1978 Yamaha D900 Pre Recording Custom - Information Request

pgbrowndog

New member
I recently acquired a 1978 Yamaha D900 series Drum Set. It was from a one owner who purchased it new in 1978. This thing is like new condition from a music store. It is the "Real Wood" finish. The previous owner had these all cased up in hard shell cases in his living room for the last 25 years. The shells I received are 22" Bass Drum, 6.5x14" Snare, 12" tom, 13" tom, 14" tom, 15" tom, 16" floor tom, 18" floor tom, and both 8" and 10" concert toms. I have all serial numbers visible. For example, the snare is model SD-065D serial number 0J5066. I already set these up and they sound amazing! I am asking for two things if possible. One, as much information and history I can get on these drums would be great. Also, hardware. The hardware (stands) I received are in very good shape. However, I possibly would like to rack mount these or replace the hardware to original if available. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here are all the serial numbers for the drums I received:

1978 Yamaha D900 Drum Set

Snare Drum - SD-065D / 0J 6066
Kick Drum - BD-922D / 00 5027
12” Tom - TT-912D / 0H 5007
13” Tom - TT-913D / 01 5044
14” Tom - TT-914D / 00 5036
16” Tom - FT-916D / 0H 5001
18” Tom - FT-918D / 01 5022

8” Concert Tom - ET-908D (can’t find S/N)
10” Concert Tom - ET-910D (can’t find S/N)
 

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s1212z

Well-known member
Nice set!

I'm no expert but have you checked this site? They have a breakdown of Yamaha dating and if you have specific questions, seems like a great resource that is recent. According to the chart those aren't zeros, OH or OI they were made in Jan & Feb 1978...don't know how to read the Taiwanese badges though.


Didn't know they briefly made 9000 in Taiwan before going back to Sakae...interesting.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
WOW... that's an incredible score. I have a 1983 SD-970GA snare. It's a beauty! Those late 70's/early 80's Yamaha drums were solid, and sound great.

For rack mounting, you could use Yamaha CL940 Pre-YESS holders, or Gibraltar SC-DWLRY Hex Tom Arms.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
WOW... that's an incredible score. I have a 1983 SD-970GA snare. It's a beauty! Those late 70's/early 80's Yamaha drums were solid, and sound great.

For rack mounting, you could use Yamaha CL940 Pre-YESS holders, or Gibraltar SC-DWLRY Hex Tom Arms.

Killer late 70’s drums.

You can better use the Yess mounts as the longer rods will kill too much sustain.

You can also mount the toms in rims like many before you did, for maximum sustain.

Yamaha had a short period that they were making these, Recording Customs, and more at the same time they were using the Japan factories.

They did this to have a shorter turn-around time.

They did something like this in the UK too, when they owned Premier.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Man oh man ...... I am so effin' jealous......... Gorgeous kit.

Far as I know, the 9000 series (pre-Recording Custom) drums were only built in 1978/1979. Then, in 1980, Yamaha went to the longer high tension lug, and the Recording Custom was born. Yamaha had two lines in 1978. The YD-9000 series (all Birch) .... and the YD-7000 series (early shells were Camellia & Philippine Mahogany). The 7000 series lug is angular.

Come 1980, Yamaha went to the longer lug, but the RC retained it's all Birch shell. All the shell development went on, with the 7000 series. 1980 saw THAT shell go to Birch/Philippine Mahogany. in 1981, it went to Agathis/Philippine Mahogany. The 7000 series continued with the Agathis/Philippine Mahogany shell.

Yamaha took your split lug design, and put it on the Birch/Philippine Mahogany shell, and that started the 8000 Tour series. Later to be called the Tour Custom.

The angluar 7000 lug, was also used on a different shell, and the 5000 Stage series was born. And that became the Stage Custom. Eventually, the 7000 series was dropped.

Yamaha still uses the same basic hardware design your drums have, so the Ball & Socket tom holders are still available, as well as YESS and pre-YESS tom mounts. If you go to a rack ..... those tom holders fit the Yamaha Hex Rack clamps ...... and with THAT kit, you really need to stick with Yamaha hardware:):):)

You'll find Yamaha info at this link. The reason I jumped down that rabbit hole is I've had 3 Recording Custom kits, currently have a 9000 series kit (18x14, 12x8, 16x16) in chrome. And I have some 7000 series drums (12x8, 14x10, 18x16) in Dark Wood.


 

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MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
So regarding different series in the late 70's up until 1990, after consulting the library, I have found this:

In 1978 (International catalog) you had:
YD-9000 (small oval lugs)
YD7000 (angular lugs)

In 1982 (Japanese catalog) you had:
YD-9000RG, and G (Real Wood, and wraps, these all had high tension lugs)
YD-7000G (angular lugs)
YD-5000G (angular lugs)
YD-3000G (angular lugs)

In 1983 (International catalog*) you had:
Recording Series (high tension lugs)
Tour Series (small oval lugs)
Stage Series (angular lugs)

In 1984 (International catalog**) you had:
YD-9000RA, GA (Real wood, and wraps, high tension lugs)
YD-7000GA (angular lugs)
YD-5000GA (angular lugs)

In 1984 (Japanese catalog**) you had:
YD-9000RD, RG, and G (Real & Dark Wood and wraps, these all had high tension lugs)
YD-7000G (angular lugs)
YD-6000D (high tension lugs ***)
YD-5000G (angular lugs)
YD-3000G (angular lugs)

* Interesting thing to notice is that they didn't use the YD denotation in 1983. Yet they brought this back the following year, after which it was completely removed from the names.

**as you can see, Yamaha released the 3000 and 6000 series only in Japan. Also, the letters behind the series were different from the International released series, yet they meant the same in each catalog.

** It appears they tried to make a 9000 light version with the 6000, which had a mixture of woods like the 7000 series. As it only showed up in the Japanese 1984 catalog, I think it was safe to say, this wasn't a success.

In 1986 (International catalog) you had:
Recording Custom, and Power Recording Custom (high tension lugs)
Tour Custom, and Power Tour Custom (long oval lugs)
Stage, and Power Stage

In 1989 (International catalog) you had:
Recording Custom, and Power Recording Custom (high tension lugs)
Tour Custom, Power Tour Custom, and Turbo Tour Custom
Stage 2, and Power Stage 2

In 1990 (International catalog) you had:
Maple Custom (small square lugs)
Recording Custom (RC and RF, the latter meaning Power sizes, and high tension lugs)
Rock Tour Custom (high tension lugs)
Carbon Custom (only two made eventually, high tension lugs)
power V (coffin lugs)

As a side note.

It is interesting too that the Stage Series 2 (previous 3000 -7000 series and Stage Series) dissapeared in name in 1989 only to come back in as Stage Custom.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
So regarding different series in the late 70's up until 1990, after consulting the library, I have found this:

In 1978 (International catalog) you had:
YD8000 (small oval lugs)
YD7000 (angular lugs)
Is YD8000 a typo ? Because I've not ever found an 8000 series listed this early. And you fail to mention the 9000 series, which definitely was in production in 1978.
 

Spelldrummer

New member
I recently acquired a 1978 Yamaha D900 series Drum Set. It was from a one owner who purchased it new in 1978. This thing is like new condition from a music store. It is the "Real Wood" finish. The previous owner had these all cased up in hard shell cases in his living room for the last 25 years. The shells I received are 22" Bass Drum, 6.5x14" Snare, 12" tom, 13" tom, 14" tom, 15" tom, 16" floor tom, 18" floor tom, and both 8" and 10" concert toms. I have all serial numbers visible. For example, the snare is model SD-065D serial number 0J5066. I already set these up and they sound amazing! I am asking for two things if possible. One, as much information and history I can get on these drums would be great. Also, hardware. The hardware (stands) I received are in very good shape. However, I possibly would like to rack mount these or replace the hardware to original if available. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here are all the serial numbers for the drums I received:

1978 Yamaha D900 Drum Set

Snare Drum - SD-065D / 0J 6066
Kick Drum - BD-922D / 00 5027
12” Tom - TT-912D / 0H 5007
13” Tom - TT-913D / 01 5044
14” Tom - TT-914D / 00 5036
16” Tom - FT-916D / 0H 5001
18” Tom - FT-918D / 01 5022

8” Concert Tom - ET-908D (can’t find S/N)
10” Concert Tom - ET-910D (can’t find S/N)

Hello from the UK !

I have some background information which is interesting, I think..

My Friend Dave Neal who was Suzi Quattro's drummer in the 70's was approached during the USA tour ( supporting Alice Cooper.. ) by Hagi from Yamaha Drums, David was playing Ludwig at the time, Hagi was developing a new top of the line Yamaha Kit from Japan ( with Sakae ) and he asked if Dave would join the development programme, David was delighted to assist.
Upon returning from the tour, David who lives near me, had a lorry turn up unexpectedly one day, and delivered him a new Yamaha Kit from Japan, he was astonished at the quality and sound, and gave positive feedback to Hagi/Yamaha, and to this day, still uses the kit, a pre production prototype in 'real wood' finish. I must ask him to sell it to me when he hangs up his sticks...
By coincidence I had been collecting RC's for a few Years, my favourites were the early 'RA' series, rounded and black ( on my piano black set ) bearing edges and slightly thinner shells than later series, honest I measured them after thinking they were lighter than later ones, and they were !

Hope you find this of some interest
 

kevinmac

Senior Member
Man oh man ...... I am so effin' jealous......... Gorgeous kit.

Far as I know, the 9000 series (pre-Recording Custom) drums were only built in 1978/1979. Then, in 1980, Yamaha went to the longer high tension lug, and the Recording Custom was born. Yamaha had two lines in 1978. The YD-9000 series (all Birch) .... and the YD-7000 series (early shells were Camellia & Philippine Mahogany). The 7000 series lug is angular.

Come 1980, Yamaha went to the longer lug, but the RC retained it's all Birch shell. All the shell development went on, with the 7000 series. 1980 saw THAT shell go to Birch/Philippine Mahogany. in 1981, it went to Agathis/Philippine Mahogany. The 7000 series continued with the Agathis/Philippine Mahogany shell.

Yamaha took your split lug design, and put it on the Birch/Philippine Mahogany shell, and that started the 8000 Tour series. Later to be called the Tour Custom.

The angluar 7000 lug, was also used on a different shell, and the 5000 Stage series was born. And that became the Stage Custom. Eventually, the 7000 series was dropped.

Yamaha still uses the same basic hardware design your drums have, so the Ball & Socket tom holders are still available, as well as YESS and pre-YESS tom mounts. If you go to a rack ..... those tom holders fit the Yamaha Hex Rack clamps ...... and with THAT kit, you really need to stick with Yamaha hardware:):):)

You'll find Yamaha info at this link. The reason I jumped down that rabbit hole is I've had 3 Recording Custom kits, currently have a 9000 series kit (18x14, 12x8, 16x16) in chrome. And I have some 7000 series drums (12x8, 14x10, 18x16) in Dark Wood.


The Tour series was designated the 8000 series.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The Tour series was designated the 8000 series.
Which is what I wrote ..... "Yamaha took your split lug design, and put it on the Birch/Philippine Mahogany shell, and that started the 8000 Tour series. Later to be called the Tour Custom. "
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
Which is what I wrote ..... "Yamaha took your split lug design, and put it on the Birch/Philippine Mahogany shell, and that started the 8000 Tour series. Later to be called the Tour Custom. "

The 8000 was called Tour Custom (including Power and Turbo models, which had to do with depth) Tour custom right away at the release (I take it in 85/86 as that is where they showed up first in the catalogs).

8000 was the differiating number like the 5/6/7/9000 models were too. The first number you would see on the badge.

See the timeline above.
 

kevinmac

Senior Member
The 8000 was called Tour Custom (including Power and Turbo models, which had to do with depth) Tour custom right away at the release (I take it in 85/86 as that is where they showed up first in the catalogs).

8000 was the differiating number like the 5/6/7/9000 models were too. The first number you would see on the badge.

See the timeline above.
The first 8000 series was called tour, tour custom came afterwards
 

kevinmac

Senior Member
See the catalog overview for the proper
naming
I have an 8000 Tour set, which I bought new in 1983 ( T172 NW and T174 were offered). Tour Customs came afterwards In 1986. Check the 83 catalog and then the 86 catalog. The 83 Tour Series had no designator after the 8xx, the 86 Tour Custom Series had a C after the 8xx.
 
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Quentino

Member
Howdy guys. Greetings from Australia - just joined because I found a thread on here that wasn't 15 years old on these drums!!
I've been scouring the web intermittently for years trying to get info on the mysterious 'pre-Recording Custom' series 9000s.

I bought my 9000s new in 1979 - natural wood, satin finish, of course - from a shop in Perth, WA, where I was living and playing at the time (New Wave originals plus a few hand-picked covers from XTC, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello). I picked what I wanted from a massive array and ended up with the 6.5 steel snare, 13 & 14 mounted toms,18 floor tom and 24 kick (the one I didn't take was a 26!!). I've still got the same kit and all the hardware but rarely use it, preferring my 1960s Yamaha Red Thunder that I scored (minus snare) from a deceased estate; I bought a Golden Dragon snare of the same series to complete the set, hoping to one day find the sibling for my red kit. They do the job admirably for the styles I play these days - 50's 60s R&B, jazz, Soul. And believe me, these old kits are really nice sounding drums - always get compliments from studio engineers and sound guys at live gigs.

OK, to the nitty gritty - I keep reading (on US websites) about pre-Recording Custom 9000 kits having single lugs, with the high-tension long lugs only appearing on the actual 'branded' Recording Customs that were introduced in the 80s, precisely to hark back to the incredible 9000 series kits that Yamaha produced from around 1976-1979. BTW, it was really interesting to read the post from Spelldrummer in the UK, as I would hazard a guess that the kit they delivered to Dave Neil was probably in around 1976.

What is obvious to me now is that the 9000 series kits sold in the US were ALL single lug, and all the ones sold in Australia (and possibly everywhere else) were long lugs. I found a fantastic page on the history of the pre- and post-Recording Custom 9000 series kits on a German site (well worth a read - with a super translation from the German into English by google translate!):


In it I discovered how to determine the age of the drums, PLUS the two designations used for the 9000s to designate single lugs (letter D) and long lugs (letter E). I now know that my kit was produced in July 1979, has long lugs (well, obviously!!) and the snare was produced in August 1979. The Taiwan badge has absolutely no bearing on the authenticity of the drums - people are finally coming to realise that there is no 'better version' because it says Made in Japan. Any 9000 series kit from 1976-79 was Yamaha's top flight offering, regardless of what the badge says - in fact it's possible that shells were made in one place (by Sakae?) and drums assembled in either Japan or Taiwan, the latter no doubt offering cheaper labour in those days.

Interestingly, the only flaw I found with my kit in all the decades I used it professionally was the threaded brass inserts in the clamping mechanism for the stands almost universally came adrift - the designers and engineers really got that one wrong and I hope they rectified it with the Recording Custom in 1982!!

May be contentious to say this but I would suggest that the long lug versions of the 9000 series kits are actually a more genuine precursor to the Recording Custom they became in the early 80s. In Australia the 7000 series and below came with the single lugs. Food for thought. At the end of the day it means little, because the reputation that all of these 70s 9000 kits have attained is based on their astounding quality and incredible sound.

I hope this helps clears up some of the debate about what constitutes a 'pre-Recording Custom' and what doesn't, and the confusion and misinformation about the made in Taiwan badge. I have to say, when I bought my 'top-of-the-line' 9000s back then I was a bit miffed that they had 'Made in Taiwan People's Republic of China' written on them while the 'inferior' 7000s had 'Made in Japan' written on them. Not hard to see why they dumped that idea pretty quickly and began branding all their quality stuff 'Made in Japan'. From a marketing perspective, it still seems to have ramifications even today, 45 years later!!

My next step is to try and determine what my pre-loved kit is worth. I'd love to keep it in the family forever but alas my kids aren't interested in drumming :-( and I need to admit that at 65, it's time to declutter and I'm unlikely to need to use them professionally again. Decades of stuff in my garage is being singled out for 'Should I stay or should I go' treatment.

Happy to post pics of my kit or pieces of it if anyone is interested ... the long lug, Made in Taiwan, 1979 pre-Recording Custom 9000 super kit!! Thanks for reading,
Quentin.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
The single lugs (9000) came before the high tension (Recording Custom), that had to do with the time period, and not the location.

I have to check the catalogs for the years they switched (it wasn't a overnight one year switch if I remember correct).

The made in Taiwan/made in Japan had only to do with the big demand, not the quality or the model.

Unfortunately the Vintagedrum website is far from complete to get the info, but almost every website and forum post takes their info from that database.

As I maintained Yamaha's knowledge for quite some years (so having basically all catalogs from all series and direct source info when I didn't have it here on the rare ocassion) , I have seen this happen quite a lot.

I shared most of them to the Yamaha group in the past, so it might be there for every one to see.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I keep reading (on US websites) about pre-Recording Custom 9000 kits having single lugs, with the high-tension long lugs only appearing on the actual 'branded' Recording Customs that were introduced in the 80s, precisely to hark back to the incredible 9000 series kits that Yamaha produced from around 1976-1979. BTW, it was really interesting to read the post from Spelldrummer in the UK, as I would hazard a guess that the kit they delivered to Dave Neil was probably in around 1976.

What is obvious to me now is that the 9000 series kits sold in the US were ALL single lug, and all the ones sold in Australia (and possibly everywhere else) were long lugs. I found a fantastic page on the history of the pre- and post-Recording Custom 9000 series kits on a German site (well worth a read - with a super translation from the German into English by google translate!):
Interesting read. I learn something every day. Most of my Yamaha info. comes from Drumarchive.com, but certainly there are "holes" in it ..... since no one is computer scanning every catalog from every year from every country/continent.
Happy to post pics of my kit or pieces of it if anyone is interested ... the long lug, Made in Taiwan, 1979 pre-Recording Custom 9000 super kit!! Thanks for reading,
Quentin.
Yes ..... please post pictures of your kits. (my RC's/9000/8000 kits)
 

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