BY BRAD SCHLUETER | FROM THE WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF DRUM!
What’s the worst thing about playing drums? If the first thing that popped into your head was “schlepping gear,” read on. Yamaha’s new Crosstown Advanced Hardware aims to eliminate this complaint by lightening your load. This futuristic-looking hardware makes extensive use of aluminum, which results in lightweight hardware that’s perfect for drummers on the go.
IN THE BOX
The full hardware pack includes two CS3 straight cymbal stands (24”–52.3”), an SS snare stand (16.3”–22.8”), and the HHS3 (24.4”–35.3”) hi-hat stand. It also comes with a lightweight carrying case that’s about 28” long — big enough to accommodate the hardware plus your throne, bass drum pedal, and floor tom legs — and it includes four cloth bags to keep the stands from getting scratched during transport.
FEATURES AND DESIGN
The stands use tripod bases, which are more stable than flat-based designs. They’re also flexible enough for those times when you need to sneak one leg under another in tight quarters. Each stand has large rubber feet to help grip the floor.
Each stand’s legs, as well as the snare basket, are U-shaped, which Yamaha calls “Channel Track Bracing.” The gauge of metal is on the thinner side, but thanks to its shape, it’s also strong.
The tubes have an attractive sandblasted finish, which reminded me of vintage Rogers hardware from half a century ago. The pebbly surface serves an inconspicuous function beyond its resistance to fingerprints, however. The textured surface, combined with the gaskets inside the stand’s cast aluminum hinged clamps, cooperate to hold your selected positions securely without memory locks. To test this, I fully extended one of the cymbal stands (around 54”) and leaned into it. It held like a champ.
This tripod design on the hi-hat stand is far more stable than flush-based hi-hats, even when you splash your cymbals or stomp your foot. The hi-hat comes with a pro clutch but has no tension adjustment, and the legs do not rotate. The lower frame is cast aluminum, and the footboard collapses easily. The thoughtfully designed hi-hat chain is cloth-covered so it won’t scuff the toes of your shoes.
Both the snare stand and cymbal stands use offset tilters for easier packing. While the snare stand’s angle adjustment is limitless, the cymbal stands have a fine ratcheting tilter and large felts. Cleverly, you can remove a tube and switch the gaskets to convert the cymbal stands from a three-piece to a two-piece design (perfect for a ride cymbal), saving even more weight. Since the Crosstown hardware uses standard-diameter tubing, it is compatible with other Yamaha hardware — you can mix and match parts and do things like create a lightweight boom stand.
How light is this package? The box was delivered while I was at a gig, and my petite wife easily carried it inside. She asked what it was and was shocked when I told her it was hardware. At about 17 lbs., it’s easy to forget what’s in your hand.
Other companies offer lightweight hardware packages, but many have flat bases, and most look generic. This hardware was designed with an eye toward the future rather than recycled, mediocre ideas from the past. If you’re a working drummer who wants eye-catching, cleverly designed hardware that won’t strain your back, look no further.
Street Price: $400