Summer NAMM 2014 – Mapex Soniclear Bearing Edge and New Drum Kits

It’s tough to innovate with something as basic as a drum shell’s bearing edge. When something has been around for such a long period of time, over a century in essentially its current incarnation, it tends to be iterated on until the core design components are standardized.


But Mapex want to shake things up. They’ve introduced the “Soniclear” bearing edge. Essentially, it allows more of the drumhead’s surface area to lay flush atop the edge. Here, let’s use a picture because my stupid words won’t do half as good of a job:


There we go. Diagrams really do make explaining things easier. Maybe I’m all turned around in my opinion of PowerPoint. Or maybe not. But anyway, Mapex is big on this bearing edge. We talked to their rep at Summer NAMM as he demonstrated its benefits, and showed off some of the new drumkits for the year in the process.

Speaking of which, Mapex has a cool snare swap program going on with their Armory kits. If your shell pack comes with the Tomahawk steel snare, but it turns out you’d rather something in maple or whatnot, you can swap out your snare for one of several other models within a two-week period. I guess that makes me wonder why they don’t just provide retailers with all of the snares and allow you to pick which one you’d prefer when you buy the kit, but perhaps Mapex is just really in love with steel. I bet these dudes and Manowar would get along swimingly.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • other manufacturers have been doing this for a while. Pearl Masterworks has a full roundover option,phattie drums uses a roundover into a flat surface for more head contact, and several other companies, especially smaller ones, have roundover bearing edge options.

  • I thought everybody sanded their bearing edges down for this reason…

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