Mapex Drums and Hardware:
Of course the biggest news in Russ’ gear, is..... After 21 years of being a Yamaha Drums Artist, Russ has switched to Mapex drums! Russ comments, “ There were a lot of changes happening at Yamaha, most of them are now public. I became really concerned about my consistent presentation as an artist. Specifically, the sound of my drums, the consistency and the the overall presentation. I began to test different lines of drums. I recorded 6 CD‘s full of A/B test tracks! I took over a year and half, retesting the Yamaha gear and A/B testing them against what I could get my hands on. At the end of it all, Mapex had the highest marks overall. Mapex had the highest scores in everything I was looking for. The sound, the construction, the look, consistency, a great future development plan and they were making better, more high end gear, when everybody else is trying to make less expensive models.” Russ’ main kit is the brand new “Saturn IV” series from Mapex. The sizes are: 10“ X 7” tom / 12“ X 7.5” tom / (optional 13‘ X 8” tom / 14” X 13” floor tom / 16” X 15” floor Tom / 16” X 15” aux. kick drum / 10” X 5.5” “Stinger” snare and Russ’ soon to be released “Artist” snare drum. All of the hardware is the new “Falcon” line and of course the “Falcon” pedals (Russ has been using these since 2010).
Russ' Mapex "MyDentity" kit:
Mapex “MyDentity” custom kit. Russ eleborates, “ I have been working a lot on my swing playing, in the past several years. I study with the great Peter Erskine and have been concentrating on swing a lot in my practice time. One of the things about playing swing effectively, is to remove the distraction of the ”big kit”. One of the hippest things I think I have ever seen is the “MyDentity” series of custom drums, from Mapex. You go online, design the kit exactly to your specs and even pick 30 or 40 colors of shells and hardware! The kit is made in Nashville and shows up in a few weeks! So, I wanted to have a change from the “big kit” to take to swing gigs and to practice on. I picked the Combo of “Vanilla Creme Pearl”, with White hardware I also chose the Birch toms and a Maple kick and snare drum. The kit is: 12” X 7” tom / 15” X 15” floor tom / 18” X 16” kick drum / 14” X 6” snare drum. I tune them up high and they really are sounding great! Russ uses the new Falcon hardware line for the Jazz kit. Also, he has a specific Zildjian cymbal set-up for the lighter playing.