Considering a Yamaha Oak Custom set - Tell me everything you know...

SgtThump

Platinum Member
I've done lots of searches, watched YouTube videos, etc... In general, the Yamaha Oak Custom seems to get rave reviews! There's a new one on clearance for $1,499 in a local store in the Musashi Black (transparent black) lacquer and I'm considering getting it. I haven't played it yet and I've never heard one of these in person. I just think that price seems like a good fair deal for a new Oak Custom.

I looked it over a little and even though this isn't a huge deal to some, the bass drum claws seemed cheap to me and didn't really live up to the things I read about Yamaha's quality being top notch? That confused me a bit and is pretty much the reason I started this thread. I do have Yamaha stands and love them, so I'm not dogging the company or anything. I guess I just expected a little more (with the bass drum claws, anyway.)

Are the Yamaha Oak Customs kickass and super high quality as I've read or just decent kits?

The kit in question is 22/10/12/16 with bass drum mounted toms. This would give me the same setup as my Pearl Reference kit, but with a little bigger bass drum and floor tom. These are also supposed to be pretty loud, which is a good thing for my original rock band.

I currently have an early '80s Corder/Fibes kit in 22/10/16 and a Pearl Reference kit in 20/10/12/14. To be honest, the extremely high quality of the Pearl Reference kit has kinda ruined other kits for me. Nothing feels as high quality as that one IMO.

Anyway, just looking for opinions and basically anything to help talk me into getting the Yamaha Oak Custom OR to talk me out of it. Thoughts?

Chris
 

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SgtThump

Platinum Member
Since I rambled on above, let me summarize what the Yamaha gives me that my Pearl Reference doesn't.

- Larger 17"x22" bass drum (compared to the Pearl 18"x20")
- Larger 16" floor tom (compared to the Pearl 14")
- Toms mount to the bass drum, which means easier setup (not sure about comfort, though)
- The oak wood is supposed to make these louder and punchier, which isn't a bad thing for my rock band

I have money and it's burning a huge hole in my pocket, so this may just be an impulse thing. LOL
 

Doug Masters

Silver Member
Hey Sgt, I have been gigging with my Oaks for 4 years. 10,12,16,22. I would say go for it. To my ear they are a little brighter than maple. People claim they sound louder but that may be just perception based on the brighter sound. But they do seem to "cut thru" better than other kits. Other musicians often compliment my sound and ask me what kind of drums they are. I like the hardware. Its simple and makes for relatively quick set up with one exception: there are no memory locks on the floor tom legs. I just took a sharpie and made a line across the legs to help with that. You mentioned the bass drum claws. Its never been an issue with me. Nothing has come loose on the kick or any tom. At every head change I check all the screws etc. No issues there. If it helps my band plays everything from Journey to Godsmack. Currently use clear emp/amb combo with an EMAD on the kick. For $1499 I'd grab it!
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I used the Yamaha Oak Customs on a recording and I liked them a lot. They're very nice drums. Sounds like a steal at that price too. Does that include the snare?
 

FlamFlamMan

Senior Member
I've never played an Oak Custom set but I've played an Oak snare and many other Yamaha's. Regarding the bass drum hoop claws, I would say Yamaha has more than enough quality. Personally I've never had a hoop claw break or bend. It's just not a high problem area, and even with student's cheap Chinese junk drums (ie, Thunder Drums) they have never given me a problem. The biggest problems regarding hardware are lugs detuning, stand stability, and bolts stripping out. Yamaha does a good job with this stuff.

Regarding the Oak Custom snare I've played it seemed quite loud and bright. I think it was a 7 x 14, and I would have bought it if the guy would work with me a little on the price.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'd say buy it new and gig them and if you don't like them, return them. Use the crap out of the return policy. Consider it a test drive, if you will. The only way to know is for YOU to try them at a gig. Trying them in a store or your house just isn't the same.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
All,

Thanks for the input!

Regarding the bass drum claws on the Yamaha... My comment wasn't about them breaking or them not doing their job. I'm sure they're fine! I'm just saying that they seemed/felt cheap to me, compared to many other kits. Does that bother me enough to not buy it? Of course not! But it did make me want to start this thread asking for opinions on these kits. :)

Chris

PS - I am talking about Guitar Center, so there's the 30 day return policy. There are two GCs near me. One has the red version and the other store the black version. I don't think either includes a snare.
 

FoolInTheRain

Senior Member
The last drummer I shared a practice room with had a set of these. I heard them played quite often. I never really picked up on the increase in volume many people say these have. They just sounded like any other really nice set of drums. It sounds like you already have your mind up, but I'm still gonna say go for it anyway.
 

Doug Masters

Silver Member
PS - I am talking about Guitar Center, so there's the 30 day return policy. There are two GCs near me. One has the red version and the other store the black version. I don't think either includes a snare.
Get the black, they'll sound better. ;)
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
Went to the shop over lunch, took them down off the shelf, and messed with them for a VERY short while. They sounded huge and very nice. I think I can hear them being louder, but I wouldn't know that until I get them home.

I didn't buy them yet. He had to check to see if the 30-day return policy still applies, since they're on clearance. I didn't have much time to wait around, so he'll call me to let me know.

It's brand new, but there was a ding or two in the finish. Not a huge deal, just sayin...
 

scorch whammin

Gold Member
Went to the shop over lunch, took them down off the shelf, and messed with them for a VERY short while. They sounded huge and very nice. I think I can hear them being louder, but I wouldn't know that until I get them home.

I didn't buy them yet. He had to check to see if the 30-day return policy still applies, since they're on clearance. I didn't have much time to wait around, so he'll call me to let me know.

It's brand new, but there was a ding or two in the finish. Not a huge deal, just sayin...
The oaks are gonna be louder, and in a good way...we just purchased the live custom oaks at my church (set them up last night)... They were 6 db louder, compared to the premier birch kit we were using...also the lower frequencies were much more pronounced in the oak kit....
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I haven't played one but I've seen a red one in the flesh and its one of my favourite looking kits. Black is kinda boring, and I've got a black kit.
 

BGH

Gold Member
I also have my eye on an Oak Custom kit. I'm hoping to snag it soon. As far as the kick drum claws, they are the same claws that Yamaha used on the RC's, Maple Customs and the original Absolutes. They are fine. The real budget claws are used on the Stage Series. The claws on the Oak are much better: thicker, larger, sturdier and better quality chrome.
 

sXeDanimalsXe

Senior Member
I have played the oaks before. They, as said already might not be actually louder, but they have a lot of projections and presence. To me Oak and Bubinga drums really jump out at me. It's obvious immediately that it's not a maple or birch kit. I am a fan of them.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
I also have my eye on an Oak Custom kit. I'm hoping to snag it soon. As far as the kick drum claws, they are the same claws that Yamaha used on the RC's, Maple Customs and the original Absolutes. They are fine. The real budget claws are used on the Stage Series. The claws on the Oak are much better: thicker, larger, sturdier and better quality chrome.
Yeah, I hear ya. I could be mistaking, but the claws on the Oak Customs I've seen here locally DID look like cheap budget claws. I was surprised by that. Again, not trying to bash anything. I mean, we're just talking about bass drum claws. :)
 

jofizzm

Senior Member
Do eet!
I got mine a few months ago, and I love em. Granted, I still am favoring the sound of my maple kit, but the oaks do sound great. Actually, as of a few days ago the guitar center in Beaverton, OR has a four piece in the natural finish for $1100 new. I know it's missing a rubber foot on a spur, but that's worth $400 bucks, no? :D I think it's even the same sizes. Give em a call.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
....I currently have an early '80s Corder/Fibes kit in 22/10/16 and a Pearl Reference kit in 20/10/12/14. To be honest, the extremely high quality of the Pearl Reference kit has kinda ruined other kits for me. Nothing feels as high quality as that one IMO...

...I have money and it's burning a huge hole in my pocket, so this may just be an impulse thing. LOL ...

... Thoughts?

Chris

Sounds to me like you don't need them, and might not really even want them. Maybe better to let them go to someone for whom it'd be their dream kit
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Sounds to me like you don't need them, and might not really even want them. Maybe better to let them go to someone for whom it'd be their dream kit
That's actually really insightful wildbill...

I have had my Yamaha Oak kit for about 4 years. Every sound guy and studio engineer I've worked with has loved them. They tune up as good as any Yamaha kit I've heard. Ultimately though, they are just another top-end kit and honestly with the other two that you are already rocking, it would be like deciding who your favorite child is...
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
All very good points. Thanks guys! I only spent a brief moment with them in the store, but they sounded fantastic.

I'm heading down to Forks Drum Closet tomorrow and spending the weekend in Nashville. I can't imagine me not coming home with some cool stuff, so stay tuned! :)
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
I have been using the oak customs for about 4 years in all types of gigs. Indoor small rooms, outdoors, large venues and they sound great in any situation. I go back and fourth between Remo ambassador X and clear emperors, both sound great (PS3 Clear on kick) I get many compliments from sound guys not to mention other drummers which is always nice. The oaks in my mind are the perfect gigging kit. They won't break the bank, they take a beating and they sound as good as anything out there IMHO. Regarding the spurs, never had an issue. Built to last. One thing I want to mention, does that bass drum on your picture only have 8 lugs? There should be 10 for a 22" bass drum on the oak line, see my pic.
 

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