Yamaha's PHX Phoenix drums are a big deal

Hard woods surrounded by soft plies

After 40 years in the business, Yamaha is pushing drum innovation to the next level. And when technology seems to rule the day, the company is turning to natural woods to further that progress.

Yamaha's high-end PHX Phoenix drum set is a marvel of engineering, and a breakthrough on several levels. The company has located Asian woods -- jatoba and kapur -- and has made them the basis for their 11-ply drum shells. 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.

Not only is the shell construction a new venture for Yamaha, the kit's new and improved mounting system is too. Developed to make the fundamental tone of each drum clearer and better defined, the wooden tom mount, combined with shock-mountable rubber contact points, provides ultimate resonance. The newly designed detachable lugs are mounted where the overtones are the highest. The balance of the nodal point mount and the overtone point of the lugs help mute unwanted overtones, making the fundamental tone come alive with much more clarity.

The PHX Phoenix is available with either maple and burled ash exterior plies, and with gold or chrome hardware. The finishes available on the maple outer ply are: Matte Natural, Matte Black, Polar White, and Cherry Sunburst. The finishes available on the burled ash are Garnet Fade, Sapphire Fade, Turquoise Fade, Textured Amber Sunburst, and Textured Black Sunburst

Are these trends we'll be seeing in other drum kits? Time will tell. But from all appearances, the PHX Pheonix is one class act all the way. For more information, such as pricing, visit the official Yamaha website.

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