What about Birch? Who make the best birch kits?

graysonator

Well-known member
Check out a Canopus Yaiba Groove kit. You will be blown away.
Although it is rather limited only coming in a 22-10-12-16 but if you're happy with those sizes, great!
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I’ve had 2 1/2 birch kits. The first one I still own 1988 Yamaha power tour custom with birch mahogany and birch shells. That’s the half LOL next up is a 2007 model Yamaha birch custom absolute nouveau and last but not least is a 2003 all birch tama starclassic Performer kit. The Tama kit is what I’m currently playing. All three are great and I haven’t noticed very much difference at all in them. If you get a quality drum kit they should be fine no matter what the brand is. I had my 88 model and 2007 model drums at the same time in the same room with the same heads and I could not hardly tell any difference between the two they sounded incredibly similar. I haven’t compared the tama drums with my old Yamahas I don’t have the room for two kits now and the heads are quite a bit different now on each kit. I can tell you that I really like the Tamas. I don’t know why but I’ve always liked birch drums it’s probably a mental thing LOL
 

jasz

Junior Member
My personal favorite is the Yamaha birch custom absolute (Japanese Hokkaido birch) with diecast hoops and "nouveau" lugs. but that's obviously dead and gone since Sakae no longer produces high end Yamaha kits and is a discontinued series.

The funny up part is these kits are very sought after now and are inflating in price...So I'm not sure if its lack of demand or YAMAHA just being out of touch with the actual market. I have no doubt Yamaha could emulate it easily, but their pricing structure (high end drums) and lack of finish options relative to drums from the early 2000s is just mind boggling.

Yes.. I know the recording custom exist and it does sound good, but I'm sorry.. I'm not spending 3.6k USD on a kit with terrible finish options and 1.6mm hoops... Even if the shell/bearingedges and hardware were tuned with a purpose. I'm cleary not the demographic but I wonder who really is.. Is it the endorsers that generally get shipped free gear regardless? lol.

Was hoping for a TAMA Starclassic "Pure Birch" line to fill a gap in their Starclassic line up (Kinda like the original "high end" versions from 94-97), but they probably don't want to overlap the Walnut/Birch hybrid shell.. I can understand this, but its definitely a different sound all around.

I would prefer separate birch and walnut Lines TBH.. I don't exactly care for the sound of the W/Bs. But I like the pure walnut Star drums.. and I obviously like Starclassic Birch drums.. but together? Nope :(

From the outside looking in (I dont know sales figures), Birch has always fell in this weird category of being considered low and high end depending on a brand philosophy... Which is bullshit IMO. Modern 2020 PDP kits with Asian maple clearly dont sound like DW kits with North american maple, but theres this stigma of maple = good regardless of context.. which has always been weird to me, but that's marketing at work.


Edit: Gretsch had RN1(diecast hoops) Walnut and Birch lines for a limited run but they discontinued them due to lack of sales. I would have bought one of those from DrumcenterNH (only $1000 on liquidation) if the only finish options weren't gloss black and sunburst fade satin.. Granted, not my favorite sizes either.


There is no best, only best for you. Because of this, I'm out.
Correct. All subjective.
 
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Frosticles

Silver Member
Have a set of 2005 Yamaha Recording Custom's & I will never sell that kit :) Also have a 1986 Premier Projector which is Finnish Birch (Beech re-rings) & that is phenomenal. I will only record with Birch Kits (But use a Maple Bass Drum)
 

petrez

Senior Member
I have no clue who makes the "best" now, but it saddens me to se birch being so much out of favor for most companies, usually they put the all-birch kits into the low-end category, if at all. Seems like every now and then, some all-birch lines will show up, and will disappear in about a year or 2 (like my BCX). I suppose it's all about the demand, and it's easier to remove the birch lines if people have a general consumption that maple is the best wood for drums anyway, and they got lower and lower in price.... I like Yamaha drums in general and I know they were big on high-end birch kits, but I really think their newer ones are way too pricey for what you actually get. If you look at competitors like Tama, Pearl, and to a certain degree, Mapex, look at how much you get for the money in comparison. But that is another discussion I guess. I really like the sound of my Pearl Masters BCX though, even though there clearly are better drums out there. But I guess I am in a minority for prefering Die-Cast hoops, I just feel they are more rigid and stay in tune better, but I might be wrong. I would put Yamaha Recording Customs and Sonor SQ2 up there for best all birch kits of today.
 
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Iristone

Well-known member
The most classic IMHO is Premier Series Elite, 3-ply, low profile die-cast hoop, with beech rings (beware of pre-international sizes though). I think the Soundwave, Projector and Resonator (with inside shell removed) have pretty much the same construction. Not sure how today's multi-ply Elites would fare.
Sonor makes great birch shell kits too. SQ1 should be good to go.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
The most classic IMHO is Premier Series Elite, 3-ply, low profile die-cast hoop, with beech rings (beware of pre-international sizes though). I think the Soundwave, Projector and Resonator (with inside shell removed) have pretty much the same construction. Not sure how today's multi-ply Elites would fare.
Sonor makes great birch shell kits too. SQ1 should be good to go.
I hunted around for a Premier Series Elite kit for a couple years. Really hard to find here in the US. Do you have any pictures of the model range you're speaking of?

I have an SQ1 kit that has changed my whole outlook on birch kits. Great drums but VERY limited finish options.

Note: If people read the OP question it reads "Who make the best birch kits?" not "Who makes.......". It allows for opinions about multiple brands.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
I hunted around for a Premier Series Elite kit for a couple years. Really hard to find here in the US. Do you have any pictures of the model range you're speaking of?
TBH I don't have a kit, but I can find some pictures of Keith Moon playing one, courtesy of Whotabs.
5443D261-1319-4BF4-AB47-2566CF903D99.jpeg
By that time maybe it was not called Series Elite, but the lugs and die-cast hoops look the same. Beware of pre-international ones though.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Kumu are pretty up there.
I'd rate Kumu as more than up there - pretty much the bar standard in Birch drums IMHO. Let's put it another way, if I wanted a birch set, I'd buy a Kumu before anything else.

BTW, when considering used / readily available options, another vote here for early Yamaha recording custom. They pretty much epitomise what a standard production birch set is & should be. I don't have sufficient direct experience to judge the latest RC offerings.
 
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