Yamaha Stage Custom


Platinum Member
Love 'em or hate 'em, it's hard to deny they've made an impact.

After getting back into drumming and having a whole lot of lower end cost sets, including a pretty big Stage Custom binge,
I told myself to just bite the bullet and get what I really wanted.

So - I got a Ludwig Classic Maple bop kit and a Ludwig Classic Maple 5 pc. Downbeat.
There - OK - I'm good now. I've got my keepers. (y)

Now I can go back to picking up orphan drums, modifying drums and maybe pick up a low cost set. :ROFLMAO:
I had a bunch of stuff laying around I haven't used in years, gathered it up and brought it in to GC to see what they'd give me for it.

They have in-store specials sometimes. Stuff that's not on the site and only at a particular store.
They had a new Stage Custom kit for 20% off, which is pretty rare for Yamaha,
and the stuff I brought in more than covered the cost, so I picked it up and brought it home with me.
10/12/14/20/with a 14" snare in Honey Amber.

Figured I'd do a little review and put up a couple pics, so here goes.

These have been out since 2014, but most of the ones I've had were the previous version with the silver badges,
and this is my first time trying the 'newer' version.
Same quality finishes, with good bearing edges, but they look a little, and sound a lot, different to me.

I've said a few times here that I was never satisfied with the bass drums of the Stage Customs I've had, but this one sounds really good.
Being 17" deep, I was expecting a lot of boom, but the note is short, deep, and defined, even with the stock heads.
Not sure what they changed, but I'm going to use the stock bass drum heads till they wear out.

The die cast claws are really slim and sleek - I like them a lot.
The wood on the insides of the drums looks a little weird - pretty white and light.
I think it looks a lot lighter than the previous ones I've had.
Maybe it's just a Chinese birch thing - IDK.
A coat of stain inside to match the outside might be a future project.
I'd probably do the unfinished parts of the bass drum hoops too, if I get around to it.
Also, on the inside, it's a little strange seeing just one screw per Absolute lug.

Either I'm getting weaker or these drums are heavier than I remember.
I always thought the SC's were light as a feather, but these have some heft to them.
Hard to believe going from six 1mm plies to six 1.1mm's would make that much difference, so it must be something else.
It still has the larger old style fixture for the tom mount on the bass drum.
Not the smaller one as used on the Tours and higher lines, but I have no objection to it.
The legs swing out to a fixed position stop - no guesswork, no fuss, no muss.

The toms have a more controlled sound than the older ones, with less overtones and sustain, even before I swapped out heads and hoops.
Once tuned up, the snare is perfectly useable.
10 lugs, but the thinness of the hoops might cause a problem if someone were to overcrank them.
I don't have spare hoops for the snare, but the ones on it will probably do just fine for me.

Everything is gasketed - all the lugs, claws, leg holders, and even the vents have gaskets on them. A nice touch on a lacquer finish.
I still think these sets are a good deal at the regular price, and an even better deal at the in-store special price.
They've been out since 2014, so most of this probably isn't new to anyone, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyways.
But enough words - here's some pics (click 'em):

3tom - Copy.JPG2side - Copy.jpg4claw - Copy.JPG5gaskets - Copy.JPG
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Nice-looking shells. Very low-key and classic.

I don't believe I've ever played a bass with a 17" depth. If I have, it's been on a backline/house kit, and I haven't been aware of it.


Senior Member
A very nice kit for the money indeed. Suggested it as a shared band-kit for the guitarist in my band last year, he had no clue what to get, then it's hard to go wrong with SC's I told him, especially the newer ones. Only thing I slightly dislike is the 1,6 mm hoops and shallower toms, but I've learned to live with it. They look good, sound great and hold up as far as I can tell. And after he got that and I could use it regularly, I got bitten by the practicality of the tom-mounting and general quality of the kit, so I bought a higher-end Yamaha kit myself :). I think the SC kit kind of rekindled that old Yamaha spark in me (my first kit was a Power V Special, kind of the predecessor to Stage Customs).

But yeah, nice kit :)


Platinum Member
That honey amber finish is really striking. Everything about the Stage Custom looks really classy and understated, and while there are a few details that betray their cost, I think they have it where it counts. Getting a good discount makes a nice kit even better. Congrats!


Senior Member
Lots to like about Stage Customs. I had one of those modern birch kits for a little over a year and still have my 2nd generation kit. I think the toms would benefit from an extra inch of depth and the unfinished bass drum hoops are a bit disappointing but those are minor quibbles. I paid $725 CDN for a five piece which is less than $600 USD. You just can't go wrong at that price.


Platinum Member
Great review. I've got the Mk. I version (silver/grey badge). But honestly ...... my admiration for these drums goes all the way back to the beginning 5000/stage series (when they shared the same lug as the 7000 series).


Platinum Member
That honey amber finish is really striking. Everything about the Stage Custom looks really classy and understated, and while there are a few details that betray their cost, I think they have it where it counts. Getting a good discount makes a nice kit even better. Congrats!

Honey Amber - are they drums or a dancer? :ROFLMAO:

I think I like the finish as much as the Vintage Natural on the higher end lines.
I don't think it'll hold up as well over the long haul though.

Really the only thing that gives it a 'cheap' appearance IMO is that the bass drum hoops aren't fully stained.
I'll have to address that ASAP.

I like the shorter toms compared to the previous version.
Easy to make everything sit nice and flat. And they sound really good too.
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