Which drums to choose?

I am about to choose one of the following drum sets (estimated price including hardware): Mapex Armory (1250$), Mapex Mars (950$), Yamaha Stage Custom (1100$), Pearl Decade (1000$). I can afford any of these drums but I am not sure what to choose. I can honestly say that I am interested in easy tuning (heard that Mapex are easy to tune). Thanks for help!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Not sure easy to tune would be on any brands ads, but all require the same technique and ear. How many of these have you played? I would suggest finding a store somewhere and playing a few. In that price range look at a Gretsch Catalina Maple.
 
I just sold Pearl Roadshow, had and played it for about one and half a year. I am a begineer though, cannot tune drums. I have no chance to check any drums, that's why I am asking for some suggestions. I heard that Mapex's sonic-clear bearing edge makes tunning easier.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
I just sold Pearl Roadshow, had and played it for about one and half a year. I am a begineer though, cannot tune drums. I have no chance to check any drums, that's why I am asking for some suggestions. I heard that Mapex's sonic-clear bearing edge makes tunning easier.
What did you like/dislike about the roadshow...if you liked the kit and just want an upgrade perhaps Pearl is the way to go for you? :unsure:
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'd recommend an Export over a Decade Maple. The Export is of excellent quality, and you'll save a few dollars in turn. You can then invest more in cymbals and related gear.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The reason to buy the Yamaha SC is that it has, and is compatible with, Yamaha hardware. Combine with a Crosstown, 7k, or 8k hardware pack, the experience is hard to beat.

While I'd rate the SC shell as being roughly even with the Export, the hardware (last time I checked) was the same hardware that is used on some of Yamaha's mid-tier kits.

I'd also wager that the SC is an easier resale on CL.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I didn't like the sound but it must have been because of not exchanging drum heads. It was also too cheap to reckon it to be a good drum kit for me. :ROFLMAO:
Don't go by price in determining if a kit is good or bad. You can get used Premier kits from the 60s/70s cheap and they're extremely good drums. Or you can pay an arm and leg for DW and not have any money left to pay the rent. Only criteria to consider is the sound. No one on this forum can decide for you, and for sure we all have our opinions on what's the best. Best advice from everyone here is.....go try them out and YOU decide.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Here is my opinion. All the kits you listed are about equal when it comes to sound and quality. You will eventually learn how to tune drums and with the modern drum heads now available, and dampening techniques, you will be able to make any of these kits sound the way you think drums should sound. Everyone has a different idea of which drums sound the best. You have to decide which kit sounds the best.

If you need to set up and tear down the kit many times like if you are using it for playing live with bands, I would recommend the Yamaha Stage Custom. The hardware on these drums is very good.

The bottom line is, I think you need pick a drum kit that you like the looks of. I have a drum kit that takes my breath away every time I see it. It helps inspire me to play. Buy the drum kit that you think is great looking. Buy the drum kit that you will never get tired of looking at.

.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
If buying new: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch all day, every day.

Second-hand recommendation: Gretsch Renown. If you're a working drummer, the Renowns with the bass drum tom mount might be the better option. Virgin kick drums look cool but I much prefer the convenience of bass drum mounted rack toms.
 
Thank you guys for help! Unfortunately, here in my place (Poland) it's difficult to find some used drums offers, there are few. That's the reason I have to depend on new drum set. Overall, I have a problem with tuning drums. Does anyone have Mapex's drums to say about their sonic-clear bearing edge? Does it help to tune?
 

Griffin

Well-known member
Thank you guys for help! Unfortunately, here in my place (Poland) it's difficult to find some used drums offers, there are few. That's the reason I have to depend on new drum set. Overall, I have a problem with tuning drums. Does anyone have Mapex's drums to say about their sonic-clear bearing edge? Does it help to tune?
My understanding of the sonic clear bearing edge isn’t that it helps to tune initially but that it helps heads stay in tune. i.e. it prevents the tension of the heads from slacking off under heavy playing—— at least that’s how it’s marketed.
 

Griffin

Well-known member
I’d add if tuning is the major problem your having then head selection is probably more important than drum selection. All the kits you’ve picked out have decent manufacturing and (barring the slim chance you get a lemon) will have decent bearing edges and shell construction.

So they should all be about as easy to tune, although the birch kits Might be slightly easier in that respect due to the sonic properties of birch.

That just leaves head selection and a few head types are easier to tune (or have a wider tuning range where they still sound good).

The most forgiving in that respect would be Evans Hydraulics but they also limit you in terms of possible sounds (basically they’re extremely pre-damped). But they’d get you a useable sound with minimal tuning skill.
 

JDFaulky

Member
I have a Pearl Roadshow (my first kit) and a Pearl Decade (main kit). The Decade is significantly easier to tune and has a much wider range of tuning options thanks to those maple shells and higher quality hardware/lugs. Plus it sounds a lot better straight out of the box. The Roadshow requires a lot of extra money needed to invest on heads and such in order to get a decent sound out of it (which you’ll eventually want to do with any drum set really).

If you liked your Roadshow and want to stick with Pearl, the Decade is a great choice. The only negative is the 6 lug floor tom, but that doesn’t bother me too much since I tune it so low to begin with. There’s a lot of great options at that price range though. I’d look into the PDP Concept Maples as well. I almost ditched Pearl and bought one of those.
 
Thank you guys for help! Unfortunately, here in my place (Poland) it's difficult to find some used drums offers, there are few. That's the reason I have to depend on new drum set. Overall, I have a problem with tuning drums. Does anyone have Mapex's drums to say about their sonic-clear bearing edge? Does it help to tune?
You can often find people on ebay shipping sets. Just set your filter to Europe and watch some auctions that start at 1€. You can find some huge bargains which can make 80€ shipping worth it. :)
 
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