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larryIt’s no coincidence that some of the greatest drummers in contemporary music, such as Tommy Aldridge, Steve Gadd, Billy Cobham, and Larry Mullen Jr to name a few, have chosen Yamaha drums as their tools of trade. Yamaha is a world leading drum manufacturer with over 45 years of accumulated experience and technology in drum manufacturing, that has set an incredibly high standard for design innovation, quality and consistency.

Yamaha began manufacturing drums in its Niitsu factory in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1967. Over the decades, Yamaha Drums’ identity as a premium brand was formed around state-of-the-art techniques such as Air Seal Shell technology, staggered diagonal seam shell construction, UV drying, advanced lacquer finishing, and hybrid shell construction.

Since 1974 Yamaha’s high-end drums were produced by OEM manufacturer Sakae Rhythm Gakki in Osaka, Japan (with the exception of Yamaha’s flagship PHX Series). However, development continued at the Yamaha head office in Hamamatsu as well as throughout the world in consultation with the many members of the

IMG_1265Yamaha global family. A common misconception is that Yamaha’s Air Seal System was developed at Sakae Rhythm, but it was actually developed and introduced right from the first models that were produced at Yamaha’s own factories.

In 1997, Yamaha opened a new facility in Xiaoshan in China. Located two hours southwest of Shanghai, this multi-million dollar, purpose built Yamaha factory began with the production of piano parts and later adding brass, woodwinds, and more recently, select concert and marching percussion drums. Bristling with state-of-the-art tooling and technology, the Xiaoshan factory represents the culmination of Yamaha’s experience and investment in high-end manufacturing.

The time was right in 2013 for Yamaha to change and begin making its high-end drums in the Xiaoshan facility. This would enable Yamaha drums to benefit from all the advantages of a new and highly advanced production facility whilst retaining the traditions and values of handcraftsmanship that have been the core of the Yamaha brand for more than 125 years.

IMG_1235This new factory has allowed the delivery of an even higher standard of engineering, including an upgraded high pressure air bag system used for shell formation which has elevated the company’s Air Seal technology and construction consistency. The introduction of laser measurement technology as well as a more advanced procedure for UV drying has improved the durability and longevity of colour finishes.

Xiaoshan factory workers have undergone extensive, rigorous training overseen by veteran managers from Yamaha Japan monitoring all aspects of production from shell construction and finishing to final assembly.

IMG_1243Yamaha drum artists praise the new factory developments. Critically acclaimed by world renowned drummers Dave Weckl, Oscar Seaton, David Garibaldi and Steve Gadd, the new series of Yamaha high-end drums manufactured at the Xiaoshan factory are gaining momentum in the industry, already establishing a reputation for reliability, stability and durability on the road. The new Live Custom Oak series has quickly become a popular choice of touring professionals, backline companies and top-rated local TV show, The Voice Australia. On a recent visit to Australia, Yamaha drums artist Dave Weckl chose to tour with Yamaha Live Custom drums and whilst in the country.added the following post to his Facebook page, “Dave’s hittin’ it hard down under…and sounding amazing thanks to Yamaha Drums Live Customs”.

OS_setEncouraged by the early success of the Live Custom series, Yamaha has recently released their new Absolute Hybrid Maple series, the second high-end drum line to be manufactured entirely at the Xiaoshan factory. This new series inherits the hybrid shell concept of the flagship PHX series, consisting of a core ply of African tone wood Wenge, a very hard and heavy wood sandwiched between plies of Maple. This hybrid design delivers a drum tone that plays rich, clear and consistent across the full dynamic range.

The Xiaoshan factory and new line of high-end drums reinforces Yamaha’s commitment to their philosophy which states: wherever Yamaha products are made they are always “Made in Yamaha” with the same quality, precision and reliability the industry has come to expect.

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