Tag Archives: Drum Sets

January 23, 2014

NAMM 2014: Mapex Armory and Mars Kits and Snares

Mapex Booth at NAMM 2014

Mapex Booth at NAMM 2014

Designed for players that want to spend more time playing, and less time tuning, Mapex introduces their new mid-range Armory and Mars series kits. With the development of their new SONIClear Bearing Edge – which allows drumheads to sit flat on the edge of the drum, increasing contact between head and shell and enhancing shell vibration – these drums are producing stronger sounds than ever, with more tonal nuances, and a more centered pitch to make the drums easier to tune.

Along with these new kits, Mapex has also released a tasty new lineup of Armory snare drums. Each offering a unique sound and style just like their Black Panther snares.

Armory Snares at NAMM 2014

Armory Snare Drums at NAMM 2014


1.) Armory Series Drum Sets

Armory kits have hybrid shells – a blend of maple and birch – resulting in “increased brilliance and projection on the rack toms and a fatter and darker punch from the floor toms and bass drum”.

Armory Series Drum Set at NAMM 2014

Armory Series Drum Set at NAMM 2014

2.) Mars Series Drum Sets

Mars kits are designed as a no-nonsense, mid-priced drumset, that is of the utmost ease to tune and maintain. Sporting shallow 100% Birch shells, and the SONIClear Bearing Edge, Mapex took design innovations from the Saturn IV line and brought them into the mid-range to raise the bar on mid-level, gig-quality kits.

Mapex Mars Series Drum Set at NAMM 2014

Mapex Mars Series Drum Set at NAMM 2014

NAMM 2014: Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple, redesigned Stage Custom, and more…

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple at NAMM 2014

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

Yamaha is making big moves in 2014 with a new kit series added to the Absolute line, The Absolute Hybrid Maple, featuring a core ply of Wenge wood with outer plies of North American Maple. They have also made some “subtle, yet substantial” redesigns to their top-selling kit, The Stage Custom Birch, and have also released not one but TWO new Dave Weckl Signature Snares – a 13″ x 5″ Maple 6-ply (6mm) model in Black Maple finish, and a 14″ x 5.5″ Brass (1.2mm) finished in Black Nickel.

1.) Absolute Hybrid Maple

The ultimate "Hybrid" Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

The ultimate “Hybrid” Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

From the Yamaha press release: Absolute Hybrid Maple drum sets feature a hook lug originally designed for the PHX Series, which brings out the drum’s natural tone by creating a small footprint on the shell. In addition to allowing quick and easy head changes, the lugs provide precision tuning.

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple

Other features in the series include a new piston-drive snare strainer, hinged floor tom leg brackets, a low-mass bass drum bracket and the same style of spurs first introduced on the Live Custom drum set. Yamaha’s exclusive staggered diagonal seam and Air-Seal System shell-making process produces strong, consistent shells.

All configs will be initially available in 3 core finishes (Polar White, Vintage Natural, and Solid Black). At least one config will be available in every other offered finish (Classic Walnut, Red Autumn, Jade Green Sparkle, Orange Sparkle, Gold Champagne Sparkle, Pink Champagne Sparkle, and Silver Sparkle).

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple Finishes

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple Finishes

2.) Redesigned Stage Custom Birch

The newly redesigned Yamaha Stage Custom in new Pure White finish

The newly redesigned Yamaha Stage Custom in new Pure White finish

From the Yamaha press release: Yamaha today introduced the redesigned Stage Custom Birch drum set at the 2014 NAMM Show. Already considered to be pound-for-pound among the best in its class, the new generation Stage Custom Birch Drum Set has received several significant upgrades.

Many of the changes are subtle, yet substantial. Yamaha upgraded the shells with the same thicker ply concept used on Live Custom and rounded the bearing edges for more head to shell contact, which provides a fatter sound. The Absolute style lug, which attaches to the shell using a single screw, requires fewer holes in the shell and less metal inside the drum, allowing the drums to resonate more fully. Die-cast claws and new spurs now adorn the bass drum and the snare drum now includes ten lugs for more precise tuning.

2014 Stage Custom redesigns

2014 Stage Custom redesigns

Stage Custom Birch kits also come in new sizes. Tom and floor tom sizes are now available at traditional depths and diameters, offering wider tuning and dynamic ranges. The floor toms, trimmed down to be under square, provide a better tone to attack balance. The drum sets also offer excellent finishes, high-end specs and superior hardware at a great value.

3.) Dave Weckl Signature Snares

Dave Weckl Signature Snare Drums

Dave Weckl Signature Snare Drums

From the Yamaha press release: “I have enjoyed playing Yamaha drums for 30 years now. Their attention to detail, quality and consistency is unparalleled in the industry and I am happy to have this long standing relationship”, Dave Weckl commented. ”My signature snare drums are of the most unique on the market. The dual strainer system is one of a kind, and provides a sound and versatility like no other snare ever made. For the few that will be able to own one of these special drums, enjoy them. They are very special instruments!”

April 1, 2013

COMING SOON: Mapex Saturn IV MH Drum Sets

Photo of Mapex Saturn IV MH Drum Set at NAMM 2013

Saturn IV MH Exotic in Natural Ash Burl finish, seen at NAMM 2013

4/9/13 UPDATE: These kits are ready to ship! The first round is in, so order now to get your new Saturn IV MH Drum Set without delay!

One of the more exciting things this year at NAMM was the revamp of Mapex’s popular Saturn Series of Drum Sets. Mapex kept the best things about these kits, including the Maple-Walnut hybrid shells, and added sweet new features like the SONIClear tom suspension, SONIClear floor tom legs and 11 amazing new finishes!

Check out the finishes from the Saturn IV MH Exotic line below, featuring an outer ply of exotic wood veneer with Black Chrome Hardware:

Deep Water Ash Burl – SSL Natural Ash Burl – SNL
Mapex Saturn IV MH Exotic Deep Water Ash Burl SSL Mapex Saturn IV MH Exotic Natural Ash Burl SNL
Satin Black Maple Burl – KFB Cherry Mist Rosewood Burl – RLE
Mapex Mapex Saturn IV MH Exotic Satin Black Maple Burl KFB Mapex Mapex Saturn IV MH Exotic Cherry Mist Rosewood Burl RLE
            Transparent Ash Burl Burst – SWV
Mapex Mapex Saturn IV MH Exotic Transparent Ash Burl Burst SWV

And 6 new color finishes from the Saturn IV MH Series:

Marine Spiral – MAMapex Saturn IV MH Marine Spiral Red/Blue Hybrid Sparkle – PHMapex Saturn IV MH Red Blue Hybrid Sparkle
Transparent Espresso Walnut – TWMapex Saturn IV MH Transparent Espresso Walnut Strata Red – PCMapex Saturn IV MH Strata Red
Merlot Burst – CLMapex Saturn IV MH Merlot Burst Granite Sparkle – PHMapex Saturn IV MH Granite Sparkle

These two floor toms deliver some powerful low-end!

Photo of Saturn IV MH Drum Set with Marine Spiral Finish, at NAMM 2013

Saturn IV MH Marine Spiral finish, seen at NAMM 2013

Photo of Mapex Saturn IV MH Exotic Drum Set in Satin Black Maple Burl finish, NAMM 2013

Mapex Saturn IV MH Exotic in Satin Black Maple Burl finish, at NAMM 2013

The new Saturn IV MH Series is available in 6 different configurations for each the Saturn IV MH and Saturn IV MH Exotic. With over 20 separate component drums available for special order, the possibilities are endless!

Photo of Saturn IV MH Exotic Drum Set, Deep Water Ash Burl finish

Deep Water Ash Burl finish

These Mapex Saturn IV MH Drum Sets are coming in the door any day NOW AVAILABLE, so head over to our Drum Sets to order today!

February 28, 2013

JUST IN: Sabian Hoop Crasher

Photo of Sabian Hoop Crasher

It’s finally here!

This is a product we’ve been anxiously awaiting ever since we were introduced to it by master drummer Jojo Mayer at NAMM 2013. The Hoop Crasher sits on any 14″ snare, adding a thick, effected sound to your backbeats. In these digital days, a simple one-layer snare drum sound has always left something to be desired for drummers into fusion sounds such as drum n’ bass, and other electronically-oriented dance music genres. And while using triggers or any other means of digital enhancement has always been an option, it too left something to be desired for those of us that would much rather hear an organic sound than electronic. That’s exactly where the Hoop Crasher saves the day. Whether you are using it mic’d or not, it adds a thick layer of effected sizzle and white noise that requires no digital or electronic assistance to distort, thus sounding truer to the acoustic dynamics of your drums.

Photo of Sabian Hoop Crasher

The Hoop Crasher was voted Best in Show at NAMM 2013 by Rhythm Trader’s owner Brad Boynton and others.

This concept has been in the making for awhile now, and players have stacked everything from tambourines to cracked splashes and china cymbals on top of their snare drums to achieve a similar layered, distorted sound. But never before has anything came close to the simplicity, adjustability, and quality of sound that Sabian’s Hoop Crasher serves up. Find out more and hear it for yourself on our Hoop Crasher product page.

February 11, 2013

JUST IN: Roc-N-Soc Thrones

A photo of Roc n Soc Thrones at Rhythm Traders

The most comfortable thrones in the world!

We’re once again fully stocked on all colors and styles of the famous Roc-N-Soc thrones. In case you didn’t know, a Roc-N-Soc throne is truly a treat of a seat, and can make a world of difference in your posture and playing. Back and butt pains will be a thing of the past when you have one of these, and you’ll look forward to sitting behind your kit even more! Find out more or pick one up on our Roc-N-Soc product page.

January 16, 2013

JUST IN: Silver Sparkle Ludwig Club Date

Photo of Silver Sparkle Ludwig Club Date

Old-School Specs with Modern Swagger

Check out this fresh silver sparkle Ludwig Club Date! 6-ply Cherry/Gum Wood shells with all round bearing edges give it that warm, resonant, tasty vintage Ludwig sound. It’s the perfect kit for gigging vintage collectors, and this just might be our favorite finish they come in. We’ll have it on the site soon, but until then give us a call if you’re interested (503-288-6950), this won’t be around for long! Things have come a long way since 1956…

Photo of 1956 original Club Date

Original 1956 Club Date

December 1, 2012

Mike Johnston 2012 Clinic Photos

Photo of Mike Johnston Clinic at Rhythm Traders

Mike getting set up

One of the most inspiring and informative clinics we’ve hosted yet, Mike Johnston truly rocked the house!  As you can see from the photos, Mike was right at home behind a booming Gretsch New Classic equipped with an arsenal of Meinl cymbals. Some in attendance were even lucky enough to walk away with sweet giveaways like Mike’s new DW Ghost Note Pro Practice Pad, new cymbals, and other goodies. Thanks to all our sponsors for another awesome clinic at Rhythm Traders!

Click here for the full gallery of photos from this event


November 15, 2012

Product Review: Mapex MyDentity Custom Drum Set

Photo of Mapex MyDentity Drums

Design your fully custom dream kit and get it in a month- Mapex makes it a reality!

Tired of having limited options when it comes to buying a kit- why not design your own? With Mapex’s MyDentity it’s never been easier or more affordable. You select your drum sizes, wood type, finish color, all the way down to the color of your hardware. On top of all that, they will get it to you within a month, and all for right around $1000.


Photo of MyDentity at NAMM 2012


We couldn’t believe it either when we came across them at NAMM in 2012, where the MyDentity took the award for Best in Show. Custom drum sets have never been this affordable, and most manufacturers usually take at least six months to deliver. We searched everywhere for “the catch”, but we never found one. Every MyDentity we’ve ordered has been a high quality set of drums through and through, with no flaws or obvious shortcuts taken. The design process itself is fun and easy and takes about 10 minutes, just go to their site to get started at mydentity.mapexdrums.com. From there you’ll be able to interactively build and design the kit of your dreams, which we have to tell you is a lot of fun. Then you just save the design, tell us your unique MyDentity code, and within a month you’ll be playing your own quality custom kit.

November 7, 2012

Product Review: Yamaha Stage Custom Drum Set

Photo of Yamaha Stage Custom in Natural Wood Finish

Yamaha Stage Custom in Natural Wood Finish – affordable, quality craftsmanship

We really can’t say enough about these 100% Birch beauties! They are some of the most dependable and best sounding kits around, and that’s exactly why we use them in our lesson rooms. That legendary tone of an all-birch kit has never been more appealing or affordable than the Stage Custom. The punch and low end on the kick drum alone (be it the 20″ or 22″) will make you want it, but other features like the ball-joint hardware, YESS mounting system, and any of the five gorgeous lacquer finishes are sure to seal the deal. For all-around value and quality under $1000, we highly recommend this kit! Find out more on our product page.

November 27, 2011

Portland Drum Fair 2011 Photos

A photo of some of the vintage gear at the 2011 Portland Drum Fair

A drum collector’s heaven

Our second annual Portland Drum Fair was held in 2011 at the Wonder Ballroom with our good friends at Revival Drum Shop. Like the 2010 Portland Drum Fair, it was one of the great events of the year for drum worshipers of all kinds. There were performances by professional drummers including Brass Roots, Lauren Newman, DJ Beacon Sound, DJ Big Drum, Lisa Schonberg & Heather Treadway, DJ John Moen, Todd Roper & Andy Korn Drum Duo, DJ Carlton Jackson, Tim Duroche, Daniel Hunt, DJ Aquaman, John Niekrasz, Sambagata, Daniel Glass, & DJ Cooky Parker.

A photo of Daniel Glass performing at the 2011 Drum Fair

Daniel Glass performance at the 2011 Portland Drum Fair

Click here for our full gallery of the 2011 Portland Drum Fair