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  #1  
Old 07-07-2017, 03:53 AM
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Default Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Looking for the broad strokes as far as opinions. How do you all feel about Yamaha Stage Custom Birch drums? Thinking about buying one, they're reasonably cheap/inexpensive, but how do they sound? One of those would be an upgrade from what I currently have, but by how much? Should I spend the approximately $650 to buy one from Sweetwater, or save up cash for something better?
Decisions decisions.
Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

There are plenty of dicussions about these drums. I'll add a couple of points:

They're light and easy to carry around. This is one reason why the school where I teach has five SC kits.

The hardware is made of 'proper' metal and lasts forever.

Check out Darren Muller on Youtube - he plays a few different sized Stage Customs in recording studio settings. Shows the potential of the kits mic'd up and properly recorded.

*Darran Muller

Last edited by Morrisman; 07-17-2017 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Spelling: Darran Muller, not Darren
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

For the money it's the best kit on the market.
I've used these on many tours over the last few years and have zero complaints.
The hardware is rock solid, same as the professional line stuff. And the shells sound really great, especially with some good heads on them.

The music school that I teach at just got 7 of them for the new location we are opening soon.
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I'll add my love for the Stage Customs. They are in my opinion the best mid-range mass produced kits. I have owned cheap kits (less than $500), mid-range kits ($500-$1000), and semi-pro kits ($1500-2000) and I currently play a Stage Custom. I don't see the need to play anything more than this kit ever again.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Great set of drums. Great build quality and great hardware.

As far as sound goes they sound as good as any birch set made.
Try them out at your local music store.
Remember, how you play and the drum heads and tuning make all the difference in how they sound.


.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I have a Stage Custom as my shared/beater/gigging kit for when I don't want to take out the DW's or Gretsch's.

It is a great kit and better than the price would suggest.
I do wish Yamaha would have memory locks for their kits but otherwise no complaints.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2017, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I will also add my love for the Stage Custom

I had a 6 piece that I played for years. Evans EC2 heads worked like a dream for me on this kit. Snare is a bit weak, but we all replace those.

Hardware, finish, sound, build quality - there is nothing better for the price

See picture - it is now continuing it's life as an e-kit for my friends son with mesh heads. This means that I will never truly let it it go. Photo is missing a hi hat and further cymbals obviously
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2017, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Good quality build, great sound with heads of choice and bullet proof. What more could you ask for? If you want a "Better" kit expect to spend a whole lot more money, and sometimes just for the name on the badge.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

It would be nice if they offered a 14" deep bass drum instead of the 17" deep.
I also didn't like the 6 lugs on the bass drum of the Stage Custom bop sets I've had.

Other than those two things, I didn't have any real complaints about any of the half dozen or so Stage Custom kits I've had.
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

What are these "Stage Customs"? I've never heard of them before.
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  #11  
Old 07-07-2017, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Gotta jump on board the love train for Stage Customs. Bought my Natural Wood kit in 2011 and still love it. Mine came with the stamped bass drum claws and the 8-lug birch snare drum. Although the snare is not my favorite (that would be my Pork Pie Big Black), it sounds surprisingly good with an Aquarian TC-14 head and is very easy to tune.

One thing I like about the Stage Customs is Yamaha's decision to not offer their drums in fades or burst finishes or any with any wild graphics. They have a timeless look that will not "go out of style".
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Great inexpensive instrument. If buying used, look out for the black/plastic nouveau lugs that they used for a year. If you find a SC with these lugs, burn it with fire.
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2017, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
Great inexpensive instrument. If buying used, look out for the black/plastic nouveau lugs that they used for a year. If you find a SC with these lugs, burn it with fire.
Oh come on now, they sound just fine too.

I bought a used kit with the nouveau lugs. It's a good kit too. I'm not sure if it's all birch though and I did have to replace one lug. It was easy to find on Reverb.

Although I think this kit is great, I actually like my all birch Ludwig Element kit better. I don't think the Element line is available in all birch anymore, but a few companies are still selling the all birch kits. Drum Center of Portsmouth comes to mind.
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2017, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
Great inexpensive instrument. If buying used, look out for the black/plastic nouveau lugs that they used for a year. If you find a SC with these lugs, burn it with fire.

Like the one in post #7 above.

I don't think they're a problem unless you start them cocked and then try to tighten them that way.
They have to be lined up straight, and you have to keep upward pressure on the lug until it's
tightened enough that it can't slip out of position.
The other thing is I don't think they can handle how tight some people crank them on the snare drum.

.

Last edited by wildbill; 11-03-2018 at 06:01 AM. Reason: add detail
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  #15  
Old 07-07-2017, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Well thanks for the response everybody, really enjoyed reading the reviews and opinions here.
Yammies SC it is!
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Agree with everyone here that they're great drums for the price. Probably the best deal on a new kit out there. Of course swapping all the heads is a must if you want to get a great sound (yes all of them, including resonant heads). But on top of that, I'd recommend upgrading to thicker hoops. Of course that's a personal opinion, but even going from the stock 1.6mm hoops to 2.3mm will make a difference. And they're not that expensive.

But if you're really anal about getting the best sound, I'd also consider finishing the shell interiors with tung oil. If you did all three (new heads, upgraded hoops and tung oil), that kit would blow away most kits at 2-3 times the price.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2017, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Like the one in post #7 above.

I don't think they're a problem unless you start them cocked and then try to tighten them that way.
They have to be lined up straight.
The other thing is I don't think they can handle how tight some people crank them on the snare drum.
Yep. I had it for 7 years and they never went wrong. The snare was also fine for the short time I used it. Just not a great sound like the rest of the kit
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  #18  
Old 07-07-2017, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by MrTheOne View Post
Well thanks for the response everybody, really enjoyed reading the reviews and opinions here.
Yammies SC it is!
Good luck fella, you'll love em
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  #19  
Old 07-07-2017, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by JohnoWorld View Post
Yep. I had it for 7 years and they never went wrong. The snare was also fine for the short time I used it. Just not a great sound like the rest of the kit
I agree. I sold the SC snare, and now I'm using my Element Snare with my SC kit. I use my Pork Pie or Slingerland snare with my Element kit.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

The re-designed 10 lug snare sounds pretty decent, I think.

https://youtu.be/0KzJATz1oEw?t=89

I had several of the older 8 lug version, and with a little tinkering, they were useable, if not outstanding.
Most people will eventually end up with a different snare, whatever kit they get.
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  #21  
Old 07-08-2017, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I have an older version of the SC's. They're not birch shells. No matter, they sound fantastic and the build quality is great.

Here's a clip of Weckl playing the latest version of the SC's. They sound amazing.
https://youtu.be/cl-_zog-Bfg?t=2m23s
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  #22  
Old 07-10-2017, 04:12 AM
VicFirthDrummer420 VicFirthDrummer420 is offline
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

That finish = orgasm

Seriously, that finish looks expensive.

The natural finish makes the Stage Custom look like it's more than $600. I wish my Pearl kit had that finish. My next kit would be a Stage Custom with the natural finish.
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  #23  
Old 07-10-2017, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

The cherry SC finish is stunning also. I knew a drummer who bought a SC kit online years ago thinking it was a nicer set, paid way too much, it was the cherry finish, pretty sure he thought he was getting an MCA for a good price.


The SC's can fool a lot of people, they look more expensive than they are from 5 feet away, especially people who aren't drum gear knowledgeable, like a garden variety guitar player.


The SC's tom mounts are the easiest to work with on the market IMO also, a big plus not having to jack your fingers to adjust your toms.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by VicFirthDrummer420 View Post
That finish = orgasm

Seriously, that finish looks expensive.

The natural finish makes the Stage Custom look like it's more than $600. I wish my Pearl kit had that finish. My next kit would be a Stage Custom with the natural finish.
Not only are they pretty to look at but with decent heads and proper tuning, you'd be really hard pressed to tell the difference between these and MCA's.
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Old 11-02-2018, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
It would be nice if they offered a 14" deep bass drum instead of the 17" deep.
I also didn't like the 6 lugs on the bass drum of the Stage Custom bop sets I've had.

Other than those two things, I didn't have any real complaints about any of the half dozen or so Stage Custom kits I've had.
I know what you mean about the 6 lugs on the 18" bop kit. I had some concerns, however after putting on a PS3 and Evans pad the drum tuned up pretty easy and a nice punch for a small drum. Less lugs to mess aound with too. ✌🏻️
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

The sound was fine, I just didn't like the looks.
A 6 lug bass drum just just screams beginner set to me.
I had two of them and sold them because of it - shallow, I know - ha-ha.
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
The sound was fine, I just didn't like the looks.
A 6 lug bass drum just just screams beginner set to me.
I had two of them and sold them because of it - shallow, I know - ha-ha.
That's when you show the audience your talent, make that little 6 lug bass drum sing LOL
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by 2bsticks View Post
That's when you show the audience your talent, make that little 6 lug bass drum sing LOL

Seems odd, I know, but I think if I was playing gigs with it, it wouldn't bother me,
and I probably wouldn't notice it, because they sound great for what they're made for.

I just used them on my own - basement warrior - and they were the first thing I saw when I walked in the room,
and those 6 lugs on the bass drum stuck out like a sore thumb.
Like I said - shallow of me.

I had some pics posted here a while back.
I ended up cutting one down and re-drilling for 8 lugs.
It looked OK and sounded real good, but the thrill was gone.
I've got another bop kit now that I can live with though.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
The sound was fine, I just didn't like the looks.
A 6 lug bass drum just just screams beginner set to me.
I had two of them and sold them because of it - shallow, I know - ha-ha.

20 BD - 8 lugs

You had two kits with 18" bass drums?

The 14" FT has 6 lugs, but the only drummers who would notice are the drummers who've had the actual drum and tuned it. Virtually unnoticeable.

6 lugs on a 14" FT? No complaints here, S-HOOPS available in 14-6, the drum itself is even lighter still, and has a longer note than anyone can use, win all around.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
20 BD - 8 lugs

You had two kits with 18" bass drums?.....
At one point, I had two SC bop kits w/18" bass drums, and two 5 pc. SC w/20" bass drums, all at the same time.
It got a little out of hand.

It's a long story, but I ran into a couple deals I couldn't pass up.
One bop and 5 pc. set was in natural wood, and the other bop and 5 pc. was cranberry red.
So there were mix and match options. I also bought an extra 16" floor tom in natural wood,
but I preferred the 14".

Those sets are all gone now, but I often toy with the idea of picking up another one.
Since they cut down the toms an inch since I had those, I think I might split the difference and try a 22".
I haven't had one of those for a while.

And yes, absolutely no problems with the 6 lug, 14" floor tom.
To my ears, it sounded great.

A couple pics for old time's sake:
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Last edited by wildbill; 11-08-2018 at 01:39 AM.
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  #31  
Old 11-03-2018, 05:01 AM
Mike St.Clair Mike St.Clair is offline
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I hit on one for the first time last weekend and thought they sounded better and felt better through the stick than the Renowns, Superstars, and PDP Concept maples they had sitting out. That's just my crazy opinion I guess.
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  #32  
Old 11-03-2018, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I still love the ones I got last year. Had some tunning stability issues, but some nuts from the hardware store fixed that.

Got a plate to "virgin-ize" the kick from SoCalMike today. Will get some photos for that old thread tomorrow lol.

My only complaint was the tom mount didn't go low enough for me, even over the 20 inch kick. I prefer low and flat, but it would bottom out on the bracket (Hense the plate) rocking an 8/10/12/14 for the toms.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I observe in this forum a craze for the stage custom yam. Iíve played some ; I was rather unimpressed. Good kit of course - and good price- but if I compare it to my former Tama Silverstar, I tend to favour the Silverstar. Sound wise they play in the same park, but I found better hardware on the Tama (spikes, spur system, die cast claw hooks, tom suspension,...). Even the lugs and the finish was a bit nicer. The Tama snare wasnít something to remember though.
Just my counterweight.

Last edited by Tamaefx; 11-03-2018 at 11:37 AM.
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  #34  
Old 11-03-2018, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

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Originally Posted by Tamaefx View Post
I observe in this forum a craze for the stage custom yam. I’ve played some ; I was rather unimpressed. Good kit of course - and good price- but if I compare it to my former Tama Silverstar, I tend to favour the Silverstar. Sound wise they play in the same park, but I found better hardware on the Tama (spikes, spur system, die cast claw hooks, tom suspension,...). Even the lugs and the finish was a bit nicer. The Tama snare wasn’t something to remember though.
Just my counterweight.

When I was looking at that time, it was a tossup between the Stage Customs and the Silverstars.
I tried them both, they both sounded equally good, and both had some things the other didn't.

At that time, the Yamahas didn't have die cast claws and the Silverstars did.
Point for Silverstar.
The Silverstar bop kit bass drum had 8 lugs. Another point for Silverstar.
Yamaha had the tom mounting system that I highly prefer. Point for Yamaha.
The Yamahas were more readily available on a buy and take straight home deal.
Point for Yamaha.
The current stage customs have gone to die cast claws, and the snare sounds decent to me.

I have other sets I'm happy with now, but if I were deciding today between those two, I think I'd still go with Yamaha.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I am also upgrading the hoops to 2.3mm, not that it will make much difference but we shall see & hear!
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTheOne View Post
Looking for the broad strokes as far as opinions. How do you all feel about Yamaha Stage Custom Birch drums? Thinking about buying one, they're reasonably cheap/inexpensive, but how do they sound? One of those would be an upgrade from what I currently have, but by how much? Should I spend the approximately $650 to buy one from Sweetwater, or save up cash for something better?
Decisions decisions.
Thanks everyone!
I'll be the contrarian here. I bought a set of SCs brand new. I found them to be seriously lacking in too many areas. Stock heads are trash, floor tom legs are like tooth picks, rims are flimsy and of really low quality, inside of bass drum hoops aren't even finished. They are totally a beginner type kit. I didn't care for the way they sound either and that was after trying them with some better heads.

My take is save up a few more dollars and go for a used Gretsch Renown or a new Mapex Armory. I've seen new Armory kits on sale for the same amount of a Stage Custom. It's just my opinion but the SCs can't hold a candle to the Armory or Renown.

Here's a good review of the Armory kit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COp1Zq8RRww&t=54s
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  #37  
Old 11-04-2018, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

I bought a new Stage Custom "fusion kit" 20bd-10t-12t-14ft-14sn a couple of years ago and I never warmed to their sound. It was my fault for imagining I would enjoy a 17" deep bass drum, but even the toms which were the right sizes did not have the sound I wanted. I thought the snare was quite good though. Rather than try lots of expensive new heads etc. I swapped it for another kit and then sold that for a lot less than I paid for the Stage Custom.

I was in a rush to get a new kit, but I survived. I hear Stage Customs on YouTube videos sounding great. Yes the quality and finish was excellent.
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  #38  
Old 11-04-2018, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

When you are looking at "cheap" drumsets, I don't quite get all the criticism of the "stock" heads. I think it goes without saying that all drums need a quality head that suits your taste and style. I would have to disagree about the Renowns blowing the SC's away. Maybe the Renown stock heads suck worse, but I found the SC's to have a ton more character than the Renowns. I'm sure if you spent some time tuning both things might change.
Now those Mapex Armorys on the other hand did look pretty fantastic, I could only hit on a tom as they were on a shelf. I was told I couldn't get a 8" tom, so I lost some interest as the 16" tom wouldn't get used much be me.
I couldn't get past the lugs and mounts on the Silverstars years ago and I already had Starclassics, so I never gave them another look.
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  #39  
Old 11-04-2018, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike St.Clair View Post
When you are looking at "cheap" drumsets, I don't quite get all the criticism of the "stock" heads. I think it goes without saying that all drums need a quality head that suits your taste and style. I would have to disagree about the Renowns blowing the SC's away. Maybe the Renown stock heads suck worse, but I found the SC's to have a ton more character than the Renowns. I'm sure if you spent some time tuning both things might change.
Now those Mapex Armorys on the other hand did look pretty fantastic, I could only hit on a tom as they were on a shelf. I was told I couldn't get a 8" tom, so I lost some interest as the 16" tom wouldn't get used much be me.
I couldn't get past the lugs and mounts on the Silverstars years ago and I already had Starclassics, so I never gave them another look.
When electricians wire a new house, we put in basic light fixtures. Because we know they will get changed. We can't provide for everyone's taste, (unless other arrangements are made) so they are a good place to cut costs. They still light up the room.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike St.Clair View Post
When you are looking at "cheap" drumsets, I don't quite get all the criticism of the "stock" heads. I think it goes without saying that all drums need a quality head that suits your taste and style. I would have to disagree about the Renowns blowing the SC's away. Maybe the Renown stock heads suck worse, but I found the SC's to have a ton more character than the Renowns. I'm sure if you spent some time tuning both things might change.
Now those Mapex Armorys on the other hand did look pretty fantastic, I could only hit on a tom as they were on a shelf. I was told I couldn't get a 8" tom, so I lost some interest as the 16" tom wouldn't get used much be me.
I couldn't get past the lugs and mounts on the Silverstars years ago and I already had Starclassics, so I never gave them another look.
Renowns come with good heads. Clear Emperors. Like the SCs, you'll need better heads with the Amory. I put the requisite time in tuning both the SCs and the two Renown kits I've owned. Renowns are easy tuners. SCs not so much. Hey, if some of you guys like them, God bless ya. Me personally, I couldn't wait to get rid of them.
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