Good deal on Saturns?

549

Member
So I was killing time at one of the big music stores while the wife shopped at the mall, and I saw they had a set of used Saturns. They were up high and I couldn't get an up-close look, but they looked to be in really good condition.

Looked like a 22" kick, 12" & 13" mounted toms, 16" FT, 14" x 5.5"(I think) snare. I've determined the finish is transparent black. The badges just said Saturn Series. No hardware but the tom mounts.

A sales associated climbed up and rang on them a bit, and Wow!, definitely a different sound. Asking price was $749. Fair deal?

FWIW I'm a drum noob learning on a cheap DDrums set I picked up on CL. Probably don't need anything better yet, but I've always heard what great drums the Saturns are. Prices I've seen on CL seem to reflect that.

Aren't there some less desirable versions to look out for, and could this explain the low price?

Thanks.
 

Superman

Gold Member
Great deal. Those are probably the white badges which are the series right before the Saturn IV's came out a couple years ago. I own a kit from that generation and they are fantastic. Maple and walnut combo, totally professional. Brand new those went come to 2k, for $750 is a great deal. Grab them and you will never regret it.
 

549

Member
Great deal. Those are probably the white badges which are the series right before the Saturn IV's came out a couple years ago. I own a kit from that generation and they are fantastic. Maple and walnut combo, totally professional. Brand new those went come to 2k, for $750 is a great deal. Grab them and you will never regret it.
This is the exact finish and IIRC, the same badge.

 

549

Member
Great deal. Those are probably the white badges which are the series right before the Saturn IV's came out a couple years ago. I own a kit from that generation and they are fantastic. Maple and walnut combo, totally professional. Brand new those went come to 2k, for $750 is a great deal. Grab them and you will never regret it.
I believe the badges were white. I have a post with a pic of what I believe were the exact drum, but it's in limbo awaiting approval.

Is there anything I should look for that might explain the low price?
 

Superman

Gold Member
Oh well, don't beat yourself up, you wanted to do your homework before you spent money. I made this suggestion in another thread earlier...but if want a great kit at a killer price grab one of these Mapex Meridians at a blowout price. Brand new maple kit at $540 is a steal. Not as good as the Saturns, but very good drums. If you are dead set on Saturns, MF has clearance Saturn IV kits for $999.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mapex-Meridian-Maple-5pc-SRO-Shell-Pack-in-Champagne-Burst-Blowout-Special-/291523620422?hash=item43e0296e46:g:~acAAOSwjVVVs-VS
 

pearlygates

Gold Member
...you ain't kidding about the Meridian Maples! Amazing kit even at the retail store price! At $539?? INCREDIBLE!

@ thread op.. sorry you missed out on the Saturns :( Absolutely amazing drums IMHO.

You will not regret the Meridians should you go that route..
 
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incrementalg

Gold Member
You can get into a new, old stock, Saturn IV 4 piece with 2 up and 1 down for under a grand. Plenty of 5pc Meridian sets on Ebay sub $600, so no shortage of deals on new stuff.

At that price point, the Meridians are hard to beat. Well made and great sounding.
 

549

Member
What, if any, real improvements were made in the Saturn line with the IV version compared to the older Saturn Series version I saw?
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
The way the mount attaches to the shell is superior on the new one, however the old shells are undrilled (floor toms and bass drums). Whatever difference that makes I don't know.
 

549

Member
The way the mount attaches to the shell is superior on the new one, however the old shells are undrilled (floor toms and bass drums). Whatever difference that makes I don't know.
Thanks.

Searching around on the net, I'm seeing some older Saturns with the same badge that are listed as Birch/Walnut shells. I thought they were Maple/Walnut. Were there more than one version? If so, is one more desirable?
 

porter

Platinum Member
The way the mount attaches to the shell is superior on the new one, however the old shells are undrilled (floor toms and bass drums). Whatever difference that makes I don't know.
Yeah, the IV+ rack toms are supposed to be better but they stepped backwards on the kick & floor tom. I'm guessing neither makes a large difference given the mass.

Thanks.

Searching around on the net, I'm seeing some older Saturns with the same badge that are listed as Birch/Walnut shells. I thought they were Maple/Walnut. Were there more than one version? If so, is one more desirable?
There were special edition Saturns that were indeed birch/walnut. Those are going to be a bit more hyped and attack-y than the maple which should sing more (obviously this depends on your tuning of them).
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
When Mapex first hit the American market, I purchased a set of Saturn Pros. If I remember correctly, they were made of maple/poplar. They were not great sounding drums. Very bland. Every new series of the Saturn drums have been a great improvement over the originals, and the Saturn IVs are becoming a staple of fine drums.

GeeDeeEmm
 

549

Member
When Mapex first hit the American market, I purchased a set of Saturn Pros. If I remember correctly, they were made of maple/poplar. They were not great sounding drums. Very bland. Every new series of the Saturn drums have been a great improvement over the originals, and the Saturn IVs are becoming a staple of fine drums.

GeeDeeEmm
Those are the ones I was thinking of and was afraid that the price was reflecting that. If I'd been able to remember the name, I would've brought the ones I saw home.:(
 

markdrum

Silver Member
$750 was a good deal for those. I've got a set of the original Saturns. They are maple/walnut and they sound fantastic. The birch variety came later. I wish that they had left them alone. The maple/walnut version has the perfect blend of tonewoods. They have a very rich, full sound and can take a wide range of tunings. The layout of that kit was 10-12-14-16 toms with a 5.5 snare and a 22" bass drum. If you see another one of those at that price grab 'em! Guru or Carolina Drumworks are the only two manufacturers that make a kit that I would leave the Saturns for. The Meridian Maples are nice as well. Fleabay has a nice kit that I was thinking of getting for gigging with. The Saturns are just too pretty to be dragged from gig to gig.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
.... They have a very rich, full sound and can take a wide range of tunings....

I wanted to ask about tunings - didn't know if I should start a new thread.

The ones I've heard sound good, but they all seem to be tuned pretty low.
They sound deep and without many overtones, so I wondered what they'd sound like tuned up pretty high.
For some reason, I'm thinking they'd sound like large roto toms - mostly one pitch without a spread.
Don't own them though, so that could be way off.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
I've gotten some mid to high tunings working on mine. It's like with so many others kits, a lot rides on your choice of heads and your ability with a tuning key. I've never gotten a bright birch-like tone out of mine but they speak clearly. I've also not gotten, nor wanted, a roto-tom sound out of them8^). The walnut does provide more body than a pure maple would but the two together make a good pair sonically. I come from the mahogany era and I like drums that sound musical but muscular at the same time. Of all of the kits that I've had the Saturns come the closest to that. They're probably not for everyone but they put me in my happy place. I would love some Gurus but my wife would get half of them in the resulting divorce.
 

549

Member
I've gotten some mid to high tunings working on mine. It's like with so many others kits, a lot rides on your choice of heads and your ability with a tuning key. I've never gotten a bright birch-like tone out of mine but they speak clearly. I've also not gotten, nor wanted, a roto-tom sound out of them8^). The walnut does provide more body than a pure maple would but the two together make a good pair sonically. I come from the mahogany era and I like drums that sound musical but muscular at the same time. Of all of the kits that I've had the Saturns come the closest to that. They're probably not for everyone but they put me in my happy place. I would love some Gurus but my wife would get half of them in the resulting divorce.
This was the first time I'd heard Saturns first hand. There were numerous brands of drums with various shell components in the room. The Saturns really stood out to me.

I'm really kicking myself for hesitating.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
You know, you're not that far away in price from a new Saturn V kit. I've seen some 4-piece Saturn V's going in the $900 range. I say save a few more pennies and get something new. Yes, you probably don't need them right now, but if you like them and they inspire you to play more, it certainly couldn't hurt, eh?
 
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