Frustrated Yamaha Live Custom Owner

wiredmat

Junior Member
Hello,

As a LiveCustom owner, I'm sure that I can speak for many of my fellow drummers who own these kits that we would have appreciated a heads up (6months to a year). That the LiveCustom Oak kits & colours were going to be discontinued. Only dealers were given this info in the fall of 2018 with no ability to order any new product. Think of all the 8" toms, 18" floor toms and second bass drums that would have been ordered, knowing that we wouldn't be able to get them in the future. Yamaha would have created a demand where there otherwise wasn't one. "Order now before they are gone forever".
Now instead we are unable to add to our kits and Yamaha drums is unlikely to get any more of our money. Maybe Yamaha thought we'd sell our LiveCustom kits and buy this new Hybrid Live Custom?
You missed a great opportunity to sell more drums and make your current customers happy and most likely retain them into the future.

Yamaha, we (your customers) have many choices in Drum Manufacturers who provide many different types of wood, sizes and colour options, try not to forget that when you 'Out Of The Blue' discontinue your next model.

Frustrated Yamaha Electric & Acoustic drum owner.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I understand your frustration, and I get what you're saying.

With that said, I don't think that drum companies make a ton of money off of "one-off" drums. While they are nice to have, I don't think that Yamaha is going to lose a lot of business. From what I understand, it's sort of a pain in the rear for drum companies that are used to running production to stop everything just to do a one-off drum. This is why a.) folks are charged a premium for doing so, and b.) the wait times are very long in a lot of cases. Even if one-offs are done, there's also the chances (risks?) that the color or finish won't be an exact match and the newer unplayed-in wood wouldn't have the same characters as a kit that's been well-loved.

While I understand your frustration of not knowing, maybe they were trying to be hush-hush about so that there wouldn't be a flood of folks wanting one-off drums.

But then again, I may have no idea what I'm talking about.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Wouldn't be Yamaha's first mistake in recent years.

In reality, I think Yamaha Drums has to answer to the big names at Yamaha Co and designing a specific set of lines based on how they understand the market, getting rid of signature products and moving most production to China is a part of that. If not they'd might just have close production for good.

They probably want to keep it alive, but probably don't make to much money drums.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
By the way, since new Live Customs go for around 1400 and the new Hybrid oaks just came out, how much should one be paying for a used 4 piece 22/10/12/16? I see a lot of them for around 1300 and personally I think they should be a little under 900.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Something strange is going on with the Live Customs in the USA - they've magically disappeared:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LC2F40BKW--yamaha-live-custom-4-piece-shell-pack-black-oak
No Longer Available

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/yamaha-live-custom-4-piece-shell-pack
"We're sorry-this item is unavailable."

And this one's pretty bizarre:
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha/Live-Custom-4-Piece-Shell-Pack.gc
"Order Now! Expected to Ship 03-08-2019."

I think they've pulled/warehoused/ or shipped overseas all the remaining Live Customs.

I'm wondering if GC is hoping people will pre-order discontinued Live Customs,
in the hope that they'll upgrade to the Oak hybrids when they get tired of waiting.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Would nice to still have them around as they're different and at a price average drummers can afford.

They've gone the way of Club Customs and Gretsch New Classics. Models that would be no problem to keep selling.
 

motojosh

Member
As a LiveCustom owner, I'm sure that I can speak for many of my fellow drummers who own these kits that we would have appreciated a heads up (6months to a year).
I certainly understand your frustration, but word came out in this forum back in July (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143780), so the change isn't really that big of a surprise.

Manufacturers are often caught in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position when they discontinue a model. If Yamaha had made a big deal about this six months ago, they may* have sold a few more one-offs (the 8" toms and 18" bass drums you mention), but they may also have lost sales of the full kits as prospective buyers decide to wait for the new model. Neither approach is free of downsides.

* It's debatable whether this is true or not. Clearly, YOU would have ordered a few things. That doesn't mean every Live Custom owner would have done the same. It's possible that you're overestimating how many of these "extras" would have been sold.
 

moneydog59

Junior Member
Not for nuthin'....I'm looking for a 13x9 rack tom in the emerald shadow burst, and I'm looking to sell a 20x16 bass drum in the same finish.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I understand your frustration, and I get what you're saying.

With that said, I don't think that drum companies make a ton of money off of "one-off" drums. While they are nice to have, I don't think that Yamaha is going to lose a lot of business. From what I understand, it's sort of a pain in the rear for drum companies that are used to running production to stop everything just to do a one-off drum. This is why a.) folks are charged a premium for doing so, and b.) the wait times are very long in a lot of cases. Even if one-offs are done, there's also the chances (risks?) that the color or finish won't be an exact match and the newer unplayed-in wood wouldn't have the same characters as a kit that's been well-loved.

While I understand your frustration of not knowing, maybe they were trying to be hush-hush about so that there wouldn't be a flood of folks wanting one-off drums.

But then again, I may have no idea what I'm talking about.
One offs are no big deal. We do this all the time at work with PA speakers. It requires modifying a program for a machine. Or not putting in some parts. Or adding parts. Or a specific color. It's no big deal. The problem lies in changing the process for one piece. If you want a special color, the cost of the color is factored in. If you have to have a florescent brown snare, how many others will want that too? None. So you pay for the whole gallon. Don't want a mount? They don't drill the holes. But you are paying someone to babysit that florescent brown shell so it doesn't get drilled. Want to add something. Again, someone has to babysit the shell so it gets the extra part(s). Drilling holes costs nothing. Wanting something special is no big deal, it's the cost of part/extra eyes that you are paying for.

Something strange is going on with the Live Customs in the USA - they've magically disappeared:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LC2F40BKW--yamaha-live-custom-4-piece-shell-pack-black-oak
No Longer Available

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/yamaha-live-custom-4-piece-shell-pack
"We're sorry-this item is unavailable."

And this one's pretty bizarre:
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha/Live-Custom-4-Piece-Shell-Pack.gc
"Order Now! Expected to Ship 03-08-2019."

I think they've pulled/warehoused/ or shipped overseas all the remaining Live Customs.

I'm wondering if GC is hoping people will pre-order discontinued Live Customs,
in the hope that they'll upgrade to the Oak hybrids when they get tired of waiting.
Could be a logistics issue also. Over the summer, all Yamaha Club series subs were "not currently available". It was a wood issue. The company that normally supplied the wood went bankrupt. So we had to find another supplier, build samples for Yamaha to approve, place an order with the new supplier, wait on the wood to show up, then cut the wood and build the cabinets as well as fulfilling our other production requirements. So 6 months later, Club series subs are now available again.

Moral of the story: it isn't the workers or even the assembly process. That part is easy. Changing procedures, spending money that isn't accounted for, and life itself, this is why it takes so long to get a special order. They will be happy to take your money, just at their own pace.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
Not for nuthin'....I'm looking for a 13x9 rack tom in the emerald shadow burst, and I'm looking to sell a 20x16 bass drum in the same finish.
I'm looking for a 20" Bass drum. Drop me a DM, I'm interested in yours...

And to address the LIVE Custom thing in general:

I play the Live Customs.
Last year I got to test drive some prototypes that have now gone into production as the Live Custom Hybrids. While I knew they Live Customs were on their way out, I didn't have an exact timeline. I called Yamaha a few months ago to order a few add-on drums. Specifically an 8" Tom and a 20" Bass Drum. I was informed that they are all gone! As in they had already sold everything that was currently in their inventory and production had already moved to the new Hybrids.

I did end up finding my 8" on Reverb.com, and have been hunting a 20" since then, without much luck, as I'm looking for a specific finish.

But that's how biz works. You plan to discontinue something, and so you end production on it, and once your stock is sold out, that's it! Time for the new toys. ALL companies do it this way. I can't think of a single other manufacturer that gives the consumer a heads up when it plans to end production on a particular product.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I was surprised the Live Custom was discontinued so quickly.

It hadn't been around that long.

So I see why some would be frustrated or mad.

I remember when Premier announced they were discontinuing the Signia, I was able to order an 8" tom before they shut down production.

I later way overpaid for the 18" ft on ebay.

And of course, I almost never use either.
 

belairien

Silver Member
I don't think its a huge deal, even if I owned one... I mean, I do have a 6 piece Stage Custom, though most of the time I play a 4 piece kit. I am sure that most who own a Live Custom, or other high end kit, stick with a standard 5 piece, or remove one tom, anyway. Can't tell you how many times I bought a larger kit, and then left 1-4 drums to collect dust.

Most people seem to stick with the regular configurations, and Yamaha probably wasn't concerned about the small percentage of people wanting more drums in a given line :/
 
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