Choosing a Used kit: best value? ($1000 budget)

Hoigle

Junior Member
I'm looking to spend approx. $1000 or less on a used kit. I've scoured the internet, and here are my current contenders, with some of the better prices I've seen. Do any of these stand out as great (or terrible) value ? Or would you recommend a kit not on my list?

Pearl Masters MCX $1000
DW Design Series $1000
Tama Superstar HyperDrive $900
Premier Genista $1000
Yamaha Club Custom $800
Yamaha Tour Custom Maple $1000
Mapex Saturn V $1050
Mapex saturn IV $950
Mapex Saturn Pro $650 (not clear on the Saturn differences)

I'm also tempted to spend less, for the sake of cymbals etc.
PDP Platinum $550
Yamaha Stage Custom $400 (new $650)

I'm playing classic rock, jazz fusion. Thanks!
 

Dave_G

Member
Get a Stage Custom and better cymbals. They sound great for an intermediate level kit and have a quality build. Then get yourself a used set of Zildjian A or A Customs. You'll be much happier with a good kit and great cymbals.
 

Hoigle

Junior Member
Makes sense. To be clear, I actually have some extra money for cymbals beyond the $1000, so I might be able to have my cake and eat it too. My choice will partly be decided by what's available locally, because I don't want to pay shipping for an un-inspected kit. Hopefully I'll get a chance to try the Stage Customs.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Only commenting on the kits I have first hand knowledge of.
Is the Genista an old UK built model (1990s) or one of the Asian built kits from the 2010s? If it’s an old one it’s a good kit but imo overpriced. If it’s a newer model then it’s even more overpriced.
The difference between Saturn IV and V is minimal, the V has a different bearing edge that makes them easier to tune, according to Mapex. While this may be true, the older models weren’t exactly hard to tune so if it was me I’d be looking at colour and configuration between the two listed to decide.
If the Saturn Pro is the model with a curved “rectangular” badge then it’s the Saturn III and has different lugs, mounts, legs etc to the Saturn IV but the shell is iirc the same. Again, colour, configuration and money saving would be what makes me decide. FYI I was very nearlyon the cusp of selling my V recently for a III because of the configuration and colour, that’s how highly I rate the III.

Of the others on your list I’d point out that the Tama MIGHT have very shallow Toms and a very deep bass drum. So in terms of sizes and configuration it might be very different to the other drums on your list.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
If the Saturn Pro is the model with a curved “rectangular” badge then it’s the Saturn III and has different lugs, mounts, legs etc to the Saturn IV but the shell is iirc the same. Again, colour, configuration and money saving would be what makes me decide. FYI I was very nearlyon the cusp of selling my V recently for a III because of the configuration and colour, that’s how highly I rate the III.
I was gonna recommend the Saturn III as well, I've seen them for crazy cheap and they more than hold their own with some of the best kits you can buy.
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
If the Saturn Pro is the model with a curved “rectangular” badge then it’s the Saturn III and has different lugs, mounts, legs etc to the Saturn IV but the shell is iirc the same.
I think the Saturn "Pro" series are maple/basswood :0 :0 :0 Probably nice enough drums, but basswood is not something you brag about online.

I believe the walnut plies came with the III series (which I agree are the best looking drums Mapex has ever made).
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
I think the Saturn "Pro" series are maple/basswood :0 :0 :0 Probably nice enough drums, but basswood is not something you brag about online.

I believe the walnut plies came with the III series (which I agree are the best looking drums Mapex has ever made).
VitalTransformation makes a good point.
I’ve just found a close up of the badge of the Saturn III I used to own. It’s silver, rectangular with curves and has the Mapex logo in the Centre surrounded by An oval with the words “Saturn Series” written in script below it. The Saturn Pro was an earlier line and VitalTransformation’s description of it is accurate. $650 is imo overpriced and it’s not in the same league as the later Saturn lines.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think it's really hard to give advice on used kits because of the variables; condition, sizes, number of pieces, and finish can vary widely, and most of those items are personal.

Assuming ALL of them are the sizes you want and a configuration and finish you like, if you're looking for the best value I'd compare the street price of the kit new to the asking price of the used kit.

If it were me...

Pearl Masters MCX $1000 - Nice drums, it would come down to configuration and finish.
DW Design Series $1000
Tama Superstar HyperDrive $900 - I'd cross off this one, just because I don't like short stack toms. It's also expensive for what it is.
Premier Genista $1000 - I don't have much experience with newer Premier, so I really can't comment.
Yamaha Club Custom $800 - Are these the newer (2012-ish) ones? If so this seems like a great deal. Again, sizes (and perhaps finish) could make or break it.
Yamaha Tour Custom Maple $1000 - I'm not as familiar with these but (again) sizes and finish could make or break them.
Mapex Saturn V $1050
Mapex saturn IV $950 - I think Saturns are great drums, though I'm not nearly as much of a fan of IV and V as I am III. In my opinion IV was a big step down in shell hardware from III.
Mapex Saturn Pro $650 (not clear on the Saturn differences) - As already mentioned most Saturn Pro shells were maple/basswood. That isn't a dealbreaker to me, though basswood isn't nearly as sexy as walnut when talking about them online. Keep in mind some of the last Saturn Pro drums did have walnut inside plies. The only way to know is to see the inside of the drum. If they are walnut they will be noticeably dark.

I'm also tempted to spend less, for the sake of cymbals etc.
PDP Platinum $550 - In general the Mexican-made Pacifics were good drums, especially the Platinums.
Yamaha Stage Custom $400 (new $650) - I'm usually wary of used lower-end drums, and since even a brand new Stage Custom is well within your budget, I'd suggest getting a new kit here. That way you're in complete control of sizes and finish and you'd still have a great set of drums. Budget for replacing all of the batter heads though...
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Get a Stage Custom and better cymbals. They sound great for an intermediate level kit and have a quality build. Then get yourself a used set of Zildjian A or A Customs. You'll be much happier with a good kit and great cymbals.
Yep. Yep. Also, yep.

20202020
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Saturn Pro drums sound great! I play a set of them twice a week. If the color /finish was OK, I would get that one and have more money left for cymbals. Peace and goodwill.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Don't forget to look at Gretsch Renown. My kit is from 2007 and is in perfect condition and sounds fantastic.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Don't forget to look at Gretsch Renown. My kit is from 2007 and is in perfect condition and sounds fantastic.
Gretsch Renown/Marquee
Yamaha Live Custom
Mapex Saturn

These are the three kits that I would look for if I wanted a sub-$1000 used kit.
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
I'm usually wary of used lower-end drums, and since even a brand new Stage Custom is well within your budget, I'd suggest getting a new kit here. That way you're in complete control of sizes and finish and you'd still have a great set of drums. Budget for replacing all of the batter heads though...
Wow... What kind of bizzarro, topsy/turvy DrummerWorld forum is this.? Someone is (for once) specifically asking for advice on buying used stuff and you come on here advicing to buy new..?

Jk, I am a big fan of shiny new stuff and I would certainly love unboxing a set of Stage Customs!
 

Hoigle

Junior Member
Wow, lots of great input and advice!

I'll add the Saturn III and Gretsch Renown to the list.
I own some nice hats, but I'll be watching Craigslist for some K's or similar cymbals.

It's hard to be sure of sizes, because I've only had one other kit (PDP FS-series), so my experience is limited.

My local GC has the pearl Masters MCX, so I'll give them a try.
Today I'm going to my local used drum shop, hopefully narrow the search.
Thankfully I'm not in a rush, so I can take my time and learn in the process.
 
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