Yamaha Tour Custom vs Stage Custom Birch

Joblivion0073

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I am stuck in the middle of knowing which drum kit to buy. I know what the stage custom birch sounds like and I absolutely love it. However, I recently had a chance to try the 14 x 6.5 Snare Drum for the tour custom and it sounds incredible to my ears. I don't know how the Tcustom toms sound in comparison to the birch though.

Anyone try them and want to share how they sounded? Or even better have tried both :)
 

Tigerdrummer

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I like stage custom but I only play at home. My brother had the 8000 series from the 80's but I didnt get to play them a lot. I just think SC is the best bang for the buck
 

shuffle

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A forumite i know had a set of Tours,the new version.
Tuning problems throughout the set.
I own Stage Customs and yes,they are wonderful!
 

BennyK

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I use a 12/12/14 combo sometimes for recording and they're Stage Custom Birch . Truly wonderful tubs . I'm using Remo Black suede emps on them and they sing like birds . I didn't care too much for the 20" bass drum and sold it .

If the pronounced mid-voice is your preference then you can have the same build quality and features of the Stage Custom line in the Tour Custom series .

I figure a Tour Custom bass drum with Stage Custom toms would be the ideal kit .
 
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felis

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I've had both. Currently have the newer Tours.
You're asking about the toms - the Tours are warmer and have a bit less sustain, depending on heads.
The Birch toms are brighter, have more overtones, and sustain more.
Due mostly I think to the wood, rims, and heads used.
They're both really good, but I prefer the maple Tours.
 
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ThomasL

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You're asking about the toms - the Tours are warmer and have a bit less sustain, depending on heads.
The Birch are toms brighter, have more overtones, and sustain more.
Due mostly I think to the wood, rims, and heads used.
Do they have different hoops?
 

Radio King

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Last summer, I was looking for a good bar band set of intermediate drums - beaters that I could sling around without too much regret if one should get a nick or scuff. I ended up settling on a set of Tour Customs (22/10/12/16) in Candy Apple Red that a local dealer gave me a steal of a deal on. I ended up being so impressed with them that I soon added a 13" mounted, a 14" floor, and finally a matching 6.5" snare. Best of all worlds, configuration-wise. They are VERY nice drums for their price point.

I don't know much about the Stage Customs, but there are some differences in the 2 lines which help explain the rather large difference in price.
  • The shells on the Tour Customs are all maple, with both outer and inner plies being American Maple, which gives the matte finishes some nice figuring (I assume the middle plies are of Chinese origin).
  • The TC bass drums are 1" shallower than the comparatively-sized SCs (16" vs 17", and they feature 10 lugs vs. 8 ).
  • They also ship with Clear Ambassadors top and bottom (SCs ship with UT heads).
  • The TC hoops are 2.3mm Inverse DynaHoops (re: Slingerland Sticksavers), as opposed to the SC's 1.5mm hoops.
  • The TCs are equipped with Yamaha absolute lugs, which use a single screw and an indented notch to attach to the shells, whereas I think the SCs use the more standard 2-screw mounting design (not positive about the 2 screws for mounting, though).
  • Not positive, but I think I read somewhere that the TC bass drum spurs are supposed to be of a higher quality than the SCs.
All that said, the SCs offer some real advantages, too. I prefer their hi-gloss finishes: I've seen 3 of the new Bop kits in person, and the stains are really nice looking. They offer a wider range of sizes to choose from. Another advantage is that the 5.5" snare is included in the price.

For me, the TCs are worth the extra dollars, but that's up to the potential buyer. I do know that I was so impressed with mine that I sold a comparably-sized RN2 Gretsch Renown set (which I also think offers huge bang for the buck) and kept the Yamahas. They are the perfect gigging set: extremely lightweight, reliable, good looking, and they sound great.

20190909_191949 1.jpg
 
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Tommy D

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If the Tour Custom vs Stage Custom is anything like the PDP Concept Maple vs Concept Birch, the difference will be subtle, but noticeable. You should have a beefier sounding bass drum on the Tour's, but the toms will have a cleaner tone on the Stage. Other than that, pick the one that looks the prettiest.
 

Radio King

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If the Tour Custom vs Stage Custom is anything like the PDP Concept Maple vs Concept Birch, the difference will be subtle, but noticeable. You should have a beefier sounding bass drum on the Tour's, but the toms will have a cleaner tone on the Stage. Other than that, pick the one that looks the prettiest.
I don't think it's quite the same as the PDP analogy. I believe that Yamaha has positioned Stage Customs as their entry-level offering, and the Tour Customs are their intermediate. Rather like Gretsch Catalinas vs Renowns. That's my take on it, though I could be wrong.

Stage Custom MAP: $649 with 5.5" snare
Tour Custom MAP: $1299 without snare (matching snare runs $299 for 5.5", $329 for 6.5")
 
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Thumper

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It helps everyone if we have proper identities and eras. Earlier Stage Custom used birch and, I think, poplar ply shells - current SC's are all birch. The original Tour Custom's are birch/mahogany ply shells; these were replaced by Rock Tour Customs (I have two kits) that added a phenolic outer sheath for more projection. The current Tour Customs are all maple, appear to be comparable to the current SC's except maple vs. birch.
 

Targalx

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I've had my current Stage Custom Birch kit since 2010. I believe this was the first year of the SCB. I bought the original Stage Custom when it was released around 1998-99 and owned that for about 4-5 years before selling it to buy an Oak Custom (which I took on the road). The SCB is a far superior kit to the original SC.

I also had a Power Stage kit, which was made in the mid-1980s; it was a touring kit for about 6-7 years before I sold it off to get a Beech Custom (which became my most recent touring kit). I'm sure the Power Stage was good for its time, but by the time I was done with it, it seemed pretty antiquated.

All that said, I've only played the Tour Custom at music shops, so I don't have any ownership experience. If a TC showed up at the right price, I wouldn't hesitate to get one.

But, I can definitely recommend the SCB. An incredible deal for the price, and it's probably the kit I play the most, even though every other Yamaha kit I own is a more expensive model.
 

dogmanaut

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So, not to derail the thread, but hypothetically, if one were to see a 5-piece SCB kit in perfect sizes/immaculate condition selling for $300, would he/she be foolish not to buy it?
 

Tommy D

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I don't think it's quite the same as the PDP analogy. I believe that Yamaha has positioned Stage Customs as their entry-level offering, and the Tour Customs are their intermediate. Rather like Gretsch Catalinas vs Renowns. That's my take on it, though I could be wrong.

Stage Custom MAP: $649 with 5.5" snare
Tour Custom MAP: $1299 without snare (matching snare runs $299 for 5.5", $329 for 6.5")
Ehh, both have the same lugs, same mounting hardware, one is maple, the other is birch. The price disparity is where I have problems with Yamaha drums. They can offer a kit with most of the features as the higher end kits with a glossy lacquer finish for an affordable price, then as soon as they throw in 2.3mm hoops (which is only a few bucks more per rim) and make the drums out of maple, boom double the price. More than double if you throw in a matching snare. As you mentioned, the maple is of unknown origin. Not that anyone would be able to hear the difference between Asian and North American maple... I certainly could not hear an appreciable difference between my Concept Maples and DW Collectors kit. After owning both a Concept Maple and Concept Birch at the same time, I have found the difference between maple and birch is that maple has better low end and birch has cleaner tonality. If you value low end, go Tour. If you value cleaner tonality, go birch.
 

Tommy D

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So, not to derail the thread, but hypothetically, if one were to see a 5-piece SCB kit in perfect sizes/immaculate condition selling for $300, would he/she be foolish not to buy it?
Ehh, buy it. Whats the worst that could happen? You cant sell it and you donate it? You only lost $300. You could buy a Tour Custom and lose $300 the second you open the boxes.
 

Neal Pert

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I've owned both and currently own a pile of Stage Customs. I have to echo what others have said about the quality of the Stage Customs- I shopped very carefully and managed to find a used kit and a very inexpensive new bop kit, so I have 8/10/12/12/14/16/18/22 with a total outlay of about $810, all mint. I've ordered a 13" and will sell the second 12 once I get it.

Anyway, the good thing about your dilemma is that there is really no wrong answer. The Stage Customs are just great. Then again, so are the Tours. I finally decided that I liked the lower price and the lacquer natural finish on the Stage Customs enough to go with them. But really, if the Tours had an 18" bass, I might've sprung for the Tours again.

The funny thing is that, at least in my basement, the Tours had a more "barky" kind of tom sound than the SCs do- like, that sort of Jerry Marotta Recording Custom kinda thing.

I'd own either with great happiness.
 

felis

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Tour and Stage have different wood layups, different lugs, different hoops,
and different heads - Tour - REMO Ambassador Clears top and bottom, Powerstroke3 batter and reso bass heads,
Stage - Remo UT's all around.
Tours have 10 lug bass drums and 8 lug floor tom, Stage has 8 lug bass and 6 lug floor tom,
and different bass drum claws and spurs.

Pretty sure the only thing they have in common is the yess tom mount system and the word 'custom'.
Whether all the differences in construction and sound are worth the extra cost for the Tours is up to the individual.
 

Tommy D

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Tour and Stage have different wood layups, different lugs, different hoops,
and different heads - Tour - REMO Ambassador Clears top and bottom, Powerstroke3 batter and reso bass heads,
Stage - Remo UT's all around.
Tours have 10 lug bass drums and 8 lug floor tom, Stage has 8 lug bass and 6 lug floor tom,
and different bass drum claws and spurs.

Pretty sure the only thing they have in common is the yess tom mount system and the word 'custom'.
Whether all the differences in construction and sound are worth the extra cost for the Tours is up to the individual.
I'm pretty sure they are the exact same lugs on the SCB and the Tour's. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SBP0F50HA--yamaha-stage-custom-birch-5-piece-shell-pack-honey-amber-20-inch-kick If you look at the bass drum image, you can see the lugs are only held on by 1 screw inside.

Obviously they are different wood layups. That's a given. Both 6 ply, but slightly thinner plys on the Tours. There's a 1mm difference in thickness between the two.

8 vs 10 lug... Ehh, I like the look of 10 lugs but have never had issues tuning, or keeping my tuning, with an 8 lug bass drum.

Same with the 1.5mm triple flange vs 2.3mm stick saver hoops. The price difference between them is $2-3/hoop on dfd. Are 2.3mm stick saver hoops better? I mean, I think they are cool, but I'm not buying the cost difference. And if 2.3 was better, then why do the Recording Customs use 1.6mm triple flange hoops? Maybe the birch drums just sound better with thinner hoops. I don't know.

As for the 14" floor tom only having 6 lugs, I thought Yamaha righted that ship a couple years back and put 8 lugs on that sucker. Maybe they went back to 6. Oh well. Most of the configurations come with the 16" floor tom which has 8 lugs. I like an 8 lug 14, I will admit, so that is a bit of a let down on the SC kits.

As for the bass spurs, their differences are subtle but I don't think anyone could quantify how much 'better" the Tours are than the Stage. Have there been complaints by people of their Stage Custom bass spurs failing or having issues? I haven't heard any. The Tours don't have the classic Yamaha spurs like the RC's, LCH, AHM or Phoenix gets which people seem to swear by.

Both use die cast claws, just slightly different designs. Like the bass spurs, is there something bad about the SC claws that the Tours improved upon? If the SC had some cheap stamped steel claw, I would give you that one, but again how do you quantify which is better?

While they may not be exactly the same kits like the Concept Maple/Birch are, they really aren't that different. Its not like the difference between a Tama Superstar Classic and a Starclassic Walnut/Birch. Those two kits have nothing but the name on the bass drum head in common.

As you said, though, are all the differences in construction and sound worth the extra cost? I agree it is up to the individual. To me the slight hardware changes don't add up to the drastic increase in price. As for the sound, I'm still going to say what I have experienced when a/b'ing maple vs birch: maple will have better low end, birch will have cleaner tonality. If you really want the low end of maple, and really like Yamaha drums, then the Tour's are great. Buy 'em. If you really want Yamaha drums and like clean tone, the Stage Custom is hard to beat.
 

Radio King

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I believe Tommy D is correct about the Absolute lugs being used on both lines - I was mistaken.

Here are good overviews of both lines.

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch:


Yamaha Tour Custom:

 


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