Mapex Orion vs Gretsch Renown

jholschen

New member
I've been looking on Guitar Center's used section and there's two kits I'm torn between and those are this Mapex Orion and this Gretsch Renown. My gut feeling is to go with the Renown but the Orion has more drums and also has the sizes I want so it might be more practical. Which do you guys like better?
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I own and love Renowns, and that Renown on sale is the RN1 series, which is the last version to come with die cast hoops. So that's a very good thing. But Orions are also very nice (they were the highest-end drums Mapex made), so if they're in sizes that work better for you, that's what I would go with.

However, definitely call the store where they're at and speak to a drum manager first. Make sure they're in good condition before buying, because you can't trust the condition descriptions on their used gear. Too many times I've seen things listed as very good or excellent yet had numerous and obvious flaws. Also see if he/she will send you detailed photos.

Good luck!
 
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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
It's not really an apples-to-apples comparison, given the difference in sizes. But I'd still go with the Renown!

The Orion has some issues. The rack toms are too deep. Both floor toms are mounted, which means they'll sag, which can be really annoying.
 

force3005

Silver Member
I've been looking on Guitar Center's used section and there's two kits I'm torn between and those are this Mapex Orion and this Gretsch Renown. My gut feeling is to go with the Renown but the Orion has more drums and also has the sizes I want so it might be more practical. Which do you guys like better?
Orion series in the day even against the Renown Series 1 or 2 were equal or better. If you purchase the Orion kit you will have a professional kit that will sound good and last for years. (y)
 
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Bozozoid

Well-known member
Isn't it oranges and apples?. From what I remember the orions were Sonor thick. The Renowns are much thinner. To tough for me to choose. I'm waiting for reinforcements. From the photos though....Orions. Sound?..you gotta play'em....test drive them.
 

Superman

Gold Member
The sizes on those kits are pretty different. I can't speak to which sizes would suit you best. Quality wise, Orions were Mapex's flagship drum set where Renown is much further down Gretsch's depth chart. Orions were really high end drums in their day.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
It's not really an apples-to-apples comparison, given the difference in sizes. But I'd still go with the Renown!

The Orion has some issues. The rack toms are too deep. Both floor toms are mounted, which means they'll sag, which can be really annoying.
Good point on the floor toms, but you can always add legs to them. I prefer shallower toms as well (7x10, 8x12, etc.), but at least with a 20" bass drum, the OP should be able to get them low enough.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
I've been looking on Guitar Center's used section and there's two kits I'm torn between and those are this Mapex Orion and this Gretsch Renown. My gut feeling is to go with the Renown but the Orion has more drums and also has the sizes I want so it might be more practical. Which do you guys like better?

You can easily make the Orion 14 and 16 into floor toms with 2 additional brackets each.. just like the one that is already there.. and you just move them all to the bottom lugs. All of their regular ordered floor toms came with those brackets on the bottom lugs.

But that Orion.. I would NOT pay what they are asking with the condition being "Fair".. and the kit is like 20 years old or even more?? Not worth a grand IMO.. maybe $700 is ok .
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
I've been looking on Guitar Center's used section and there's two kits I'm torn between and those are this Mapex Orion and this Gretsch Renown. My gut feeling is to go with the Renown but the Orion has more drums and also has the sizes I want so it might be more practical. Which do you guys like better?
The Renown 18, 10, 12, 14 ...... the Orion 20, 10, 12, 14, 16. I wouldn't get the Renown unless you really wanted an 18" kick. Searching GC, I didn't find any 20" Renowns ...... but several 22's ..... some kits with 3 rack toms and 1 floor.

I'd say ..... first figure out what sizes you want ..... and go from there. I'll agree with Artstar ..... the Orion is a tad high in price (for me, anyways). I mean, sure ..... they were "Flagship" drums at one time ..... and maybe someone who really, really, really wants an Orion kit, will pay that. I wouldn't.

If you just gotta have a 20" bass drum ..... then I'd wait for a Renown one to show up used ..... otherwise, I'd grab one of the 22" Renown kits GC has.
 
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incrementalg

Gold Member
The Renown 18, 10, 12, 14 ...... the Orion 20, 10, 12, 14, 16. I wouldn't get the Renown unless you really wanted an 18" kick. Searching GC, I didn't find any 20" Renowns ...... but several 22's ..... some kits with 3 rack toms and 1 floor.

I'd say ..... first figure out what sizes you want ..... and go from there. I'll agree with Artstar ..... the Orion is a tad high in price (for me, anyways). I mean, sure ..... they were "Flagship" drums at one time ..... and maybe someone who really, really, really wants an Orion kit, will pay that. I wouldn't.

If you just gotta have a 20" bass drum ..... then I'd wait a Renown one to show up used ..... otherwise, I'd grab one of the 22" Renown kits GC has.
I second this advice. Decide what sizes you want and let that drive your decision. There's plenty of used stuff out there.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If $1200 is your budget, I'd get something else. The Orions are in fair condition, and as far as the Renowns go, I personally don't like a 14" floor tom with a 22" kick (I'm weird like that).

I think there are better options out there, but that's just me.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I've been looking on Guitar Center's used section and there's two kits I'm torn between and those are this Mapex Orion and this Gretsch Renown. My gut feeling is to go with the Renown but the Orion has more drums and also has the sizes I want so it might be more practical. Which do you guys like better?

I can't give you a comparison as I've never played the Orions - could be great drums.

However - the Gretsch Renowns are incredible drums for the price. The build quality on the shells and the hardware and the sound that comes from these kits swings at kits 2 or 3x the price. I'm a bigger fan of the RN1 series that had die cast hoops - those were basically USA Customs - but even the modern RN2 series are beautiful drums that will last you a lifetime and perform under any conditions.

You'll never NEED another kit - you'll only WANT one and that's a big difference.

EDIT:

Sizes are immensely important - an 18" - no matter how good - is NOT a 20" or a 22". That's a huge thing to consider. Head to head - renown all day long...but sizes are important.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
What the...?

The Renown link in the original post used to link to a cherry burst Renown with an 18" bass drum. Now it's linking to a piano black Renown with a 22" bass drum.

Weird.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
What the...?

The Renown link in the original post used to link to a cherry burst Renown with an 18" bass drum. Now it's linking to a piano black Renown with a 22" bass drum.

Weird.
Spambot? The OP hasn’t responded since 9/7, which I always find suspect.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
What the...?

The Renown link in the original post used to link to a cherry burst Renown with an 18" bass drum. Now it's linking to a piano black Renown with a 22" bass drum.

Weird.
Hold the horses, I just realized the piano black Renown the OP's link is now linking to says it's a 22" bass drum. But looking at the photo, that's clearly a 20" bass drum, as it only has 8 lugs per side. 22" Renowns have 10 lugs per side.

Carry on.
 
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