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When one works at a place where “absolutely everybody is obsessed with drums” (which all of us at en.beatit.tv certainly do), it is impossible to indifferently walk by a parcel containing a new Yamaha Recording Custom drum kit. Not so long ago, we received such a parcel from the Polish branch of the Yamaha company, which we were more than eager to unpack.

To hit on those drums, we invited Daniel Karpiński – a great drummer (known to Polish music lovers from such bands as Snowman, MIKROBI.T oraz Armia), an official Istanbul Agop endorser, and owner of the Poznań-based Avant Drum Shop. As a man who deals with a great deal of drum kits on a daily basis, both as a musician and a businessman, Danny was perfect for the role of a ‘lab tester’.

Yamaha Recording Custom drum kit

1. The test

The test was carried out in our own recording facility. The kit is comprised of two rack toms, a floor tom, and a kick drum, which were fitted with Remo heads (Remo Ambassador on the toms and snare, Remo P3 Smooth White and P3 Coated on the bass drum). We also used a brass Recording Custom 13″ x 6.5″ snare as well as a Sonor Select 10″ x 2″ Jungle Snare. Daniel Karpiński played the following cymbals: a 21″ Istanbul Agop Signtaure Ride, a 14″ Istanbul Agop Xist ION Hi-hat, an Istanbul Agop Turk Splash 8″ + Istanbul Agop Xist ION Splash 8″ Mini Hat, an Istanbul Agop Turk Splash 8″ + Istanbul Agop Trash Hit 12″ stack.

For the purposes of this test, Danny performed a track by his band MIROBI.T, titled “4 Steps To Nairobi“.

2. Basic specification of the drum kit tested here:

  • Manufacturer: Yamaha Drums
  • Model: Recording Custom
  • Kit elements: 10″ x 7″ rack tom, 12″ x 8″ rack tom, 16″ x 15″ floor tom, 22″ x 18″ kick drum
  • Finish: Classic Walnut
  • Character: vibrant, resonant, smooth, bass drum with attack and low end
  • Material: Birch (6 plies)
  • Hoops: Triple Flange (toms), wood (bass drum)
  • Heads: Remo Coated Ambassador, Remo US Clear Ambassador, Powerstroke 3 Smooth White, Powerstroke 3 Coated
  • Tom mounting: Y.E.S.S. System
  • Lugs: new design, one-piece Weighted High-tention Lug
  • Bearing edge angle: 30°

3. Product and sound

Recording Custom is almost an independent brand in itself, a studio icon – simply legendary drums. When building a revamped version of such an instrument, one could easily fall into the trap of trying to find something “better” to replace what’s already good and just does not need to be fixed. Fully aware of that, the company asked Steve Gadd – one of the most renowned drummers on the globe today and a long-time Yamaha endorser and fan – to collaborate on this project. Did Yamaha engineers and the legendary drumming master steer away from the reef we mentioned above?

It certainly seems so. Let us start with the technicalities. The drum kit is magnificently crafted (the way Yamaha have over the years) and there is absolutely no way something could have been blown off. The bearing edges have been given a 30° (exactly the way Steve Gadd wanted) to achieve a sharp response. Newly designed, heavier, one-piece Weighted High-tention Lugs are supposed to further reduce undesired noise from the toms without having to use a mute, nice-looking, open type floor tom brackets clamp tightly on the leg without damaging it, while die-cast claw hooks guarantee quick tuning and noise free operation. The famous Y.E.S.S. tom mounting system has not been changed (why would it be?). Just as in the past, the shells are painted inside.

Now, about the sound. The first word that comes upon sonic contact with these drums after tuning them is “vibrant”. The toms sound very, very vibrant, resonant, soft, and much smoother than the previous generation. Surely, shell depths have something to do with that (7 and 8 inches instead of 10, and 15 instead of 16), but also the fact that they are fitted with Remo Ambassador heads rather than thicker skins. However, that does not change the overall impression we had, which was, warmth, roundness and resonance. These drums are simply made for such genres as: jazz, fusion, pop, blues, country, R&B, ska, or reggae. The bass drum also brings something new to the new Recording Custom. Compared to the classic Recording, we have more depth, attack, low end and the body that is so favoured by rock drummers, but without losing warmth. A very successfully beefed up element of the kit.

New Yamaha Recording Custom kits are available in four finishes. The finish on the kit we tested is Classic Walnut, which is very reminiscent of the classic, vintage Cherry Red RC. The remaining three are: Solid Black, Surf Green and Real Wood.

All the shell sizes offered are available under: https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/drums/ac_drums/drum_sets/recording_custom_2016/size%20variation.html#product-tabs

Producer: https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/drums/ac_drums/drum_sets/recording_custom_2016/index.html#product-tabs

Distribution in Poland: https://pl.yamaha.com/index.html



  • Magnificently crafted
  • Stylistic versatility
  • Vibrant, resonant, smooth sound
  • Revamped kick drum sound
  • Excellent look
  • Y.E.S.S. mounting system


  • None

Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put the new Yamaha Recording Custom kit to the most important test of all, i. e. the en.beatit.tv viewers’ test! Exclusively for you, we give you Daniel Karpiński!