Mapex have released their latest version of the ground breaking Saturn series. With the Saturn Classic it's very much good news all around, many of the new improved features are derived from the revolutionary Design Lab series drum sets, the new series is also cheaper than the outgoing Saturn V series - Mapex have achieved this by offering some stunning fade lacquer and satin finishes over a regular maple outer ply rather than over the previously offered exotic burl ply used for the Saturn V. This spec change has no effect on the sound, but does have a positive effect on the price. This is very much a welcome change that will now offer the incredible sounds and looks of the Saturn to many more drummers at a lower price point.
When details were launched at NAMM we were very excited to get our hands on this new Saturn Classic, now having had the opportunity to play and record one we think this is the best sounding Saturn to date thanks to the new Design Lab enhancements.
Mapex were exploring Hybrid shell constructions long before many other companies and they quickly hit on a magic shell blend with the Saturn. The Saturn is a Maple / Walnut hybrid shell the Walnut adds a fast detailed attack with plenty of stick definition, the maple rounds the sound out warming it and enhancing the low end giving the kit a great punchy, yet rich and low modern sound that is versatile for a wide array of musical styles. Mapex ship the Saturn with Remo USA Emperor clear tom batters over Ambassador clear resonants which deliver professional sound and durability straight out of the box, all the bass drums have the Remo USA Powerstroke 3 system heads fitted with a clear P3 batter and Mapex branded P3 Ebony resonant - this combination is absolute industry standard and immediately delivers a great bass drum sound.
The new applied Design Lab features for the classic include the Soniclear bearing edges which allow the head to properly sit flush. This improves tuning, resonance and drum tone. The Saturn Classic also has Chamber Specific Air Flow Venting which places the vents in exacting amounts and placements based on the drum size to enhance airflow and fundamental tone. One of the most impressive features on the Design Lab was the 90 degree floor tom leg which very much improves floor tom resonance, for the Saturn Classic Mapex are now offering an SAS 90 degree static floor tom leg fitted with the Sonic Pedestal feet. These two designs combined have completely changed the floor tom response adding a better low end depth and improved sustain. Finally new floor tom leg clamp Isolation gaskets have been fitted to all the brackets on the floor toms further eliminating the grounding effect caused by legs and feet, it's a small innovation but it's making a huge difference.
The new finishes are also incredibly impressive, drummers can now choose from SAS-0 Satin finishes and SAS-1 High Gloss Fade Lacquer options.