I was thinking the other day that as much as I love my Yamaha Custom kit, the rarity of the colour means I’ll probably never find any add-ons. The idea of a shell bank is pretty attractive – a 20″ bass drum would make the deeper toms a bit easier to position, or shallower toms over the 22″ bass drum would achieve the same thing. And an 8″ tom would be nice to squeeze in. But since I’ve only seen two or three kits like mine in the past few years, it’s highly unlikely that will ever happen.
Of course, the very next day a post popped up on a Yamaha Facebook group with a photo of this great jazz kit – same Deep Blue finish, same gold MC lugs, but with shallower toms, and a very rare 18″ bass drum.
The post generated quite a few comments, including some useful information from Erik Smith, a Yamaha endorser from Norway. Erik has a signature snare drum that features the same Deep Blue / gold lug combination, and it’s probably one of the prettiest Yamaha snares ever made. Here’s what Erik had to say:
This is a Yamaha Custom kit in Deep Blue finish. For a few years in the 90s, Yamaha had a custom shop where you could choose woods, lugs, sizes to your liking. As a Yamaha endorser, I was lucky enough to get a kit in this finish with 22×18″ birch BD and 10, 12, 15 toms and a 16 floor tom in maple. I still have it and it’s awesome.
However, in 2008, I contacted Yamaha to ask if they could make a snare to match the kit. Yamaha said, why don’t we make it into a signature drum? I said, wow, then; of course! The result became the MSD1450ES snare produced in 60 limited edition units and launched at the Frankfurt music fair in 2009.
Since Yamaha didn’t make the Deep Blue finish since the 90s they asked me to take photos of the kit for them to see the color and recreate it for the sign. snare. Yamaha liked the finish so much that they brought it to their maple and birch absolute kits for a short while and then to the Recording Custom in 2012. I have one of those kits as well, check my profile cover pic to see it. The Deep Blue is a gorgeous finish. It can appear almost black to getting shades of purple when under stage lights.
Erik also shared a couple of photos of his Deep Blue drums.
As luck would have it, the Deep Blue jazz kit is located just down the highway in Toronto. I’m sure it’s exactly what B would want as a 20th anniversary present…