Re: **OFFICIAL best drum kit all budgets discussion**
My first kit was a Mapex Mars, circa 1990s. I tried like heck to replace it thinking it was inferior. I bought a new Mapex HZB the sound was thin and tinny. Returned it. Then, found a Pearl Forum, sounded O.K. hardware was decent but the sound was not as good compared to the old Mapex. After that, I got a brand new PDP X7 maple series and thought that would defeat the Mapex. It DID sound good but, and maybe I drum too hard (is there such a thing?), the toms would loosen and move around on me. I was literally getting toms knocking each other! The X7 also does not have larger drum sizes - sooo, again the Mapex sound could not be beat! Here we go again! I bought another Pearl Export series this time. Sound was O.K. hardware was good but again I missed the thunder from the toms, especially the floor tom on the Mapex.
I have set up and torn down the Mapex so many times. Prepared it for sale and then cancelled the ad and took the others back.
Moral of the story, lessor CAN BE BETTER!
Old Mapex Mars 8,10,12,13,14s,16,18,22
Pearl Session 8,10,12,14,16,22
Gretsch Catalina Maple 10,12,14,16,22
Pearl 503 Rack
Mostly Sabian AAXs
a Zildjian K, a ZHT Fast Crash thrown in for good measure