Mapex designed and created all of these drums with top drummer/endorser Russ Miller. There are fourteen new drums in this selection and we’ll be looking at five drums in this first batch.
In the video, and with the exception of the Wasp (the 10×5.5”), I did three average tensions per drum to give you an idea of what each model was like, but that’s not say they couldn’t go higher or lower than shown.
A few things you need to know about these drums; probably the best thing to start off with, all of them are really affordable. They are also playable (and gig ready) straight out of the box as they come with [USA made] Remo heads top and bottom. Most of the drums share the same features such as strainer, lug design, hoops and wires, although the finishes do vary.
So first up;
The Atomizer is a 14×6.5” 2.0mm seamed aluminium shelled drum, with rolled/moulded 45’ SONIClear bearing edges.
The drum has a brushed/gloss finish with chrome hardware. There’s also in-line locking B-Lugs, Sonic Saver hoops (flanged with the top flange facing inwards) and a Cylinder-Drive strainer.
This was one of my favourites of this selection, providing a strong sound and great feel under the stick. The sound was typically aluminium with a nice crisp attack.
This is a 13×7” drum with a 6-ply 5.1mm black finished maple shell but it also has 4-Ply, 4mm walnut reinforcement rings. The edges are rounded with a 45’ centre cut and a SONIClear 3/8” outer cut.
Top and bottom we have Sonic Saver hoops and a Cylinder-Drive strainer in a brushed black finish with in-line locking B-lugs and 20-strand wires.
I found the Hydro to be full of attack with a dryness to it, and a nice body. It was quite punchy too, which you’d expect with a 7” deep drum. I personally enjoyed more at medium and slightly higher tensions.
One of several brass models available, the Persuader is a 14×6.5” hammered brass, 1.2mm thick shelled drum. It has SONIClear 45’ bearing edges, in-line locking B-lugs and 20-strand wires.
It comes in an antique nickel plated with chrome hardware, Sonic Saver hoops and Cylinder-Drive strainer.
This is a loud, cutting, solid drum with a drier edge to it that the other brass model.
The Wasp is a 10×5.5”, 1mm thick seamed steel shell drum.
It has an all chrome finish and a mount on the side so it can be clamped onto a stand. The drum comes with double-ended lugs, 16 strand wires and SONIClear 45’ bearing edges.
I only did a higher and slightly lower tensions on this one as, by design, it’s never going to be fat or deep sounding.
The higher pitched crack the Wasp gives is exactly what you would expect from a 10×5.5” drum though, with the steel shell providing a nice clean crack. Despite it being only a small size, it felt really solid to play too.
Compared to the other drums in this selection, the Venom is a bit different. Unlike the other drums, it has triple flanged hoops and double ended lugs which gives it, to my eye anyway, a slightly different visual appeal to the others.
The Venom has a 14×5.5” 8-Ply 6.85mm maple shell with SONIClear 45’ bearing edges. It has a reasonably wide bearing edge which could accommodate more than the 20-strand wires it comes with.
The drum comes in a white finish with chrome hardware so could easily fit in white most kit finishes.
This drum I could see being a general purpose, all-round drum. It sounded good up high, had body to it and a very nice ring. I found it to be very clean sounding too and while it’s only 5.5” deep, it still performs at a lower tensioning.
Ok, so I have to be honest, there’s nothing really about these drums to dislike. They’re all affordable, they come with quality heads top and bottom out of the box – and I always find that a big plus with drums at this price point – they sound great and sonically can do quite a lot – maybe not the 10” so much on that last point. They’re also good looking drums too.
The first of the bunch I tried was the first one in the video and I genuinely thought, ‘hmm, cool’ at the time, in a ‘this is quite impressive’ way. Then I tried the next one and thought, ‘ok, interesting’ and it kind of went up from there for the most part.
As you’ll see throughout each part, Mapex has covered a lot of bases overall with these drums visually, sound-wise and through the variation of the shell materials. There really does seem to be something for everyone.
More over at http://mapexdrums.com/us/products/drums/snares/