Which drums to choose?

pbm2112

Senior Member
This might be useful?


Even a $10,000 kit won’t sound great if it isn’t tuned well, so don’t let tuning enter into your decision making - in time and with more experience, I’m sure you’ll learn to make any kit sound great with quality drum heads. Drum tuning really does take time to get your head round, and needs a lot of experimentation. Thankfully there’s a lot of info out there to help you.

All these kits are good kits, so I agree with the people who say go for looks/cool/brand - whatever gets you excited to sit down and play. It really can inspire you to spend time with your kit - and if you aren’t tuning well right now, a badly tuned beautiful kit is better than a badly tuned ugly kit!

Also, the more you play the more you’ll realise that the drummer makes the kit sound good as much as the gear itself. Put a beginner on your favourite drummer’s kit and it will sound like a beginner. Put your favourite drummer on that beginner’s kit and it will sound like a million dollars. The key is to get something you really want to play so you get better.

Good luck, you really can’t go wrong with any of them : )
 

TK-421

Senior Member
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.
Not sure where you're getting that from, as I haven't seen anything like that. In fact, this press release says pretty much the exact opposite: that their bearing edge makes it easier to tune initially (they don't say anything about whether or not it helps the drums stay in tune).

http://mapexdrums.com/us/news/play-more-and-tune-less-with-the-new-mapex-sonicle/
 

Griffin

Well-known member
Not sure where you're getting that from, as I haven't seen anything like that. In fact, this press release says pretty much the exact opposite: that their bearing edge makes it easier to tune initially (they don't say anything about whether or not it helps the drums stay in tune).

http://mapexdrums.com/us/news/play-more-and-tune-less-with-the-new-mapex-sonicle/
I got it from a review on Music Radar of the Mapex Mars:

“The shells are 6-ply birch and sound deep, with a rich thud. The patented SONIClear rims are designed to help keep the drums in tune. This is helpful for beginners, particularly those looking to get into heavier playing. Generally speaking, with heavier drumming, the tones tend to be lower and thus lose their tuning quicker, so the helping hand here is very helpful.“

I assumed Mapex’s own press release probably contained a bit of marketing over-reach but like I said I haven’t tested them out for myself so I don’t have any hands on experience

 

Griffin

Well-known member
Actually, the way I'm reading that is since heavier drummers tend to tune their toms lower, the drums tend to go out of tune faster (less tension on each lug makes it easier for the tuning rods to back out). So the benefit is the Sonic Clear bearing edge making it easier to tune, since you'll have to tune more often (again, based on the assumption that as a heavier drummer you'll tune your drums lower and they'll go out of tune faster).
Could be, it’s possible I’m miss reading it. Either way I’d probably take the claims of the benefits with a pinch of salt. I’m sure there’s some but I doubt they’re massive.
 
@Swissward Flamtacles It's an option but I would be worried if drums was in different condition than was depicted. I wouldn't be able to send them back probably
True, but I never had problems over all those years. Ebay normally protects buyers more than sellers, so if something is completely different than the description, the seller can be forced to take the item back - but of course it's a hassle and you don't have a 100% guarantee and might have to pay shipping costs once..
I have 3 criteria - if 2 are fulfilled, it's a deal:
1. the seller has lots of positive ratings and experience shipping large items (you can check a seller's history when looking at the ratings)
2. the description is not just one photo shot from the hip and a text consisting of "Drums. No refund" - if the seller can't describe the condition with a few sentences and some meaningful pictures and won't respond to questions, I walk away
3. It's dirt cheap. Many flaws can be fixed or ignored when the price is right. But that's me, some people want absolutely perfect and original condition. I rather not worry about scratches or some replaced parts if it doesn't change stability and sound.
 

acsunda

Junior Member
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!
I’ve had a set of Mapex Armory’s, and they are great drums, easy to tune, and sound great. However, I only paid like $850 for my 5-piece shell pack.
 
I’ve had a set of Mapex Armory’s, and they are great drums, easy to tune, and sound great. However, I only paid like $850 for my 5-piece shell pack.
The price I mentioned is including hardware, without hardware it would also be about 850$. (y)
Can you estimate if Mapex Armory is easier to tune then your previous drums?
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
The superstar Classic is IMO more interesting than the Pearl Export, better tom mount and suspension sytem, 16" with 8 lugs, nice finishes.
 
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mikyok

Platinum Member
Does anyone have Mapex's drums to say about their sonic-clear bearing edge? Does it help to tune?
I have a Saturn V and the drums are superbly made and do tune up very easily, the soniclear edges are a nice touch.

If you're going down the Mapex route, try and bag a Saturn V Tour. The best bang for buck pro level gigging drum kit going imho. If you like lots of toms in your set up, ignore what I just said :)

On the used front.....

Gretsch Renown
Mapex Saturn
Yamaha Live Custom

These are the $1500 range kits that often sell for ~$800 used, and are a fair step up from the economy offerings.
This too, do your homework with used kits ask for lots of pics of anything advertised, leave no stone unturned. With the Saturns go for anything Saturn III up, only the Vs have the soniclear edge but the bearing edges before are still top quality.
 

acsunda

Junior Member
The price I mentioned is including hardware, without hardware it would also be about 850$. (y)
Can you estimate if Mapex Armory is easier to tune then your previous drums?
They were certainly easier to tune than some drums I've had. But as others have said, I'm a big believer in buying used. Look on Guitar Center's website in the used section, you'll find some pro level kits for hundreds less than what you'd spend on a new kit. But if you are determined to buy new, I really liked the Armory's when I had them. Easy to tune, great overall sound, solid construction.
 
Guys! I need fast help. I can get 6-piece mapex armory ultramarine drum set for 750$ or Tama Superstar 5-piece also for this price. Would you take any of them in my place?
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Guys! I need fast help. I can get 6-piece mapex armory ultramarine drum set for 750$ or Tama Superstar 5-piece also for this price. Would you take any of them in my place?
I would suggest you go for the Tama kit. Only because it has a tom mount on the bass drum. The Mapex is a nice kit but hanging the toms from cymbal stands can be a pain in the butt.

.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Athough I was the one to suggest the Superstar, between the two you mentionned, at the same price I would pick the Mapex. The Mapex has a good (powerful) metal snare, a add-on tom, and looks more high end. For the rack toms, on this situation, I use an independant double tom stand.
 
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mikyok

Platinum Member
Guys! I need fast help. I can get 6-piece mapex armory ultramarine drum set for 750$ or Tama Superstar 5-piece also for this price. Would you take any of them in my place?
Mapex, you're getting more drums and can experiment with different setups.

Maple/Birch hybrid is a nice mix too.
 
Thanks friends! I purchased Mapex Armory 6-piece ;). Unfortunately, it turned out there is no free shipping (I bought there Roadshow and had free shipping). I would have one more question. What hardware would you buy? Mapex HP8005 or HP6005? I decided to choose Paiste Pst7 cymbals.
 
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