Yamaha Recording Custom - 22" kick head/tuning advice please


Senior Member
Hi All,

I recently purchased a mid 1980s Recording Custom kit in Cherry Wood. Sizes are: 8" x 10", 8" x 12", 14" x 14" ft, 16" x 16" ft, 16" x 22" kick. I added a 9" x 13" tom made in 2000 and was impressed that the Cherry Wood finish matched almost perfectly. The grain is slightly different but color is exact. The sound also seems to match the other toms very well. I'm using Remo clear Emperors on the tops and clear Ambassadors on the bottoms.

I am having some trouble getting the kick to sound great, however. It came with an Evans Genera EQ batter (no patch in place but one had obviously been there in the past) and the stock Yamaha reso head with a 10" center cut hole (non factory). I've tuned it just above wrinkle for the batter and somewhat above that for the reso and tried a 21" x 14" drum pillow in various spots (touching both front and rear, just front and just rear). Before I spend more time adding a felt strip, patch or swapping out the heads please give me your opinions about how to get the best performance from this kick - heads, tuning, damping, patch, etc. I'm using a DW 9000 pedal with the stock beater.

Heads I have on hand are:
Evans EQ1 reso (new)
Evans Hydraulic (new)
Aquarian Super Kick II with AQ Kick Pad patch
DW "Bass Drum Head" - no model designation but has a thin, white damping ring on the exterior and no patch.




Senior Member
First thing I'd do is to take the Yammie reso off. 10" hole is basically like playing without a reso head anyway. Chuck that EQ1 on and tune it a turn or two past JAW. Try it without muffling and then add to taste. Personally I wouldn't put a port hole any larger than 4", and I'd try it without one unless you're gigging lots, (most engineers I know like to have a ported reso).

As far as the batter goes I'd try it JAW or maybe a half turn looser.

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Currently using an Evans EQ1 reso with the slotted Studio Grill and a clear Aquarian Superkick I with no internal muffling. I tune the batter head typically several turns past JAW and the reso head slightly tighter than the batter head. I just keep tweaking until I find the right balance.

I hope to try an Aquarian Modern Vintage head with felt strip as a reso head with an Aquarian coated Force 2 batter head sometime this summer.

I typically use an Aquarian Super Thin Kick Pad on all my batter heads. No internal muffling unless absolutely needed.


Silver Member
Congrats on your purchase of a great kit! As you know it's a very subjective thing. I personally setup all my 22's the same way:

Coated Powerstroke 3 batter, usually with a beater patch
White Aquarian Regulator with the factory 4.5" hole

One (clean) bath towel inside. When I get the drum out of the case I position it so it's touching both heads.

Tuning changes depending on drum/mic/room. Un-mic'd I usually tune the reso pretty high for a more natural low end and presence. I try to use the towel to focus the sound, not deaden the drum.

With a mic I tune lower (the reso especially) and go for a deader sound simply because that is much more microphone-friendly. If you're in a high enough volume situation to mic the drums, the room sound is probably mostly inaudible anyway, so the priority should be to make the drums sound good through the system (within reason, obviously).


Silver Member
I have one of those RC kicks.. and it used to sound absolutely killer. I'd originally put on a Powerstroke 3 batter and reso which gave it a superb sound. People would come up to me and tell me what a great foot I had or it sounds like 'a velvet canon!'

But... when the heads eventually lost there oomph after a few years .. I tried switching to the Evans Emad as I'd heard great things about it. Unfortunately it was an absolute DUD.. it made the kick sound totally lifeless even when taking out all the damping rings. That head with the birch shell just doesn't work.

So.. then I switched back to a new Powerstroke 3, and although much better, I couldn't get the same deep 'thunk' that I had before.. so now I'm going to give the Aquarian Superkick 2 a try.. it's always sounded great on my Premier XPK birch kick. I also picked up one of the porthole things - hopefully this will get me back to that sound I'm after. I'll let you know after I install it..