There are certain kits you just hope will come up, and then when they do like meeting a hero you hope will live up to the expectation and hype that surround them. Here we have a flagship Yamaha Phoenix PHX. Everything on the PHX was designed from the ground up and developed by Yamaha in Japan to bring about an entirely new level of drums that would become their most ambitious professional drum kit to date.

Often with main stream brand high end kits, much of the shell concept, lugs and other features are derived from existing lines, these features are then combined with custom shop style finishing options to create a premium price tag. PHX is not a fancy paint job, nothing on the kit came from anything in existence and this kit is not comparable to anything that went before. The PHX offers a unique 11 ply hybrid shell design exclusive to this kit, wood plated YESSII mounts, the hook lug, die cast hoops made from aluminium and a secret internal treatment is applied to the internal shell and bearing edge to guarantee consistent smoothness and easy tuning.

When you look inside one of these drums the level of workmanship involved is immediately apparent, just the sheer thickness of the shell and the different colours of wood showing through the bearing edge just tick all the boxes! Often complicated hybrid shell designs can result in very ordinary sounding drums but remember Yamaha are the company that have delivered sonic masterpieces such as the Recording Custom, Club Custom and Absolute series kits. Nothing Yamaha do is for a gimmick, it's for a reason. Firstly I will tell you about the shell and then we'll come back to the sound.

The Shells

The shells of the PHX are 11-ply hybrid shells. The woods used are progressively harder from the center ply to the outer plies. The center ply is Jatoba; this is a very hard wood' and it "anchors" the fundamental of the shell. Sandwiched on either side of this is kapur. This wood is in the mahogany family and adds warmth to the sound of the drum. The inner and outer plies are maple. Maple rounds out the tone adding high and mid frequencies to the shell. 

The ply configuration is as follows (outside to inside)

1 ply Maple / 4 ply Kapur / 1 Ply Jatoba / 4 ply Kapur / 1 ply Maple.

All PHX shells have a 30° bearing edge, but each "family" of drums uses a different profile. Bass drums have a sharper edge cut toward the outer plies. This gives the bass drums attack and shortens the decay. Floor toms have a slightly rounded edge to give them a perfect balance of attack and sustain, making them very articulate at all dynamic levels. Toms have an even more rounded profile for warmth and sustain. 

PHX uses a brand new hook lug design. The new lug mounts on a square hook rather than a round post. This keeps the tension rod in perfect vertical alignment and eliminates the need to use two hands while tuning the drum. Yamaha used the aluminum die-cast hoops made popular on the Absolute series for PHX. These hoops are very light but rigid, giving you the open, warm sound of a triple-flanged hoop and the accurate tuning of a die-cast hoop.

The new version of the YESS mounting system supports the drum at the top and bottom. The new version mounts the tom bracket onto a piece of the shell, and that wooden plate is isolated or shock-mounted using rubber grommets. A 3-piece fastening system is used to attach the new YESS to the shell, and the inside and outside fasteners do not touch. This system totally isolates the drum and allows the full tone to come through and maximizes sustain.

The Sound 

This drum sound from the PHX is simply stunning. Because of it's unique shell design it is not comparable to anything you have ever played before. Because the lugs are nodal point mounted, the shell mount hardware is incredibly light and Yamaha also vent every drum differently depending on size using between 1 - 10 vents as deemed necessary the drum sound is loud, deep and incredibly resonant. This is nothing like you would imagine an 11 ply shell to sound. What really strikes you is the quality and depth of the tone. The low end from the bass drum and floor tom give you a feeling you normally only get from a mic'd and amplified kit, the toms have got a musical tone, a very clear note and a very clear definition. The kit is incredibly infectious to play and very balanced. With the PHX Yamaha have created another bench mark drum kit, that like many of their other ranges owns it's own space. This is a kit that has taken drum sound to yet another level, it sounds great with single ply and double ply head choices and this kit can deliver in any genre.

With it's many innovations and the fact Yamaha exclusively designed and still hand build this kit in Japan (the only drum set Yamaha now make there) with a very small and exacting crack team of master drum builders, PHX doesn't come cheap and nor should it. If you're in search of something with true custom sonic properties, you need to hear these drums.... you won't be disappointed, we certainly weren't!

  • 10 x 7 (PHX1007) & 12 x 8 (PHX1208) Toms with YESSII Mounting Systems

  • 16 x 15 (PHXF1615) Floor Tom

  • 22 x 16 (PHXB2216) (with tom mount)

  • 11 Ply Hybrid Shell (Maple - Kapur - Jatoba)

  • Aluminium Diecast Hoops

  • Chrome Hardware

  • Hook Lugs for quick release / fast head changing

  • Finished in the Original Polar White Lacquer (PWH), with laser blue iredecent shine (whilst very similar in look to the Hybrid Maple baby brother series, the finish on the PHX is another level, yes we compared!)

  • Unique PHX Holographic Badges bearing the model code and serial numbers

  • Exclusively Made and Hand Built in the Yamaha Japan PHX Facility

  • PreLoved - 9/10 Condition - Originally Built Circa 2014/15 one small chip on the bass drum, 4 light surface lacquer scuffs on the back of the floor tom (possibly from a stick bag) very minimal and not detracting from the beauty and quality of this flagship kit!

  • A very rare opportunity to get a PreLoved Yamaha Phoenix!


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