Yamaha DTX502 Hybrid Packs
January 24, 2015

NAMM 2015: Mapex and Yamaha advance the world of hybrid drumming

The continued merging of the worlds of acoustic and electronic drumming was made most apparent by Mapex and Yamaha this year.

Mapex NFUZD Electronic Drum Conversion Pads


Over four years in the making, Mapex unveiled their new NFUZD electronic drum conversion kits that easily turns any acoustic kit into a powerful electronic kit. NFUZD pads are full-sized to fit on top of a drum in a matter of seconds, without removing the head or hoop. They also feature integration with drum sampling program BFD, giving users access to thousands of kits with over 55GB of 24-bit samples to choose from. Pads will be available in packs (ex: 10″, 12″, 16″, 14″ snare, kick, hats, ride and crash) or a la carte as separate products.

Mapex NFUZD Electronic Drum Conversion Pads

Yamaha DTX502 Hybrid Packs

Yamaha’s new DTX502 Hybrid Packs provide a right-out-of-the-box solution for drummers who want to integrate electronic elements into their acoustic drumming. The SC2HP587 pack consists of a five-piece Stage Custom Birch acoustic drum set with Yamaha 700 Series hardware, a DTX502 module, two acoustic drum triggers (intended for kick and snare) and two electronic drum pads (the 7″ TP70 single zone pad, and the 8″ XP80 3-zone pad. It also includes cables for the triggers and all the necessary clamps and mounts. All components will also be available a la carte to add to any existing acoustic or electronic kit. Due to the fact that Yamaha has been making high-quality acoustic drums since 1967, and electronic drums since 1986, they feel no other company is better equipped to be on the forefront of the booming hybrid drumming industry.

Yamaha DTX502 Hybrid Packs

Yamaha also demonstrated their vast developments in IOS software integration for their electronic drum modules. All of their DTX drums now feature apps that allow far easier and more intuitive operation of brain navigation, presets, and further expansion of the kits.

Yamaha DTX IOS Integration

NAMM 2015: NEW Roland RT-30 Drum Triggers

Roland RT-30 Drum Triggers

Roland announced the release of their new line of RT-30 drum triggers at NAMM 2015. Foolproof to use, easier than ever to setup, smaller and sleeker profile, AND each trigger is even $10 cheaper than their previous RT-10 line. The new line features the single-zone RT-30H for toms, RT-30K for kick drums, and dual-zone RT-30HR for snare drums. The triggers are made from fiberglass-reinforced ABS, feature side-mounted output jacks, and are compatible with TD-series V-Drums sound modules, SPD-series percussion pads, and Roland’s TM-2 Trigger Module. The triggers will replace the RT-10 line, and are expected to be available by March 2015.

January 23, 2014

NAMM 2014: Mapex Armory and Mars Kits and Snares

Mapex Booth at NAMM 2014

Mapex Booth at NAMM 2014

Designed for players that want to spend more time playing, and less time tuning, Mapex introduces their new mid-range Armory and Mars series kits. With the development of their new SONIClear Bearing Edge – which allows drumheads to sit flat on the edge of the drum, increasing contact between head and shell and enhancing shell vibration – these drums are producing stronger sounds than ever, with more tonal nuances, and a more centered pitch to make the drums easier to tune.

Along with these new kits, Mapex has also released a tasty new lineup of Armory snare drums. Each offering a unique sound and style just like their Black Panther snares.

Armory Snares at NAMM 2014

Armory Snare Drums at NAMM 2014


1.) Armory Series Drum Sets

Armory kits have hybrid shells – a blend of maple and birch – resulting in “increased brilliance and projection on the rack toms and a fatter and darker punch from the floor toms and bass drum”.

Armory Series Drum Set at NAMM 2014

Armory Series Drum Set at NAMM 2014

2.) Mars Series Drum Sets

Mars kits are designed as a no-nonsense, mid-priced drumset, that is of the utmost ease to tune and maintain. Sporting shallow 100% Birch shells, and the SONIClear Bearing Edge, Mapex took design innovations from the Saturn IV line and brought them into the mid-range to raise the bar on mid-level, gig-quality kits.

Mapex Mars Series Drum Set at NAMM 2014

Mapex Mars Series Drum Set at NAMM 2014

NAMM 2014: Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple, redesigned Stage Custom, and more…

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple at NAMM 2014

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

Yamaha is making big moves in 2014 with a new kit series added to the Absolute line, The Absolute Hybrid Maple, featuring a core ply of Wenge wood with outer plies of North American Maple. They have also made some “subtle, yet substantial” redesigns to their top-selling kit, The Stage Custom Birch, and have also released not one but TWO new Dave Weckl Signature Snares – a 13″ x 5″ Maple 6-ply (6mm) model in Black Maple finish, and a 14″ x 5.5″ Brass (1.2mm) finished in Black Nickel.

1.) Absolute Hybrid Maple

The ultimate "Hybrid" Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

The ultimate “Hybrid” Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

From the Yamaha press release: Absolute Hybrid Maple drum sets feature a hook lug originally designed for the PHX Series, which brings out the drum’s natural tone by creating a small footprint on the shell. In addition to allowing quick and easy head changes, the lugs provide precision tuning.

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

Other features in the series include a new piston-drive snare strainer, hinged floor tom leg brackets, a low-mass bass drum bracket and the same style of spurs first introduced on the Live Custom drum set. Yamaha’s exclusive staggered diagonal seam and Air-Seal System shell-making process produces strong, consistent shells.

All configs will be initially available in 3 core finishes (Polar White, Vintage Natural, and Solid Black). At least one config will be available in every other offered finish (Classic Walnut, Red Autumn, Jade Green Sparkle, Orange Sparkle, Gold Champagne Sparkle, Pink Champagne Sparkle, and Silver Sparkle).

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple Finishes

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple Finishes

2.) Redesigned Stage Custom Birch

The newly redesigned Yamaha Stage Custom in new Pure White finish

The newly redesigned Yamaha Stage Custom in new Pure White finish

From the Yamaha press release: Yamaha today introduced the redesigned Stage Custom Birch drum set at the 2014 NAMM Show. Already considered to be pound-for-pound among the best in its class, the new generation Stage Custom Birch Drum Set has received several significant upgrades.

Many of the changes are subtle, yet substantial. Yamaha upgraded the shells with the same thicker ply concept used on Live Custom and rounded the bearing edges for more head to shell contact, which provides a fatter sound. The Absolute style lug, which attaches to the shell using a single screw, requires fewer holes in the shell and less metal inside the drum, allowing the drums to resonate more fully. Die-cast claws and new spurs now adorn the bass drum and the snare drum now includes ten lugs for more precise tuning.

2014 Stage Custom redesigns

2014 Stage Custom redesigns

Stage Custom Birch kits also come in new sizes. Tom and floor tom sizes are now available at traditional depths and diameters, offering wider tuning and dynamic ranges. The floor toms, trimmed down to be under square, provide a better tone to attack balance. The drum sets also offer excellent finishes, high-end specs and superior hardware at a great value.

3.) Dave Weckl Signature Snares

Dave Weckl Signature Snare Drums

Dave Weckl Signature Snare Drums

From the Yamaha press release: “I have enjoyed playing Yamaha drums for 30 years now. Their attention to detail, quality and consistency is unparalleled in the industry and I am happy to have this long standing relationship”, Dave Weckl commented. ”My signature snare drums are of the most unique on the market. The dual strainer system is one of a kind, and provides a sound and versatility like no other snare ever made. For the few that will be able to own one of these special drums, enjoy them. They are very special instruments!”

November 25, 2013

The 2013 Five Star Drum Shops Holiday Buyer’s Guide is here!

Our annual holiday deals are back with a bang for 2013. Inside the new Five Star Drum Shops Holiday Buyer’s Guide you’ll find exclusive deals, packages, bundles, discounts, extras, and other treats from favorite brands like DW, Tama, Gretsch, Yamaha, Paiste, Sabian, Zildjian, Pearl, LP, Meinl, and more. Check out the deals and stop in to see us today!



Click Here to Download the PDF

September 30, 2013

JUST IN: Djembe Rope

We are once again back in full stock of our djembe rope for all you drum builders out there! We are also now carrying Black with Blue Flecks – a new for 2013 color. Our rope is specifically engineered for rope-tuned drums and is used by some of the finest drum builders in the world. It is a double-braided polyester around a strong, low-stretch core. We offer it in two sizes 1/8″ and 3/16″ and sell by the foot, or in 1200′ spools. You can find pricing information and place your order on our website, or you can always give us a call at (503)-288-6950. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss multiple spool discounts, feel free to email us at info@rhythmtraders.com. Happy building!

picture of rhythm traders djembe rope

September 17, 2013

NEXT WEEK: Todd Sucherman, Tuesday Sept 24th


Tuesday September 24th, 7pm at Rhythm Traders – ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!

Cost: FREE General Admission / $20 VIP Tickets, which include seating in the first 3 rows, green room access, and a swag bag

Rhythm Traders is proud to present Todd Sucherman (Styx) in clinic. Best known for his work with Styx, Todd has played with Brian Wilson, Tommy Shaw, Peter Cetera, Brian Culbertson, The Falling Wallendas, Steve Cole, and Spinal Tap, among others.

In September 2008, Sucherman was a featured artist in the prestigious Modern Drummer Festival. He also appeared on the cover of the October 2008 issue of Modern Drummer magazine. In 2009 the Modern Drummer Magazine voted him number one Rock Drummer in the World.

We will have giveaways, as well as special pricing on Pearl Drums, Sabian Cymbals, and his latest instructional DVD, Methods & Mechanics II. Space is limited, so please arrive early!

We also have a limited number of VIP seats available which will get you priority seating in the first 3 rows, green room access, and a swag bag. VIP tickets are $20. Call us or stop by to find out about availability, 503-288-6950. Sponsored by Pearl Drums.

August 23, 2013

JUST IN: Vic Firth Dreadlocks


We’ve fallen in love with these new Vic Firth Dreadlocks, and we can’t stop playing with them. If you’re a fan of unique sounds and textures, you have got to try them out for yourself! Of course, no one can demonstrate what they do better than Jojo Mayer himself in this video below (the action starts around 2:25). Check it out, and then check out the Dreadlocks product page on our site to learn more and pick up yours today.

August 5, 2013

Product Review: Tama STAR Drums

Tama STAR Drums are something we’re very excited about here at Rhythm Traders. These drums definitely give anyone shopping for a high-end kit something to think about. With 16 finishes, two different wood types, and more component drums than we can count, these kits are meant to be built from the ground up to your exact specifications.

Tama STAR Drum Set in Satin Antique Brown, NAMM 2013

Tama brought some serious eye-candy to NAMM 2013 with their STAR Drums

The two wood types – Bubinga and Maple – each have some unique finishes along with the 7 finishes available in either type. You can see them all below:

Bubinga-Only Finishes
Dark Green Cordia – CDKG Dark Red Cordia – CDKR
Tama STAR Dark Green Cordia CDKG Tama STAR Dark Red Cordia CDKR
Satin Natural Cordia – CSTN Natural Indian Laurel – LNTI
Tama STAR Satin Natural Cordia CSTN Tama STAR Natural Indian Laurel LNTI
Maple-Only Finishes
Super Maple – SMP Satin Amber Gold – SAG
Tama STAR Super Maple SMP Tama STAR Satin Amber Gold SAG
Satin Antique Brown – SAB Satin Burgundy Red – SBD
Tama STAR Satin Antique Brown SAB Tama STAR Satin Burgundy Red SBD
      Satin Dark Mocha – SDM
Tama STAR Satin Dark Mocha SDM
Finishes for both Bubinga and Maple
Blue Gray Metallic – BGM Dark Burgundy Metallic – DBM
Tama STAR Blue Gray Metallic BGM Tama STAR Dark Burgundy Metallic DBM
Satin Blue Metallic – SBM Satin Green Metallic – SGM
Tama STAR Satin Blue Metallic SBM Tama STAR Satin Green Metallic SGM
Antique White – ATW Smoky Black – SKB
Tama STAR Antique White ATW Tama STAR Smoky Black SKB
Vintage Sea Blue – VSB
Tama STAR Vintage Sea Blue VSB

Tama has perfected these kits, inside and out. You can see below the detail they put into hand-finishing even the inside of the shells.

Bubinga wood, inside shell

Bubinga wood with optional inlay

Maple wood shell

Maple wood shell

Tama says that these drums are fun to play. We’d like to add that they’re also fun to look at and listen to! Check out our STAR Drums page for more information, or just give us a call at 503-288-6950.

July 30, 2013

NEXT WEEK: Kenny Aronoff, Tuesday August 6th at 7pm


Tuesday August 6th – one week from today! 7pm at Rhythm Traders

Cost: FREE General Admission

World-class rock and studio drummer Kenny Aronoff will be here to show his legendary playing style paired with Yamaha DTX drums. Kenny has live and recording experience with the likes of John Mellencamp, The Smashing Pumpkins, John Fogerty, Melissa Etheridge, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Alanis Morissette, The Rolling Stones, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to name a few!

As one of the most successful studio musicians around today, Kenny has insight into the music industry and performance that you won’t hear anywhere else. Be sure to come check it out.


Kenny Aronoff will tell you what’s up!