Choosy Editors Choose Yamaha

3/28/2008 [Drums]

Minds behind Drum Business Magazine pick three Yamaha products as standouts at Winter NAMM Industry Trade Show.

BUENA PARK, Calif. — Every year, the erudite editors of Drum Business magazine seek the best new drum products at the massive Winter NAMM industry trade show, held annually in Anaheim, Calif. The task was especially difficult at this year's gathering, which they called "the most impressive show in recent years."

Yamaha PHX Drum kit
PHX Phoenix kit with Hex Rack System
Three new offerings from Yamaha earned an Editors' Choice Award, the DTXTREME III electronic drum set, the PHX Phoenix high-end acoustic drum kit and the clever Hex Rack System.

Yamaha Drums, the only company to make acoustic and electronic drums, has completely overhauled its flagship electronic drum sets, the DTXTREME III Standard and DTXTREME III Special.

Shining examples of "technology powered by a drum company," the new DTXTREME III kits promise to set the standard for sound and function. In addition to redesigned cymbals, a new kick tower, and an all-new module, the sets use the same technology that powers the supercharged Yamaha MOTIF XS synthesizer.

In addition to over 1,000 onboard drum, percussion and special effect voices, the module includes over 100 General MIDI voices. With the optional memory installed, 512 MB of sampling allows players to trigger a large library of custom sounds. Combine the stacking and layering capabilities of 100 voices with other advanced features, and the DTXTREME III is a complete workstation for drummers. Both DTXTREME III versions include three-zone drum and cymbal pads, USB connectivity and an advanced internal sequencer.

In Yamaha's quest to continually expand the boundaries of musicality for drummers, the company created the PHX Phoenix high-end acoustic set with newfound Asian woods.

Yamaha DTXTREME III Side View
DTXTREME III Special Electronic Drum Set with Hex Rack System.
"These particular woods, jatoba and kapur, have never before been used to make drums, and when you put them together in a specific combination, they produce an amazing musical tone," says Dave Jewell, marketing manager, Yamaha Drums, Pro Audio & Combo Division. "We've discovered one of nature's secrets."

In addition to sounding great, the 11-ply shells are a sight to behold. The center ply, jatoba, is an extremely hard wood that provides the drum's core note. On either side are four plies of kapur, which is a softer wood than jatoba. The inner and outer plies of the shell are customized, using maple or a combination of a burled ash outer ply and a maple inner ply.

The concept behind the PHX Phoenix shell construction is to use the hardest wood in the middle surrounded by softer plies of wood; this produces a sonic "ripple effect" similar to the sound a pebble creates with waves when dropped in water.

Adding to their history of legendary hardware innovations, Yamaha Drums adapted the same hex shape that is synonymous with their tom arms and applied it to a newly-designed Hex Rack System™. These hex-shaped pipes also provide superior strength over the rounded pipes that dominate the market. With its matte chrome finish, a complete Hex Rack System™ makes a stunning visual statement under stage lights.

Yamaha Hex Rack with Drum Kit
The sturdy Hex Rack System allows for an infinite number of configurations, from simple to complex.
Furthering the product's groundbreaking innovation, Yamaha also developed a brilliant method for attaching toms, cymbals and accessories to the hex pipes. A two-piece combination gives drummers innumerable possibilities and infinite flexibility in setting up their kits: the Arm Clamp and Synthetic Open Sphere. The Sphere can be quickly and easily attached anywhere on the hex pipe with a Pacman-style spring, allowing the Arm Clamp to be easily secured onto it.

The use of this Sphere and Arm Clamp together is twofold. First, it allows for the Arm Clamp, when loosened, to provide additional adjustability as it spins on the Sphere. As the Arm Clamp is tightened, the Sphere grips the pipe at the six hex points and eliminates slippage.

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Pro Audio & Combo Division, Drum Products, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail; or visit

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