Updated: January 25, 2020 by Richard Cole
Drums are hard to shop, that is a fact. Unlike guitars and other popular instruments, drums have so many different things you need to pay attention to if you want to be completely satisfied with your purchase.
Thankfully the market is full of quality made kits which deliver a great performance. One brand that usually sticks out in this way is Yamaha. Those of you who are familiar with their drums, know that Yamaha’s level of quality and performance doesn’t vary wildly from category to category. Instead, it’s only scaled up or down to a point. Even their entry level models have the core performance that is always going to be the best you can get for the money.
Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage fits this description perfectly. It’s no longer in production, and that still hurts. The thing about this kit was the balance of price and performance you had access to.
Not a lot of drums in the same category could even nearly match what this Yamaha had to offer. Some attributed this to Yamaha’s significantly higher standards of quality control in the entry level range, while others simply figured out that making a good kit is the best way to attract customers. Either way, this specific kit was a huge success.
Acoustic instruments and the word ‘affordable’ don’t mix very well, especially drums. It’s hard to compensate the quality of sound a good wooden shell can offer with something that costs a fraction of the price. However, from time to time, brands like Yamaha and other industry giants will get the formula just right. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does everyone finds out quickly.
Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage really pushed the limits of performance in its category. Those on a tighter budget now had access to a kit that punched a bit above its price range, and that is more than enough to attract a large crowd. What exactly made it so good? Let’s find out.
First thing you notice when you start unpacking these drums is the build quality. Everything you see on Stage Custom Advantage, every single detail looks ironed out to perfection.
Next thing that immediately catches your eye are the shells. For a kit in this price range, Stage Custom Advantage came with birch, mahogany and falkata shells. These are 8-ply design, but the quality of wood is impressive to say the least. We will talk about the sonic effects this particular combination has.
The dimensions of the shells are interesting as well. The kick drum is 17 inches deep. That is one inch deeper than what you usually find. Speaking of which, let’s list the dimensions of each drum before we go any further. You have 5-1/2″ x 14″ wood snare, 22″ x 17″ bass, 12″ x 10″/ 13″ x 11″ toms, and a 16″ x 16″ floor tom. Aside from these, you also get two cymbal stands, a snare stand, hi-hat stand, and the kick pedal.
Hardware on this kit belongs to the 700 series. Those who have had some experience with Yamaha drums know that 700 series hardware is pretty solid, and offers more than enough support to the kit. Tom mounts are YESS type, and are much more effective than your average system.
The tone Yamaha offers is superior to a large majority of kits in its class. Simple as that. Combination of wood they Yamaha chose for this particular kit provides you with very warm and sweet sound. Factory heads are average at best, and most users recommend that you change them for a better set. Once you do, the true potential of this kit will become apparent to you.
Overall, there is a lot of sustain that adds substance to the tone. Snare is sharp and pierces through the mix with ease. That extra inch on the kick drum, whether it is the 20″ or 22″, adds more depth than you can usually find in this price range.
Describing the performance of Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage is not an easy thing to do. Core sound is there, and it is amazing to say the least. However, it is the combination of those minor details that really make this a great drum kit over all.
What we like
Impressive quality delivered in a price range where you don’t expect this kind of package. Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage has it all – the performance, the looks, everything. Yamaha went above and beyond to provide the users of this kit with a great sound that can be built upon.
What we don’t like
There is nothing so bad about this drum kit that is worth writing about. The only weak point are the heads, although they are pretty average for a factory set. Once you change them, you will definitely hear a difference, and feel one as well. All things considered, the worst thing about this kit is that it is no longer in production. That is the only crime here.
It is not often that a brand, even the most elite ones, delivers a drum kit that is in the price range of Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage and on the same level of performance. This kit became an instant hit as soon as it hit the shops. Drummers didn’t take long to figure out what kind of value Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage brought to the table.
That is partially why it is one of the most popular kits even today. Since it is no longer in production, the only way to get one is to search in the used market. One thing you will find out is that even used, these drum sets still hold a decent price.
If you run into one that is in a good condition, you should definitely check it out. This is one of the rare drum kits which is absolutely worth the money you are asked to pay for it.