November 2014 Issue

Product Close-Up

Mapex Armory Series Drums

Maple/birch shells, precise bearing edges, and a unique snare exchange program…at a midrange price? Yes, please!

Mapex has been working hard to bring one-of-a-kind deals and pro-level features to the midrange drum market. In an industry that’s saturated with options, unique offerings like a snare drum exchange program, maple/birch hybrid shells, and the new SONIClear bearing edge make the Armory series a true standout. We received the Armory six-piece Studioease shell pack, which includes 8×10 and 9×12 toms, 14×14 and 16×16 floor toms, an 18×22 bass drum (no mount), and a 5.5×14 Tomahawk steel snare, all for the low street price of $899.

Amory Features

The Armory series is available in four different shell packs, including five- and six-piece kits with either traditional-depth or shallow tom sizes. The drums are available in six lacquer finishes and come with chrome- and black-plated mounting hardware options. All Armory kits are equipped with Saturn-style lugs, Remo UT coated batter heads, and the SONIClear floor tom legs and tom suspension system, which helps to increase the overall resonance of the drums by “preserving the vibration in the shell and keeping stress away from the tension rods,” as stated in the accompanying literature. Many of the suspension systems on the market today are attached to the tension rods of the drums. The result is that suspension can put stress on the rods, and the mount has to be removed each time the drumhead is changed. The SONIClear system is threaded into the bottom of each lug casing, removing stress from the rod and allowing it to remain attached during head changes.

The bass drum and toms in the Armory series consist of 6-ply birch/maple/birch hybrid shells that have a total thickness of 7.2 mm. All of the shells in the Armory series also include the SONIClear bearing edge, which allows the drumhead to sit flatter and make better contact with the shell, thus giving the drum a stronger and deeper fundamental pitch, easier and more consistent tuning, and an expanded tuning range.

For the complete review, check out the November 2014 issue of Modern Drummer, which can be purchased in print:
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Review by Miguel Monroy

To stream the play-along track used in this demo video, click below.