The Amazing Intermediate Kits

tommapex

Senior Member
I love those high end and/or custom drums myself but I have to say that I played a Mapex Pro M Maple and was simply shocked at what you got for under $1000-1200!
I have to agree about the Mapex Pro-Ms. I owned a set and IMO they are a great sounding maple kit and an exceptional value.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
What do folks think about the quality and sound comparison between the Meridian Birch and Tama's Silverstar Birch kits? The shells are slightly different (Mapex's: 6-ply, 7.2 mm; Tama's: 6-ply/6 mm toms and 7-ply/7 mm bass), and maybe some lug differences on bass and floor toms?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The only issue I have with categorizing the Gretsch drums is the New Classic line which price wise are a step above the Renowns and not quite to the USA Customs. However most of the reviews I have seen is that more people like the Renowns over the New Classics. I have not heard the New Classics but prefer their look to the Renowns both for the lugs and the 4 point tom mounts. I need to play the New Classics and decide for my self. So whether Renowns are intermediate, semi, or pro line of drums is neother here nor there I guess.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
The only issue I have with categorizing the Gretsch drums is the New Classic line which price wise are a step above the Renowns and not quite to the USA Customs. However most of the reviews I have seen is that more people like the Renowns over the New Classics. I have not heard the New Classics but prefer their look to the Renowns both for the lugs and the 4 point tom mounts. I need to play the New Classics and decide for my self. So whether Renowns are intermediate, semi, or pro line of drums is neother here nor there I guess.
Well, Hannah Ford plays the Renowns constantly, I believe. I've also seen Vinnie use both Renowns and New Classics at gigs.
 

Lee-Cox

Member
So as I listen to these posts about the mapex meridian sets. I myself who is a total noob am shopping for a set as we speak. Would this be a set that I could grow with?? Something as I progress with skills?? I really want to make this purchase the right one. This is a kit that I found. Is this the one that is under discussion? Can I get some feedback on this kit as far as the FREE HARDWARE is concerned. I believe there is a birch kit as well. Can you explain what the differences are ? MAPLE VS BIRCH? Ive heard in an earllier post that the hardware for this kit was very good. But Im not sure that this is the hardware that this kit here comes with. All in all , as my skills improve Id like to be able to build on and keep this set for life. With the conomy and everything , this is about my only shot to buy a drumset. Thanks again and here is the ad. If you scroll down, you can see what they are offering.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mapex-Meridian-Maple-5pc-Rock-Drum-Set-Candy-Apple-Red-Burst-New-w-Free-HW-/250950640206?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6dd2e24e
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
So as I listen to these posts about the mapex meridian sets. I myself who is a total noob am shopping for a set as we speak. Would this be a set that I could grow with?? Something as I progress with skills?? I really want to make this purchase the right one. This is a kit that I found. Is this the one that is under discussion? Can I get some feedback on this kit as far as the FREE HARDWARE is concerned. I believe there is a birch kit as well. Can you explain what the differences are ? MAPLE VS BIRCH? Ive heard in an earllier post that the hardware for this kit was very good. But Im not sure that this is the hardware that this kit here comes with. All in all , as my skills improve Id like to be able to build on and keep this set for life. With the conomy and everything , this is about my only shot to buy a drumset. Thanks again and here is the ad. If you scroll down, you can see what they are offering.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mapex-Meridian-Maple-5pc-Rock-Drum-Set-Candy-Apple-Red-Burst-New-w-Free-HW-/250950640206?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6dd2e24e
That is a fantastic intermediate kit. The guys on the Mapex forum love them. A great sounding Maple kit. They have one at a store near me and that finish is gorgeous.

The guys at Greenbrier are great to deal with. Ask for Bradley, and tell him Glen the guy from Canada said you would give him a great deal. Never pay face value for anything it you don't have too. :) Yes you can grow with this kit. Is a step up from the Birch in quality with the amount of lugs on the snare, and floor toms I think. Different sounds between the two. I would go for the maple just for the lug thing alone. For that price you can't beat them. Good luck. :)
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Plus they are throwing in all that hardware. Seems like a no brainer to me. :)
 

Lee-Cox

Member
That is a fantastic intermediate kit. The guys on the Mapex forum love them. A great sounding Maple kit. They have one at a store near me and that finish is gorgeous.

The guys at Greenbrier are great to deal with. Ask for Bradley, and tell him Glen the guy from Canada said you would give him a great deal. Never pay face value for anything it you don't have too. :) Yes you can grow with this kit. Is a step up from the Birch in quality with the amount of lugs on the snare, and floor toms I think. Different sounds between the two. I would go for the maple just for the lug thing alone. For that price you can't beat them. Good luck. :)
Thank you for the advice as well as using your name to speak with him. Im gonna call him Tuesday and have a chat with him.

But one more quick question if you wouldnt mind, As a beginner and getting this set. Without really knowing sounds and over all quality. Can you recomend a decent cymbal pack or set to compliment this kit for me to get started. My lessons will begin in January and I really dont know where even to begin with cymbals. I mean as far as preference goes, I love 70s classic rock. If that means anything at all on where to begin with cymbals. Thanks again for your input. Lee
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Thank you for the advice as well as using your name to speak with him. Im gonna call him Tuesday and have a chat with him.

But one more quick question if you wouldnt mind, As a beginner and getting this set. Without really knowing sounds and over all quality. Can you recomend a decent cymbal pack or set to compliment this kit for me to get started. My lessons will begin in January and I really dont know where even to begin with cymbals. I mean as far as preference goes, I love 70s classic rock. If that means anything at all on where to begin with cymbals. Thanks again for your input. Lee
Greenbrier has hundreds of cymbals in stock right at the warehouse. If you look at their ebay site, you will see that they have some really cool cymbal packs put together. I would recommend that you start off with good cymbals right off the bat. Even if you get a couple at first, like hats, and a crash able ride. Talk to Bradley, he will fix you up with a combo of the drums and some cymbals.
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
I have a kit that almost fits this bill. The hardware and hoops are sturdy but the rest of the description is spot on.

See, there you go.
Yamaha Stage Custom.

Can't believe I forgot about them. I love those kits. More so the newer ones like yours, full birch shells with YESS mounts and lacquered finishes. Awesome intermediate kits.

Cheers!
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Lee-Cox:

The 'Intermediate' kits of today are easily equivalent to the 'top' models of even twenty years ago in terms of fit, finish and build quality. The Mapex Meridian is certainly an excellent kit (my other half is a teacher, her school bought two and I've had a good look at them. Excellent kits) as are the Yamaha Stage Customs (played a set bought by a society I was a member of - just superb) as well as most of the other lines available from other companies. Sonor 'Force' drums are great (I believe they've rebranded these - but they're brilliant) and Tama makes a good mid-level line.

Really, you can't go too wrong with most mid-level sets. The added bonus is that they can be had very cheaply second-hand because they were never too valuable to begin with.

As for good cymbals, you can't go too wrong with some second-hand Zildjian As or Sabian AAs (or AAXs) or even second-hand Paiste. The 'classic' 70s Rock sound is Paiste 2oo2 but these are expensive. The next best bet there is a set of Paiste Alpha cymbals - they're very good value for money, even new.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Lee-Cox:

The 'Intermediate' kits of today are easily equivalent to the 'top' models of even twenty years ago in terms of fit, finish and build quality. The Mapex Meridian is certainly an excellent kit (my other half is a teacher, her school bought two and I've had a good look at them. Excellent kits) as are the Yamaha Stage Customs (played a set bought by a society I was a member of - just superb) as well as most of the other lines available from other companies. Sonor 'Force' drums are great (I believe they've rebranded these - but they're brilliant) and Tama makes a good mid-level line.

Really, you can't go too wrong with most mid-level sets. The added bonus is that they can be had very cheaply second-hand because they were never too valuable to begin with.

As for good cymbals, you can't go too wrong with some second-hand Zildjian As or Sabian AAs (or AAXs) or even second-hand Paiste. The 'classic' 70s Rock sound is Paiste 2oo2 but these are expensive. The next best bet there is a set of Paiste Alpha cymbals - they're very good value for money, even new.
I can only agree completely with this. Especially in the area of quality control, these manufacturers are to be congratulated. There's another pleasing affect due to the introduction of quality intermediate kits, the high end kits have had to improve too, to justify their very existence.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
With a few modifications I'd be happy to pitch my kit up to any gig. It's not high-end by any means (there are compromises, it could do with better lugs) but it's certainly better made than almost every kit made forty years ago. I understand the nostalgia and I understand that they often sound very different but in terms of the 'objectives', modern kits are better in every way.
 

millerscapes

Senior Member
To answer an earlier question, I started the thread on "intermediate" based soley on cost. I must agree with many here on the fact that the manufacture location doesn't necessarily matter. I consider Maex Saturns and Gretsch Renowns pro kits, not to mention that they are a bit above the $1000 price threshold!

Thanks for all the responses, this just keeps getting better!
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
If it helps at all, I just talked to some folks at Memphis Drum Shop and the folks there think the Meridians and Silverstars are both great, though I think they kind of favor the Tama Silverstars just a tad more due to the interior stain-finished shells, Starclassic claws, etc. But both seem great.

It is pretty amazing, though, that you could get a 20/14/12/10/8 Meridian Birch for just about a $1K. Much better quality kit than the Pearl Export I grew up with in the 1980s!
 
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nhzoso

Guest
Yamaha Stage Customs, great sounding drums. I originally intended to flip these like someone else mentioned earlier but really love them. Especially the diffrence in sound from My Saturns..

I have been playing the stage customs for about a month now and just recently heard an old recording from an outdoor party we did at a friends house 2yrs ago and my saturn sounded infriggincredible, especially taking into account it was not mic'd. I will mention I paid $1100 inc S&H for my saturns about 4 yrs ago and I just paid $350 for used but excellent condition stage customs.

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MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
Besides the Stage Custom witch is just amazing sounding for the money, I would trow in the Peace Kahuna on with I played in Cologne as well... what a freaking good sound:

 

gish

Senior Member
I know there's not much love for Pearl drums around here, but I just picked up a used Pearl Vision VSX birch/basswood kit, black sparkle wrap, for a whopping $150. I thought this would be a decent bang-around gig kit, and I really didn't expect too much out of it sound-wise. Well, I was pretty much shocked at how good these drums sound after I threw on some used heads I had laying around, so I'm wondering just how good they'll sound after I pick up some new heads and swap out the horrible ISS mount. I'm also watching ebay for a 14" floor tom, to get a 1 up/ 2 down layout. These drums feel very sturdy and strong, and I'm very pleased with them. I'll throw some pics up soon.
 
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nhzoso

Guest
I know there's not much love for Pearl drums around here, but I just picked up a used Pearl Vision VSX birch/basswood kit, black sparkle wrap, for a whopping $150. I thought this would be a decent bang-around gig kit, and I really didn't expect too much out of it sound-wise. Well, I was pretty much shocked at how good these drums sound after I threw on some used heads I had laying around, so I'm wondering just how good they'll sound after I pick up some new heads and swap out the horrible ISS mount. I'm also watching ebay for a 14" floor tom, to get a 1 up/ 2 down layout. These drums feel very sturdy and strong, and I'm very pleased with them. I'll throw some pics up soon.
Have heard good things about those, there is a guy around here been selling all kinds of VSX kits and drums, alot of it is discontinued but all of it is brand new never used. Oh and we need pics bro, thats just plain ol rude ; )
 
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