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Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!!

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1 Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:08 am

Unbelievable news from Yamaha Drums, U.S. dealers across the country were told the following:

Yamaha's drum builder, Sakae is calling it quits and Yamaha has made this rash decision.
Check out the article for yourself, hopefully they will reconsider this unbelievable direction.


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2 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:34 pm


That's unbelievable.

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3 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:00 pm

I contacted Billy regarding this. His reply to me is as follows:

"Time to move on, Don."

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4 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:54 am

This is a great article drumman as well as a news flash for me. However, I did go to Sakae's site and read the new company's mindset on preserving the tradition of high standards of it's predecessor and artist endorsers of their drums and also it's commitment to that legacy. By the looks of it, Sakae Drums seems to be of high quality but would be premature of me to comment on it's acoustics. The shells hardware looks pretty heavy-duty-literally. I look forward to hearing or even get a chance to playing them. I've always been a sucker for most Japan manufactured drums and probably reason why I stayed with my Japan Tamas all these years cheers

Thanks, great read here.


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5 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:08 am

I really don't know about the going out of business part of it.
But it looks like losing their drum maker was a MAJOR blow
to them!

I will keep my eyes on Dave Weckl and see what he does since
it seems he is the golden boy for Yamaha as endorsements go.

Time will tell.

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6 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business on Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:02 am

My local Sam Ash store told me they will still manufacture the Phoenix Drums only.
That doesn't give you much of a choice, and they are way over priced in my opinion.

2013...not a good year for Yamaha Drums..I guess they will still continue to make electronic drums?

Maybe Boomer will go back to Tama?...or maybe Ludwig..time will tell?

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7 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:52 pm

Yes drumman, that should be interesting to see where, or should I say, with whom Boomer will go with. By the sounds of his response to D, it may be with another drum manufacture and am sure his decision will be based on years of experience in quality, acoustics and the physical application of a drum kit.

What reassures me, though not final, is that Sakae actually drew the respect and attention of Yamaha because of Sakae's reputation of producing good sounding shells - Yamaha simply presented an offer to partner with Sakae (1967 - 2012), and thus simply branded it's name on Sakae produced drums. That only keeps my attention on Sakae's objective in selling drums being that they were the original OEM source production of Yamaha drums. So I look forward to Sakae as they enter a market that they already was successful in, minus the attention I feel they deserve...and it may well be that time. It's a matter of re-identifying their legacy of who they really are to a market that was in ignorance of a well established presence.

Let us also consider the cost expenses of production in a sluggish economy, which the article gives us reasons that fringed on Yamaha heading out the back door. Sakae appears to heroically take on and absorb that challenge, and it's a real one, and I hope them well.

Best to Sakae,


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8 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:33 pm

Let us also consider the cost expenses of production in a sluggish economy, which the article gives us reasons that fringed on Yamaha heading out the back door.

Good point, Rac. And with Yamaha continuing to produce
the extremely expensive Phoenix line (via who knows what
builder), how many players in the common market are going
purchase enough of these drums to keep Yamaha's head
above water? I doubt without a doubt that it certainly was
NOT this higher line of drums that held them together.

In other words, it's the $20,000 Nissan Altima that keeps that
car company afloat and not the $100,000 GT-R.

Lets see what the future brings.

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9 Yamaha Drums: Out Of Business? on Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:33 pm

No, I don't think so BUT! Watch what develops in the coming months everybody. SAKAE Rhythm was tied to Yamaha by Hagiwara, the original manager of Yamaha Drums and the man who attracted most, if not all of the major musicians to play the line beginning in the 1960's. "Hagi" retired from the company in the early part of this millennium and I believed that SAKAE would follow suit in time and it has happened. I am interested to experience Yamaha's next move. This is a very big corporation so, I must believe that they haven't played their full hand yet. So the 'card game' still has a few moves to be exposed by the participants, I think. It makes for a good debate amongst us anyway.......................... Wink Boomer

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10 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:28 am

It will be interesting indeed.
I wonder what Sakae will be taking with him as far as patents and machinery etc. And what Yamaha will do going forward.
Like you say, it's a huge corporation so I'm sure they will continue on.

I've always loved Yamaha Drums and have owned just about every series with the exception of the Phoenix.
I hope they can keep that standard up and don't go the route that Rogers drums did....Oh lord what a disgrace to the legacy of those drums!

I have a feeling that won't happen.

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11 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:04 am

This IS very interesting.



To the father of us, all - Billy Cobham!
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12 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:03 pm

I thought it funny when the same company that makes skis, stereo equipment, motorcycles to snowmobiles came out with musical instruments. I guess if the demand is there, apparently they put out good stuff. I have one of their guitars. So i guess they'll still make guitars. I've liked the drums as they are often used at festivals i play. Those maple kits look and sound good. collector's items now. Where's my kawasaki kazoo?
can't wait to get a set of Asaph drums though! has a nice ring to it!

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13 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:26 am

Asaph drums????

Been away for months. Nearing the end of the tunnel, though. Big house renovation job. Had a chance to drop in here today.

Kenny, I keep getting closer and closer to begin making my own drums, but with this economy, and the already saturated field, I hesitate. When and if I do, based on the ideas I have, I'll be making collector's drums, one of a kind sets. The reason would be obvious once you see them, if I pull the trigger.

Never played Yamahas. Not that I can ever recall. Just tapped on them in drum shops that carried them. Nice drums. I always believed they were somewhat over-priced, though.

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14 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:45 pm

Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Jim Haler, Product Manager for Yamaha Drums. There is a LOT of false information here, so I'll set the record straight. First, we are not going out of business. These are merely rumors being spread by compettitors that WISH we were going out of business rather than putting ourselves in a position to be more price compettitive. I'll start with a post I wrote for several other forums, and go a little more into detail.

I’ll step in here and enter the discussion.

We are at the beginning of an exciting time at Yamaha Drums, and there are a lot of fantastic things coming. Many of you have seen our Live Custom Series, which was launched at Winter NAMM and received rave reviews by dealers, artists, and press. It is the first drumset out of our Yamaha-owned factory in Xiaoshan, China. And this is just the start.

It’s important to remember that all of the techniques and processes that have made Yamaha one of the most respected names in drums were, in fact, created by Yamaha. The transition to our new state-of-the-art factory has allowed us to update and improve these processes and tools utilized by the craftsmen to build our drums. Also important to note is that the Xiaoshan factory was built from the ground up as a Yamaha factory and is ISO 14001 certified. Yamaha has been building pianos and wind/brass instruments in that facility for years; as a result, each craftsman is very familiar with our high standards and expectations, being trained not only in how but why we do things the way we do.

Ultimately, Yamaha drums will be better, while becoming more affordable: not by downgrading the quality of the materials, but by making the processes more efficient and still crafting some of the world’s best-sounding drums.

Now, for a little more detail. First, all of the machinery and techniques that Sakae used to make Yamaha Drums these last 45+ years were developed by Yamaha, and taken to Sakae. As a parting gift, all of the machines and molds that were installed in their factory were given to Sakae as a gift so that they can manufacture and market their own branded drums, something they have wanted to do for some time. Every design element, every nut, bolt, and screw are Yamaha, and always have been. Yes, we are moving production to a factory that was designed and built from the ground up to be a Yamaha factory, with the capability to produce instruments of the quality that Yamaha has always been known for. The factory at Xiaoshan is ISO14001 certified, and the staff trained by the people at Yamaha Japan who design and develop all of our instruments and manufacturing techniques. They are trained in not only how, but WHY we do what we do. We have been building pianos in the factory for almost 14 years, wind and brass instruments for several years, marching percussion, and the latest kit we launched (with rave reviews from dealers and artists), Live Custom is the first acoustic kit to come from this factory. We are already in late term development of the next Absolute and artist response has been overwhelmingly positive. One artist said "I don't care if you're making them on Mars as long as they sound this good".

The logistics of moving production to a different factory make it necessary to discontinue all of our curent lines, but replacements are in development for all of them. This move gives us total control over the manufacturing of our drums, allows us to implement design improvements quicker, and takes away one level of them being stepped on by someone who has to make a profit before they get to our dealers. The end result will be drums with better specs, for less money that have all of the features that make a drum a Yamaha drum(staggered diagonal seam/Air Seal System), great finishes, hand craftamanship. PHX has always been, and will remain to be made at Yamaha Music Craft in Hammamatsu, Japan.

If you have any more questions regarding this, or anything regarding Yamaha Drums please feel free to contact me via private message or email.


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15 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:48 pm

Thanks for dropping by, Jim.

It is nice to have the horse's mouth
on the site for the record.

Please feel welcome.



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16 Re: Yamaha Drums: Out of Business!!! on Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:18 pm

Re: Yamaha: Going out of Business:
Thank you for your posting Jim Haler. You've cleared up a lot of ugly rumors here.
I've been playing Yamaha drums since 1986 and have owned 6 different Yammy kits....I well know the sound and  quality and believe strongly in this product. I'm very happy and relieved to know that Yamaha will continue to produce these fine instruments.
Jim, in 1989 I was fortunate to be able to purchase 4 beautiful Yamaha drum microphones....2 - MZ 204  &  2 - MZ 205be mics.  I still use these fabulous drum mics to this day as nothing and I mean nothing compares to them for toms, snares and even kick drums. Why oh why were these gems discontinued? I can always use more...are there any available? Will any ever be available again?  There was obviously a great amount of R&D that went into the design and construction of these superlative drum mics - mics this great are no mere "accident"....why on earth would something so good be discontinued?
Any info you could pass along would be greatly appreciated.

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