Are overpriced drums worth it ? A Defence of mapex

dale w miller

Silver Member
Well since you assume you know me, my household income is less than $20,000 a year. Yet my house is paid. So is my wife's and my car. I have no credit card debt. Would you like to continue on down this road or no?
I don’t assume to know you. I just know how to budget for gear when there’s low income. If you have no kids to support or medical bills, we are quite similar in where I once was. Your income is lower than minimum wage here in the Northeast. I’m assuming one of you cannot work so you’re feeding two with that income.

Nevertheless, I was able to save for gear making slightly more than minimum wage and I had rent to pay, but whatever. I’m not going to argue with you.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Ok then. So you choose to be poor (in a financial sense). In my initial reply you seemed to take umbrage with me saying "some people are just cheapskates...... etc". Notice the word "some". Being poor isn't being a cheapskate but I got some snide vibes with the "lofty standards" remark. My wife and I both started at the bottom of our professions and worked our way up through the years to a couple decent management slots all the while raising 2 daughters, one of whom is autistic. There were years when we worked different shifts and had different days off. Attending various therapy sesssions between work days for my daughter and countless autism seminars. We sacrificed in that regard. I'm not looking for a medal. My daughter did the tough sledding. We just helped her.

My point is that everybody makes choices during the course of their lives and must live with the consequences. The fact that we were able to save for retirement and take care of kids along the way (dance school, special needs therapy, college) doesn't constitute lofty standards. They're just standards we set for ourselves along the way of this thing called life. We've arrived at our retirement age recently and lo and behold we have a couple extra bucks to show for it. We feel fortunate and are happy with both our kids' lives and ours.
I wouldnt say it's a choice per se, it's more not caring about $$$. My dads family has money. And they are all selfish, lonely assholes. They are angry, bitter people who only care about their money and how they can manipulate other people with it. I took that as a lesson as how not to be. I've never valued money. It just isnt that important to me. I'd rather be happy with what I have and who I am than always having to chase something better. I dont need that.

My wife and I sat down and watched a movie together at like 1:30 in the afternoon a Wednesday because we wanted to. How many other people can say that in a non-pandemic world? Being able to do that is worth more than any pile of money I could ever have.

My daughter is high functioning autistic. She is 21 now but still lives at home. She works too, but we dont charge her rent or bills. She doesnt drive so she helps with gas, and anything else she wants to. Like she has a dog, so she buys dogfood sometimes. My nephew is non-speaking autistic. I totally understand therapy and how it changes ones approach at life.

It's not impossible to live comfortably on little money. It's just priorities.

As for the lofty comment, you are calling people's kits trash. In my experience, if it isnt up to someones financial standards and therefore they regard it as trash, that's pretty freaking lofty. It felt like a snide remark.
 
I also think that a set is not trash just because it's cheap. My hodgepodge Premier mahogany set cost me about $200 and it's one of the best sounding sets I've ever heard. It also doesn't cause any problems what so ever.
It's all about dimishing returns and what is important to YOU after a few hundred bucks.
To answer the thread's question: overpriced drums are not worth it - that's why they are "overpriced", duh.

Sorry, I had to do it. ;)
 

acsunda

Junior Member
I also think that a set is not trash just because it's cheap. My hodgepodge Premier mahogany set cost me about $200 and it's one of the best sounding sets I've ever heard. It also doesn't cause any problems what so ever.
It's all about dimishing returns and what is important to YOU after a few hundred bucks.
To answer the thread's question: overpriced drums are not worth it - that's why they are "overpriced", duh.

Sorry, I had to do it. ;)
Exactly. I made a little bop kit out of a Ludwig Rocker tom, Ludwig Backbeat tom, and a Tama imperialstar floor tom, and it sounds great. It's all about heads and tuning.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Read the whole sentence in context....... "Some people are just cheapskates and don't mind playing trash kits" . In simpler terms, I'm commenting about people who have money but are just too cheap to spend it. Tightwads!! They're the worst.

I have a brother who is a cheapskate. He'll tell the waitress to put everything on one check and when she hands it to him he pushes it into the middle of the table and sits on his hands. He has literally pulled the "I left my wallet at home" trick on me and I've seen him say "I've got the tip" and not leave one. The thing that grates on me is that he has money but will do anything possible not to part with it. That's a whole different animal when compared to your situation. He and I don't interact much because of it. He's annoying.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I have a brother who is cheapskate. He'll tell the waitress to put everything on one check and when she hands it to him he pushes it into the middle of the table and sits on his hands. He has literally pulled the "I left my wallet at home" trick on me and I've seen him say "I've got the tip" and not leave one. The thing that grates on me is that he has money but will do anything possible not to part with it. That's a whole different animal when compared to your situation. He and I don't interact much because of it. He's annoying.
Ah, okay. I see where you are coming from. That was my grandfather sort of. He was a "If you do this I'll buy you that", then "well that's not good enough. I'm not buying you anything" kind of guy. Emotional manipulation through finances. Gotta love it.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Read the whole sentence in context....... "Some people are just cheapskates and don't mind playing trash kits" . In simpler terms, I'm commenting about people who have money but are just too cheap to spend it. Tightwads!! They're the worst.

I have a brother who is a cheapskate. He'll tell the waitress to put everything on one check and when she hands it to him he pushes it into the middle of the table and sits on his hands. He has literally pulled the "I left my wallet at home" trick on me and I've seen him say "I've got the tip" and not leave one. The thing that grates on me is that he has money but will do anything possible not to part with it. That's a whole different animal when compared to your situation. He and I don't interact much because of it. He's annoying.
I don't know your brother, but he annoys me too.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Ah, okay. I see where you are coming from. That was my grandfather sort of. He was a "If you do this I'll buy you that", then "well that's not good enough. I'm not buying you anything" kind of guy. Emotional manipulation through finances. Gotta love it.
What a guy! LOL. I know my grandparents were all pretty frugal having grown up during the depression. My paternal grandfather was in the insurance business and he lost a lot of money during the depression. I'm sure that changed the outlook of many from that generation.

You and I aren't as different as you think. I don't put a lot emphasis on the pursuit of money either. Growing up in the Northeast though is kind of sink or swim if you're not a farmer who grows his own stuff. It's expensive to live here so it's best to have a good job if can get one. If it grows into a better job then all the better. I drive a 15 yr old car and have clothes that are kind of older but comfortable. All I spend money on at this point is drum stuff 'cause I enjoy the different drums that are out there today.

Happy to hear your daughter is doing well. In that respect we're family! (y)
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Let’s don’t confuse “overpriced” with “expensive”. They are different things.

So beside food, clothing and shelter, everything else is a “want”. So let’s not define overpriced by “value” but rather look at it in terms of a “want”. For example, I have a DW kit with a super exotic veneer finish. It added about $2k to the price of a stock lacquer finish. It makes almost zero difference is the sound or the playability of the kit. But it makes me feel better, I could afford it and that’s what it costs to do that. I feel pretty stylin when I sit behind it. So what’s that feeling worth. A printed photo finish would have looked the same to anyone else watching and made no difference in the sound. Little extras can be very expensive simply because the cost a lot to do.

I also have a Sawtooth kit I paid $150 for just to use as a practice kit I could leave around without having to worry about my baby. I ended up stripping off the crappy vinyl covering, refinished it and put $150 worth of top line drumheads on it and I wouldn’t bet my life that I could tell the difference sonically between the two.

The delta between a $5000 kit and a $500 kit sonically in my case is zero. So in that sense the DW kit is overpriced. But if you want exactly what the DW kit gives you then $5k is the price of getting there and it is not overpriced, just expensive.
 
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Al Strange

Well-known member
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!
Although we’ve been around the houses a bit I think what everyone has been trying to say is “yes, a good drum is a good drum and worth the price in the eyes and ears of the beholder, irrespective of brand/price”? :unsure: Very interesting and thought provoking thread.:D(y)
 

Rotarded

Senior Member
I'm what many would class as "thrifty". All of my drum gear came to me "used" and well under market value. I've horse traded, bought low and sold high, restored and flipped, and made my own kits (Stainless BOP). My modus operandi in life is to shop at Aldi, thrift stores, closeout stores, and flea markets for a vast majority of my needs. Not that I don't have a good income (dual income no kids), It was a way of life in college, as I paid my own way through, working full time living on my own, that turned into a habit. I hate paying retail for ANYTHING, and have the means to enjoy the rest of my life comfortably.

If you really want something, you can afford it, but it takes effort, planning, patience, and time. Anything is within your reach with the commitment. "Overpriced" and "Expensive" are a personal mindset, as is "Value.

That being said, I own what some in this thread call overpriced expensive drums. I earned every god damn one of them, and I'm proud to have them no matter what anyone thinks. I've watched this thread beat the proverbial dead horse for far too long. Can we just let this go....
 
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Al Strange

Well-known member
I'm what many would class as "thrifty". All of my drum gear came to me "used" and well under market value. I've horse traded, bought low and sold high, restored and flipped, and made my own kits (Stainless BOP). My modus operandi in life is to shop at Aldi, thrift stores, closeout stores, and flea markets for a vast majority of my needs. Not that I don't have a good income (dual income no kids), It was a way of life in college, as I paid my own way through, working full time living on my own, that turned into a habit. I hate paying retail for ANYTHING, and have the means to enjoy the rest of my life comfortably.

If you really want something, you can afford it, but it takes effort, planning, patience, and time. Anything is within your reach with the commitment. "Overpriced" and "Expensive" are a personal mindset, as is "Value.

That being said, I own what some in this thread call overpriced expensive drums. I earned every god damn one of them, and I'm proud to have them no matter what anyone thinks. I've watched this thread beat the proverbial dead horse for far too long. Can we just let this go....
Only if you buy me a beer... ;)
 

J-W

Well-known member
Show us a dead horse we can't beat here at DrummerWorld !! Minutiae is our life's blood !! 🤣 :cool:
So true. And then we'd be arguing if the breed of horse matters regarding resonance or tone.....or if John Good raised the horse would it be overpriced.

It's pretty crazy what a question that literally answered itself has led to in this thread.........and did anyone even defend Mapex?


Speaking of defense and since minutiae is the new topic of this thread, let's dig in.........
Hey OP, it's DEFENSE. unless you be sittin on defence ,:ROFLMAO:
Hey Freddy, it's DEFENCE if you be sittin on the other side of de pond......and he is.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
It's pretty crazy what a question that literally answered itself has led to in this thread.........and did anyone even defend Mapex?
It's pretty normal. Just wait, there will be a knock down drag out no holds barred eventually locked out by mods thread about tuning that starts out as a hoop question. Words on a page are funny sometimes.

I have a friend who has owned at least 2 Mapex kits that I know of. He loves them. I've played each one a few times and enjoyed them. I trust his opinion and by his opinion alone would but a Mapex drum kit. I realize this means literally nothing, but Mapex needed some defendin I reckin.
 

J-W

Well-known member
It's pretty normal. Just wait, there will be a knock down drag out no holds barred eventually locked out by mods thread about tuning that starts out as a hoop question. Words on a page are funny sometimes.
We could speed up the process and just simply mention that wrist injuries are possible from drumming. :devilish:

As for Mapex, I think they are great drums, myself. My local drum shop sold them and always touted them as the best buy in drums. I strongly considered a double bass kit they had in, that was custom ordered by someone that had backed out on it, that had 4 rack toms 10,12,13,14 that were all the same 9" depth and sounded amazing. The only thing that kept me from getting it was that it was bright yellow.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
I can assume the big cats at the tops of these companies are enjoying their nice juicy profit Margins.
The general public thinks the average company makes a 36% profit margin, which is about 5X too high. Pretty easy to check and these corporations all have public books if they are listed on the stock markets. There’s only one industry that had a profit margin as high as 36% – and that was tobacco at 43.3%. The next highest profit margin was 26.4% for financial services, but more than 72% of industry profit margins were single-digits and the median industry profit margin is 6%. BTW ... Industry net profit for Big Pharma is about 13.6%.

OTOH the 90 year average for the S&P 500 is 9.6% and was over 29% in 2019. So why would anybody start a corporation and work your ass off when they could put their money in the S&P500 make 9.6% while sitting at the beach drinking things with little umbrellas in them?
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
.... I ask, what is the best value in drums , ....
I don't know. For me, the very bottom end and very top end are out of the running. But that leaves a huge middle section for consideration.
Best value will largely depend on what your priorities are.

You have a very nice set of drums. Haven't seen a pic yet though. ;)
From reading your first post, it sounds like you have some buyer's remorse because you thought they were made in Japan, and not in China.
Also that you could have bought some other drums (Mapex) that were made in China, but are less expensive.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but I'd say just play and enjoy your drums, and if you buy another set somewhere down the line, consider what you've learned.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
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.
Criteria in order of descending importance, irregardless of new or used:
  1. Is the kit (shells & hardware) in good shape? All the little pieces are functional, no stripped threads etc.
  2. Does it sound good to your ears?
  3. Do you like its finish?
  4. Can you afford it?
  5. Can you afford to replace the heads and snappy if needed?
If “yes” to all, then drop the hammer.
 
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