The Yamaha Stage Custom is a great step up from the beginner lines. It uses a great pack of birch shells that never fail to impress, and the hardware is rock solid, like in most Yamaha products. This is a common drum set I see at gigs or in studios. The number of products in a market usually isn’t an indicator of quality, but with the Yamaha Stage Custom is certainly is. I have never owned this kit, but have played on it many times and have owned similar, comparable Yamaha kits.
The birch wood shells sound really warm and bright. You can tell it is birch right away (if tuned properly), and the sound really lends itself to a recording situation. The toms are excellent, and can be tightened hard to produce a really crisp, high pitched timbale-like sound in smaller tom diameters. If left loose, they embrace deeper qualities, and the variation is surprising. The bass drum is good, especially when hollow. I really like the sound an empty birch bass drum makes in the studio. The snare is probably the weakest part, but that not saying much. It blends with the rest of the kit well.
The Yamaha hardware is one of the best parts to this kit. The ball in socket hardware is simple, but effective. It is bulky, in a good way, providing sturdy support and easy adjustment. It doesn't look super fancy, but it totally gets the job done. I have an eye for quality, so I feel that it looks great. The shells themselves are gorgeous, and the multiple shell pack options are all good. I was mostly familiar with the red/orange fade, which was great. I really suggest this product to anyone out there looking for an affordable birch kit with longevity and character. If maple is desired, spring for the tour custom. Otherwise, look no further.
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