Quality of Recent Mapex Drums

Neilrush88

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I've had ProM kit for 13 years, Dont have any problem (hardware, finish, sound), it goes strong!
 

michaelocalypse

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They had high quality stuff in the 1990s. I've been playing them since 1998-ish. Between a friend and I, we have just about ever catalog they produced.

I quit paying attention for a couple spans, early 2000s and since about 2016. I can't really speak for anything newer than that. I think all my stuff is from 2008-2009ish. It's their upper mid rang stuff, and it's far better than I need. They've had several different odd ball short run stuff over the years. I think the original Black Panther kit came out in 1998. They've had a handful more of those recently designed after some of the other snare drums. They've had some American made shells, I think back in the 1990s, partially related to a guitar company partnership (Gibson?). There's been a handful of short run drums that were not well documented, if at all, that were really neat. At some point the Saturn line started to outshine the Orion line, so they got heavier into the Black Panther theme kits and dropped the Orion line.
 

Bandit

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Let's not forget the Falcon Bass Drum Pedal.
I tested all the top brand pedal and this was the smoothest of them all and came with a chain/strap and optional direct link. For a price that was well below all others.
You can add the removable leg Falcon Hi Hat stand to that for being pretty special.
 

drummer5359

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I remember the first time that I played on a Mapex kit, it must have been twenty years ago. A bassist that I'd worked with a couple of times called me. Jerry was recording a couple songs with a singer guitarist named Bill. "He has a home studio with a kit, but if you want to bring a kit with you, that's okay too." I packed up my Slingerlands, a Slingerland 3 ply snare, a Gretsch COB 4160 snare, hardware, and a bag with Zildjian "A"s. I was ready for whatever.

When I got there he had a set of black early Mapex, a Ludwig Supraphonic, and a bunch a Zildjian "A"s. I sat down and everything sounded really good. REALLY good. My gear stayed in my car. We recorded three songs, in maybe two or three takes each. I was there maybe a couple of hours.

When I was leaving Bill was going to give me a hundred dollars, I turned him down. I met his wife and kids and it seemed like they were living paycheck to paycheck. I liked him and looked forward to playing with him again. I had fun and we jelled musically, as well as personally. He said that he had an old drum that he wanted to give me if I wouldn't take cash.

It was a 13" nickel over brass snare. It had Slingerland Jr stamped on it, I had never seen anything quite like it.

A search on the interweb turned up this. It resembled this.

1614564033062.png


I never saw Bill again. The next time that I saw Jerry, he said that Bill had passed away from some rare disease, he didn't even know that he was sick.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I had totally forgotten all about this until I started typing.

My original point was that the very first set of Mapex drums that I ever touched sounded great. I've always treated them with respect, even though I've never personally owned a set.
 

Bandit

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I remember the first time that I played on a Mapex kit, it must have been twenty years ago. A bassist that I'd worked with a couple of times called me. Jerry was recording a couple songs with a singer guitarist named Bill. "He has a home studio with a kit, but if you want to bring a kit with you, that's okay too." I packed up my Slingerlands, a Slingerland 3 ply snare, a Gretsch COB 4160 snare, hardware, and a bag with Zildjian "A"s. I was ready for whatever.

When I got there he had a set of black early Mapex, a Ludwig Supraphonic, and a bunch a Zildjian "A"s. I sat down and everything sounded really good. REALLY good. My gear stayed in my car. We recorded three songs, in maybe two or three takes each. I was there maybe a couple of hours.

When I was leaving Bill was going to give me a hundred dollars, I turned him down. I met his wife and kids and it seemed like they were living paycheck to paycheck. I liked him and looked forward to playing with him again. I had fun and we jelled musically, as well as personally. He said that he had an old drum that he wanted to give me if I wouldn't take cash.

It was a 13" nickel over brass snare. It had Slingerland Jr stamped on it, I had never seen anything quite like it.

A search on the interweb turned up this. It resembled this.

View attachment 487515

I never saw Bill again. The next time that I saw Jerry, he said that Bill had passed away from some rare disease, he didn't even know that he was sick.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I had totally forgotten all about this until I started typing.

My original point was that the very first set of Mapex drums that I ever touched sounded great. I've always treated them with respect, even though I've never personally owned a set.
Cool story to start my day. Thanks.
 

PaulD

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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.
Maybe, or it could be that you realize how unreliable a Range Rover is and you looked at how much nicer the Kia is vs the Honda/Toyota competition. So, not really a dissimilar calculus to buying a Mapex drumset, or a Tama set way back.

I used to be a BMW/Mercedes mechanic. History is great when you go to a car show. It doesn't get you much when you have to drive it every day.
 

kenshireen1

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Maybe, or it could be that you realize how unreliable a Range Rover is and you looked at how much nicer the Kia is vs the Honda/Toyota competition. So, not really a dissimilar calculus to buying a Mapex drumset, or a Tama set way back.

I used to be a BMW/Mercedes mechanic. History is great when you go to a car show. It doesn't get you much when you have to drive it every day.
I used to own BMW's (going back a while) handled great; nice panache; but maintenance bills sucked.
So I test drove a Kia Sonata and a Honda Accord and the Kia had it all over and cost less. Kept it for 5 years and never had a problem. Both my sons have Optimas...never been in for repair other than a recall.
If I can safely get from point A to point B I don't care how I get there. Same for drums. I have all the classics and the Brady etc. but my 2013 Saturn (maple/walnut) sits among them and has the nicest finish of them all and sounds great
 

ronnieDee

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I have the Pro M series in natural: fusion, rock, and jazz configurations. All purchased used locally. Just sold the 24,13,16,18. Too big for me.

Although not my primary kits, awesome drums. I paid total about $1000 for all of them.

every kit I bought , all hardware removed, cleaned the shells and reassembled. All the lug holes were perfectly drilled whereas for example, gretsch catalina mahogany kit i have the lug holes were all splintered and ugly workmanship. Doesn’t affect the sound but I expected more.

mapex new lineup looks awesome, especially the mounting systems. Would I buy the new line? Probably not since I partial to Sonor and Yamaha. But I always try to educate drummers not familiar with mapex to try them out.
 

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fusseltier

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Tama makes nice overpriced furniture!
I got a great price on my special ordered shells, definitely not over priced or over charged, perhaps you should find a better dealer. I ordered mine custom sizes from Japan and I didn't even have to pay for the shipping. My dealer ordered my shells when they did one of their orders for their stores, so they came in their container for their order and i didn't pay shipping or customs i don't live in the US.
The other thing is to build a relationship with the dealer so they will give you a discount.
My Tama Star Walnut 8 piece set with matching 14"x6.5" snare is a work of art. And nobody could beat the price i paid.
 

Drummage guy

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Hi all, been playing a Pearl GLX series kit for a while now, (the GLX series lasted from 85’ to 88’) similar to the MLX, excepting the interiors were lacquered same as the outer shell, and they had a 3 piece lug that allowed you to make head changes w/o removing the rim, the lug nuts screwed into a brass fitting that snapped into the chrome lug) short lived on a count of the cost, considerably more then the MLX, as well as the manufacturing cost incurred by Pearl. NOT because the lug tended to go slack if tuned loose. I know that from Al Percival at Pearl... the shells are maple, 7.5 mm. In adjunct with the lacquered interiors makes for a great sounding drum! My concern is I’m thinking about picking up a Mapex Saturn “3” kit, not labeled as such, it’s The Saturn series which were superseded by the Saturn IV. My concern is the Saturns are about 5.5 mm, maple with an inner ply of walnut, without the lacquered interior. whats the general consensus on the Saturn 3 series? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
 

Matched Gripper

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I've never been disappointed with the build of anything from Mapex. Their Cherry Bomb snare remains one of the best off the shelf wood snares I've ever heard.

Their snares use one of the best strainers I've ever seen, and their lugs hold tuning even under prolonged hard hitting. I've never encountered anything but pristine shells from them.

IMHO, their build quality is superior to Ludwig and Gretsch, which were mentioned earlier. However, I will freely admit my experience with both those brands is limited.
My understanding is that Mapex is very popular in Latin America.
 

Matched Gripper

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I don't think Yamaha ever had a reputation problem that I'm aware of. They never went through the stencil kit era that Pearl and Tama did, and they were always well respected for pianos, guitars, keyboards etc.

Tama and Pearl did have to claw there way to respectability though, but I think Japanese products in general were pretty well received as being well made after a reasonably short period. Companies like Yamaha, Toyota, Sony etc. made it easier for Japan to make it. I don't think that will be the case with Chinese products though. They are not looked at with any affection that I'm aware of. Could that change? Maybe, as the boomers move on and younger generations that don't have the same feelings towards them take over.

But kudos to Mapex for scoring Scott Hamilton! Wow, that surprised me! I guess they're doing something right...or money talks.
Yamaha is also known for its high quality motorcycles and outboard motors.

On another note, I know of Scott Hamilton the sax player and Scott Hamilton the Olympic figure skater. Did you mean Jeff Hamilton?
 

Matched Gripper

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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.
My impression was always that Mapex implied maple shells.
 

Bandit

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Hi all, been playing a Pearl GLX series kit for a while now, (the GLX series lasted from 85’ to 88’) similar to the MLX, excepting the interiors were lacquered same as the outer shell, and they had a 3 piece lug that allowed you to make head changes w/o removing the rim, the lug nuts screwed into a brass fitting that snapped into the chrome lug) short lived on a count of the cost, considerably more then the MLX, as well as the manufacturing cost incurred by Pearl. NOT because the lug tended to go slack if tuned loose. I know that from Al Percival at Pearl... the shells are maple, 7.5 mm. In adjunct with the lacquered interiors makes for a great sounding drum! My concern is I’m thinking about picking up a Mapex Saturn “3” kit, not labeled as such, it’s The Saturn series which were superseded by the Saturn IV. My concern is the Saturns are about 5.5 mm, maple with an inner ply of walnut, without the lacquered interior. whats the general consensus on the Saturn 3 series? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Well I am a bit biased because of all the Saturn III drums that I own, but to me they are one of the best series of drums ever made. The mounts are very flexible, with a simple design that allow for flexibility in setups. The hybrid shells are warm and deep sounding. The finishes are great. They can be bought very cheaply. The hardware is top notch. I love the look of the interior walnut. What isn't to like. :)
 


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