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While dozens of great drumming brands make top-tier acoustic drum sets, there’s no doubt that Yamaha is one of the most recognizable and reputable brands in music. For years, the Yamaha company has not only manufactured some of the best acoustic drum sets, but also some of the best keyboards, synthesizers, acoustic guitars, and pro audio equipment.
Today, we’ll take a deep dive into six of the best Yamaha acoustic drum sets so that you can level up your drum tone skills in 2023.
What To Consider When Buying a Yamaha Drum Set
There are many factors to consider when buying a Yamaha drum set, including:
- Your budget
- The amount of space you have available
- The type of music you play
- Your skill level
- Whether you intend to record, perform live, or both
- The tone
If you’ve purchased a drum set before, you could name a few more factors to consider, though these are the most universal. It’s most important to determine your budget and intentions with the set and go from there.
With that in mind, let’s look at the wide range of acoustic drum sets Yamaha offers.
One of the best drum kits in the Yamaha lineup is the Absolute Hybrid 4-Piece Maple Shell Pack. We highly recommend this kit for experienced drummers, as it’ll cost you a pretty penny. And, to truly make the most of it, you’d need to have some expert chops.
This particular set comes with a 20-in kick drum, a floor tom, and two rack toms, giving you everything you need to start building a complete rig. Of course, you must purchase a snare and cymbals to complete it, but the pack delivers an excellent jumping-off point.
The shells use a blend of materials in a 7-ply construction design, which is held together with aluminum loops that keep things relatively light. You’ll appreciate the lightweight quality if you’re a gigging or touring drummer that has to lug your drum set all over town.
Beyond the actual construction, plenty of characteristics put this one at the top of the list for our favorite Yamaha drum set in 2023. You get fantastic hardware, plenty of sustain, a professional blend of materials, and optimized vent hole positions on each one of the shells.
The Absolute Hybrid is a solid choice if you’re okay with spending a little extra than your average Yamaha drum kit.
Yamaha Stage Custom Bebop
The Three-Piece Birch Yamaha Custom Bop Shell Pack is the best value you will get from a solid Yamaha drum set. The pack includes:
- kick drum
- rack tom
- floor tom
- the hardware you need to mount your set
Yamaha gets players a few kick drum sizes, including an 18-in, 20-in, and 22-in kick. In addition, the set itself can be purchased in five unique colors, depending on your style.
The shell construction uses 100% birch and Yamaha’s proprietary air seal solution. You’ll also find Absolute lugs and 45° bearing edges, which give the kit its characteristic sound. For any beginner drummer, the kit offers a practical and fashionable style.
Any experienced drummer might find the kit bare bones, though any drummer looking to get their feet wet will appreciate the standardized design. Plus, it makes a hell of a practice kit for intermediate drummers who don’t want to lug their more expensive set around town.
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch
The 5-Piece Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Shell Pack is one of our favorite kits for rock drummers, especially when purchased with the 22″ bass drum. It gives you a fantastic sound and all the oomph you’ll need to push through a wall of guitars and a grinding bass.
Note that this drum set also has the option of an 18-in and 20-in kick drum; in our opinion, they don’t provide the same rumble as the 22″ does. Any experience drummer will know the importance of size and how it affects the kit’s tone. Even a slight size difference of two inches can make for a far more desirable tone, especially in aggressive music like metal and rock.
Smaller drum sets are typically heard in genres like pop or jazz.
The kit comes with five pieces, including a kick drum, a floor tom, and two rack toms. In addition, you can choose between five different colors to suit your style, including pure white, Raven black, honey amber, cranberry red, and our favorite: natural wood. For a slight upgrade, you can also add a drum throne and hardware to the pack.
Suppose you’re a more aggressive player looking for a bit of bite. Then, look no further than any Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5-Piece Shell Pack.
Yamaha Tour Custom Maple
If we had to choose our favorite Yamaha acoustic drum set for overall versatility, we’d have to go with the Yamaha 4-PIece Tour Custom Maple Shell Pack. It’s worth noting that this is one of the few kits on our list made of Maple, which gives it its unique tone.
Compared to Birch, which is what most Yamaha drum kits are made of, Maple has a longer-lasting vibratory pattern, giving you more sustain. This type of wood is also easily manipulated depending on the thickness of the drum shell and how many plies it uses. While there is a time and place for Birch’s tight and focused sound, I often prefer Maple’s warm and balanced tones, especially in the lower frequencies.
Wood has always been a hot-button topic amongst drummers, but without getting too deep into it, the idea here is that Maple significantly impacts how this shell pack sounds. Beyond the tone, the design and appearance are fantastic. You get the same high build quality with most Yamaha kits, though with a more classic style. Plus, Yamaha offers several customizable packages for those who want to integrate their own aesthetic.
The Yamaha Tour Custom Maple 4-Piece Shell Pack comes with a kick, a floor tom, and two rack toms. I recommend this Yamaha kit if you can afford to shell out extra cash for a maple wood experience.
Yamaha Recording Custom
One of the great things about the Yamaha Recording Custom 4-Piece Shell Pack is its recording-friendly design, which delivers reduced interference in smaller studio spaces. In addition, the unique construction of the shells blocks out interference from nearby drums without mutes, giving you a clear and focused sound.
Aggressive drummers will also be happy with the oomph of the 22″ kick drum, the hefty floor tom, and the two standard rack toms.
The unique resonant quality and warm, clear tone of these drums couldn’t exist without the Remo’s Ambassador heads that sit up top, giving it a sound that can best be described as classic. The kit is super easy to construct and even easier to play.
Yamaha Stage Custom Hip 4-Piece Shell Pack
If compact is the name of the game, then the Yamaha Stage Custom Hip 4-Piece Shell Pack should be in your line of sight. One of the main selling points of this drum set is its tiny footprint, which is suitable for most home studios and tight stage setups. You can easily set this thing up in an average bedroom for practice at home, and with its smaller size comes a quieter sound, making indoor practice more feasible.
One unique feature of this kit is the 20-strand snares found on the bottom of the floor tom, allowing you to effectively change it into a 13″ snare drum. So, while Yamaha sells this kit as a 4-piece, you could call it a 5-piece hybrid set.
As with most of the packs above, the shells use 100% birch, giving you that tight and focused sound we discussed earlier.
For the price and size, this is a fantastic kit that will suit the needs of most drummers, mainly thanks to its compact size. Don’t let the small size fool you, however, as this kit packs a punch and a surprisingly sturdy and durable. While it might come with fewer pieces than some players might enjoy, it’s a great kit at home if you can’t afford to take up real estate or annoy your neighbors.
There you have it, some of the best Yamaha acoustic drum sets in 2023. The beauty of Yamaha is that the company makes instruments for musicians of just about any skill level. A few of the sets on our list are better for beginners, while some are better suited to experienced or professional players.
The point is that you can find a set that fits your skill level for your budget, so you can get the most from it while staying motivated to play.