Recording Custom Drumset
by Michael Dawson
Yamaha’s Recording Custom series occupies a very special place in the pantheon of iconic drum lines. Slingerland laid the foundation for modern design in the 1930s with its single-ply Radio King set. Gretsch established new levels of clarity and definition during the bebop era with its famed round-badge drums, and then Ludwig ushered in the rock ’n’ roll era of the 1960s with the hugely popular black oyster pearl Super Classic “Ringo” kit.
All of those instruments are revered for their great looks and rich acoustic tones, but it wasn’t until Yamaha debuted the YD9000 series in 1977 that drummers were offered a kit that was tailor made for the modern recording studio environment, which was by then favoring close miking and dry/direct drum tones over the more distant, ambient sounds heard previously on most pop and jazz records. The YD9000 series was renamed Recording Custom shortly after its initial launch and has since appeared on countless songs played by all types of drummers, including jazz/pop/R&B session great Steve Gadd, fusion legend Dave Weckl, hard-rock icon Cozy Powell, and jam-pop star Carter Beauford.
To celebrate the Recording Custom’s longevity, Yamaha continues to offer the kits in relatively unchanged form, with just a few choice hardware updates. We were sent a six-piece set to review that included 7 1/2×10 and 8×12 rack toms, 14×14 and 14×16 floor toms, and a 16×22 bass drum, all in antique sunburst finish and outfitted with Remo Pinstripe batter heads. We were also sent a handcrafted 6 1/2×14 steel snare to go with the kit.
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Be sure to check out the January 2013 issue of Modern Drummer for the complete review.