So you’d like to buy your first drum kit or maybe you promised someone if they stick with it they can have their own drum kit for Christmas. Well the time of year is here and you’re about to be thrown into the minefield of buying a drum kit. The first choice you have to make will be between an acoustic drum kit or an electric one. Whether you take advantage of an electric drum kit or not is down to the noise, as you can plug a pair of headphones in and no one else can hear the drums in the room except for the drummer. That being said no electric drum kit is completely silent you will still hear the sound of the sticks hitting the pads but that’s still a lot quieter than an acoustic drum kit. For some people keeping the noise down is absolutely essential so the electric route may be for you, though don’t rule out an acoustic kit just yet as you can also buy silencer pads for them to reduce the noise.

Mapex Tornado Drumkit

The advantages of an acoustic drum kit is everything else, other than it’s not very quiet. They feel better to play, they sound better and there really is nothing quite like the feeling of having a real drum kit in front of you. Today I’m going to talk about the range of Mapex kits that we sell in our shop Waterloo Music in Yeovil, Somerset.

There are cheaper kits available but Mapex is a global player in the drum manufacturing business, that means they can offer excellent value for money across all of their product lines and spare parts and help is never too far away; that’s not always the case with other manufacturers, especially with some of the budget brands.


The first kit is the Tornado and is the most popular kit we sell, mainly down to its price point. The Tornado comes everything you need to get started, a throne (this is what we call our drumstool) and sticks all for under £350. The downside to the kit is the cymbals, but you really can’t expect great cymbals at this price and the beauty of an acoustic kit is that you can replace and upgrade parts as much as you like. If I where to add anything extra it would be a ride cymbal. The 16” crash cymbal that is included is advertised as both a crash and a ride but that really is stretching it a bit. A very popular online retailer offers an extra 16” cymbal on top but that’s as useless as adding a second accelerator pedal to a car when you really need a brake. Most, if not all, grade one exams will require a crash and a ride but you can add that later. The ride is the largest cymbal on the kit, usually 20 inches. You will also get a choice of bass drum sizes. Ninety percent of drum kits are sold with a 22” bass drum but for younger players, consider an 18” or a 20” bass drum. As the tom toms are mounted on the bass drum an 18”-20” bass make the toms sit lower and easier to reach.

Mapex Tornado Drumkit


The Storm is the next up in the Mapex range, it’s priced around £550 and for the extra money you do get a whole lot more drum kit. Where the Tornado is perfect for a beginner, the Storm will take you far beyond the beginner level, in fact I can’t see a reason why I wouldn’t use this kit in a pub gig situation. The shells are better made with better materials and so is the hardware giving the kit a solid feel. A few years back Mapex came up with something called “SONIClear Bearing Edge”, this was included in the higher end drum kits and it’s really just the way the drumhead sits on the shell. The result is that the drums much easier to tune. Yes, sorry, drums need tuning but it’s not an exact science like a stringed instrument. Now the “SONIClear bearing edge” technology has filtered right down the Mapex range to the Storm making it very easy to tune and sound great. The Storm does come with a great hardware pack too, but that does not include a throne and the kit does not include cymbals. If you include a cymbal pack and a throne, the price now will be looking around £750 mark making it considerably more expensive than the Tornado but if the drummer sticks to the instrument you will get more out of it in the long run.

Mapex Storm Drumkit

I really would advise the best thing to do is get down to your local drum store and look at these two kits in the flesh (well wood) and if you’re in the West Country you can see them in Drum.Dog HQ at Waterloo Music in Yeovil.

Keep an eye on the blog for our overview of the Mapex Mars, Armory and Saturn V kits.