Launched in 2006, Mapex’s QR Series kits slot neatly beneath the company’s highly regarded VX Series. While the price points that the two ranges occupy are pretty close (separated by less than £100), the QR has the clear distinction of retailing at well below the £500 mark.
Mapex is keen to emphasise that although they’re the starting line of the Mapex brand in the UK, the QR kits should not be viewed as strictly entry level as they contain a good sprinkling of features from the company’s higher ranges. In Mapex’s own blurb, the QR Series is “ideal for the serious beginner or the journeyman player looking for a second kit to gig with.”
There are two kit options for the QR Series. The kit on review is built around a 22”x16” bass drum, 14”x5½” snare drum, 10”x8” and 12”x9” toms, and a 14”x14” floor tom. The other available kit takes the same dimensions of bass drum and snare, and partners them with 12”x9” and 13”x10” toms and a 16”x16” floor tom. There is a modest selection of different sized toms, floor toms and bass drums, which can be ordered separately.
All QR drums are made from 100% basswood; the shells are a uniform eight-ply, 7.2mm thick. There is no metal-shelled alternative to the basswood snare supplied. The choice of finishes extends to four wraps, two of which are new for 2007. They are Onyx Sparkle (marbled blue and white), Angel Wing (white sparkle), Blue Sparkle and Grey Steel. The Grey Steel wrap of the review kit (pictured) has been professionally fitted, with no creases, tears or slack areas.
Whether or not it succeeds as a look is open to debate. The pattern is made up of innumerable tiny horizontal bands in subtly different shades of grey. The aim is to emulate the appearance of brushed metal and it does this so well that you actually have to run a finger over the wrap to discover that it is in fact smooth.