Are overpriced drums worth it ? A Defence of mapex

I spend a lot of time, shopping around for drums and looking a them and trying to work out what company gives you a real good value for money.
at the start of the year , I purchased my dream set of drums -yamaha live custom hybrid oak in natural finish. I LOVE this kit. However ,in the years leading up to this purchase, I always considered mapex drums. In particular , the mapex Saturn range. I always felt like mapex always demonstrated good value for money with very reasonably priced kits, with what appears to be a great professional kit at the £1300 mark. I always turned myself away from these kits as my ‘dream’ choice as I always had a notion that mapex where budget, mass produced, and thrown together in cheap manufacturing countries like China and taiwan to save a buck. So in My choosing of my dream kit I felt I had to spend the extra money on my yamaha , as I wrongly believed they made their high end kits in Japan. It was after a few months of having them I noticed ‘made in China’ on the main badge, and therefore I felt my reason to go with Yamahas more expensive drums was now invalidated, and I should have perhaps saved a significant amount of money and brought the mapex Saturn I always had a soft spot for.
As I am now learning - it seems like all the big names in drums.. pearl, tama, etc are now manufacturing most of their drums in China , yet their prices are still very high ? In this day and age, we have been making drums for a very long time, and naturally, with technology getting better and more efficient, prices of products should drop considerably over time. Yet , it seems like that he manufacturing has dropped , but the prices for consumers are still the same ? I can assume the big cats at the tops of these companies are enjoying their nice juicy profit Margins. I also feel awakened to a world of marketing dishonesty and sensationalism. With every artist , and channel on you tube telling you that their gear (that they are endorsed with )is the best you can get, and you must spend the extra money to buy a superior Set of drums. look, a drum is a drum, and theyre nothing special , but every year, a big name company will spout words such as ‘revolutionary technology’ as they chuck new gimmick hardware on the drums to keep the prices nice and high. I believe , a great drum, does not have to cost sky high prices , and if they have a good even shell with a good bearing edge with some quality no nonsense hardware on it should be unbeatable. If price point is a valued factor in this comparison, mapex seem to own this area of the market. Especially when you get a good set of heads on them, they probably give your high end pearls, tamas and DWs a good competitive run for their worth.
So with what sounds like a good rant out the way. I ask, what is the best value in drums , should we come away from being blinded by brand names, and should we start learning how to recognise a good drum without looking at the price. Cheers!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I always felt like mapex always demonstrated good value for money with very reasonably priced kits, with what appears to be a great professional kit at the £1300 mark. I always turned myself away from these kits as my ‘dream’ choice as I always had a notion that mapex where budget, mass produced, and thrown together in cheap manufacturing countries like China and taiwan to save a buck.
If you have your dream kit why are you worried?

Saturns are great kits, I own one. Far from thrown together, maybe some of the earlier kits 30 years ago were a bit crap but they've come a long way since then.

As for where they're made it really doesn't matter, we sold all our manufacturing to China for a fast buck long ago as did the US.
 
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You have officially crossed the line. You now understand it's just a drum. The best value in drums you seek? Buy used. That's the holy grail of drum purchases.
But ultimately , used prices are still heavily determined by the value of what the drum was new. However , if no one is buying a £3000 second hand DW, then it proves it really was never worth even £3000 in the first place
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
But ultimately , used prices are still heavily determined by the value of what the drum was new. However , if no one is buying a £3000 second hand DW, then it proves it really was never worth even £3000 in the first place
Not necessarily. Some of it is location based. Some of it is the equipment itself. Most of it is people buy a fantastic drumset with dreams of stardom. They then realize they dont wanna put in the work to be a drummer and want their $$$ back.

Used gear is plentiful. Keep looking around and you will find gold eventually.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I have to admit, I know I'm in the wrong with this one.... I'm certain that Mapex makes a fine drum.

The Mapex branding and aesthetic do not sit well with me.

To start with, the name "Mapex" sounds like a brand of feminine hygiene products made by/for the fine people of Vermont.

Next is the faux-modern adornments that look like they were part of the 80's anime Robotech universe.

Last are the badges, which make it look like each individual drum has won a WWE title fight.
 
I have to admit, I know I'm in the wrong with this one.... I'm certain that Mapex makes a fine drum.

The Mapex branding and aesthetic do not sit well with me.

To start with, the name "Mapex" sounds like a brand of feminine hygiene products made by/for the fine people of Vermont.

Next is the faux-modern adornments that look like they were part of the 80's anime Robotech universe.

Last are the badges, which make it look like each individual drum has won a WWE title fight.
I understand the are very legitimate reasons that people are turned away from gear. For a lot of very normal people, looks play a bit part of how we feel about kits. I feel like the black panther range of kits are a bit hit and miss for me, hover I think it’s the Saturn’s where they’re really rocking it! I’ll urge you to take a look at a mapex Saturn - deep water burl finish. Those things look stunning! Also I recently got my hands on a black panther warbird snare drum. Also a good piece of drum, check it out !
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Overpriced is always a relative term. Something is worth no more, or no less, than you're willing to pay for it. Financial philosophy aside, there's a plethora of high-quality equipment on the market that would conform to most definitions of "reasonably priced." You don't have to sacrifice retirement savings to attain professional-grade drums, cymbals, and hardware. You just need to be wise and realistic when making selections.

Rather than "spending a lot of time shopping around for drums," you'd probably be better off just settling on a setup and playing it. Incessant shopping doesn't bolster one's drumming; it distracts from it. Almost every manufacturer makes good drums in the current era. Pick a brand and series and carry on with playing.
 

Nictarine

Silver Member
When you make a big purchase the best thing you can do is to stop shopping around, you already made the decision and when you find a great deal you're going to beat yourself up over it. When I bought my truck as I signed the paperwork I deleted the car apps and cleared my search history, I knew I was going to see something in a few days that would be a "better" deal and I didn't want buyer's remorse!

As far as drums go my personal approach is that I'm not going to spend over $1500 on a kit, other than teaching lessons (if/when the world goes back to normal) I'm not making money off of my playing so there's no need for me to have a $3000 kit, that being said I work for Guitar Center so with my discount $1500 would get me into a really nice rig!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
When you make a big purchase the best thing you can do is to stop shopping around, you already made the decision and when you find a great deal you're going to beat yourself up over it. When I bought my truck as I signed the paperwork I deleted the car apps and cleared my search history, I knew I was going to see something in a few days that would be a "better" deal and I didn't want buyer's remorse!
Sage advice. The most important rule of deal-making is to never look back on a deal. There will always be additional options, but you can't pursue them all. Embrace your decision and go on with life.
 
Overpriced is always a relative term. Something is worth no more, or no less, than you're willing to pay for it. Financial philosophy aside, there's a plethora of high-quality equipment on the market that would conform to most definitions of "reasonably priced." You don't have to sacrifice retirement savings to attain professional-grade drums, cymbals, and hardware. You just need to be wise and realistic when making selections.

Rather than "spending a lot of time shopping around for drums," you'd probably be better off just settling on a setup and playing it. Incessant shopping doesn't bolster one's drumming; it distracts from it. Almost every manufacturer makes good drums in the current era. Pick a brand and series and carry on with playing.
I love my yamaha, and I don’t wish to sell it. I’m no pro drummer, however, I like nice things , I have always loved drums , I have always loved looking at drums aswell.
When you make a big purchase the best thing you can do is to stop shopping around, you already made the decision and when you find a great deal you're going to beat yourself up over it. When I bought my truck as I signed the paperwork I deleted the car apps and cleared my search history, I knew I was going to see something in a few days that would be a "better" deal and I didn't want buyer's remorse!

As far as drums go my personal approach is that I'm not going to spend over $1500 on a kit, other than teaching lessons (if/when the world goes back to normal) I'm not making money off of my playing so there's no need for me to have a $3000 kit, that being said I work for Guitar Center so with my discount $1500 would get me into a really nice rig!
ah you see , I just love drums in general, I love looking at them, I think about them a lot. I’m not even a pro drummer- nor am I expecting the best gear to make me a better one. All I can say they’re just a thing that I love! I know my original writing makes me sound regretful with my yamaha , but everything set aside , I LOVE the kit, and I am not looking to sell it. I also got a really good price for it new which was a great bonus.
 
If you have your dream kit why are you worried?

Saturns are great kits, I own one. Far from thrown together, maybe some of the earlier kits 30 years ago were a bit crap but they've come a long way since then.

As for where they're made it really doesn't matter, we sold all our manufacturing to China for a fast buck long ago as did the US.
As much as the original writing makes it sound as though I am regretful , I still LOVE my yamaha. It’s really stunning and I am not looking to getting rid of it
If you have your dream kit why are you worried?

Saturns are great kits, I own one. Far from thrown together, maybe some of the earlier kits 30 years ago were a bit crap but they've come a long way since then.

As for where they're made it really doesn't matter, we sold all our manufacturing to China for a fast buck long ago as did the US.
its certainly not a matter that is keeping me up at night. I still love my kit, and it has always been a dream kit. I felt like if I had gone with a cheaper kit I would have always looked to the Yamaha woundering ‘what life would be like’ if I decide to spend the extra to get it. But now I have a much better understanding of what makes a good drum , had I had this understanding before, the outcome may have been different
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
JoeISOneill:

Now you’ve gone and done it! You have screwed up your drumming life forever. You purchased a Yamaha Live Custom Hybrid Oak kit.

Someday, down the road, you will see a drum kit that really catches your eye. Or you will hear a recording of a kit that sounds wonderful. Or worse yet you will watch and hear a drummer playing in a live situation who makes their kit sound amazing. Then you will eventually purchase another kit thinking that you have found your dream kit. And, you will go through this scenario several times if not many times through the years. And each time you do this you will realize that the original Yamaha Live Custom Oak kit was the best kit you ever owned. And you will go on for the rest of your life being sad, wishing that you had never sold it.

I feel so sorry for you, by buying the Yamaha kit, that you currently own, you have screwed up your life forever.

.
 
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JoeISOneill:

Now you’ve gone and done it! You have screwed up your drumming life forever. You purchased a Yamaha Live Custom Hybrid Oak kit.

Someday, down the road, you will see a drum kit that really catches your eye. Or you will hear a recording of a kit that sounds wonderful. Or worse yet you will watch and hear a drummer playing in a live situation who makes their kit sound amazing. Then you will eventually purchase another kit thinking that you have found your dream kit. And, you will go through this scenario several times if not many times through the years. And each time you do this you will realize that the original Yamaha Live Custom Oak kit was the best kit you ever owned. And you will go on for the rest of your life being sad, wishing that you had never sold it.

I fell so sorry for you, by buying the Yamaha kit, that you currently own, you have screwed up your life forever.

.
Mate! I’m not getting rid of it I friggin love the thing hahahaha, if anything I’m looking at a second kit as I just LOVE drums
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I don't find that prices are high for new kits, and drums are unbelievably well made compared to 30-40 years ago, at least in the intermediate and entry-level category. High-end drums have always been well made though I'd venture to say that they've never been better than they are today.

I bought a brand-new Yamaha Stage Custom Birch shell pack for $725 Canadian earlier this year. That's under $550 US for a five piece drum kit with a 22" kick drum and a 10-lug snare. I think it's a remarkable value for the money. I can only imagine what something like that would have cost back in the 80's. They are anything but cheaply made.

As for Mapex, I've played several sets and briefly owned one and they're fine though the rack tom mounting system wasn't great on any of the kits I've played. The brand name and logo are an issue too, I'll have to admit.

On a positive note, the Yamaha Oak Hybrids are incredible drums. You've got a great kits on your hands, there.
 
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