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Thread: Stuck Between 3 Kits!

  1. #1

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    Default Stuck Between 3 Kits!

    After owning a Roland TD-9 electric drum kit for 2 years and being thoroughly happy with it, I'm looking to buy a new acoustic drum kit and am stuck between 3 kits. I was wondering if any of you guys had an opinion.

    Kit 1

    Brand New Mapex Meridian Birch 6 Piece (All Hardware Included) - £675.00

    Kit 2

    Premier APK 5 Piece Birch Shell Pack - £599.00

    Kit 3

    EX-DISPLAY Pearl Vision VBL Birch Shell Pack - £575

    If there are any other kits for around this price that you guys would recommend that would be helpful too.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Tama Superstars are a great option also.
    -Reuben

    SABIAN SQUAD
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  3. #3

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    Of the 3, I would put the Mapex Meridian at the top of the list. Their hoops are better than on the Premier kit (1.6 mm of the Premier vs. 2.3 mm on the Meridians), and the Meridians come with all the hardware, so the extra cost is justified if the hardware is of decent quality. If the hardware is a cheap add-on, then the PDP Vision kit deserves a good look, too.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    of the 3, i would put the mapex meridian at the top of the list. Their hoops are better than on the premier kit (1.6 mm of the premier vs. 2.3 mm on the meridians), and the meridians come with all the hardware, so the extra cost is justified if the hardware is of decent quality. If the hardware is a cheap add-on, then the pdp vision kit deserves a good look, too.
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  5. #5

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    I would say the Visions cause of course I love Pearl drums. The prices on those kits are pretty decent but not on the Mapex that comes with the hardware. I would prefer to buy the shells then buy the better hardware. Now this is up to you to get the Mapex but will you be happy. Good luck.
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

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  6. #6

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    Yeah, I think I'm probably going to go for the pearl. After looking at dozens of reviews that one seems to be the best rated. The hardware on the mapex apparently isn't too good either. So it looks like the pearl is the one

  7. #7

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    They're all nice kits. Play them if you can can. One may speak to you. If I were to blindly/deafly just pick one, I'd go with the Mapex. Hardware and one more tom for not that much more money would put it over the top of the other two. I've owned two Mapex kits and have been very happy with them. They may very well have the nicest finishes of an kit in the intermediate price range.
    Mmm... Saturns.

  8. #8

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    Meridian birch's, and not because i'm a Mapex fan. They are more feature-rich for the money:

    1) I like the finishes
    2) Great stock heads/hardware
    3) Easy to tune
    4) L-rod mounts much easier to work with
    5) Floor toms have springs in legs for vibration control
    6) Matching snare, not metal
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
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  9. #9

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    I've never owned a Mapex kit, but I have Mapex hardware and it is nothing to shake a stick at. I wouldn't discount the Meridian until you know what series hardware comes with it. Their mid to higher end stuff is some of the best hardware IMHO and a hardware pack alone is worth easily $250+ US.

    I'll also +1 defcon's idea of Tama Superstars. They are amazing drums, sound great, and have rock solid drum hardware on them.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Blue Nebula Blaze

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Meridian birch's, and not because i'm a Mapex fan. They are more feature-rich for the money:

    1) I like the finishes
    2) Great stock heads/hardware
    3) Easy to tune
    4) L-rod mounts much easier to work with
    5) Floor toms have springs in legs for vibration control
    6) Matching snare, not metal
    I'm going to have to say that you should include this as your opinion, Russ. Not facts. And it really is because you are a Mapex fan.

    I've had experience with Pearl and Mapex but not Premier and these are my observations from owning the kits.

    First, I want to preface that I'm not picking on Mapex. But when you get down to all the details, my taste in hardware wasn't a positive take on the Mapex hardware. I also owned two different Mapex kits so I speak from experience, not opinions.

    Tama and Pearl have equal or better stock heads.

    My Pearls and Tamas are very easy to tune up. They are way easier to tune than the Mapex Saturns I had. My Mapex MBirch were no easier to tune than my Tama Silverstars. Both are birch kits which is the reason for the comparison.

    In MY opinion and experience I didn't like the six sided Mapex L-rod as well as I like the rounded L-rod. The tom mount would hang up or bind much more easily on the flat sided arm than the rounded one when adding or removing a drum. The Sonors' hardware is the exact same design and for that very reason it made it easier for me to part with the Sonors.

    As far as including a snare drum...if you are on a budget it's nice but if you already have your own preferred snare drum, for me the included drum just took up shelf space and never got much use.

    If you can play the kits tuned to your preferences you will get the best way to judge a kit. You'll be listening to it every time you play so you need to be sure you like to tone of the one you choose.

    I know you've got your mind set on those 3 kits and of the 3 I would go with the Pearl due to my experiences and the experiences of members on DC that own and use their kits.

    I think PB summed it up nicely that including the hardware, the Mapex will be the best overall expenditure. But if you find after a while you don't like some of the features - it isn't really a bargain after all.

    Good luck with your search. Enjoy the shopping experience.

  11. #11

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    Bish, I'm curious which hardware you had and if you are referring to lugs, hoops, etc... or stands, etc...?

    I have a Mapex 900 series snare stand that is just amazing IMO, and same goes for the 700 series hi hat stand and cymbal stands (I don't remember which specific # each is since they are a few years old). My other hardware is Tama stuff which is also great, but personally I find the Mapex stuff has greater flexibility in adjustment.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Blue Nebula Blaze

  12. #12

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    I'm gonna disagree with ya on the Mapex 700 series hardware! Also you left out one of the great contenders in this choice, Ludwig Epics!
    Mapex Saturn, Cherry Sparkle, 6 piece Studioese

    Black Panther Cherry/Maple

    Sabian AA cymbals

  13. #13

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    My vote is for Mapex Meridian.
    Too Much Stuff.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by 05WideGuy View Post
    I'm gonna disagree with ya on the Mapex 700 series hardware! Also you left out one of the great contenders in this choice, Ludwig Epics!
    Really, you don't like it? Just curious what in particular.

    As for the Epics, absolutely!
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Blue Nebula Blaze

  15. #15

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    im sure youll be happy with either of the kits, personally id score the Pearl

  16. #16

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    Either the mapex or the pearl, hardware can always be upgraded

  17. #17

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    I personally like the Meridian, my friend got one last Fall and I've played it a couple times (Not for long though. Not an enjoyable experience. Lefties... ) But I think it's a great sounding kit. Can't say much for hardware though.
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  18. #18

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    Just got the mapex meridians they are amazing, I would play all 3 first to see what you like, the hardwear is actually really really great, and the drums sound really awesome
    To become a great drummer first you must be humble enough to learn

    My set up

    Mapex Meridian Birch - Transparent Walnut

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    Chad Smith signature Snare

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bish View Post
    I'm going to have to say that you should include this as your opinion, Russ. Not facts. And it really is because you are a Mapex fan.

    I've had experience with Pearl and Mapex but not Premier and these are my observations from owning the kits.

    First, I want to preface that I'm not picking on Mapex. But when you get down to all the details, my taste in hardware wasn't a positive take on the Mapex hardware. I also owned two different Mapex kits so I speak from experience, not opinions.

    Tama and Pearl have equal or better stock heads.

    My Pearls and Tamas are very easy to tune up. They are way easier to tune than the Mapex Saturns I had. My Mapex MBirch were no easier to tune than my Tama Silverstars. Both are birch kits which is the reason for the comparison.

    In MY opinion and experience I didn't like the six sided Mapex L-rod as well as I like the rounded L-rod. The tom mount would hang up or bind much more easily on the flat sided arm than the rounded one when adding or removing a drum. The Sonors' hardware is the exact same design and for that very reason it made it easier for me to part with the Sonors.

    As far as including a snare drum...if you are on a budget it's nice but if you already have your own preferred snare drum, for me the included drum just took up shelf space and never got much use.

    If you can play the kits tuned to your preferences you will get the best way to judge a kit. You'll be listening to it every time you play so you need to be sure you like to tone of the one you choose.

    I know you've got your mind set on those 3 kits and of the 3 I would go with the Pearl due to my experiences and the experiences of members on DC that own and use their kits.

    I think PB summed it up nicely that including the hardware, the Mapex will be the best overall expenditure. But if you find after a while you don't like some of the features - it isn't really a bargain after all.

    Good luck with your search. Enjoy the shopping experience.
    The reason why I say they tuned up more easily for me is because the rods have lubricant to prevent sticking, there was no force involved as I turned. I'm not positive about the birch version, but on the maple meridians they have upgraded their stock heads to pinstripes for more durability and less overtones out of the box. This screams quality to me. Meridians also use a unique dual tom holder with a space for a stand in the center of it for a third tom arm or stand of some sort. The hex shaped rods are designed that way so that they will lock in place and cut down on slipping.

    I also found these arms to have more adjustability options vs Pearl style ones. The suspension mounts on Mapex are a little more sturdy feeling than the I.S.S. found on Visions, opting to be held in place by the strength of the lugs rather than the hoops. You also get a birch snare with a birch kit for a sonically matched kit. I do give credit to the visions for having the 6/8 shell formula which makes an effective balance across the kit, and that's a great feature. The quality speaks for itself, I was a Pearl user years before I ever heard of Mapex so I have noticed a few things which I favor between the makers. I'm not a biased fanboy(if I was I wouldn't explain why I would get set A or set B), i'm just being objective. If there's a better set for the money, that's the one i'm interested in.
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
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    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

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  20. #20

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    I'd go for the Visions or look into the Superstars.

  21. #21

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    When I shopped for my new acoustic kit (like you, I played electronics for many years previous), I narrowed my choices down to Mapex Meridian, Gretsch Maple-Cats, Crush Ash & Ludwig Epics.

    Hardware was not involved in the decision because I was shopping shell packs only.

    I eliminated the Gretsch first because I found out that you COULD NOT get a virgin bass in this series............all Maple-Cat bass drums are drilled.

    Due to an unbelieveable price quoted to me by a particular dealer, I opted for the Ludwigs for many reasons :
    All bass drums are virgin.
    I wanted two bass drums and he found them in stock in the finish I was looking for.
    Obviously, he had the shell pack in the preferred finish.
    No tax; no shipping charges.
    I owned Ludwigs years ago and have always been a fan.
    And finally, the birch-maple-birch shell construction was something different that I wanted to work with.

    Although I bought the Ludwigs, I was very impressed with the Crush and the Mapex...........thus, of the three you mention, I'd buy the Meridians.

    BTW..........I could not be happier with my Ludwig Epics.........they are beautiful and are an amazing value for the money.

    The only downside is that the stock heads are inferior and I replaced all batter and reso-heads to get my sound.

    Good luck with your search and your purchase.
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  22. #22

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    What I meant was that the Mapex hardware is great!
    Mapex Saturn, Cherry Sparkle, 6 piece Studioese

    Black Panther Cherry/Maple

    Sabian AA cymbals

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by 05WideGuy View Post
    What I meant was that the Mapex hardware is great!
    I agree. It's weird that there is such a big dicrepency in opinion. I can see not loving it but Mapex's high end hardware is very well built.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Blue Nebula Blaze

  24. #24

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    i;d go with the pearl, great sounding kit and buy the hardware u want

  25. #25

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    mapex all day for me, try all if you can, it's up to you t the end of the day, these are just our opinions.

    Cheers Mark
    Have you got you're ticket for the rock train? You gotta earn that Ticket!!

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