Drum kits can get very expensive as their quality gets higher. Many drum kits are just way out of the price range of the casual every day drummer. This is where the Mapex Armory comes in.
It’s a drum kit that boasts of many of the features of the higher end professional kits, but comes at an affordable price.
Mapex Armory Overview
It comes with hybrid birch and maple shells with the following sizes:
- Snare 14”x5.5”
- High Tom 10”x8”
- Middle Tom 12”x9”
- Floor Tom 16”x16”
- Bass Drum 22”x18”
It’s important to note that this kit just comes as a shell pack. It doesn’t include hardware or cymbals.
The only other thing that is included are the SONIClear suspension mounts for the rack toms.
This kit has Mapex’s SONIClear bearing edges. The bearing edges allow drum heads to sit perfectly flat on the shell which in turn allows them to be hand-tensioned and produce a clean tone.
This build increases the tuning range of the Armory drums which, in turn, increases their versatility.
The bass drum is a virgin bass drum, meaning it has no mount to put rack toms on. The rack toms mount onto suspension mounts that clamp onto cymbal stands. This protects the tone of the bass drum.
These suspension mounts are very sturdy and won’t let the toms move around much if they’re clamped on to heavy double-braced cymbal stands.
The kit comes with a Mapex Tomahawk steel snare drum. Most snare drums are made of wood, so a steel snare drum is a nice change of pace. It’s quite a bit heavier than a standard snare.
The toms are all standard sizes. Most professional kits will have a 10, 12, 16 setup. The Armory is no different. The toms and bass drum are fitted with Mapex’s Saturn IV lugs, adding to the high quality build of the drums.
The bass drum claws that hold the lugs have rubber on them to protect the hoops. This is a great feature since bass drum hoops can get damaged, especially when you change heads often.
The drums are made from maple wood with birch inner and outer plies. The maple gives them resonance and projection. This means they can be loud and will produce a sweet full tone. This tone can be muffled if it’s too much for the environment that you’re in.
The birch inner and outer plies dry the overtones that the drums produce and give the drums a solid sound on the impact of drum sticks.
This impact allows for fast playing, letting you hear each intricate note that is played. Drummers who play metal will love this, since the kit will respond accurately to blast beats and quick 32nd note drum fills.
As said before, the drums have a seriously wide tuning range, meaning they’re versatile. They can be tuned low and boomy, perfect for playing rock in a huge stadium. They can also be tuned high with lots of resonance, perfect for playing jazz with a big band.
One of the best qualities of the Armory kit is the bass drum. It has a large round thump that you will feel every time you kick it.
The snare drum is bright and articulate. It produces a solid punch and works especially well for rock and metal. It does just fine in other styles of music as well, though.
It responds well to dynamics, allowing you to play soft and still hear a full tone. Steel snares sound a bit more aggressive than wooden snares.
The stock drumheads aren’t the greatest, which is always something that drummers have to deal with when buying a new drum kit. The kit sounds incredibly good when it has 2-ply heads.
One of the best things about drum kits is the endless amount of finishes that they can have. This allows drummers to express themselves and have the drum kit look really aesthetic on a stage or in a practice room.
The Mapex Armory series comes in a few finishes that beautifully blend with the metal and hold the whole kit together. The kit comes with different metal depending on the finish.
The Magma Burst finish comes with black rims and suspension holders, while the other finishes come with more metallic looking chrome rims and suspension holders. There are 6 finishes to choose from and they all look really good.
The toms that mount to the cymbal stands make this kit look like a high end kit, since most high end kits don’t mount toms to the bass drum.
The steel snare drum doesn’t match the rest of the kit, since it is a flat metal colour. This could sometimes be preferred though, seeing as you may want to use the snare with another kit in the future. It will fit in with the finish of any kit.
It’s almost criminal that Mapex is selling this kit at the price that it has been. The hybrid birch and maple shells along with the suspension mounts, full tone and versatility make the Armory an extremely high quality drum kit.
You’re going to need some hardware along with this kit. We have a list of the best hardware packs here. You’ll then need a cymbal setup. Once you have those 3 things, you’ll be ready to practice at home, play on stage and record in the studio.
The Mapex Armory is one of the best affordable drum kits on the market. It’s a great option for anyone looking to buy a new kit, whether you’re a beginner, pro or anywhere in between.