When Good Ideas Go Awry

I was recently at PASIC in Indianapolis. Besides all the artist concerts and clinics, one of the great things is being able to go to the gear expo and see all the latest things, and most importantly, try them out. 

This year I had the chance to once again see and test MAPEX's MAATS (Magnetic Air Adjustment Tom Suspension) mounts, and it's still as overblown and unwieldy as its name. Check out the MAPEX page here.


As you can see in the photo above, this thing is a monster. Designed by drum hardware guru, Randall May, it's a thing of beauty and efficiency. Yes, it works well, but it's so freaking big and ugly. The mount uses magnets and is adjustable for the amount of sustain on your toms. Sweet, but did I mention that it's so freaking big and ugly?

I admire most of May's hardware designs. His marching carriers have become the standard for most corps and bands. But sometimes he can fall victim to over engineering a solution to what really isn't a problem.

Who In The World Will Actually Use This Mount?

As you can see, this thing is huge (and ugly). If you have 2 mounted toms, then you need 2 of these monsters. Imagine if you have 5 mounted toms!!! You also need a much bigger trap case to put these in—maybe even a case just for your tom mounts. I can see these in a recording studio, where the adjustable sound would be a big plus, and you never have to move them (or move them just around the studio). I can also see the top echelon of pro drummers who have drum techs and NEVER have to set up or carry their own gear using them. But I cannot see any regular working drummers, especially weekend warriors, actually carrying these around with them! I sure never will.

If you want a simpler, more elegant solution, then Gary Gauger's RIMS™ system still is the best. It does most of the same thing for a lot less, and is so much easier to carry. It's also not fugly.

The RIMS™ Alloy Pro

Innovation can be great, but it can also be too much. We'll see if MAPEX still offers these in a few more years…

~ MB

Deconstruct Yourself™


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