Quality of Recent Mapex Drums

FlowTom

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
89
Reaction score
80
Location
MA
My first clue that Mapex meant quality was hardware. The clamp-on tom arms are great.

I got in a 20 x 20 maple bass drum that is very well made - to the point where I'm going to cut and re-edge it to 20 x 16, or perhaps a bit shallower.

It would be great if they hadn't given the company a name that reminds some people of flavored condoms, but we can't do anything about that.
 

JimmySticks

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
2,024
Reaction score
2,443
Location
Queens NY
Take a look at the sales figures for the Kia Telluride. They can't keep them on the lot and dealers regularly get more than MSRP.

With drums, Mapex's competition is made in China too.
No offence meant, but if you want something that looks like a Range Rover, but can't afford one, and if you don't care that Kia has basically little history in auto making, you'll be drawn to a Telluride.
 

Bandit

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
3,950
Reaction score
2,446
Location
Canada
I've had several brands of drum sets, and a couple Mapex.
To be honest, the Mapex were the absolute worst drums I've ever had.
I also had a cheap Chinese Sonor. Poplar set, which sounded great.
But normally I make it a point not to buy Chinese anything when possible.
I've had a couple US made Ludwig, and two Japanese made Tama sets. Plus a Roland TD-6KV which is over 15 years old and still working perfectly.
My current set is an 8 piece Tama Star Walnut I had special ordered the sizes and depth of everything, and the matching 14"x6.5" snare..
I was so fed up with my Mapex sets that I decided to get my dream set from Tama Japan regardless of the price, and the Star Walnut wasn't cheap. It's absolutely a work of art.
Tama makes nice overpriced furniture!
 

Bandit

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
3,950
Reaction score
2,446
Location
Canada
No offence meant, but if you want something that looks like a Range Rover, but can't afford one, and if you don't care that Kia has basically little history in auto making, you'll be drawn to a Telluride.
No offence, well maybe a little. North America has lots of history in making cars and it doesn’t seem to help them any. :)
 

JimmySticks

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
2,024
Reaction score
2,443
Location
Queens NY
No offence, well maybe a little. North America has lots of history in making cars and it doesn’t seem to help them any. :)
Enjoy your Kia...and Maypo, ummm I mean Mapex :)
 
Last edited:

Houndog

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
4,359
Reaction score
4,190
Location
Oklahoma City
No offence meant, but if you want something that looks like a Range Rover, but can't afford one, and if you don't care that Kia has basically little history in auto making, you'll be drawn to a Telluride.
My Wife’s Kia has been better than any Ford I’ve ever owned ...
 

senecaty

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
7
I used to be a big Mapex supporter! I’m not too familiar with their current products since I fell off the bandwagon for no particular reason around the time they started offering “semi-custom” options and switching up lines over the past 5-10 years. The Orion, Saturn, ProM/ProB days were great though. Still, I’ve owned a beautiful mid-2000’s Orion in burl maple and currently still own a ProM 3-piece as my sole 18” kit. Both kits were top notch in terms of fit and finish. Bearing edges were great. Hardware was solid. Tom mounts were minimal. Great kits all-round!

I’m quite brand agnostic and have owned kits from pretty much every brand (majors and custom) aside from Tama and Sonor. Its always surprised me that Mapex doesn’t rank up there with other majors when it comes to brand recognition.

Their snares were always great too! Their 90’s birds eye Maple was my dream drum in high school before I met Ludwig!
 
Last edited:

Bob Salvati

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Messages
86
Reaction score
28
1967’s $500 equals 2021’s $3899

yep. inflation.
And the $3899 is without hardware or cymbals.I just kept mine and got the shell set. Have Tama hardware, DW pedals and hat, Meinl, Paiste(mostly), Bosphorus, A.Z.
 

nmosko

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
551
Reaction score
267
Location
Bluefield, VA
I know that in the 90's they were a lower quality drum company. But from what I have read recently they seem to have lifted their game and make some professional level drums.
I heard some demos on the Black Widow and the drum seems to be very well made and sounds fine.
Does anyone have any opinions on this snare
The two best snares I have ever played are both black panthers… One is the heartbreaker and the other is the persuader. The quality of the hardware, the snare strainer and the hoops are better or on the same level as any other top brand… And they have the best stair strainers in the business as far as I’m concerned… Both of the drums sound phenomenal and I’ll never get rid of either one… As far as the kits go both i played sounded excellent, and they are really really onto something great with that sonic clear bearing edge they do.

to each his own, but in my opinion Mapex is absolutely top-of-the-line… Their website is terrible, but that’s a no reflection on their drums LOL
 

mydadisjr

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
573
Location
Prescott AZ
I thought that the word MAPEX sounded more like something you took for indigestion....

BUT on the other hand, here is my Maple Meridian snare.... definitely one of the best (if not THE best) bang-for-buck snares I have owned (it was VERY inexpensive): 20 lug with nice little single-screw lugs, great thin all-maple shell, nice finish. Only weak spot was the crappy strainer, but I replaced it.
Possibly the best wood concert/rudiment snare I have owned.

mapex meridian snare (1).JPG
mapex meridian snare (2).JPG
 
Last edited:

Deafmoon

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
1,285
Mapex makes their instruments where? I thought Taiwan, but now I see they list the company as Mapex USA.
 

Mapextx

New Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
7
Location
Los Angeles
You can tell by my username exactly how I feel.

I moved from Sonor to Mapex in 1997 when Gregg Bissonette and Josh Touchton (A&R and designer) moved over from Slingerland. I had my doubts, but they both told me these drums were amazing and that the drums that the Mapex artists played would be what the public could buy. I told them to send me their best kit and if I liked it as much as my Sonor (Hi-lite and Lite), I would move with them. They sent me the Orion Classic natural maple and they were right, the drums sounded great and the hardware was awesome. I decided to move to Mapex because I would still be playing top notch drums that I believed in and I would be getting a bump up in my status in a major drum company (open up for Gregg at his clinics sometimes). The drums and hardware are still used today in a recording studio. That’s 23 years of greatness, so quality is not an issue with that drum set.

Besides that kit, I’ve played professionally...Saturn, Meridian, MyIdentity, Pro M, Black Panther and they all held up to the rigors of the road. Again, quality not an issue. For those of you who know how and why there are different lines of drums in every manufacturer, you understand that there are sacrifices that have to be made in order for a drum company to sell at different price points. All of those models stay in their lane and can be compared to all of the other manufacturers’ models in similar price point, but most of the time you get a little bit more for a little bit less from Mapex.

I own lots of different drum sets and have played on a drum set from damn near every manufacturer. Everyone will have their personal favorite, but close your eyes and listen (to well tuned drums)...that will be your guide. And in the end, Mapex is high quality at every entry point and can hang toe to toe with any other major manufacturer in the same price point.
 

ARGuy

DFO Master
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
4,692
Reaction score
1,385
Location
Minnesota
Mapex makes their instruments where? I thought Taiwan, but now I see they list the company as Mapex USA.
Mapex USA means that Mapex set up a division of the company that is in charge of operations within the US, rather than trying to run the US operations from their Asian headquarters. Yamaha has had a Yamaha USA division for decades. So has Pearl. It has nothing to do with where the products are manufactured.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JDA

Drummz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
93
Reaction score
2
Location
Bellbrook, OH
Some people will always diss a manufacturer just because of their perceptions (often with a lack of personal experience with a product).

I have a Saturn IV in Granite Sparkle lacquer and it is superb in build, finish, and sound. Same goes with a Majestic Concert series maple snare (also made by Mapex) I own. I also have a Velvetone snare as well, which is an amazing drum. Both have the same throw-off, which compared to a lot of high end, pricey snares I own/owned, is superior.

There are a lot of great values nowadays, but Mapex without a doubt has never disappointed with what you get for the money. As far as quality, I would put them up against most Pearl or Tama mid-high end drums.
 

cruddola

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
686
Reaction score
634
Location
usa
Love the Kia/Hyundai comparison.

Come to America, sell just enough mediocre, throw-away cars and eventually you can make some quality stuff. My only problem with that is it will always be a Kia, who will always sell cars from $15K to 80K and your left explaining to friends that "hey, it's the top-of-the-line Kia man!!!" That will be the Mapex problem, it will never shed it's first product reputation fully.
I'll wait until both my '96 F250, '96 F350 and my 2006 Interceptor die. Anyhow, my nephew's got a 5-piece Silver Fade Saturn kit that sounds killer in the family's garage! Their tuning range are not too limited, but they now sound great! All in mint condition for 300 dollars from a Craigslist seller.
 


Top