Mapex M Series - Manhattan Reviews 4

I acquired this unit from a local store grandmas (www,grandmas,com) and they sold it for a riduculously cheap price of 499 versus musicians friend and massmusic.net of 599 and I got two stands with it. I am glad that a locally owned store can beat guiatr centre (local) and all the retailers and even with the state tax it beats the lowest shipping as well - plus there was someone who you could talk to and explain drums in detail. Only massmusic.net have knowledgeable drum people to talk to. I wanted to learn drums and also have something for my kids and the Walmart cheapo was practically useless. So I said for 200 more from the junior drum offerings get a step up entry kit and some say intermeduate. I did pay for cymbals but again the cast Sabian XS20 series were also affordable at 259 for a set of hats, ride and crash. I tried the pacific cx and lx series and it looks like for most of the hardware the mapex was better and with better warranties as well - I think five years. Also I wanted a smaller kit (originally wanted a bop set - I got a killer deal in ebay for a pearl MLX which I will draw my comparisons). Maybe initially the Pacifics have a better sound but the price difference of 300 really made me choose this drums. Aside from the Pacifics though the Mapex is better than Pearl export, Yamaha rydeen and Stage and the Tama rockstar although the rockstar really looks like they have good hardware but nobody sells a jazz size kit unless you step up in the price point

Well aside from the price - the first thing I like was the quality of the hardware (with the exception of the pedal only because - I was given a nice DW). This came with double braced hardware versus the lighter pacifics. The bass drum sound is really good for a mixed maple basswood shell. Note that I just got a Pearl MLX series so even though I am just a starting trapset drummer (I had played congas in salsa bands and djembe for an African dance troupe) - I can pretty much know what a good drummer is. I also play bass semi professionally and I always hear what drummers have to say and play and I know what good drums sound. The 10 inch and 14 inch tom tune easily but the 12 incher is a little hard granted I just learned how to tune trapset drums. The snare is also not that easy to tune but once tuned it has an acceptable sound compared to a pearl entry high end snare but I think the pacifics have a better sounding snare. I think for a wood snare to really be worthwhile you need a ten lug adjustment and two snare adjustment and maybe die-cast or wood hoops (I am buying a wood hoop and I'll see if this makes a difference) - the Mapex comes with 8 lugs and a really cheap snare adjustment, but it works and has hold to abuse. I put Aquarian studio X tom heads, aquarian textured snare head and an Aquarian Superkick 1 and it made the sound fuller but still it is hard to tune the toms (maybe I am just to finicky or ineperienced). I do think that for a denser shell I need more open sounding heads so I am going to try just the regular coated aquarians and maybe change the bottom heads as well. The pedal is also entry level but does it's job. The snare basket for the price is good and all the stands come with memory locks and really solid. I also like the cymbal mounts and better than the regular felt discs from everyone else. Makes the cymbal sound better. Althought the hi hat stand can only go so low (I cut it so it would go lower) and even though the design philosophy is similar to the bass pedal it feels much better. But the construction is again sturdy

I do not care for the plastic and wood beaters on the bass pedal (it has 3 beater materials) and I think they should just use a dense rubber with felt on one side (like the pacifics). You can get picky but I only paid 499. There is really not that much to complain aside from the pedals and the 12 inch tom difficult to tune it could be that the edges are true. I think I can get a replacement from them -- I'll try

As i have mentioned above the hardware contruction is really solid. These pieces will take to a beating anytime. The only exception is the bass pedal as it it is somewhat flimsy and a heavy afgressive drummer can break it

I think this is a good way to step up into drumming and get good sounds with simple upgrades, new heads , die cast/wood hoops for the snare and new snare adjustment mechanism and better snares. Of course compared to the Pearl MLX -- there was a lot of difference as the Pearl roms was more dymanic and responded easierand tuned way easier. Hey it was even resonant even if the tuning is different from lug to lug. You get weak sounds with the MApex M series if you don't tune well and it takes so darn long. If you run a club or studio and need a house drumset this is a good thing to buy without spending too much and for those musicians who wanted to just learn drums this set is a good set to satr. Definitely a good set for kids starting out who will have a hard time breaking this set.

Noel Paz rated this unit 4 on 2004-05-03.

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