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  #1  
Old 07-06-2017, 12:24 AM
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gconyers gconyers is offline
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Default Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

I've had a set of Yamaha MCA drums with nouveau lugs that I bought new in 2008. For some reason, I've never been able to clear the heads properly when tuning the 10" and 12" toms.

I've been able to get decent sounds from these but not that pure and even tone at each lug without any nasty overtones. In fact, it always seems to be two lugs, directly across from each other, that sound "dead" when I tap near them. These same lugs are also significantly looser than the others. I've cleaned and lubed the lugs /bolts but to no avail. I've always chalked this up to poorly made lug inserts.

I tested the bearing edges on my glass top stove and glass end tables ( I realize that they may not be perfectly flat) and it would appear that there is a slight gap in some areas which in turn causes the drum to slightly wobble on the glass (nearly imperceptable though). I was able to slide the edge of a sheet of paper under these spots.

I also tested the die cast hoops and they also appear to be slightly uneven and rock on the same glass tops.

How bad does the unevenness of a bearing edge really have to be to affect the tuning of a drum? When I put a new head on the drum it spins freely and appears to sit flat without any rocking. I've tried both Evans and Remo heads and still have the same problem.

I consider myself to be a decent tuner and have spent countless hours trying to perfect my technique to tune each drum so it resonates to its maximum potential.

Now I'm starting to believe that it was never my inability to tune but a problem with the drums which in time has caused the hoops to warp slightly.

I live in the Kitchener/Waterloo area and have googled for drum repair shops in the area. The only place I've been able to find is at Just Drums in Toronto which is over an hours drive from me. Any members from this area that can recommend any repair shops other than JD's?

If it turns out that there was a bearing edge issue from the start, I'll be really disappointed because these are top quality drums and I've taken great care of them in every respect.

Grant
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:49 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

I would absolutely try a brand new pair (or known good pair) of triple flanged hoops first. Toms don't benefit from die cast. Lighter is better.

Test your hoop like this: Take your hoop off the drum and insert a head in it, all the way so it's seated in the hoop. Now turn the hoop upside down with the head in it. If the head falls out, the hoop is probably OK. If the hoop binds to the head, and prevents the head from falling out, that's a bad hoop, and you will never get the drum in tune with a bad hoop.

Make sure it's not the hoops before you blame the shell, hoops are cheap.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

Great advice Larry. The hoops seem ok in that regard.

I was thinking the same thing about trying TF hoops.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I would absolutely try a brand new pair (or known good pair) of triple flanged hoops first. Toms don't benefit from die cast. Lighter is better.
Not so fast. First of all, the Yamaha die cast hoops are aluminum, and probably LIGHTER than most steel triple flanged hoops.

Secondly, some people actually prefer the sound of a drum with a die cast hoop.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by gconyers View Post

I live in the Kitchener/Waterloo area and have googled for drum repair shops in the area. The only place I've been able to find is at Just Drums in Toronto which is over an hours drive from me. Any members from this area that can recommend any repair shops other than JD's?
A bit closer: https://www.drumland.com/
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:13 AM
sonormapex sonormapex is offline
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

OK...Lets not broadcast where these "repair guys "are, because they prefer to work under the radar...If I worked out of my garage, I,d keep it low, but somehow, folks want to yell from the roof top.............""I see nothing"
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

I haven't used him, but this guy is in Oakville / Burlington. Probably the OP's best bet by a long shot. http://www.drumdoctor.ca/
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Last edited by whiteknightx; 07-06-2017 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

If you can't find anyone locally, I'd consider Precision Drum if you want edges re-cut.

http://precisiondrum.com/

I'm not sure about shipping prices across the border.
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2017, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post
I haven't used him, but this guy is in Oakville / Burlington. Probably the OP's best bet by a long shot. http://www.drumdoctor.ca/
I'm pretty sure that the "drum doctor" has been around for 30 plus years. I went to Clarkson SS which is beside Oakville and he would come fix up the drums in our music department. That was in the early eighties!

Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely give him a call.
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2017, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
Not so fast. First of all, the Yamaha die cast hoops are aluminum, and probably LIGHTER than most steel triple flanged hoops.

Secondly, some people actually prefer the sound of a drum with a die cast hoop.
It's true that the Yamaha die cast hoops are aluminum and pretty light. Just shocked that I would have a problem with a drum at this price point. Or two drums, to be exact.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
...the Yamaha die cast hoops are aluminum, and probably LIGHTER than most steel triple flanged hoops.
Yep...I haven't actually weighed mine to compare but this would be my guess.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

No matter the weight of the hoops, just make sure your hoops aren't binding the head, that would explain your tuning difficulties, if that's what is actually happening.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:33 PM
Lee-Bro Lee-Bro is offline
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
No matter the weight of the hoops, just make sure your hoops aren't binding the head, that would explain your tuning difficulties, if that's what is actually happening.
Truth.

My 12" tom gave me fits until I replaced the top hoop. Now it sings.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

I don't think anyone mentioned Precision Drums in NY I believe. You'd have to ship them, but they are a top notch drum altering shop.

Francois from Unix is in Canada. Not sure where in Canada, or if he even takes that kind of work. He is a master drum builder.

Hopefully it's not your shells. I don't feel bearing edges have to be absolutely perfect to sound good. As long as it's pretty close to where it should be, with no major sudden dips or peaks in the edge, the head will conform to the edge.

I cite old Ludwigs with re-rings as an example. I'd say that vintage Ludwig bearing edges are the worst edges ever from a pro drum maker. Yet you can, with expert tuning skills, make them sound fine. They won't tune up as easy as a drum with a perfect bearing edge, but they can be worked with. Yamaha shells are closer to perfect than imperfect IMO.
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2017, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I don't think anyone mentioned Precision Drums in NY I believe. You'd have to ship them, but they are a top notch drum altering shop.

Francois from Unix is in Canada. Not sure where in Canada, or if he even takes that kind of work. He is a master drum builder.

Hopefully it's not your shells. I don't feel bearing edges have to be absolutely perfect to sound good. As long as it's pretty close to where it should be, with no major sudden dips or peaks in the edge, the head will conform to the edge.

I cite old Ludwigs with re-rings as an example. I'd say that vintage Ludwig bearing edges are the worst edges ever from a pro drum maker. Yet you can, with expert tuning skills, make them sound fine. They won't tune up as easy as a drum with a perfect bearing edge, but they can be worked with. Yamaha shells are closer to perfect than imperfect IMO.
Ya Larry, the shells and hoops appear to be in round. There's no binding between the head and hoop either. Funny thing is, I can get these drums to sound pretty awesome but it just takes some extra effort and I know they can sound better and be tuned much easier.
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by gconyers View Post
\ In fact, it always seems to be two lugs, directly across from each other, that sound "dead" when I tap near them. These same lugs are also significantly looser than the others. ......

I tested the bearing edges on my glass top stove and glass end tables ( I realize that they may not be perfectly flat) and it would appear that there is a slight gap in some areas which in turn causes the drum to slightly wobble on the glass (nearly imperceptable though). I was able to slide the edge of a sheet of paper under these spots.
...

How bad does the unevenness of a bearing edge really have to be to affect the tuning of a drum?
First question is: When you put the shells on glass and see gaps, have you turned (rotated) the shells to see if the gaps rotate with the shells? If they do, it may be unevenness of the bearing edge; if they don't it's probably unevenness of the glass.

If the gaps are due to an uneven edge, consider how much turning difference a quarter-turn of a tuning rod can make in pitch. Then consider that a tuning rod has 24 threads per inch, so a quarter-turn is a tiny fraction of an inch in height. So yes, even a small unevenness can definitely affect tuning, especially if you're trying to get a clear note out of the head.

As a first step, I'd suggest double-checking on a reliable flat surface -- glass can be misleading.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

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Originally Posted by gconyers View Post
Ya Larry, the shells and hoops appear to be in round. There's no binding between the head and hoop either. Funny thing is, I can get these drums to sound pretty awesome but it just takes some extra effort and I know they can sound better and be tuned much easier.
I still recommend swapping hoops if you have extras...just to eliminate the possibility of wonky wackiness coming from the hoops.

I had a (steel? zinc? The heavy ones) die cast hoop that passed all the tests, yet kind ruined the tone of a beautiful stembent birdseye maple (w/ walnut re-rings) Carolina snare I have. As soon as I changed the hoops, it all went away. I happened to change to TF.

Those hoops dogged me for about 2 years, I kind of gave up on the drum. I'd pull it out every few months and try again, but no. Finally, I realized that the only thing I didn't try was swapping out the hoops. I mean I had it re-edged, twice actually, both sides, trying to eradicate freqs and snare response that really irritated me. But I continued to use the DC hoops that I ordered for the drum.

Then I changed the die cast hoops to TF, and bam, there's my drum.

I wished I had tried swapping hoops sooner in hindsight.
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  #18  
Old 07-08-2017, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha MCA Bearing edge issues? Toronto area Repair shops?

Larry, you were right about the hoops. I tweaked them slightly so now they are true. I was able to tune all of the drums so that they resonate for days.

Maybe one of these days I'll put the flanged hoops from my SC kit on the MCA just to see how big of a difference it is.
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