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The Mapex Armory drum set shell pack is an impressive intermediate-level drum set. It boasts top-end features and a gorgeous combination of birch/maple hybrid shells with a selection of stunning finishes to match.
Mapex Armory Drum Set Review
The Mapex Armory drum set offers pro-level features at a more affordable price point. It’s Mapex’s middle-of-the-road drum set – it sits above the Mars series but underneath the Saturn series.
The Armory series drums come very well equipped, with hand-selected wood shells and rounded Soniclear bearing edges for a full tone.
The Mapex Armory drums also come as standard with a selection of attractive finishes that look fantastic on stage and in the studio.
Also included with the Armory shell pack is a Mapex Tomahawk steel snare drum that has an amazing bite. It produces a powerful tone and is ultra-sensitive, making it suitable for a diverse range of musical styles.
In this Mapex Armory review, I’ll be taking a close look at the 6-piece drum set shell pack to determine if it’s one of the best mid-priced drum sets on the market today.
Mapex Armory Drum Set Gallery
The first thing we’re going to look at in this Mapex Armory review is the sound of these drums. The Mapex Armory drum set packs a real punch. These drums come to life with a clean and focused attack that also has a lot of warmth. Playing the full kit reveals a very expressive underlying character from each drum.
Installed onto the Mapex Armory drums are Remo’s Chinese-made factory heads that unfortunately restrict the full potential these drums have to offer. However, tuning these Armory drums straight out of the box the sounds are still impressive.
I am impressed by the sound these drums deliver in terms of their attack, responsiveness, and projection. The toms are all very satisfying to play and I tuned the rack toms pretty high, whilst tuning the pair of floor toms very low for a powerful tone.
The kick drum produces a fat and punchy sound that’s definitely formidable. The included Tomahawk steel snare drum is bright and articulate and explodes to life when played loud. It has a penetrating cut and a good level of sensitivity for buzz rolls and ghost notes as well as loud backbeats.
The Mapex Soniclear bearing edges provide these drums with a wide tuning range and pure fundamental note. The Soniclear bearing edges seat the drum heads perfectly for a better sounding note. I found these drums very easy to tune and their wide tuning range makes them incredibly versatile for a wide range of musical styles.
I’m definitely pleased with the construction of the Mapex Armory drum set shell pack. The drum shells are six-ply 6.2mm-thick shells comprising of a birch outer, with an inner maple core.
The 6-piece drum set shall pack takes advantage of hybrid birch and maple shells for a perfectly optimized sound. The maple offers a lot of warmth and projection, whilst the birch plies dry excessive overtones and focuses the attack.
For a drum set at this price point, the drum shell construction is superior to many in its class. The considered approach to blend these two types of hand-selected wood shells results in a very smooth tone.
Looking at the Soniclear bearing edges, they are indeed smooth and the inside of the drums are perfectly sanded. I did notice however that the bass drum wood hoops are not perfectly aligned, and I did experience some issues with them being seated on the drum.
A noteworthy feature in this Mapex Armory review is the Soniclear tom suspension mounts that are included. They are taken from the top-of-the-range Saturn series drums and it’s a great addition to this drum set. Both strong and sturdy, they are very heavy-duty and help bring a premium feel to this drum kit.
This finish of the drum set that appears in this Mapex Armory review is ‘Emerald Burst’ – a visually striking wood lacquer finish. These drums look gorgeous and the coating is expertly applied with a smooth transition that is extremely well done. I particularly like the eye-catching exterior wood grain that has wonderful details.
The only minor cosmetic issue I found with the finish is the visible diagonal seam that appears on the outside of the shell on each drum. This is the only giveaway that this drum set is not a top-of-the-range kit.
After playing the Mapex Armory drum set, I can proudly say it’s a complete workhorse that delivers wonderful tones. The shell construction works perfectly and delivers a lively and rounded sound that works great for pop, rock, funk, blues, Latin, and lots more popular music styles.
The drum sizes included with this shell pack are the ‘Studioease’ sizes, which mean they produce a desirable modern and punchy sound so many drummers look for.
These drums are simply a lot of fun to play. The drums offer a satisfying attack with a superb resonance at all volume levels. What I like a lot about the rack toms and floor toms is that they produce a clean note, with minimal overtones for a ‘mix ready’ sound.
The kick and snare drum are equally impressive, both delivering a great punch when played loud. But I did feel that at softer volume levels the kick drum didn’t produce as much tone as I’d have liked.
Upgrading the stock drum heads to some quality drum heads from Remo, Evans or Aquarian would improve the sound even further.
The Mapex Armory drum set is competitively priced. For a mid-range drum set it comes as standard with some high-end features and sounds. This is a professional-looking and sounding drum set, and to achieve this at a mid-level price point is pretty remarkable.
With that being said, the mid-level drum market is very competitive with all of the popular manufacturers striving to offer the best features for the money with their drum sets.
The Mapex Armory offers great value for money with all things considered, and it’s a very attractive drum set visually and sonically. It is a drum set that is worthy of being showcased on a drum riser on stage and in the studio, and it will certainly impress any listener with its fantastic tones.
The drums could benefit from an upgrade with regards to the stock drum heads that come as standard. For the price of the drum set, I would like to see professional-level batter heads equipped on this Armory kit. Otherwise, I have no real complaints.
Mapex has done an excellent job creating the Armory series drums, with a balanced and thorough approach to the design and build. The hybrid maple and birch shells are the hallmark of a professional drum set, with a stunning range of finishes to match.
What Comes In The Mapex Armory Drum Set Box?
The Mapex Armory drum set is an exciting mid-range drum set for the discerning drummer. It’s a shell pack only, however. This means that you must buy cymbals and hardware separately. Included with the bundle you receive all of the following components:
- 22x18 Kick drum
- 14x5.5 Snare drum
- 10x7 Rack tom
- 12x8 Rack tom
- 14x12 Floor tom
- 16x14 Floor tom
- Soniclear tom arms
- Floor tom legs
Mapex Armory Drum Set At A Glance
- Professional level maple/birch drums
- Stunning finishes
- Great value for money
- Soniclear bearing edges are easy to tune
- Stock drum heads require upgrading
- Experienced some issues with the wood bass drum hoops