Mapex Black Panther Blaster kit vs. Mapex Saturn vs. Pearl Masters MCX

diegobxr

Silver Member
Hi everybody, I'm selling my kits to upgrade and these are my options.

I'd like to hear your opinions and experiences. Which would you pick? Why?

Some specs:

Mapex Saturn = 5.1mm Maple/Walnut shells, 2.3mm hoops.
Black Panther = 5.1mm Maple shells + 3.4mm Walnut re-rings, 2.3mm hoops.
Pearl Masters = 7.5mm Maple shells, diecast hoops.

The Black Panther is probably the most exotic of the three. It looks absolutely fantastic and it's also the most expensive one.

Getting a BP would be like aiming at the ultimate top kit of the Mapex line, while the MCX is kinda mid-level on the Pearl line.. but I don't know.. maybe they're at a similar level of quality. Are they?

I'm aware they're all high end kits, but I'd like to see what you guys have to say about them.

(Note: Please let's keep it between these kits. Where I live there aren't many options. No high-end ludwigs, sonors, tama's or gretsch's, so no point in bringing them up).

Well, I thank you all in advance and I'll be waiting for your input. :)

Cheers!
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
http://www.musicradar.com/news/drums/the-best-drum-gear-of-2011-kits-electronic-drums-cymbals-snares-and-more-518511/1
Well the Velvetone did win best new kit of 2011. I love the Saturn for its sound, and great versatility with its mounting system, and the fact that there are no extra holes in the bass or floor toms. Honestly, if you have access to one of the limited edition kits that I purchased I would highly recommend one. They are beautiful to look at and sound amazing. Too bad you are not in Canada. I know a store that just received a bunch of Mapex kits. They have the Blaster and Velvetone on for 1500, and the limited edition kits for 1500. The Velvetones aren't any better or worse than the Saturn's. Just different. Not even sure why you would consider the Pearl in this list. Good luck.
 
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audiotech

Guest
All the drums that you mention are half way up on the manufactures list, except for the Mapex Black Panther, that's a tiny step up from the others in both sound and finish. I've played the Pearl Masters, both the Premium and MCX series and out of Pearls complete line-up of drums, these would be the ones that interest me the most. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to play both the Mapex Black Panther Blaster and their Velvetone series. Both sounded fantastic with the nod going to the Velvetone drums.

So out of the ones you mentioned, my first choice would be the Pearl followed by the Blasters, followed by the Saturn. If the Velvetones where included in your list, that would be my first choice purely on sound, just nudging Pearl into second position. When spending this amount of money, you just got to hear them in person and make a personally educated purchase.

Dennis
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
All the drums that you mention are half way up on the manufactures list, except for the Mapex Black Panther, that's a tiny step up from the others in both sound and finish. I've played the Pearl Masters, both the Premium and MCX series and out of Pearls complete line-up of drums, these would be the ones that interest me the most. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to play both the Mapex Black Panther Blaster and their Velvetone series. Both sounded fantastic with the nod going to the Velvetone drums.

So out of the ones you mentioned, my first choice would be the Pearl followed by the Blasters, followed by the Saturn. If the Velvetones where included in your list, that would be my first choice purely on sound, just nudging Pearl into second position. When spending this amount of money, you just got to hear them in person and make a personally educated purchase.

Dennis
The Saturn's are not half way up the scale, and one doesn't sound better than the other. Get your facts right first please. Is that why so many professionals actually think the Saturn's are Mapex's best drum sound. Do your homework first Audio. Not sure why this is so hard to understand for everyone.
 

scarlit

Silver Member
It all depends on the type of sound you are looking for. MCX will sound brighter and punchier, Saturns sound "boomier", more low end, big sound. The Blaster is somewhere in between. Mapex gets the nod as far as choices and quality of finishes and different configurations. All 3 kits are very good for the money. I own a Saturn. I like it a lot, but they are not for everyone obviously.
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
Saturn Boy relax and drop a pill, everyone has their own reasons to like and dislike!!! I thought you changed your ways was that for that week??
To the OP I owned one of the first Black Panthers kits when they first came out and other than the hardware (at that time) I thought the sound was very good (16x20) the finish was ugly (the flat matte) but over all a nice sound. Thats a long time ago it seems maybe 1994?? I have no idea what a Velvetones is other than the oldies group hahaha!!! I prefer the Masters Series over any commercial model other than Delite and some custom shop stuff thats not really commercial anyways.
My favorite Masters was the MHX (african mahogany) but the Maple is an excellant kit. Sorry Sticks but to me the Saturns are the mid-line under the Orions (Panthers etc) and all though their very good for the buck I don't consider them top of the line gear. I just spent some time on a maple/walut saturn 6 pcs set and thought they were good, not great! By the way they sold with full stands and 2 cymbals for 1,499.00 I was happy, bye bye to them!!!
OK, OP I suggest Pearl Masters and if you could find a used MHX you'd be thrilled to have them, 4ply with rerings and you can bring the tuning up and the bottom end stays right there they are the bomb to me but theres alot of drummers that have never experienced them! Good luck and I hope you like the Saturns so Sticks could feel like he won something, I guess. Doc
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Saturn Boy relax and drop a pill, everyone has their own reasons to like and dislike!!! I thought you changed your ways was that for that week??
To the OP I owned one of the first Black Panthers kits when they first came out and other than the hardware (at that time) I thought the sound was very good (16x20) the finish was ugly (the flat matte) but over all a nice sound. Thats a long time ago it seems maybe 1994?? I have no idea what a Velvetones is other than the oldies group hahaha!!! I prefer the Masters Series over any commercial model other than Delite and some custom shop stuff thats not really commercial anyways.
My favorite Masters was the MHX (african mahogany) but the Maple is an excellant kit. Sorry Sticks but to me the Saturns are the mid-line under the Orions (Panthers etc) and all though their very good for the buck I don't consider them top of the line gear. I just spent some time on a maple/walut saturn 6 pcs set and thought they were good, not great! By the way they sold with full stands and 2 cymbals for 1,499.00 I was happy, bye bye to them!!!
OK, OP I suggest Pearl Masters and if you could find a used MHX you'd be thrilled to have them, 4ply with rerings and you can bring the tuning up and the bottom end stays right there they are the bomb to me but theres alot of drummers that have never experienced them! Good luck and I hope you like the Saturns so Sticks could feel like he won something, I guess. Doc
Hey know it all. Dont tell me to take a pill. You of all people should stay out of this. You don't have a clue what is good anymore judging by most of your outdated ideas. I think I know a little more about Mapex stuff than most on here. I could of had a Brady, Dw collectors, Tama Bubinga, Or any other kit I wanted. Don't try and tell me where the Saturns lie on your imaginary scale. Sticks.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Glen Sobel a great drummer is touring with Alice Cooper and plays a Saturn. He could play any Mapex kit he wanted. They have a big fat deep sound that you won't find in those other kits mentioned. They are a great rock drum, with a great big sound. I think I should know.
 

scarlit

Silver Member
Lets chill out dudes, its all good. Doc clearly isnt a fan of Mapex, whatever. Pearl makes great drums. Mapex makes great drums. Plenty out there for us all.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Lets chill out dudes, its all good. Doc clearly isnt a fan of Mapex, whatever. Pearl makes great drums. Mapex makes great drums. Plenty out there for us all.
I don't care if people aren't fans. Just don't throw a lot of bull around for other people searching for good info to read. Also don't use personal agendas to put down certain products. That's why I still say " don't ask us". Go and try for yourself. There is no this kit is better than this kit when you get into high end drums. They go by sound preference and hardware choices at that stage. Doc still won't admit even after almost everyone on here agrees that Saturns are a high end kit. That is a personal agenda against me as far as I am conserved. Or just plain ignorance.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Another story for you. I visited a big music store in the states recently and the owner of the store could get just about any kit he could want. What does he get every time? A Saturn.

He had a guy come into his store last month that sat down at a Saturn. He loved it. He asked the owner if he could trade his kit straight up for the Saturn because he did not like the sound of his own kit The owner was very surprised to find out that the guy had a Collectors DW with a Bubinga exotic veneer. It's all about sound at this level, not where the kit shows up on a list.
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
Now I hurt his fellings, his Saturn feelings!! When their priced above the Orions then their Mapexs top of the line. Top of a companies line is the most expensive offerings so their not there. That doesn't mean they stink it means that Mapex has a line of drums above them. No one is calling you ignorant for buying 3 sets all the same I think its odd but thats your doing! Now because I don't feel the same as you do I'm ignorant?? So again I guess your back to being "Saturn Joe, if you don't like my drums you must be ignorant"!
here we go with the name calling and insults now! Doc
 

MN02

Senior Member
The Pearl and Mapex both use high quality maple and are manufactured in Taiwan. The Saturn adds some walnut which gives it some extra boom. The black panther are intriguing with the re-rings, unique bearing edges and s-hoops. I haven't heard them but I would definitely expect excellent sound. Mapex is making some excellent drums with great bang for your buck. Pearl undeniably consistent in making a great product. All our upper en kits that you should be proud to play and own. Whichever kit makes you want to play more is the one to go with.
 

kettles

Gold Member
I never knew that Mapex made a black panther kit back in 1994... If they did, it would most certainly be different than the current model.

Saturn's are by far more popular than the Orion's. That would be why they are cheaper. Most of their endorsers play Saturn's. I have personally never seen an Orion in the flesh. I'd say this is because they are just an all-maple kit, and there are tons of those out there. Saturn's have a point of difference.

I own a Saturn, I can't say many bad things about it. Certainly nothing that should stop you from buying one. They sound big and thunderous, so if that's what you want...

My next kit will likely be something with a thicker shell. Having played both for a while (Pearl Reference), I think the thicker shell gives me more of what I want out of a drum.

Sticks may be a little obsessive but he certainly knows what he's talking about :)
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I could pretty safely rule out the Black Panthers given my dislike of rerings. Just not wild about what they bring to the table no matter who's drums they're on. But I do like the new stick-saver hoops they've developed (strictly speaking, they're not S-Hoops; they're Mapex's own design and are closer to the old Slingerland hoops). So that would leave me giving a hard look at the Pearls and Saturns.

I've always liked Pearl drums but not so much the hardware. Those are pretty thick shells and with the die cast hoops, I imagine they'd be excellent in a loud environment. I have little doubt that I could be perfectly happy with those drums.

I haven't had the opportunity to check out the Saturns yet, so I'd want to do that before deciding on anything. Mapex seems to be doing a great job of cranking out quality product these days and their gaining of market share has been no accident.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
I never knew that Mapex made a black panther kit back in 1994... If they did, it would most certainly be different than the current model.

Saturn's are by far more popular than the Orion's. That would be why they are cheaper. Most of their endorsers play Saturn's. I have personally never seen an Orion in the flesh. I'd say this is because they are just an all-maple kit, and there are tons of those out there. Saturn's have a point of difference.

I own a Saturn, I can't say many bad things about it. Certainly nothing that should stop you from buying one. They sound big and thunderous, so if that's what you want...

My next kit will likely be something with a thicker shell. Having played both for a while (Pearl Reference), I think the thicker shell gives me more of what I want out of a drum.

Sticks may be a little obsessive but he certainly knows what he's talking about :)
Kettles. You would probably like my new kits then. The thicker shells and the birch changes things just enough to make them different animals, with the birch ones being a little tamer.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
I spent a lot of time back on the Monster today and I still love it's in your face projection and big sound from its thin shells.
 

kettles

Gold Member
Kettles. You would probably like my new kits then. The thicker shells and the birch changes things just enough to make them different animals, with the birch ones being a little tamer.
I'm sure I would. But I couldn't get one unless they became a production model, or I had one imported. Plus I'm not really into the finishes on them. And I've only owned my current kit for a little over a year so I think I'll wait a few years before I think about buying something else :)
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
I'm sure I would. But I couldn't get one unless they became a production model, or I had one imported. Plus I'm not really into the finishes on them. And I've only owned my current kit for a little over a year so I think I'll wait a few years before I think about buying something else :)
Your not into the finishes. Wow. You are tough. These things are gorgeous. You need to see them in person.
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
I love the Saturn for its sound, and great versatility with its mounting system, and the fact that there are no extra holes in the bass or floor toms. Honestly, if you have access to one of the limited edition kits that I purchased I would highly recommend one. The Velvetones aren't any better or worse than the Saturn's. Just different. Not even sure why you would consider the Pearl in this list. Good luck.
Thanks a lot Sticks. I know you love them Saturns! Hehe.
The Saturn that's available right now is in a Natural Gloss finish.. Not the most exciting finish of their line, but it's really nice anyway. I consider the Pearl in this list 'cause it's a high-end kit like both Mapex's, and in the same price range, just that!! :)

All the drums that you mention are half way up on the manufactures list, except for the Mapex Black Panther, that's a tiny step up from the others in both sound and finish. I've played the Pearl Masters, both the Premium and MCX series and out of Pearls complete line-up of drums, these would be the ones that interest me the most.
Thank you Dennis. Let me ask you a question: When you say "I've played the Pearl Masters, both the Premium and MCX series and out of Pearls complete line-up of drums, these would be the ones that interest me the most." do you mean that from the entire Pearl line, these are the ones you prefer?? Including References and Masterworks?? I think I may have misunderstood!

It all depends on the type of sound you are looking for. MCX will sound brighter and punchier, Saturns sound "boomier", more low end, big sound. The Blaster is somewhere in between. Mapex gets the nod as far as choices and quality of finishes and different configurations. All 3 kits are very good for the money. I own a Saturn. I like it a lot, but they are not for everyone obviously.
Thanks man! Yeah, I imagine that being thicker shells with diecast hoops, the Pearl's must have a drier, more focused sound. I've played old Saturns and I remember those floor toms growling amazingly! The three kits I'm considering are 22",10",12",14",16". The Saturns and Masters come with hardware and snare. The Blaster comes with no hardware and no snare. And costs just about the same! Ouch.

OK, OP I suggest Pearl Masters and if you could find a used MHX you'd be thrilled to have them, 4ply with rerings and you can bring the tuning up and the bottom end stays right there they are the bomb to me but theres alot of drummers that have never experienced them! Good luck and I hope you like the Saturns so Sticks could feel like he won something, I guess. Doc
Thanks for your input Doc, I appreciate it, but hey! No need to fight!! C'mon, Christmas is coming, where's that cheerful spirit? Hehe. Cheers.
 
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