Mapex Drums - Quality Ranking

TDM

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Matt Middelton,



Matt Middelton wrote:
I have never seen anything in print or digitally to substantiate the clam that Meridian Birch is anything other than 100% birch shell. In the absence of any proof to the contrary, I'll assume it's an innocent mistake on your part.
I did a bit of checking online just now. Yes, I made an innocent mistake. The Meridian Birch drums are, as one would expect, 100% birch and this didn't change throughout the life of the series. For some reason Mapex charged less for Meridian Birch than Meridian Maple and endowed the maple drums with a greater number of finishes and size options. Those are the key differences I found.
 

xsabers

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DrummerCT said:
Across the various Mapex series and wood types, to what extent do the bearing edges differ, and what is the impact on sound? (knowing that head choices affect matters as well)
Currently, the Mydentity, Amory, and Mars lines come with their new "Soniclear" bearing edge that has a slight flat spot at the apex and an outer roundover cut. Soon, all their drums will come with this cut. The dynamics about the effects on sound, tuning ranges, etc. are subject to debate and really, these details are just part of what makes up the sound of any drum. Personally, I love a double 45 cut which to my ears provides a great deal of attack in the note. Then again, I have a couple of kits with full rounded edges and while they provide more of a legato attack, the warmth and tone are simply as pleasing to my ear as anything I've ever played. I would think that unmiked, a crisper bearing edge cut would project better to the audience.
 
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wayne

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I doubt you will ever see these, but Mapex US Maples, built in the mid 90,s were a short lived line.. Nothing short of spectacular in every way, and i doubt you ,ll ever see the likes of them again.
 

cpj83

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I'm looking at a deal right now involving Mapex Pro-M from. 2007. Beautiful drums, great bearing edges and a caramel fade that is near perfect. It's a 22/8/10/12/14/16 with matching snare and a 13x6 Black Panther cherry/maple snare. Still has the retail hang tags on it as well as hardware and a bag full of sweet cymbals!
They are impressive drums.

Chris
 
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Matt Middleton

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wayne said:
I doubt you will ever see these, but Mapex US Maples, built in the mid 90,s were a short lived line.. Nothing short of spectacular in every way, and i doubt you ,ll ever see the likes of them again.
Just picked up a 14x6.5 snare from this series last week. Hand made by Sam Bacco in the Gibson Custom Shop for only one year. Fewer than 300 total drums built in the USM series. Or so the story goes... True or not, it is an impressive instrument indeed.
 

singleordoubleheads

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Big Mapex fan here! I bought my Pro M kit brand new in 2006 and was blown away by the quality. Fit & finish was perfect in every way. No issues at all, and they look and sound GREAT!! They have been my main gig kit since then (occasionally splitting time w/my Vistalites) and I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Plus I got a killer deal to boot--13/16/18/24 14 snare PLUS a free 12 x 7 cherry/maple snare, and the tom/cymbal stand out the door for 700 bucks...

I always wanted those sizes in a natural finish, and all-maple shells, and these babies deliver in spades! (They also came w/the spring-loaded floor tom feet--forgot to mention that).
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I also have a Pro-M kit that I bought new in 2000.
Blue Ice lacquer, 10/12/14/16/22 w/snare
Been very happy with Mapex products and would definately buy them again.
NICE stuff.
 

singleordoubleheads

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Also have a Mapex Big Cat snare in a 14 x 8 size. Basically a Saturn shell w/a Black Panther badge. Got it from a mail-order catalog as a "b" stock due to a slight amount of extra glue smeared over the badge. (I guess that was the problem, as I could find zero other issues w/the drum). It was actually barely noticable, but I did manage to carefully get 90% of the glue off, and this baby is a 100% perfect match to my Pro M's--EXACT same finish and is SUPER-DUPER phat!!

If you want that mid 70's vibe...this is IT!! (think I paid under 100 bucks for it IIRC).
 

singleordoubleheads

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EvEnStEvEn said:
I also have a Pro-M kit that I bought new in 2000.
Blue Ice lacquer, 10/12/14/16/22 w/snare
Been very happy with Mapex products and would definately buy them again.
NICE stuff.
That Blue Ice finish was sooo beautiful--it was actually the thing that first drew my attention to Mapex in the first place. If nat maple hadn't been an option for me, I definately would have gone w/ Blue Ice. My local shop had a Saturn kit in that finish, but it was a little out of my price range, but luckily, I was able to order my Pro M kit. I ALMOST went w/Blue Ice, but nat maple won out by a hair LOL!
 

dharma bum

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Pro M kit owner here. Flawless drums. Heavy shells and hardware, sound great. I've got the Black Chrome Pearl wrap. These pics don't really do it justice. Only problem is, I don't like 18" deep bass drums, so I don't play them out much any more. If you have a good deal, buy 'em.
 

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Houndog

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Good lord Mapex makes a great product,but I have never been able to get past the lugs ,to me they are hideous with no thought to style whatsoever....UGH...
 

singleordoubleheads

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Houndog said:
Good lord Mapex makes a great product,but I have never been able to get past the lugs ,to me they are hideous with no thought to style whatsoever....UGH...
That's funny...I happen to disagree completely. I LOVE the look of Mapex lugs (at least the Pro M line). To me they are modern-looking without being over the top, while at the same time not trying to copy any other manufactures look....different strokes I guess!
 

DrummerCT

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There's quite a few Mapex lug designs showing up over the years, some are plain and understated, some give a nod to vintage classic (e.g., Retrosonic snare) and others are more more stylish/bold (e.g., Black Panther, Armory).
 

Hemant

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Mapex convert here as well. As I have said many times - I thought the fit, finish and sound of my Saturn kit were as good if not better than my former DW Collectors kit. I actually preferred them to my DWs (which I sold). They are certified in following ISO9000 Quality Manufacturing Standards. I love their stuff. Here is the rig I have permanently set up in the basement.
 

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wayne

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The connection between Sonor and Mapex is very obvious with gear coming from Asia, and i dont mean in a negative way. Sonor has the name, Mapex doesn,t..yet. Buy Mapex with all the confidence in the world and if someone can convince them to lose the square bass drums...please do.
 

DrummerCT

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ok... I've gone through this thread's postings, and looked at the Mapex website, and parsed a couple of older catalogs... Incorporating feedback to date, here's what I've come up with as a version 2 of the Mapex Quality rankings (below).

To me, it seems there are three general clusters, and within a cluster, it can be argued that some models are roughly "parallel" in terms of construction, quality and sound. Following what Mapex does on their website, the sequence across models is "Pro" to "Entry" levels.

I started the thread to try and understand where a given model/series fit into the Mapex universe, e.g., when looking at ebay for possible drum additions.

Further input, enhancement, tweaks welcomed!

Revised Mapex Product Line Sort-of Hierarchy
Three General Clusters - Drum Kit Lines
[SIZE=10pt]Sequence across clusters is Pro to Entry levels for Drum Kits. Snare drums... for another day![/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]Within a cluster, construction/ materials quality/sound may be very, very close[/SIZE].
[SIZE=10pt] Blue font = current lines as of August 2014[/SIZE]

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
Black Panther // earlier Black Panther specialty kits (satin finish, birds eye maple)
Orion (maple; maple/burlwood outer)
Saturn IV // Saturn (maple/walnut ?or birch/walnut) // Saturn Pro (basswood/maple)
Deep Forest specialty kit (limited production; walnut or cherry shells)
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
Mapex US Maples (circa mid-1990’s)
Meridian (maple or birch)
MyDentity (Meridian shells, maple or birch; wraps only, no lacquer finishes)
Orion Orbiter – maple w/ Pro M hardware (circa 2004)
Pro M (originally all basswood with inner/outer maple, then to all maple)
Armory (birch/maple)
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
Mars (current line; birch)
Horizon (basswood/birch or birch)
M (maple or birch)
Horizon II (poplar; wraps only); 2014 UK site - See: http://mapex.co.uk/drums/horizon2

Mars (older)
Voyager (basswood and later, poplar)
Tornado by Mapex (basswood; wraps only); 2014 UK site - See: http://mapex.co.uk/drums/tornado
VX Plasma (basswood)
V (basswood)
Venus (basswood)
Q (basswood? circa 2003)
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
 


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