Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Snare Drum
The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch snare and series are affordable. The quality and sound are suitable for beginners to serious hobbyists and part-time pros.
The name is a counterpoint to the Yamaha Recording Custom snare drum which we have already reviewed.
One Size Fits All?
Henry Ford jokingly said that customers could have any color Ford Model T they wanted, as long as it was black.
Well, the Stage Custom Birch snare drum by Yamaha is available in five colors. Where you don’t get a choice is size.
14 x 5.5 is your take-it-or-leave-it option.
That’s no joke.
However, Yamaha makes an entire Stage Custom Birch lineup though – Mounted toms (6), floor toms (3) and a bass drum. But just one snare size?
What’s in a Name?
Yamaha went with Stage Custom back in ’95 as the moniker of a drum series that isn’t customizable, at least not from the factory. There are no wood, hardware or head choices.
You can customize the configuration of your kit, but that’s it.
The $200 MSRP for new snares is a little misleading regarding the drum’s quality. What it sells for isn’t close to two bills.
With those minor grievances stated, the Stage Custom Birch snare is a decent drum with a modest price tag. You get what you pay for. That’s the basic idea in this Custom Birch review.
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Snare
This 14x5.5 snare drum is produced in these finishes: Pure White, Raven Black, Cranberry Red, Honey Amber and Natural Wood.
It’s a 100% birch shell, which Yamaha says gives it “rumble.” The shell is 6 ply for good structural strength.
The Stage Custom snare is built with the Yamaha Enhanced Sustain System (YESS) which reduces contact between the shell and hardware, so no vibration is muted. The Yamaha R1 45-degree bearing edge is a sharp edge that creates crisp tones with plenty of snap.
These features combine to produce rich resonance.
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Snare Drum Information
Here are this Yamaha snare drum design details:
- The 1.8mm snare bed has more depth than some other snares. This intensifies the drum’s classic snare sound.
- The snare is 20 strands of high-carbon steel. Its plate has a unique bend in the design that increases snare-to-head contact. If fact, you can draw it tight to put the snare in full contact with the head.
- Yamaha uses a B-type release strainer. The butt is a P type. The hoop is a steel, triple flange design.
- The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch snare drum is fitted with a Remo UT Coated head on top and the UT Snare on the bottom.
There are no weak links in this snare. It’s not among the finest made, but there isn’t an obvious shortcoming either. All components are mid-range in quality.
Remo UT heads fit that description too. They offer good sound and durability. Nothing wrong there.
The sound range is adequate, but the low end is definitely stronger.
Yamaha’s unique, patent-pending snare design ensures good contact between snare and head. You’ll have to decide if you like the snare-heavy sound it is capable of making when tuned tight.
The price is about right for what you get. In fact, quite a few experienced drummers say the series plays above its price.
To misquote Henry Ford, you can have any size snare you want, so long as it is 14 x 5.5. More sizes would be cool.
You might decide that upgrading the heads will be necessary to optimize drum sound.
While the snare is right for most genres, some rock and metal players find it doesn’t deliver the sound they’re looking for.
Durability might be an issue. If you’re a heavy hitter, lack TLC or just play the heck out of this drum, expect it to need maintenance and/or repair at some point, perhaps sooner than you’d like.
Overall 4 Stars
This is a solid 4-star snare that should please most drummers. Some drummers might find it doesn’t give them all they want in terms of sound. For the rest, it is a 4-star drum worth the investment.
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