The PHX (pronounced “phoenix”) Series is the pinnacle of excellence in this prototyping process, based on a completely new concept. They are handmade by Yamaha’s drum specialists utilising over 40 years of history, tradition, experience, and technology. The PHX Series demonstrates YAMAHA’s constant pursuit of the pinnacle of drum artistry and sound.
A long-time Yamaha Drum artist had three requests when asked what they wanted from their drums: a louder sound, a fatter tone, and even more sensitivity.
With this in mind, Yamaha pursued these three goals and decided to develop a masterpiece that embodied all of them, drawing on long-term research and development and their vast manufacturing experience.
As a result, PHX was born, showcasing the widest dynamic range of any Yamaha drum, alongside an even greater, richer mid-low response. PHX is undoubted, their flagship series of drums.
The one-of-a-kind Hybrid shell was devised to perfectly achieve the three PHX concept objectives of increased volume, tone, and dynamic range.
The centre core of the shell is made of the heaviest and hardest wood, and the wood plies become softer as they approach the inner and outer surfaces. This design allows the shell to vibrate freely and without restriction. The centre core of the shell is made of Jatoba, the hardest and heaviest wood. Layers of Kapur, another hard and heavy wood, surround the Jatoba on both sides. The Kapur is then surrounded by North American Maple, the softest wood in the shell and the resource used for the outer and inner shell plies.
The PHX range not only has great features that make it a fantastic drum range, but it also has the beauty of an exquisite, handcrafted musical instrument.
The decision-making process starts with the choice of the outer ply, which the customer has chosen to be either traditional Maple or beautifully textured Ash. The shell is painted and sanded repeatedly before being polished to a beautifully thin final finish of extreme hardness that fully realises the beauty and depth of the chosen outer veneer.
Additionally, the textured finish is an outer ply of figured Ash that has been specially prepared and is only used on the PHX range. This special ply is a little less than half the thickness of a conventional coating, so it illustrates the beautiful wood grain of Ash while also still allowing the shell to fully vibrate.
Each PHX shell’s tone and articulation are determined by its bearing edge, which is the most important aspect.
A 30-degree cut is made to each PHX bearing edge. What distinguishes each type of shell – whether tom, floor tom, or bass drum – is the radius of the top of each bearing edge. The size of the radius determines how much vibration from the drum head travels through to the shell at these points where it touches the drum’s wood shell. As a result, the bass drum edge produces a clearer, sharper sound, whereas the tom edge produces a fatter, more rounded sound.
Craftsmen with specialised knowledge of the characteristics of each wood shape the bearing edges. Each edge gradually becomes perfectly shaped for its intended use through rounds of sanding and special surface finishing.
The PHX mounts the toms with the Y.E.S.S.II system, which is perfectly matched to the hybrid shell. It is extremely stable and comfortably supports the thick PHX shell while maximising its natural resonance. The mounting plate is made of the same maple as the outer plies of the Hybrid shell, adding to the rich resonance and enhanced low end.
The PHX Hook Lug was designed with a small footprint to avoid disturbing the shell vibration and to emphasise the fundamental tone. Furthermore, Yamaha’s distinctive 3.0mm aluminium die-cast hoop has high rigidity and is extremely light in weight, maximising head resonance and producing a rich, melodic tone with a full attack.