Mapex Orion Professional Series, 5 Piece Drum Kit, Teal Burst
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Tony Elder / Steve Jackson
Black Dot Music
Fabulous “Top of the line” great condition in fabulous Teal Burst finish. Bass Drum 22″ x 20″ Snare 14″ x 6.5″ Toms 10″ x 9″ + 12″ x 10″ Floor Tom 14″ x 12″ Cymbals and extra stands are extra.
The Orion Series is an all-maple 6.1 millimetre 7-ply setup with an outer layer of Birdseye maple as an option. It is Mapex’s flagship series and is also the most versatile kit available from Mapex as each kit can only be ordered by components. No preconfigured kits are available. It is available with Chrome, Black Nickel and 24-kt. gold-plated hardware.
For the duration of 2005 the Orion’s inner “plies” were identical to the all-maple Pro-M’s inner plies, the difference being the outer “finish” ply. The Orion received Mapex’s figured birdseye maple or other such exotic wood finishes, while the Pro-M received regular North American maple finish ply. With the exception of the 15th Anniversary edition Pro-M with a production run of 300 worldwide, this set was given the figured Birdseye Maple finish of the Orion in Autumn or Jade Fade.
The overall shell thicknesses for both the Orion and the early Pro-Ms of 2005 – 2006 were identical at 6.1 mm. This was the case only till early 2006 when production changed at the factory in Tianjin. All Pro-Ms received a changed ply configuration and thickness resulting in an overall shell thickness of 5.8mm, and the Orion kept its 6.1 mm shell thickness. The Orions are actually priced lower than most of their high-end market competition. The exotic burl finish is not common with other high-end drum companies at the same price point. As of early 2012 the Orion line was discontinued. At the same time a Saturn SE (Special Edition) series of Birch/Walnut was introduced. This left the Black Panther kits as the top Mapex line available.
The tom shells on the Orion are made with 6-ply quality North American Maple and 1 outer ply of burl Maple for the finish to be applied to. They are quite thin at just 6.1mm to increase resonance. As you’d expect, the bass drum is a little thicker at 7.5mm.
Looking at the shells close up you can see that they have been made extremely well. The bearing edges are 45-degrees and along with the rest of the shells, are precision cut and flawless. A smooth criminal indeed.
The shells are all fitted with the standard chrome hardware, although more flashy looking black and gold options are available too if you want them. The lugs are low-mass, very small, and attach to the shells at just one point of contact to help them vibrate fully.
Having a look at the rest of the shell hardware, the toms all have 2.3mm steel Powerhoops, while the bass drum has a matching wooden hoop with very nice die-cast claws fixing it in place. The bass drum spurs and the toms all use Mapex’s I.T.S suspension system to allow maximum resonance. This works by attaching directly to the lugs instead of drilling into the shell itself, meaning less holes and a better sound. It all looks very well done, and I was impressed with the quality.
A point worth noting is that when buying this kit you can even choose to have a tom mount attached to the bass drum via the lugs (I.T.S again), or you can use a seperate stand. The kit I was trying used the cymbal stands to hold the toms in place, and it worked nicely.
NAMM Show Mapex Orion Teal Burst display Kit.
Now, as this kit is top-of-the-range and costs a quite a lot, you’ll obviously want a great finish for your money. And that’s exactly what Mapex give you!
There are 9 high-gloss lacquer finishes to choose from, and they all look amazing. This set had the Blue Mist Burst finish and was stunning.
The outer ply of burl Maple really shows the grain of the wood. I could sit and look at this set for hours. Beautiful.