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  #1  
Old 04-26-2008, 09:23 AM
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Default My Project Mapex

Hey guys. I just got done editing some photos from after my last show. Hope you like my kit. I'll post specs later. *Note* This is a project kit, which I will be adding on to for quite some time. I'll post the specs of the future plans later as well. Enjoy!









Whadya think?
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Super sweet! I've recently become a Mapex owner myself. Great kits.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

very nice, but you forgot one thing...a stool.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Quote:
Originally Posted by prempex View Post
very nice, but you forgot one thing...a stool.
I know. I didn't want it blocking the drums in the pictures. I'm kind of anal about stuff like that.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

I think this is a work of art, having it on the stage makes it even better. Did you pick those heads for the sound or the look?
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironcobra View Post
I think this is a work of art, having it on the stage makes it even better. Did you pick those heads for the sound or the look?
Absolutely 100% for sound. They just happen to look cool. I have Aquarian Studio-X top and bottom on all the toms. Snare has one on top with a classic clear underneath, and the bass drum has the superkick II and regulator front. I'll post pics of the future setup and specs later tonight when I get home from work. Thanks for the kind words!!!
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Interesting. I like it.

How do you like tose Pearl Pedals?
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Wow, what a work station! Cool! I especially dig the half-china-cymbal-piggy-back....thing. :P

Is this something you play with a band or do you do solo shows or what?
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2008, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

My kit is arranged and tuned to specific pitches and intervals for a couple reasons. My teacher really turned me onto the whole ostinato based melodic drumming concept. In order to play melodically without becoming or sounding repetitive, you need a bigger kit. A bigger kit means more "notes" to play, such as a pianist using all 88 keys during a performance. If that pianist stayed in one octave and played the same chord progression over and over, it would become stale to the ears after a short amount of time. That's why I've been working on this kit over the last couple of years. Now please note, it's not even close to being finished yet, and you'll see why when I post the list and concept pictures of the future kit.
Back to melodic drumming: Terry Bozzio, Grant Collins, and Chad Wackerman are three of my favorite drummers because of their innovation in utilizing the entire kit and creating complex solos all based over an ostinato. For those of you who don't know, an ostinato is a repetitive pattern played with either the hands or the feet. It can be one hand or foot, one hand and one foot, both feet, both hands, you get the idea. The ostinato is used as an underlying theme in which the remaining limbs of the body solo overtop of. So, the feet could be playing a samba between the bass drum and the hi-hat, leaving the hands free to create melodic and rhythmic expressions on the drums, cymbals, and percussive accessories. The three drummers listed above have pushed this concept of drumming for years, and I'm quite sure that none of them receive all the credit they should be getting. I know a couple years ago, I used to bash Bozzio with the rest of them, but once my teacher showed me his stuff and had me analyze his hand and foot patterns, I realized that he was really playing some complex, intricate, mind boggling stuff. That's when I fell in love. I have nothing against a 4 piece kit, but it's just not for me. Personally, I just don't feel that I can express myself unless I have a wide range of instruments to use. I feel like I'm writing a book, so I'm going to write in another post to make it seem easier to read all this. Stay tuned!

[Edit] Oh yeah, I forgot. I love playing with bands also. My favorite stuff to play is Tool, since Danny Carey is an innovative genius at the drums. I also like playing most other forms of rock, funk, latin, afro-cuban, etc...
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Last edited by mapexdrummer4life_08; 04-27-2008 at 05:36 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2008, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Now that you know where my approach to my playing style is, I'll explain my setup (and my future setup). Basically, you can see that the toms are spaced very close together and flow into each other. This is to promote natural arm movement around the arc of the kit. Basically my arms can stay in one spot, and when I rotate my upper body around, the heads of the sticks are in the center of all the toms (except the piccolos on the upper row). Less arm movement = less stress/tension = less fatigue = more power/endurance. Now, granted, I don't just do runs up and down the toms just by moving my upper body. It's just nice to be able to play around the kit without having to unnaturally reach in or out for a drum or cymbal.
Here are my current specs:
22x18 bass drum
14x5.5 snare
16x13 tom
14x11 tom
12x9 tom
10x8 tom
8x8 tom
10x3.5 piccolo tom
10x3.5 piccolo tom
6x7 piccolo tom

Cymbals:
14" Zildjian K Mastersound Hi-Hats
22" Zildjian K Ride
8" Avedis Zildjian Splash
14" Avedis Zildjian Thin Crash (I use it as a low pitched splash)
18" Zildjian K Dark Crash Medium Thin
18" Zildjian K Dark Crash Thin
Custom made 16" Wuhan China Stack

Hardware:
Pearl Eliminator Belt Drive
Pearl Eliminator Hi-Hat Stand
Pearl ICON Curved Front Rack
Various other Pearl and Mapex stands

Accessories:
Toca Players Series Cowbell (on the left foot)

I feel like posting pictures now, so I'll explain my tunings later.

Here's my concept drawing of the future kit. The only cymbals in this are the hi hats, because I had to get my tom layout worked out in that area.


Here is my pedal layout. I'm not sure in what order the accessories will be, but all that's listed will be there for sure.


This post has got to be long, so I'll post the future specs here in a bit.
Stay tuned!
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2008, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Here are the future specs:

Drums:
22x18 Bass Drum (main bass drum w/ double pedal
18x16 Bass Drum (to the right of 22x18, played with right foot)
16x13 Tom
14x11 Tom
12x9 Tom
10x8 Tom
8x8 Tom
10x2.5 Piccolo Tom
10x2.5 Piccolo Tom
10x2.5 Piccolo Tom
10x2.5 Piccolo Tom
8x2.5 Piccolo Tom
8x2.5 Piccolo Tom
8x2.5 Piccolo Tom
8x2.5 Piccolo Tom
6x7 Piccolo Tom
6x7 Piccolo Tom
12" Djembe
11" Conga
10" Conga
8" Bongo
7" Bongo
14x6.5 Black Panther Phosphor Bronze Hand Hammered Snare
10x5 Black Panther Maple Snare (on left foot)

Cymbals:
14" Zildjian K Mastersound Hats
8" Avedis Zildjian Splash
6" Zildjian K Splash
14" Avedis Zildjian Thin Crash
14" Zildjian K Dark Crash Thin
16" Zildjian K Dark Crash Thin
16" Zildjian K Dark Crash Medium Thin
18" Zildjian K Dark Crash Thin
18" Zildjian K Dark Crash Medium Thin
22" Zildjian K Ride
18" Zildjian Oriental China Trash
16" Custom Made Wuhan China Stack
6" Zil Bell
9" Zil Bell
#1 Paiste Cup Chime
#2 Paiste Cup Chime
#4 Paiste Cup Chime
#6 Paiste Cup Chime
#7 Paiste Cup Chime

Accessories:
LP Granite Blocks
LP Red Jam Block
LP Ridge Rider Cowbell Low
LP Ridge Rider Cowbell Medium
LP Ridge Rider Cowbell High
LP Salsa Cowbell Cha-Cha Low
LP Cyclops Tambourine (played with left foot)
LP Bongo Cowbell (played with left foot)
LP Red Jam Block (played with left foot)

Hardware:
Pearl Eliminators
Pearl ICON 3 sided curved rack (3 curved front racks for extra side length)
Various Pearl and Mapex stands/mounting adapters

Questions? Comments? Feel free...
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2008, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Wow, really great to see someone so dedicated to their art. I look forward to seeing the progressions on the kit, looks like it's going to be quite a monster when you're done.

The addition of those Paiste cup chimes will be interesting, have you thought about going all out with a set of crotales?
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

You must be loaded with cash my friend
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Haha I am most certainly not loaded with cash. I'm going to college this fall, so it's quite the opposite. Let's put it this way: ebay is my friend.

^^^ I have though about crotales many times, and I may incorporate them down the road. My friend has the cup chimes and I love them, so they come first. Crotales would definitely add a new melodic demension to the sound though, since they are tuned chromatically.
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2008, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Quote:
Originally Posted by razorx View Post
You must be loaded with cash my friend
Yeah, especially when it comes time to buy mics for the whole kit!
Seriously, looks good so far. I really dig the "floor" cowbell. That would make for some cool ostinatos from the feet... and I'd really like to hear that China!
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Thats dedication, a college kid looking for a Terry Bozzio kit. I myself would not do this because I view my form of drumming as about feel and rythem not about melodies but I still totally dig what you are doing man. Plus I love your cymbals, and I have never heard of ostinatos but they do sound very interesting.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

That kit looks wonderful! I like the set-up idea and it looks like it's quite comfortable to play. The crack in the top (whole) china is a shame though (or isn't that a crack?).
Good luck acquiring the rest of the stuff!
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

That china stack/piggyback is actually two broken wuhan chinas stacked tgether. It was more of an experiment than anything else, but it ended up sounding really good, so added it to my setup. It's a really fast burst of white noise, but it still cuts through the mix well. It looks unique also.
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2008, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

wow must have had a brain fart earlier. my piccolo toms are 3.5" deep, not 2.5". haha, 2.5 would barely extend past the lugs.
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Old 04-28-2008, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

I can't wait to see this kit, going to be massive. Totally different from my kit, go for as little as possible.
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  #21  
Old 04-28-2008, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Can't wait to see the finished kit, from your drawings its gonna look great.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

I really admire your way of thinking, it is quite clear that you have an immense passion for your playing and your kit, also in your own development.

Forgive if I've been blind but what model is the kit, its obvious that its Mapex but which model? I'm sure it says somewhere but I haven't seen it :)

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Old 04-29-2008, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

So I take it this is your wedding gig kit? LOL. Just kidding, that's a really nice layout. Those floor toms seem really angled though. I saw Bozzio do a clinic several years ago and it was pretty mind blowing. Good luck with the kit and your playing.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

I see you've come to embrace the less is more approach.

But in all seriousness, if you can use it, go for it. There are a lot of great things you can only play on a kit like this, so I can't wait to see it further updated.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Thanks for all the kind responses! I love getting new comments, so keep 'em coming!

This kit is a Mapex M Birch in transparent honey amber. There are some different odds and ends here and there that I'll explain in a bit. My kit started out as a 7 piece studio kit purchased from musician's friend, but I knew that I wanted more when I bought it. I knew that I wasn't going to settle for anything less than professional quality when I built my kit. At first I was a little hesitant on the M Birch, thinking that an intermediate quality set wouldn't fit my ideals, but I went out on a limb and got it anyway. I have never been so wrong in my life. I LOVE these drums!!! I seriously think that Mapex has under-advertised these drums; they are finely detailed, professionally crafted instruments that sound amazing! The thinner shells give the toms and bass drum a lot of body and presence without the annoying ring (with the studio x heads on them). I don't recommend using any type of external muffling like e-rings (they vibrate and make miking/recording impossible) or moongel (It's too hard to fine tune the sound, plus placing them on the edge of the head creates a point of focus that distracts the head from vibrating naturally like it should, thus making a dull unfocused sound with no attack: think of playing with marshmallows on the end of your stick.) Theoretically, the only way to make moongel work with the head would be to either place it in the exact center of the head (which is kind of out of the question) or place multiple pieces in a perfect circle all the way around the outside of the head (which is way too many pieces: one piece is too much IMO).

Anyway, back to the drums. The all birch shells have a natural low end oomph, with plenty of attack and presence (once again, with the right heads). The low toms growl, and the high toms sing (in a good way). These drums can project their sound like you wouldn't believe. The show I played in the pictures above I did without mics, simply because I didn't need them. That auditorium seats 800 (btw, it was standing room only at that show!!!) and the sound was still crisp and defined all the way at the back. I know because my friend, who's an amazing drummer, played them during an intermission act with a band while I stood in the back struggling to hear the guitarists (who were cranked through several stacks!!!) Ok, I'll stop bragging now. :D

Because of the natural low end birch shells promote, I opted to go with the Pro M series for my piccolo toms. The maple shells allows them to sing a bit more while producing the right tone a piccolo tom should have. The two 10" piccolos are from one 10x8 Pro M tom I bought off of ebay and cut down into the two piccolos. I plan on doing that for the other two 10's and the four 8's. Another oddity is my 6" piccolo. It's actually a spock from a set of pearl marching tenors. I took off the wrap, cut the depth down some, sanded it all the way down to 5000 grit, then lacquered it with a clearcoat. I still need the BT-3(?) bracket for it though; if you look close you can see it's only mounted with an arm sticking through a hole I drilled for the bracket and secured with only a memory lock. Ghetto rigged for now, but still 100% functional.

Wow, I really do have a tendency to write books. Maybe I should write one on the science of drumming. I find it quite interesting to think about. Stuff like how the different tunings of the batter and resonant heads affect the air column inside the drum, or how different tuning intervals can produce harmonics and create totally different sounding pitches than just what the individual drums can produce. I guess you get the picture.

I'm sure I'm forgetting more stuff, so feel free to (please!) ask more questions! I love typing up these responses.
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  #26  
Old 04-29-2008, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

I always thought that maple had more low end than birch... but maple does sing with more clarity indeed. I like how you rounded up that set, nice story!

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feel free to (please!) ask more questions! I love typing up these responses.
And you need a new hobby... ;) kidding.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Nice drums. And I admire your project.

I also have studio-x's on my toms together with the superkick II/regulator combo on my bass and I love these heads. Is that a studio-x on your snare as well? How does this (uncoated, muffled) head sound on a snare? I've tried the hi-energy and found it a little dead. I now have the focus-x, which is okay. I'm a fan of aquarian heads, but I still haven't found the perfect snare head.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

What bottom head do you have on your snare? I recommend the classic clear. It's super thin and has really good snare response. I think my snare sounds great right now. If I had a good quality set of snares, it would sound amazing. I play snares off more often than snares on, so I really like the sound I get. Whenever it comes time to play snares on though, it sounds good. I'm getting the black panther 6.5" hand hammered phosphor bronze snare, which will sound killer snares on or off.

Maybe I should just post a video going around my kit and hitting stuff for you guys.
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  #29  
Old 05-09-2008, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

I've been thinking about switching to an aquarian focus x for my snare. I'd keep the classic clear on the bottom. My teacher has this combination and I really like it. I still like the studio x on top, but I kind of want to try this on my snare and see how it meshes with the rest of the kit. questions? comments?
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Hey, that's a pretty sweet kit my man. I like the shape of everything. You look organized. That's the most important thing.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Very nice, particularly interested in those custom piccolo toms, inspired me to possibly do something similar to expand my soundstage - though that said I do have some Remo Roto-Toms lurking in the garage which I should really use!

Again.... very nice - what kind of music do you play?
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smalltownsideshow View Post
Very nice, particularly interested in those custom piccolo toms, inspired me to possibly do something similar to expand my soundstage - though that said I do have some Remo Roto-Toms lurking in the garage which I should really use!
I highly recommend custom piccolos. They make your kit personal when you put actual physical work into the drums. (or get someone else to do it, either way it's still custom!) I like rototoms a lot, but I wouldn't use them as primary piccolos. They don't project quite as well as a piccolo w/ a shell does. My buddy uses both types, two 10" rotos in about the same location as mine, and four 6" rotos over the 14" and 16" floor toms. Then he also has two 8" piccolos cut from an 8x8 tom under his hi hat kind of like what's in my diagram.

Last piece of advice: make sure you know what pitches or intervals you will tune your toms to. It can really sound like crap when you have a lot of drums at any old pitch. It sounds a lot cleaner going around the toms when there's a specific interval between each one. I'll post my tunings here in a bit. Once again, I highly recommend custom piccolo toms!
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

I got a new diagram of my kit up on dw kitbuilder. They don't have some of the right sizes, like 6" toms, or congas, bongos, or djembes. At least you get the idea. I basically just took the two 6" and put them to the left of the 8's so my knee has some clearance.



I'll post a different one with updated tom sizes, cymbals (which I have added more to the future list!), pedals, and accessories in a little bit. I'll work on it during school today. The end high school is upon me, and I have nothing to do but this. Gotta love it!
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Very nice project. I have the same root sizes of drums in the same model. I echo your sentiments on the overachieving nature of the Mapex M Birch. I also have had great luck with the Aquarian heads I use. I have the Black Panther Thick Flamed Maple (6 x 14) and use an Aquarian Texture Coated w/ Power Dot (although it's pictured in my sig with a Hi Energy) and have fallen in love with the sound. Very versatile snare with that head combo. We tread over some of the same gear in much different ways. Very cool

I enjoy reading your approaches to drums, technique and tuning...it's like a supplement to Modern Drummer or Drum! magazine. I'm glad you didn't waste all that passion and effort on singing or something lame like oboe :-) Good luck on finding all your gear and still paying your student loans!
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

^^^Thanks! I checked out your kit and it's sweet. I almost got that finish...

I was cleaning up my hard drive and found some really old pics of when I first got my kit. I should post 'em so you can see what I started out with.

Who wants to make this thread two pages? Next post wins!!!
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

I do!!!!

please post pics, it would be great to see what it looked like when you first purchased it, compared to now.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:02 AM
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Wow, that looks niice. I'd love to get behind it and have a play. I can see a Bozzio-esque kit coming to life ;)
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

...very nice set up you have there.

There is nothing that I can say that has not been said already, but looking at your kit makes me want to play a bigger kit.

That being said, playing a bigger kit makes my lameness that much more obvious, so it is back to the four piece.

Once again, nice kit.

Barry
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

Wow, I've been majorly slacking on this thread. Thanks for the kind words everyone.

There will soon be some updates that haven't been planned. My teacher is getting rid of two pearl snares, so I'm going to buy them. One is 10" and the other is 12"; I'm not sure what the depths are yet. The awesome part is, besides sounding fantastic, they match the finish of my drums. I'll be sure to update when I can.
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: My Project Mapex

*UPDATES*

I bought the two Pearl snares. One is a 10x6 popcorn snare, and the other is a 12x7 sopranino snare. I'm considering using the 12" as my main snare, it sounds so fantastic. I'm still keeping my 14x5.5 on the kit though, probably off to the left. When the time comes, it'll probably go down for the left foot. I don't have pics yet, but they'll be here soon. Let me know what you think!
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