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  #1  
Old 03-24-2011, 10:01 AM
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Default Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

I posted this in the Yamaha Drums thread, but thought it might deserve its own thread.

I picked-up a 1980's Yamaha Turbo Tour kit a few weeks ago. Mostly because it was an inexpensive Mellow Yellow kit. This is a color I've liked forever, but never came across one. You can buy new Yamaha RC Anniversary kits now in this color for $4200 (no thank you). So, this was my cheaper alternative. The kit is made up of 12, 13, 14, 18, 24. Huge Turbo sizes. I'm not into drums that deep or large. My plan was to convert it into a jazz kit, and put the 24" kick aside for now.

I was going to use a floor tom conversion kit to turn the 18 into a kick drum. Instead, I decided to make it a full blown kick drum. I used hardware from the 24-the tom mount, spurs, claws and T-rods. I bought maple hoops and heads from Cascio Interstate Music. I sprayed the hoops to match, using Rustoleum High Gloss Enamel.

The 13 and 14 are going to be mounted floor toms, one on each side. The 12x12 has been sent to Precision Drum Co along with a 10x10 Tour I picked-up. They are going to be reduced in size to 10x8 and 12x8.5. I'm also having them make me an 8x7.5 tom. The 8 and 10 are being wrapped in Yellow Gloss, to (hopefully) match the rest of the kit. The final kit will be 8 10 12 13 14 18, so I'll have various tom options, depending on the gig.

Here's some pics. I'll post more when I get the toms back.

Bruce
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Last edited by BGH; 07-04-2011 at 01:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Very nice! If not for the almost unnoticeable bolt holes for the legs, you'd never know that drum started life as a floor tom. Please post when you get it all done... love the color.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Very nice! If not for the almost unnoticeable bolt holes for the legs, you'd never know that drum started life as a floor tom. Please post when you get it all done... love the color.
Thanks. Yeah, I covered-up holes from one leg with the tom mount. The other two sets are towards the bottom as you noticed. For those, I put a bolt through one hole and put an extra grommet through the other hole of each set. I also drilled a new hole for the badge you see at the top. That's not the original badge. The original badge is at the bottom. I positioned it that way, so you don't see the two sets of floor tom leg holes towards the top. I put the extra badge on top to make it look like an authentic Yamaha kick. So I have 4 breather holes with grommets, which give the drum more low end than just one hole.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Nice project!

Yeah, the 80's Tour series sounded wonderful, but the turbo sizes were always a bit overkill. I remembering being a bit shocked when Yamaha discontinued the original tour series given how well they sounded and sold. Plus Anton Fig was using every night on David Letterman.

I'm sure you will be very happy when it's all done.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

That is going to be a seriously sweet kit when it is all said and done.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2011, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Very nice. A few black stripes and you would have my Bee Bop Kit. The yellow hoops match almost perfectly.
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Last edited by GRUNTERSDAD; 07-05-2011 at 06:23 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2011, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Yellow drums capture the stage lights like no other colour. Natural maple similar, they take on the colour of the light so sometimes kit looks purple, red or green, depending on the light.Very nice.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

wow, sick find !!! the "professional series" BD pedal looks new (???) & one of my fav of all time. GREAT idea to turn the 18 into a kick & then cut the (infinite wisdom...NOT) square size power-toms to trad sizes.

but i would be tempted to put on black dots on everything & do Tony licks for hours...heh. this is going to be a bad-ass jazz kit. what heads will you use ?
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2011, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

I never did get why williams used clear black dots. maybe they were on when Gretsch gave him the kit. I vote coated diplomats on bottom and coated pinstripe on top, OR Fibreskyn top and bottom baby.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2011, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Thanks for the comments, guys. The yellow is very cool. Lord knows I didn't need another kit, but these just reached out to me. I was able to pick them up, so avoiding shipping fees made it all the more affordable. I actually had seen these a few times before it struck me as to what in the world I could do with them. The seller had dropped the price a few times to the point where it became too interesting to pass up.

I've only played 2 of the drums so far, the kick and the 14" tom. I have Aquarian SKI batter and smooth white Ambassador reso on the kick, which you can see. It gives this drum a nice deep tone and some attack, with a slightly ringy aftertaste. This is just what I was looking for, so happy with that. For the toms, I'm trying smooth white Emperors over clear Ambassadors. Although this is a 'jazz kit' for me, its not really being used for be-bop. Its for a band where we do a real mix of stuff, so looking for more of a contemporary sound. So far, the 14" sounds really nice with this combo. A little warmer than clear Emperors.

We'll see about the rest of the toms, when they arrive. Precision Drum says they'll be ready in 2-3 days. The Tours def have a bit of a warmer sound than my RC's. The Mahogany plies contribute to that, I suppose. Really looking forward to getting it completed.
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Last edited by BGH; 07-04-2011 at 01:21 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2011, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

One thing that didn't go that well was the placement of the spur brackets. I put them a little too high on the 18" shell (my bad). Even fully extended, the spurs ended-up being too short. I went to Lowe's and found several options to fix this. I bought a piece of 1/2" OD welded steel pipe. I fashioned new bottom pieces for the spurs, cutting them with a pipe cutter. You can kind of see in the pics that they are darker colored than typical. But this worked great; the spiked tips from the spurs even threaded into the inside of the new pieces, so all is good.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Here are the 3 drums back from Precision Drum Co. Not a perfect job, but very good. A couple of funky lug holes out of everything they did. The 2 wrapped drums are a bit lighter in color than the lacquer, but close enough. This is a kit for small rooms, not a showpiece kit. I forgot to take a pic of the shells, so here they are fully reassembled. I'll post more when its set-up.
I need to move the badge on the 12; it looks a bit odd in the original spot now that the drum is shorter.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2011, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Here's the kit, without the 13. The 13 will be a left side stand mounted tom. As far as the sound, the 18x16 kick is like a little cannon with the Dixson riser. If you need a riser for a smaller kick, I recommend this. The batter side floats on the riser, so the drum is not fastened to the pedal. It also enables the drum to be horizontal, without the hoop (and drum) resting on the ground. This really fattens up the drum with lots of resonance, similar to what a RIMS mount does for a tom. It sounds bigger than an 18".

The toms are very warm and suitable for small room or close miking. I'm sure the mahogany plies contribute to that. The 8' is all maple and is the warmest of all of the drums. Its 8-ply which I chose to try and match the tone of the others. That's fine since its a small room kit. They don't project as much as my RC's. I would say for unmiked large room gigs, I'd stay with my RC's.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by BGH View Post
Here's the kit, without the 13. The 13 will be a left side stand mounted tom. As far as the sound, the 18x16 kick is like a little cannon with the Dixson riser. If you need a riser for a smaller kick, I recommend this. The batter side floats on the riser, so the drum is not fastened to the pedal. It also enables the drum to be horizontal, without the hoop (and drum) resting on the ground. This really fattens up the drum with lots of resonance, similar to what a RIMS mount does for a tom. It sounds bigger than an 18".

The toms are very warm and suitable for small room or close miking. I'm sure the mahogany plies contribute to that. The 8' is all maple and is the warmest of all of the drums. Its 8-ply which I chose to try and match the tone of the others. That's fine since its a small room kit. They don't project as much as my RC's. I would say for unmiked large room gigs, I'd stay with my RC's.
Wow -- you really pulled this off. Love the look of a small kick drum with a few toms over it. Congrats on a sweet kit!
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Thanks, I can't wait to play them out.
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2011, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Very cool BGH ! I love those real Tour lugs and wish Yamaha would stick them on the Oak's or use them for something. Pretty nice sounding shells for a Birch/Luan hybrid..eh ?? What was it about the holes they did not get exact ??
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  #17  
Old 04-02-2011, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Everything was fine except for two holes on the 10". They were splintered a bit on the inner ply, like they pushed the drill too hard or something. Not a big enough deal to make an issue of it with them. They did a very nice job overall.
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  #18  
Old 04-02-2011, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Those came out nice.

I bet they sound amazing.

Congrats!
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2013, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

I have a yamaha turbo custom kit and I am very interested in cutting down the 12x12 and 10x10 toms to a 12x9 or 12x8 size and a 10x8 or 10x7 size.

Did your drums sound signifigantly different after the surgery? I like the way they sound now but they're too deep to be practical. Any thoughts in best depth to cut them?

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baptistdaddy View Post
I have a yamaha turbo custom kit and I am very interested in cutting down the 12x12 and 10x10 toms to a 12x9 or 12x8 size and a 10x8 or 10x7 size.

Did your drums sound signifigantly different after the surgery? I like the way they sound now but they're too deep to be practical. Any thoughts in best depth to cut them?

Thanks!
I never played the 10 or 12 in their Turbo state. I bought this kit used, specifically to cut down those 2 drums, and modify the 18" tom to a kick drum. So, I really didn't bother to play the 10 and 12 prior to shipping them off to Precision Drum. I still have the 13 and 14 in their Turbo size. I'm using them as floor toms and they sound great. I also picked up a 18x22 kick in the same finish, so I now have 2 kick options for this kit.

If you want to cut yours, either of those configurations should be fine. If I were you, I'd remove all of the hardware and see how the existing holes line up and compare with the dimensions you are considering. The existing holes may have a bearing on where you want to cut. This is what I did. My 10 ended-up being just a tad over 8" deep and the 12 ended-up being about 8.5" deep. Also, becuase I had Precision make me an 8" for the kit, I wanted progressively deeper shells for the rack toms, so I ended up with 8x7.5, 10x8 and 12x8.5. If you look at the pics in posts 12 and 13, you can see how each tom is just a bit deeper than the previous.
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Last edited by BGH; 02-21-2013 at 03:26 AM.
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  #21  
Old 02-21-2013, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Yamaha Tour Kit Conversion

Man, you are so creative. Those drums look sweet. I'm sure you'll enjoy them. I've still got my 88 model, power tour customs. They've always sounded great. They look funny now days though. But power toms will be back again. It all goes around. Right now 70's concert toms are coming back. So I guess power toms are next. Great job!
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