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
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.
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).
2.) Redesigned Stage Custom Birch
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.
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
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!”