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Looked around the web for the best deal on a upper level h-h stand. Got the Mapex Armory. Handsome stand. Typical heavy duty. I don't play out anymore so I don't need anything special for breakdown but, this pedal has a simple and solid base plate set-up for locking in and breaking down for transport. Nothing fancy, and it works easily.
Most of you guys here know all this already but, from the perspective of a non-Mapex user:
The clutch is pretty cool. Attention to detail. Small felts with half-round rubber pads above and beneath, which, I assume offers options to mount the cymbals either with the felts or the rubber pads or both. The locking clamp, rather than the tedious typical 12/24 drum key screw in an aluminum nut, is a plastic nut with a sliding lock. Works well. I wonder how long the detente' in the plastic would last with frequent set up and tear down job drumming.
Nothing special on the cymbal cup. Thicker than typical felt. Standard tilting mechanism.
The tension nut works like most and provides a pretty wide range of spring tension.
I like the black footboard. Pretty slick. I love the height adjustment block. Two metal blocks with interlocking teeth and a 12/24 screw. You don't find height adjustment on stands in this price range very often. I always feel hi-hat footboards seem too low, especially next to bass pedals. Kudos on this.
I wanted something other than a straight-pull design, which you can find from every company for less money and they all work fine. I just wanted something more unique. This Armory system is very smooth and yet, solid feeling. It employs a second frame section to hold a drive shaft and cam that the chain hooks to. Have not seen that before. Works very well. A take on kick pedal design for hi-hat.
The legs rotate, needless to say, and I would rather have a bi-pod design and will remove one of the legs to get that. Not a big deal.
Overall a great deal on ebay from the Drum Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Also I should mention my approach to tuning snare drums as it may be beneficial to many here.
for batter heads I choose one of the following depending on the snare: Remo Vintage Ambassador Coated or Remo Controlled Sound coated reverse dot....in some instances an Emperor or Powerstroke 3 where I want to really control overtones for specific drums or applications. The Vintage A and CS give you the ability to let the drum shine through while giving you just a touch of control I prefer fine tuning out nasty overtones or using muffling to taste in settings cuz with more muffled heads you can't add back what they take away.
for snare side it's almost always a hazy ambassador snare side IT JUST WORKS
i use a cheap birch turntable/lazy Susan from IKEA to place the snare drum. This way I can easily rotate it for tuning.
I use a drill bit drum key to remove both heads quickly (I also use it to get the tension rods back on just before finger tight) I use a microfiber cloth to clean the shell and bearing edges usually my cleaner of choice is Trick.
so with both heads and snare wires removed drum cleaned/polished up.
I take both new heads and push down the film near the collar the heads will look deflated/broken and once worked all around I'll push it back around this helps the heads seat better and sound better.
i start with the snare side I place the head where I want the logo on the drum usually centered with the butt plate since I like my throwoff centered to my body when playing so that when I do rolls the tips never strike areas where the snare wires aren't.
I finger tighten the head and then for the snare side head I push down on the counter hoop with one hand on each side of every tension rod. This kinda helps stretch, seat, and detune the head. I go back around every lug to get it finger tight. Once the head pretty much stays in tune without detuning and begins to have a pitch I start to use a key and tune using a cross method. The key is to work in small increments like a 1/4 turn per lug at a time. The idea is keeping the tone and tension consistent around the entire head. I tune the snare side to be almost table top tight this will give you excellent snare-response and feel under the stick.
Next I install the snare wires I start at the butt plate and then do the throw off side (make sure when you install on the throw off you had the tension moderate to loose). This gives me some wiggle room both directions to really dial in the snare wire response. I usually tap the head and strum the snare wires I want them to respond without being choked (too tight) or being too buzzy/raspy.
Then I do the batter head by placing the logo where I want it usually centered to the butt plate again that's my preference. Finger tighten only this time I use chest compressions like from performing CPR to stretch/seat/detune the head and then go around and get it finger tight. Sometimes I may go around like on the snare side head. Again the key is to get the head from defining and to begin to have a pitch before using the drum key to fine tune. Again when using the key use a cross lug method and work in 1/4-1/2 turn per lug increments to keep the tension and tuning consistent. The reason for keeping it several smaller adjustments to get to your desired tension/pitch as opposed to fewer large adjustments is because every time we effect one tension rod it will effect others around it by keeping it smaller it will be easier to fine tune the drum. I prefer to tune my batter on the tighter side but this is all personal preference.
On both heads make sure every tension rod has a consistent pitch. When we don't fine tune we will end up with nasty overtones etc. I like tuning my snare side head with the wires removed but if you don't like that or are fine tuning after ward a trick I use is take a stick and place it between the head and wires with the throw disengaged.
hope this makes sense and can be helpful.