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Old 10-13-2018, 09:30 AM
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Default Progress on the vintage Yamahas

So I dismantled the vintage Yamaha kit today. What I wanted to point out about this hardware that's 50 years old (assuming since Yamaha started making drums in 1967, maybe this kit was made in 1968 or so?) is that nothing was stuck! When I went to take off the lugs, every screw came out easily, I didn't have to muscle anything. Usually if I work on a vintage Ludwig kit, there's always some lug that will strip out and has to be replaced (and for me they're usually younger than 50 years since I like the Ludwigs of the late 70s). But all the parts came off easily. None of the chrome plating appears to have come off. There's some oxidizing happening to the screws, but I figure that's normal. The fact that nothing stripped out or cracked off seems a testament to Yamaha engineering, or maybe they did build things better back then?

Anyway, the inside of the shells got a light sanding (I'll later apply some oil to the shells to bring back some life after 50 years of drying out). I glued in some caps on the big holes, and used wood filler for the small holes. I am going to re-drill the floor tom mounts for the 2-inch size of the Ludwig classic mounts. I'd love to keep the Yamaha ones, but there are no replacements for those if those go.

The bass drum spur mounts function much better than the old Gretsch ones (they're also bigger), so I'm keeping those, but I've upgraded the straight legs to new models with big rubber feet that screw on (those show up next week). I'll give the kit a good cleaning and assemble it and gig it. I think this kit's gonna work out for a few more years.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Progress on the vintage Yamahas

Nice kit, nice pictures.

I did all this a year ago when I got my Ď68 Pearl kit. Everything still worked and dismantled cleanly. I also oiled the inside of the dry shells, lightly sanded the bearing edges, polished up the lugs and rims, etc. Also packed the lugs with cotton balls to stop the springs buzzing. The rail mount still worked, so I didnít have tp plug any holes.

Played for a 50ís show last night - it looks and sounds the part perfectly. And inspired by your other thread, I used the phosphor bronze sensitone with it, and it fitted really well (high-ish tuning).

Have fun with that Yamaha, itís great seeing old kits getting a new lease of life.
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: Progress on the vintage Yamahas

Nice project-that's amazing nothing was stuck-and the kit looks in good shape. In the second pic is that a crack on left side? Have any idea what wood it is made of? Looks like a perfect gigging kit. But if I had a beautiful gold flake with wood hoops kit then I'd be like doh. You remind me of my neighbor every week it's a new orphan dog she's keeping a bit-you and orphan drum kits seem to have the same pattern.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Progress on the vintage Yamahas

Kit sounds great on the FB post.

Meant to ask what's the wood? Is it more a Ludwig copy or is there something unique going on.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Progress on the vintage Yamahas

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
Kit sounds great on the FB post.

Meant to ask what's the wood? Is it more a Ludwig copy or is there something unique going on.
It's probably some mystery combination of woods. Maybe luan, maybe mahogany, maybe birch. The inner ply that goes horizontal inside the shell certainly looks more maple now that it's been re-oiled, but who can be sure? The whole reason these kits were much cheaper than comparable Ludwigs or Gretsch's had to be woods, and sourcing all the hardware outside the US. Although I think, unlike other Made In Japan kits, Yamaha and Pearl probably made everything themselves which probably attests to their lugs not stripping out or cracking. Even the original floor tom leg brackets seem pretty robust (which I still swapped out with Ludwig ones).

I have discovered that I hate those straight leg spurs though. I thought I'd dig it for the vintage look, but they actually make the bass drum teeter-totter because of where they're placed. I'm too modern in how I like my bass drum to feel so I'll be installing modern bass drum spurs this week that properly lift the front end up a bit and changing the balancing point of the drum.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Progress on the vintage Yamahas

Really cool Bo. You made me look on Reverb for gold sparkle Stewarts, my first set. I won't buy them but you did pique my curiosity.

Links to recordings?
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Progress on the vintage Yamahas

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Really cool Bo. You made me look on Reverb for gold sparkle Stewarts, my first set. I won't buy them but you did pique my curiosity.

Links to recordings?
Just this one so far: https://youtu.be/4-KVBYzf6is

But now the kit is back in pieces for now. I need to pack the lugs on the small tom since one of the springs is rattling. And the bass drum gets new spurs soon. Then Iím gonna try some thicker Evans heads I have. Stay tuned!
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