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NAMM 2017: Yamaha Company celebrates 50 years of drum making

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NAMM 2017: Yamaha Company celebrates 50 years of drum making


For 50 years, Yamaha drums have garnered high acclaim from the world's top drummers ever since the company's first drums were created in 1967. Unsurpassed in sound and quality, they continue to receive praise and admiration throughout the drum industry to this day.

Yamaha has always approached the art of instrument making with respect to the instrument's origins. The company set out to manufacture its first acoustic drums with great courage, drawing upon some of the best facets of Japanese culture: an industrious work ethic, meticulous attention to detail, advanced technologies, and focused passion and energy in making the very best sounding drums.

Innovations developed by Yamaha include the legendary Recording Custom, HEXRACK, ball-style tom mount that rotates 360 degrees, locking hi-hat clutch, and the YESS (Yamaha Enhanced Sustain System). Manufacturing advances pioneered by Yamaha include the use of high-gloss piano lacquer finishes and the Air-Seal System process with staggered diagonal seams, which contributes to perfectly round shells by using an inflatable bladder to exert uniform pressure on the inside of the handmade shells.

Not only was Yamaha the first drum company to pioneer innovative acoustic drums and hardware, but it also produced ground-breaking electronic percussion products that integrate seamlessly with its acoustic counterparts creating a new generation of hybrid products. Yamaha continues to innovate manufacturing processes developed over five decades and remains dedicated to designing and creating superior instruments for musicians around the world.

Yamaha Drums has marked its growth and evolution with several notable milestones:
1967: Yamaha drums is born with the launch of D20 drumset utilizing the revolutionary Air-Seal System
1972: Al Foster is the first signed drum artist
1975: Industry-first hideaway boom stand introduction
1976: Revolutionary System Drum and System Hardware concept launch
1977: Introduces innovative tom ball mount – as well as YD9000, the precursor to Recording Custom
1986: First electronic drum kit launch: Yamaha Electronic Percussion System
1988: Super Rack System launch
1989: Presents Rock Tour Custom drumset
1991: Introduces Maple Custom and small-body lugs placed at the shell's nodal points
1993: Unveils YESS mounting system, along with locking hi-hat clutch system
1996: Launches Stage Custom series, redefining entry-level value
1998: Absolute series debut
1999: Unveils HipGig series, creating a working drummer's compact kit without sacrificing sound
2002: Manufactures first 100 percent oak shells for Oak Custom series
2003: Releases innovative Nouveau Lug, the precursor to the Hook Lug
2008: Introduces the PHX series, the pinnacle of drum craftsmanship and sound
2011: Launches 100 percent kapur Club Custom series
2016: Redefines the iconic Recording Custom in collaboration with legendary artist Steve Gadd
2017: Celebrates 50 years with limited-edition drumsets

"In some ways this 50th Anniversary landmark reminds us of how young we actually are compared to other companies in the Drum Industry" Gavin Thomas, Yamaha Drums Product Manager explains "and yet how influential we have been during this period in changing the modern drumset as we know it today. We have been a progressive forward thinking company creating some beautiful drums and I think that is why we are respected by our Customers, Artists and our Dealers who have shared this journey together with us. Here's to the next 50 years!"

Over the years, Yamaha has been associated with some of the most notable drummers in music history. Global artists in the Yamaha family roster include Tommy Aldridge, Carter Beauford, Matt Cameron, Will Champion, Anton Fig, Al Foster, Steve Gadd, David Garibaldi, Roy Haynes, Steve Jordan, Manu Katché, Larry Mullen Jr.and Dave Weckl.

To celebrate 50 years, Yamaha Drums are introducing two limited-edition drumsets to commemorate this special anniversary. These sets offer Absolute Hybrid Maple shells, each with its own striking finish: Birdseye maple in an amber sunburst finish and curly maple in an antique natural finish. Each limited-edition set is adorned with gold lugs and a special laser-cut 50th Anniversary badge. 

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