Help me choose a maple kit


Silver Member
Since buying and setting up my PDP's, I have realized I'd rather trade my Pearl BRX's in for a high end maple kit and keep the PDP's for a birch kit. Not that they sound better than my masters, but I want both worlds. So I thought about going with the MMX 4 ply shells, but then I've looked at Mapex Saturns and Gretsch New Classics. I'm buying on the used market so keep that in mind. I'm probably either gonna go with one of these three or save up more and get a Reference Pure or a Mapex Black Panther Blaster. This will remain in my studio for recording purposes only, well - and leisure; my pdp will leave the house for gigs when and if I start that up again. I am not a master at tuning, so my ability will probably not fully match the capability of the drums. I have been playing for 5 years and would like to just settle in to that perfect drum kit that I will be satisfied with. I'm married now and the crazy gear exchanges I used to do just aren't going to happen because of time and other priorities. Might as well get it right the first time.

I'm kinda married to the pearls. I like their opti mounts but I have a feeling I may be missing out if I stay with pearl if there's something better out there. Do the opti mounts choke the toms like I've heard people complain about online? My brx toms seem to sing fine but they are more of a hum than a sing, if that makes sense. I'm not overly crazy about the ball and joint Tom mounts on the 'other' kits, but they are easier to adjust height with on the fly. The pearl seems to have the best quality hardware on the shells and mounts. I could use the same mounts from my brx kit.

Looking for under $1200 used. Thanks!
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Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I'd rather own 2 pro kits. It's not like the pdp cost you anything (I saw your other thread).

Yamaha maple custom
Mapex saturns
Ludwig keystone
Pearl mcx

Are the nicer ones I've tried.


Silver Member
Ludwig Classic Maple kits can be found in that range, as can Gretsch Renowns. Those would be my first choices.


Gold Member
saturns are maple and walnut are they not? Should be warmer or more bottomy than a 100% maple shell? the reference pure are top of the heap in my opinion, but quite pricey. Pearl opti-mounts should increase resonance, not reduce it. Any mount that takes the load off the shell and rubber isolates it should do equally the same, this was proven when the RIMS system was introduced back in the 80's. After that, everyone followed through the late 90's with their own versions of the same concept.


Silver Member


Senior Member
I've had no problems with the optimounts. Never noticed any loss of resonance. I'm perplexed as to why they have gotten any bad press.

Edit - Saturn's are always a great choice, too.
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