Help me!

Scottie15

Senior Member
Hello all,
I'm new here on these forums and if I've somehow posted in the wrong section, please let me know. I have been playing drums for about 12 years and I have had only one kit, my rockstar custom, for all those years. I've updates all my hardware, cymbals, and currently play on a 6.5 x 14 free floating maple snare. I have been saving up extensively and now is the time for me to invest in new drums. A good friend of mine owns a Pearl Masterworks and Reference kit that I've played and enjoy so I've been set on a reference for the past couple of years. I got to jam on a Reference Pure but still preferred the the original Refs. However, I recently got to hear a Mapex Velvetone kit and I was absolutely blown away. So fat, well-rounded, and deep with major projection, beyond that of a the Refs I've played. I need opinions on these Mapex kits because I have no familiarity with Mapex and if I'm going to invest 2,500 in a kit, I'd like it to be a well-established, successful kit/company. Any opinions appreciated.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
No kit is going to please you in every respect, like people drum kits are not perfect, you learn to love/live with what's not 100% in accordance with your tastes.

If the MAPEX sound 'blows you away', that's the kit you should get. Sound is inspiring and paramount to say... how much you like the finish, or how nice the bass drums spurs work for you etc.

Its a learning process, you get the MAPEX kit and maybe you don't like the tom arm adjustment system, or the lugs, the bass drum hoop may be too wide for your pedal, whatever. You file it to memory and as you meet new kits in the future you look at these aspects, how other companies approach it.

Like I said, you'll be hard pressed to find any kit that meets your all and the big one is always going to be sound, how the kit sounds to you... that's the most important feature.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
No kit is going to please you in every respect, like people drum kits are not perfect, you learn to love/live with what's not 100% in accordance with your tastes.

If the MAPEX sound 'blows you away', that's the kit you should get. Sound is inspiring and paramount to say... how much you like the finish, or how nice the bass drums spurs work for you etc.

Its a learning process, you get the MAPEX kit and maybe you don't like the tom arm adjustment system, or the lugs, the bass drum hoop may be too wide for your pedal, whatever. You file it to memory and as you meet new kits in the future you look at these aspects, how other companies approach it.

Like I said, you'll be hard pressed to find any kit that meets your all and the big one is always going to be sound, how the kit sounds to you... that's the most important feature.
Thank you for the feedback. Very informative. Something tells me to go with the Mapex, but my subconscious tells me to go with a more reliable/established/reputable company. Keep in mind I am a college student, so I don't plan on buying another kit for quite some time.
 

motleyh

Senior Member
Be a little cautious about hearing a kit whose sound blows you away. Much of what you heard may be a combination of the particular tuning in the particular room. Take the same kit and move it to a different location and it might not have the same sound. Most high-end kits can be tuned to achieve great sound, depending on the room. I've seen kits sound great in the store showroom and unimpressive in a club, and vice versa.

I'd suggest basing your investment on how well the kit is made, the quality of the components such as shells and hardware, and the reputation of the manufacturer.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Thank you for the feedback. Very informative. Something tells me to go with the Mapex, but my subconscious tells me to go with a more reliable/established/reputable company. Keep in mind I am a college student, so I don't plan on buying another kit for quite some time.


Drum kits aren't like automobiles for instance, they don't have 30,000 parts.

Anything that goes wrong is easily fixable. The quality control spread between the major manufactures (MAPEX included here) is pretty narrow.

In essence you don't really need to be 'brand' shopping for a quality drum kit, they're all pretty much the same.

A 'musician's' take on it will be- Sound is paramount, its always going to be there, its what you're trying to accomplish... way over peace of mind in regards to the manufactures reputability. I could see a student might look at it another way.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
I'd suggest basing your investment on how well the kit is made, the quality of the components such as shells and hardware, and the reputation of the manufacturer.
Well, I know Pearl's QC in unprecedented. I know Pearl has excellent hardware in their Opti-mounts, etc. I am quite unfamiliar with Mapex, however.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I know Pearl has excellent hardware in their Opti-mounts, etc.


Hardware on drums, like sound, is subjective. Some people like this, some like that.

I like YAMAHAS hardware, but not crazy about their sound/feel. Im not crazy about PEARLS sound/feel, or their hardware. Lets hypothetically pretend both companies QC is equally horrible.


Which would I choose between the two then? YAMAHA


'If' I liked PEARLS drum kit sound/feel, not the hardware tho (still pretending QC horrible), I would choose the PEARLS.

Hardware is easy to fix, a pleasing sound/feel is hard to come by.


You need to keep in mind that if you changed the heads on the MAPEX kit to anything other than what's on it, it may not sound good. Ditto in reverse with the PEARLS... change the heads and they may sound better to you. Its called getting good head. Different drum brands respond differently to differnt types and brands of heads.

Just because say GRETSCH sends out coated EVANS G1 batters on their NEW CLASSIC line doesn't mean I'm going to like that sound. I put REMOS on and the NEW CLASSICS start singing my tune ♡.

Again- Its all subjective.


...........
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
So I went with my heart (and ear of course!) and purchased a 5 piece Velvetone kit in 10, 12, 16, & 22 sizes with a 5.5 x 14 matching snare. I'll post some pics and thoughts when I receive them. Cheers!
 

Trilogy72

Senior Member
So I went with my heart (and ear of course!) and purchased a 5 piece Velvetone kit in 10, 12, 16, & 22 sizes with a 5.5 x 14 matching snare. I'll post some pics and thoughts when I receive them. Cheers!
Looking forward to seeing some pics of your new kit! I too have recently purchased a new Mapex drum kit (Meridian Maples) and have been blown away by how they sound after replacing the heads to G2 coated. This is my first Mapex kit and did not have much knowledge of them. I have owned kits from Pearl (World Series) and a Tama Performance Birch set. I have to say that I have not been disappointed with the sound or quality of my Mapex kit. Enjoy your new kit when you get it and post pics!!
 

KirbyM

Senior Member
Scottie -

I would go with the product that satisfied me the most with its sound. If cosmetics are important to you, then figure out where all of this falls in the mix to make you happy. They are going to be YOUR drums.

Mapex has been in business around 20 years. I have played on a few Mapex sets and have not been disappointed. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who spares no expense on their drum equipment.

Not too long ago, I did an impromptu test in a drum store. I had a salesperson play on a DW Collector's Series Maple kit and a DW Performance Series kit. This was done behind my back after I left the room and the drums positioned differently. I also had my eyes covered so I could not tell where each particular kit was sitting. I could not tell the difference in the two kits. The Performance Series is 1/3 the price of a Collector's Series kit and sounds just as good to my ears. My point - I love high priced drums, but in this test, a cheaper set would work just as well.

Buy the drums that sound good to you. Pick out a kit and go for it !!
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
Came home this morning to find the FedEx man with a delightful surprise: My Velvetones!!! I unwrapped them but haven't set them up yet. I currently use RoadPro stands for my rockstar custom, which I think will suffice well enough for my rack toms. I would, however, prefer some Mapex tom arms and clamps so my toms could sit further away form the stand with better adjustments and angles for my playing. Won't be gigging with them until I get some bags. Any suggestions?





 

Boom

Silver Member
Those drums are gorgeous! Congratulations! Happy times :)

For gigging, what I do regarding cases/bags is I think (my opinion obviously) you should have a hard case for the bass drum if you want to get bags for the rest. The reason I think a hard case is bit important for the bass drum is that one...it is the most expensive drum and the heaviest drum, so I'd want that to be the most protected. Two, I find that you can then put all the other bags inside it at the venue or whatever and not worry about drinks getting spilled on your bags or something similar.

The bags are most likely water proof, but getting anything spilled on them can still be a slight drag to clean, while a hard case is bullet proof for that kind of stuff. So I have SKB cases and protection racket bags. I have actually a whole set of the hard cases and use them for storage occasionally or for certain shows. The protection racket bags are lined with some kind of fur (seems like sheep fur, can't be real though can it?) that is just awesome to put your drums in.

SKB has some kind of lifetime warranty. I know I broke a buckle on one of them, didn't have receipts and called them up. They just sent me the buckles immediately, no questions asked. They are expensive, but those drums you just bought aren't cheap either. There's my 2c.
 

MuglasDuglas

Junior Member
I too heard them...and bought them. I have had them 2 weeks. I have nev er, ever heard anything so swett.....right out of the box too. Then, I tuned them up just a hair...and WOW. I can't describe/ My forever kit.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
Thanks for the awesome feedback Kirby and Boom. I drive a Volvo sedan, hard cases don't look like theyre going to happen. I opted for some Ahead Armors. muglas, my thoughts exactly.how do you have them tuned?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
.... some Mapex tom arms and clamps so my toms could sit further away form the stand with better adjustments and angles for my playing.
Then sell off your Tama hardware, to help defray the cost.​
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
I was finally able to set up the kit and jam after getting all my hardware. I honestly feel like the Suede Ambassadors take away from the toms and BD. Either that, or I didn't tune it right. I'm thinking of just getting an emad and some G2s. Thoughts?
 

Trilogy72

Senior Member
I was finally able to set up the kit and jam after getting all my hardware. I honestly feel like the Suede Ambassadors take away from the toms and BD. Either that, or I didn't tune it right. I'm thinking of just getting an emad and some G2s. Thoughts?
I have G2 coated on my Maridian Maples and they sound great. Open but controlled. I think the suede deaden the sound too much for my tastes.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
I have G2 coated on my Maridian Maples and they sound great. Open but controlled. I think the suede deaden the sound too much for my tastes.
That's what I was thinking. I like a punchy dark resonant sound. Thinking either EC2 or coated G2. Definitely thinking EMAD on BD
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
Alrighty. Just an update, I fitted the rack toms with G2 coated heads and floor tom with an Aquarian Performance II (all the local drum shops were out of 16" coated double ply heads). Got a coated EMAD on the BD. These things sound killer. Way better than with the Suede Ambs.




 
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