Yamaha 14" tuning


Junior Member
I have a Yamaha Stage Custom with 10, 12 & 14" toms. I have Evans Black Onyx heads. I love the sound from the 10 & 12 but the 14 just won't join the party. This is a suspended mount floor tom. To get a good tone I need to tighten the head to where it's almost as high as the 12" Has anyone else had an issue or can anyone offer a suggestion? Thanks!

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Lots of variables here.

What sort of pitches are you going for?

If you go fairly low that would be why many go straight to 16.

No rule that says heads have to match either.


Senior Member
I don't know if you are using a drum dial or a tune bot. Here is what I did.

I took the tunebot and after pulling both heads from my tom I found the natural resonant note of the shell.

Then I tuned the heads to the same note. It that was too high and I had the room in the tuning range I could drop the batter a full octave. If that was not possible I worked at different notes a third away from each other on the batter and reso.

On most of my toms I like to tune the batter higher than the reso. I have reversed that when tuning to thirds and am still able to get a great sound without having the batter to low to be responsive to a stick.

Let us know what you do.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
How is the reso tuned.? Tune the reso just above wrinkle, JAW, and then try the batter head. Finger tighten all of the lug screws then give each a full turn and I bet you will be close. if not tweak just a little at a time. Also check to make sure the hanging mount isnt killing the sound.


Junior Member
I'll try some of these suggestions tonight and report back my findings. Normally, I try to tune the batter higher/tighter to get more stick response but, I'll open to try all to get the right sound. I know I won't be able to mirror a 16" but I'll see how low I can go. Thanks!


Silver Member
I would tune the reso up for good tone and tune the batter for feel. That's how I have my floor tom tuned and it pops nicely. Low fat tone, with medium sustain.
If this doens't sort it out then you may have a problem with the drum itslef.
Check for roundness, warpness and check bearing edges. Also make sure the rims are true.
If not keep at it, you just have to learn that drum and teach it who's boss.