Mapex Saturn - heads are a tight fit!

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Is it the edges? The fact that the shells aren't undersized, like some manufacturers like to make them?

I picked up a Saturn kit after selling off a bunch of my extra gear, last week. It's fantastic looking, made extremely well, and seems to sound good. I have to wonder though - am I getting the full potential from the drums? I'm using the stock Remo heads and on all four toms, the heads pretty much have to be stretched over the edges and cranked down, to seat properly. I measured the drums - they're all round (within 1/8") and they DO seem to tune up alright - though I don't think I've found the "sweet spot" on them, just yet. The hoops all appear to be fine. They just seem to be a tight fit! The kick drum was the easiest to tune and the heads actually seated just fine on it.

Has anyone else noticed this? I have some Evans heads laying around and I've noticed that they're a bit wider at the collar than Remo heads. I prefer remo but maybe I'll give the Evans a go on them.

I A/B'd them next to my Renown kit in the same sizes, with the same heads. I thought the Renown drums sounded really nice - until put next to these Saturns. So, I guess the tight fit of the heads isn't an issue!? It still makes me a little uneasy.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
They need to be shrunk! Take all the hardware off and soak 'em in water. Then put them in the oven at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes. That should do it.

And if you believe this, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell too ;)

I suppose there isn't anything you can do. The shells are the size they are. If its a little tight I guess you'll have to deal with it. But if they sound good, should be OK?
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I'll buy your swamp land! Property never declines in value, right?


;)
I remember folks laughing at me in 2006 when I would point out how wrong this line of thinking is. They ain't laughin no mo!

They need to be shrunk! Take all the hardware off and soak 'em in water. Then put them in the oven at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes. That should do it.

And if you believe this, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell too ;)

I suppose there isn't anything you can do. The shells are the size they are. If its a little tight I guess you'll have to deal with it. But if they sound good, should be OK?
Haha! I already threw them in the dryer. They didn't shrink...but they're definitely snuggly soft.

I guess they're OK? I guess I just expected more.
 

TNA

Senior Member
I have a saturn and I haven't noticed the heads being too tight. I find that I have to tune them relatively high though to get them to sound good.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I have a saturn and I haven't noticed the heads being too tight. I find that I have to tune them relatively high though to get them to sound good.
I've been messing around with the tuning everyday and they do seem to sing at a higher range. The walnut interior makes these drums tune up and sound completely different than maple shells.
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
I have a saturn and I haven't noticed the heads being too tight. I find that I have to tune them relatively high though to get them to sound good.
I have all mine tuned nice and low, and they sound amazing. You can tune Saturns anywhere you want. They are a very versatile drum. Not sure why you think the heads are tight. I have never heard of this before. I don't have to force any of my heads on. Maybe you are just comparing them to the last set you had. Tune them all one turn of the drum key top and bottom to start off with, and they should sound great. Nice and deep and low. I have all stock heads on mine, and they sound great. As long as you are getting them tuned properly, then everything should be fine. Just be patient. You will get them sounding the way you want. Now if you are looking for that sweet high all Maple sound, then you bought the wrong drums. These things have Balls. Every drum will sound one size deeper than a Maple drum of the same size. The Walnut, and the thin shells really makes a difference. You checked if they were all round, and they were. You should be good to go.
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
I have my gigging kick all taken apart. I will measure the distance across the shells for you, and you can compare. I have a 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, and a 22 bass. What sizes do you have. I will put up the measurements on this post for you.
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
I have my gigging kick all taken apart. I will measure the distance across the shells for you, and you can compare. I have a 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, and a 22 bass. What sizes do you have. I will put up the measurements on this post for you.
All of these drums measure 1/16" under their actual drum size Diameter.
 

Frank

Gold Member
It sounds like the tight observations are based on messing around with old, stock heads.
Time to buy a fresh set of heads and take it from there.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
It sounds like the tight observations are based on messing around with old, stock heads.
Time to buy a fresh set of heads and take it from there.
I wondered if maybe the stock heads are the issue. I glanced down last night while playing and noticed that the heads look smaller than the hoops...there's a pretty considerable gap between the hoop and the rim of the head. I like the choice in stock heads but I'll try some others.

I have my gigging kick all taken apart. I will measure the distance across the shells for you, and you can compare. I have a 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, and a 22 bass. What sizes do you have. I will put up the measurements on this post for you.
I have the "Studioease" configuration...10" 12" 14" 16" 22" and 14x5.5" snare. I'm only using the 12", 16", and 22" right now. Love the snare, BTW!
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Another criticism...

The tom mounting system has a very noticeable negative impact on the sound. The 12" sounds warm and wonderful, with a big round note and long sustain...until I hang it from a stand. After that...the note dies as quickly as it is struck. Bummer! I may yank that thing off of there and replace it with a RIMS mount, or something similar.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Another criticism...

The tom mounting system has a very noticeable negative impact on the sound. The 12" sounds warm and wonderful, with a big round note and long sustain...until I hang it from a stand. After that...the note dies as quickly as it is struck. Bummer! I may yank that thing off of there and replace it with a RIMS mount, or something similar.
On the head tightness thing, I had the same issue with my son's Pearl Vision. No biggie, but that's on a budget kit.

I know little about the Saturn, but because your post intrigued me, I looked it up. I notice it has the "L" arm holders, so maybe reversing the arm to the down position may help. That said, from what I can see, the so called suspension mount looks like yet another cost saving "hang it off a few lugs on one side" type arrangement. Also, any clip I pulled up on youtube showed the kit to be a bit dead in standard form. Given that this is a thin shelled kit, I'm surprised they've not paid more attention to the mount. Providing a direct route from hoop to lugs to mount is a sure way of constructing a sustain sink. The importance of the hoop in offering sustain cannot be overlooked IMO. I genuinely believe that bolting a tom mount directly to the shell would be a better arrangement than the standard format.

Agree, throw a RIMS style mount on those tubs & let 'em sing out. Apart from the suspension mounts, & the battleship of a kick drum tom mounting tower, I'm really not getting the purpose of some form of suspension mount for the kick drum spurs. On a standard kick drum construction, why would you?
 
Top