Drummers: Yamaha or Mapex?
November 9, 2012 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Drummers: Yamaha or Mapex?

My 11 year old son plays the drums in his school band. Right now he has some starter drum pads for home practice, but we'd like to step him up to the real thing. An instrument supply company we've used before has two rent-to-own options for us: Yamaha or Mapex. I don't know what model or anything, just those two manufacturers. They are the same price. So, which should we opt for? Being that he is a boy of a certain age, I'm concerned about durability as well as quality.

Also, recommend your favorite ear plugs!
posted by Terminal Verbosity to Shopping (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Drum kit or band percussion? If the latter, you're talking about a concert snare drum, right?
posted by supercres at 7:41 AM on November 9, 2012

Sorry, I was unclear. Drum kit.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:52 AM on November 9, 2012

Etymotic ER-20s for earplugs. They are comfortable and don't mute highs as much as foamy ones do.
posted by MonsieurBon at 8:35 AM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Etymotic (or Elacin in the UK) ER-20s - they're cheap, comfy (once you get used to them), and make everything sound great.
posted by Magnakai at 8:50 AM on November 9, 2012

I'm a drummer who hasn't played in a long time because I live in a condo, but I don't think there's a big difference between these two brands, either in terms of quality or durability. They are both solid. That said, I've never come across a Mapex kit in real life, but I have seen and played many Yamaha kits.
posted by crLLC at 11:14 AM on November 9, 2012


All the Yamaha kits I ever played sounded thin and cheap. Mapex weren't that much better, but they usually had a bit more depth.
posted by mannequito at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2012

I lurk in a number of drum forums, and this question comes up often. At the price point you are most likely looking at (really, anything sub-$1000 for drums only), most agree that the major makers are very competitive with regards to quality (at equavalent prices), and going with any of them won't be an issue.

I would let him pick the one he likes the look of the most.
posted by Quonab at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2012

What are the shells made of? Maple, mahogany, etc., all have different sound characteristics.

What about the hardware (the metal bits)? Double braced is sturdier, but also heavier.

This buying guide at Sweetwater has more info on some of the differences. But if they're really similar in specs, you could just go for looks, as suggested above.
posted by monospace at 11:34 AM on November 9, 2012

At the entry level there's not going to be much difference between different brands - quality and durability is going to be similar between the two brands. Alternatively, you might want to look on craigslist to see what is available used in your area. I'd suggest not spending much money on a first set, and if he likes playing and shows dedication you can upgrade in a year or two.
posted by btkuhn at 7:48 PM on November 9, 2012

Another thing I hear often is that the drums are less important than the cymbals. You can buy cheap drums, get good heads for them and tune them well, and they will sound fine. Cymbals you hit, and they make a sound. There is not much you can do to change that sound. So if you buy cheap cymbals, you will get a cheap sound. Buy better cymbals, and you will get a better sound.

So if you have a choice on spending on drums vs. cymbals, choose cymbals.
posted by Quonab at 8:09 PM on November 9, 2012

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