and it just never got me there.

But yeah, for the big, fat rock sound, the Live Customs are among my favorite drums I've ever played.
 

Targalx

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My 22" was 14" depth, and it was absolutely killer for rock shows and larger rooms. My intention was that I could use the same basic kit for my jazz stuff too, switch in the 18" kick, and tune the toms a little higher. But I never really got with the higher tunings on the Live Customs. The toms could be decent at higher tuning, with coated Ambassadors or the like, but I could never really get that 18x14 bass drum to sound good. It might have sounded great tuned lower for "rock," but I was always going for Max Roach and it just never got me there.
I feel the same way about the Oak Customs. They're good for rock — and that's about all I could get with them. I know jazz drummers like Billy Cobham played Oak Customs, but even Cobham approached jazz with a rock drummer's attitude, so he got them to work for him.

I am extremely happy with the Stage Custom Birch Bop kit that I bought in 2010 and I feel like it'll come fairly close to the classic bop kits from Gretsch and Rogers. You wanna be closer in the ballpark with Max Roach? It's $499 new at Sweetwater right now, plus a few bucks more to swap the heads out. Steal of a deal.
 

equipmentdork

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Here's my Oak Customs, played much better than I could by Shannon Forrest (I love 'em):

Dan
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I had a buddy who had a sunburnt kit in 10/12/14/18. Gorgeous kit! Loud one dimensional sound great for blues or rock but didn't like it for jazz.
 

stevil

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These are cool drums for all the reasons stated above, but I think Yamaha wrote the death sentence for this line when they went with the fancy paintjobs on the new Live Custom Hybrids, which basically doubled the price of an otherwise comparable kit.
 
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I stand corrected. I do see that there are Oak Custom Absolute-badged drums with a Google search, but I have no memory of those ever being sold in the U.S. Must've been in other markets, though.
They were sold around the globe (including the US) in limited quantities to test the response from drummers.

Unfortunately the whole Noveau line was ended in general so the OAN never saw the full production run light.

Unlike what some people say (loud, too agressive, only for rock) they are truly versatile beasts that can be used from jazz to rock.

This was my beauty. With all changes, it stayed with me for 9 years.

Its a few cities away and would take it back on a heartbeat.


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funkypoodle

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Our school has a set of Oak Customs. They are loud as [email protected]#$ & lack the warmth of maple (IMO). The snare almost reminds of carbon fibre snares. If you need aggressive drums these will be heard.

 

bluejacketsfan

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I love my set of Oak customs. It had 8",10", and 12" toms, 14 and 16 in hanging floors in a 22x17" bass. I also had the 7-in Deep wood snare to match the set, but I could never get a sound out of it that I like. But the rest of the set I love. Like others have said, it's a very loud drum. Ultimately I sold them to buy a set that's been on my bucket list for years, but I loved them when I had them. I had the silver Sparkle finish which looks fantastic. I think I use coated G2 head over clear G1 and they were really boomy. And the Yamaha Hardware is top notch.
 


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