Wouldn’t it be awesome if a quality drum manufacturer would let you design a custom drum kit online with your selection of drum sizes, wood type, finish color, and even hardware color? What if they could deliver it all to you within a month and do it at a surprisingly affordable price? This isn’t too good to be true; this is the new Mapex MyDentity series.
Mapex knows that most drum manufacturers take six months to a year to deliver a custom drum set and they wanted to offer that service with a quick turnaround time and at a very reasonable cost. Most big drum makers manufacture overseas, so once your kit is designed and ordered, it has to be built there and then shipped to the States, adding months to the process.
To speed up the process, Mapex manufactures the drums in the U.S. and has a new website organized to let you design the kit of your dreams on your computer, phone, or tablet and hook you up with a local dealer who can then take your order. More impressive than all this is that these are high-quality, professional drum sets with lots of nice features. If you don’t really know that much about drum gear you can also visit a dealer who can walk you through the process and design the kit along with you.
The MyDentity line also offers flat pricing. So as long as you order a single—bass drum kit the pricing stays the same and is based on the number of pieces you order rather than the options you choose. So a 5-piece kit with a 26" bass drum will cost the same as one with a 20" bass drum, and a maple kit costs the same as a birch kit.
Okay, so what’s the catch? The available finishes are all wraps of various types and no painted or lacquered finishes are offered, as these would drastically raise the price and delay the turnaround times.
For the purposes of this review we’re first going to design a kit online to see how easy the site is to use. There are 516,837,888 possible kits and Mapex claims you can design your kit in less than ten minutes. We’ll see about that!
After Googling the site, I was taken to the MyDentity page where you can click a button to begin your “Design A Kit!” odyssey.
I chose a 5-piece configuration and one was displayed for me to begin tweaking. I was able to customize the size of the bass drum to a modern 22" x 20" and as I made that alteration the overview of the kit changed to reflect my choice of a slightly deeper bass drum. Neat! Next, I chose the default snare size and altered the mounted tom size to 12" x 9", and made other edits to create14" x 14" and 16" x 16" floor toms. This was all pretty quick and easy.
I realized I’d forgotten to select the wood type I wanted. So I reclicked each drum and selected maple for each drum, though if you’d like a birch snare with maple toms and bass drums, you’re free to mix and match between the two woods available for the line in any combination you’d like.
Next, I needed to select the finish of the drums. I chose a relatively subdued Graphite Gray Ripple, and then chose black hardware to go along with it. There are more than 50 cool wraps available including solid colors, sparkles, satin swirls, some customized camouflage, “illusion” holographic wraps, and even a black wood grain. Lastly, I chose the color/design of the logo bass drum head I wanted from the four available.
If you have an idea of what you want, or what you definitely don’t want, you can probably design a kit in ten minutes. But realistically you’ll want to savor the process of fine-tuning your dream kit.
There are a wide variety of drum sizes available for kicks, toms, and snares. For example, kicks range from a diminutive 18" x 16" bebop drum up to a 26" x 16" behemoth.
The website allows you to customize the image of your setup in a number of ways. I like to set up with my bass drum slightly angled to the right, almost as though I was sitting behind a double bass kit with the left bass drum removed. The Web tools allow you to move or rotate the bass drum, or any of the drums, however you’d like, which was actually quite cool and will help you visualize everything exactly as you want it. So if you have OCD, you’re free to align all the drumhead logos to the perfect angle.
Beyond these choices, if you want to add pedals, cymbals, etc., to the kit to help visualize it better it’s easy to do so, although these are not added to your order. If you’d like to order hardware rather than just a shell pack, there is a hardware tab at the top with hardware prepacks starting at $199 (MAP).
If you’re not that great with computers, Mapex even has a step-by-step how-to video to walk you through the design process.
This was easy and fun to do and I’m sure a lot of young drummers will be designing and saving their dream kits online.