I've played only TAMA for years, looking to switch up

I've only ever really owned TAMA kits, never anything else. Had a Yamaha in there for a few years.

Been thinking of switching to a Mapex kit, anyone have one and life it?

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I don't think it's so much about brands but I'm just wrapped with my saturns. They are such a joy to play.


Gold Member
Your Tama model? Wood? Country of manufacture? Hardware quality?

Certain things have changed in the industry.

Look around the web and eBay etc.... and get informed.

Mapex's ain't what they used to be.


Gold Member
Love my 2004 M Series Maple Mapex kit. Nice deep sound. Of course that year the toms were deeper that what you see mostly today.

dat yeti

Senior Member
I am a big fan of Mapex, have had them for 11 years since I started. Now I've only had mid range quality drums and hardware and up so can't comment on the lower range. I have had Pro M's with the gold badge and silver badge, both are great. Now I have a Mapex Meridian Maple which I highly recommend if you want a good bang for your buck shell pack.

There are of course saturns which I've never had the pleasure of hearing in person. Orion and deep forest are a rare sight, and usually are a pretty penny. Black panthers are usually good.

The two new lineups from mapex, armory and mars, don't seem to bad. The Mars I am not impressed with, seems a bit cheap and just not my thing. I think there are better birch kits out there imo. The armory wasn't bad either, just I personally only liked the bass drum not the toms.

For the record I agree with GeoB now sadly. The new kits I wouldn't bother with unless its a saturn to be honest, or the black panther snares, they're still sweet.

Keep in mind Mapex is a pain in the butt when it comes to consistent model lineups if you want to go used and need to research. If you go used, keep in mind what badges are on the shell, there was a past model Mars, and Saturn line up. It gets confusing here and there. Overall mapex is not a bad brand though, will always love the stuff I have.


Silver Member
Tama makes great products. A switch to another big brand would be a sideways move unless you are going from a low end model to a high end model.



Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If you're just looking to change it up, what do you like? We're all going to have different opinions on what we would do, but it's all up to you. I think if you really want to change it up and go completely high-end, talk to Andy about getting into some Guru's - talk about a group of people obsessed with doing it right for the sounds' sake! Then you'd be upgrading as well, and not going so much sideways.


Platinum Member
When you say "Switch up" what do you mean?

Are you unhappy with the sound or finish of your current Tama's?

By switching up are you simply implying a change to a "High end" kit and the performance will be secondary?

I have never understood change for the sake of it. If there is something lacking in your current setup change to a kit that makes the noise you like to hear, and looks nice to your eyes. Dont change simply for the name on the BD.

dat yeti

Senior Member
Since I've never owned a high end kit, I would say keep it unless you could sell for high so good luck on that. But why not buy a mid range kit or lower end kit from a different company to try it out. Or buy used, whatever you are after theres got to be something out there.

I would 2nd the guru's too, I drool every time I see one!


Senior Member
Perhaps you mean switch to, not switch up!! unless you owe below a Starclassic

I've had two Premier kits, ddrum, Pearl Masterworks ($18k drum kit!) and several Tama kits...

I always return............best kits bar none to me I'm afraid.


Gold Member
I'm a Tama guy with three kits. Love them all. My Pearl Reference kit is pretty awesome as well but at the end of the day, the Tamas are the best built, best looking, and best sounding non-custom drums I've run across. I've you're just looking for a change, do explore everything that Tama currently offers first.