Lets talk Mapex drums & hardware

Luddite

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The new Black Panther series kits are seriously beautiful, finish wise at least. Meridian series drums are some of the nicest at that price out there. I played a Phospher Bronze BP snare that was a really nice little drum. Very warm for a metal shell. Great drums, just never could get with the industrial looking hardware (same thing with Yamaha).
 

Boomer

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That's true about the resale value, but I plan on keeping my Saturns a looong time. I can see that reason being deterant for some folks not to buy them.

However, I can't see not buying a kit that looks great and sounds great just because the brand name is silly. Hell, slap a DW head on the bass and feel good that you just saved yourself a couple of grand.
 

davydrums

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I'd play a kit named Dried Nose Nuggets(DNN) if it sounded and looked good.
 

kplante

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My bass player rescently picked up a cheap Mapex kit for his home studio. We've recorded a couple of things with it and it sounds nice. I wish I new what line it was. Tag only says "Mapex". I'll have to take some pics of it.
 

DanRH

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Yeah, even Carmine Appice endorsers them now. <_< :-D

Then again, so does Hal Blaine. :notworthy:

Really, it's no secret that Mapex makes excellent drums, like the rest of the big Asian companies. Many players are probably NOT aware of their partnership with Sonor. When you see Sonor products made in Taiwan, it's in the Mapex factory.

I just can't get past the breakfast cereal name, but that's just me. :blink:
Wait, I thought CA was ddrum guy. Did he flip...again?
 

ppfd

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CA is a past Mapex user.
 

dexplosion

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The only thing I don't like about Mapex is their limited high end selection/customization.

I was in the market for a higher end kit, and having enjoyed my older basswood/maple ProM and hardware for several years, I was looking at Mapex.
What stopped me from getting a kit from them was their inability to get the sizes I wanted in the Saturn series (or the Orion series, but I didn't want those).
16x24 kick
13x16 floor tom (they make a 13x16 tom, but they wouldn't put on the neccesary floor tom hardware <_< )
14x18 floor tom
They would have made me a 10x13 tom though. :lol:

I would say the Saturn series is one of the best values on the market today,
and their hardware is really top notch as well. I like the omni-ball cymbal tilters.
Hehe omni-ball. :-D
 

JackieTreehorn

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The only thing I don't like about Mapex is their limited high end selection/customization.

I was in the market for a higher end kit, and having enjoyed my older basswood/maple ProM and hardware for several years, I was looking at Mapex.
What stopped me from getting a kit from them was their inability to get the sizes I wanted in the Saturn series (or the Orion series, but I didn't want those).
16x24 kick
13x16 floor tom (they make a 13x16 tom, but they wouldn't put on the neccesary floor tom hardware <_< )
14x18 floor tom
They would have made me a 10x13 tom though. :lol:

I would say the Saturn series is one of the best values on the market today,
and their hardware is really top notch as well. I like the omni-ball cymbal tilters.
Hehe omni-ball. :-D

Not to mention that a high end Mapex will only be worth a maximum of 30% what you paid when you go to sell it.
 

Hemant

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The only thing I don't like about Mapex is their limited high end selection/customization.

I was in the market for a higher end kit, and having enjoyed my older basswood/maple ProM and hardware for several years, I was looking at Mapex.
What stopped me from getting a kit from them was their inability to get the sizes I wanted in the Saturn series (or the Orion series, but I didn't want those).
16x24 kick
13x16 floor tom (they make a 13x16 tom, but they wouldn't put on the neccesary floor tom hardware <_< )
14x18 floor tom
They would have made me a 10x13 tom though. :lol:

I would say the Saturn series is one of the best values on the market today,
and their hardware is really top notch as well. I like the omni-ball cymbal tilters.
Hehe omni-ball. :-D

Not to mention that a high end Mapex will only be worth a maximum of 30% what you paid when you go to sell it.

I think resale will be a bit higher than that. I see used Saturn 5 piece sets selling in the $800 - 900 range. Orions probably take a bigger hit on resale. Unless you really desire the all maple shell w/o the walnut inner ply + exotic lacquer wood veneer finishes - I am not sure why any weekend cover band warrior would want the Orions.

The Saturns will not hold the same percentage value as flagship Ludwig & DWs - but they also cost much less. I will say unequivocally that I prefer the quality, sound and aesthetics of my Saturns more than the DW Custom series kit which I sold at the same price I paid for them. I know I won't get back my full purchase price on the Saturns - but I don't care. I did not buy them with resale in mind, and paid around half of what I laid out for the DW Customs.
 

slinginit

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got my first Mapex Orion kit way back in 1991 when Mapex was first being introduced in the USA when I got an endorsement from them. at that time they were being distributed by MIDCO in Effingham IL. Kendall Nelson at MIDCO was a great help in getting me that deal. NO ONE knew who Mapex was at that time and everyone always asked about the kit. that set held up TREMENDOUSLY for 15 years on the road with NO problems.

then i got my new Pro M kit back in 2006 and is probably my favorite kit i've ever owned.

they've come a LONG way since 1991 for sure and are now a major force in the drum company world as i see many many drummers playing their kits.

here's an outdoor pic of my Pro M setup i took real quick when i first got them.

What color is your kit, NickG? It looks sweet! Actually, it looks like WMP but with larger, more traditional chip sizes in the pearl than most of the current WPM finishes today. Thanks!
 

logogogue

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Hello,
I can understand the reticence of checking into the Mapex brand. It hasn't really been in the spotlight much... You don't go to a big festival and see a lot of drummers playing Mapex. Early in Mapex's life, I would just snicker at it and go play on a Tama or Pearl drum kit because I thought the quality was low and it didn't look like a professional instrument.
That's all changed now. The name Mapex shouldn't deter you from checking them out because they sound like how drums should sound: great fundamental pitch, great tone, great attack, and a bit of warmth thanks to the walnut plies (on Saturn's) that adds to the bottom end. Most importantly for you aesthetics snobs (like I am) they are gorgeous to look at. If you don't believe me, just check out my pics.
View attachment 98112
View attachment 98113
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I have an 18x14 bass drum that can out thump a lot of 22's! The thin shells with the walnut interior plies really makes for a beautiful and deep sound. Take for example the DW performer series that just came out. For the same kind of coin, I think the DW drums sound boxy, lifeless and dull compared to the Saturn - based on manufacturer demo's. The new Black Panther snares and kits takes the craftsmanship and artistry of building drums to another crazy level. Chris Adler's BP kit on his recent clinic tour sounded just like how I would like my drums to sound.
(I have posted a bunch of vids from a ZOOM Q3HD.)

As for wear and tear, it's a lacquer kit so there aren't any miracles here. You have to treat them carefully as you would any lacquered kit but other than that, they hold up tremendously well.

So please don't knock the brand before you actually give them a try and see them in person. I guarantee, you are on the ground floor for a soon to be very popular and common brand name in drums.
 
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JackieTreehorn

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The Orions really have no real value proposition. Same shells as the Meridian maple with nicer finishes (veneers) and the choice of black and gold hardware. I don't see paying 4-5X more for those options.
 

Hemant

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The Orions really have no real value proposition. Same shells as the Meridian maple with nicer finishes (veneers) and the choice of black and gold hardware. I don't see paying 4-5X more for those options.
Agree. I did not see the value prop between the Orions and Saturns either. Personally -- I think that is the case with a lot of companies and their flagship and tier 2 lines. The price delta does not correlate to sound/quality. A lot of drummers prefer the sound of the Ludwig birch classics and the new keystone series to the maple classic. Ditto for Tama's birch/bubinga line which is substantially less than its flagship starclassic maple and bubinga lines. You get some nicer finish options on the flagship lines and a homogenous wood shell. Is it worth it? It is not for me. As a weekend bar warrior I don't need my drums to look like fine furniture. As for shells -- I actually prefer hybrid shells. Gretsch maple/gum, Ludwig maple/poplar, Yamaha birch/mahogany and Mapex maple/walnut are some of my favorite shell sounds.
 

xsabers

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The Orions really have no real value proposition. Same shells as the Meridian maple with nicer finishes (veneers) and the choice of black and gold hardware. I don't see paying 4-5X more for those options.
I am wondering where you get your information.

A cursory overview from MAPEX USA:

Orion
7-ply, North American Maple
7.5mm bass drums
6.1mm toms

Meridian
7-ply Chinese Maple
7.2mm bass drums
5.8mm toms

While these differences (except the wood) may seem small on paper, they do show that the drums are made to different specifications and with different materials.
 

xsabers

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Not to mention that a high end Mapex will only be worth a maximum of 30% what you paid when you go to sell it.

So you are saying that I can find a slightly used Orion that sold for around $3,800 new for $1,300? Sign me up for that deal...
 

JackieTreehorn

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The Orions really have no real value proposition. Same shells as the Meridian maple with nicer finishes (veneers) and the choice of black and gold hardware. I don't see paying 4-5X more for those options.
I am wondering where you get your information.

A cursory overview from MAPEX USA:

Orion
7-ply, North American Maple
7.5mm bass drums
6.1mm toms

Meridian
7-ply Chinese Maple
7.2mm bass drums
5.8mm toms

While these differences (except the wood) may seem small on paper, they do show that the drums are made to different specifications and with different materials.

Really a difference between American and Chinese maple in a plywood shell?
 

xsabers

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The Orions really have no real value proposition. Same shells as the Meridian maple with nicer finishes (veneers) and the choice of black and gold hardware. I don't see paying 4-5X more for those options.
I am wondering where you get your information.

A cursory overview from MAPEX USA:

Orion
7-ply, North American Maple
7.5mm bass drums
6.1mm toms

Meridian
7-ply Chinese Maple
7.2mm bass drums
5.8mm toms

While these differences (except the wood) may seem small on paper, they do show that the drums are made to different specifications and with different materials.

Really a difference between American and Chinese maple in a plywood shell?
I dunno, ask the boys at DW or any other manufacturer that sells high end NA Maple drums. Why are they any different than a Meridian for example? You said the Orions were in fact, the same as MERIDIAN shells...I simply pointed out that they are not.

I also think that it's a diservice to call these instruments "plywood". They are certainly made of wooden plies, but the term is more closely associated with 8 x 4' sheets of unfinished wood at the hardware store than with decent musical instruments. 8)
 

drumreaper

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I had a Mapex kit early 90's right as they entered the high end market. I loved the long tube-like lugs and the finish was awesome natural maple or was it birch...I dunno.
Either way, the plies separated and I got rid of them.
Since then, I simply don't like the way they look. The redesigned lugs look cheap and I just can't get into them now.
 

nickg

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What color is your kit, NickG? It looks sweet! Actually, it looks like WMP but with larger, more traditional chip sizes in the pearl than most of the current WPM finishes today. Thanks!
it's called Vanilla Cream Pearl, and pics really do NOT do justice to it. they discontinued the finish last year unfortunately. here's another more close up pic of the finish, but still doesn't capture the beauty of it.

 


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