The name Black Panther, conjuring up speed and power allied to velvety sleekness, has been a winner for Mapex over the past decade. Now Mapex has given the entire range an overhaul with 14 brand new models. You can read every Black Panther snare drum review here.
Each drum has either single-ended shield-design cast lugs, or elegantly sculpted twin-point mounted tube lugs. The patented 'Sonic Saver' hoops lie between flanged and die-cast hoops. Recalling the classic Slingerland 'Stick Saver' concept, the top lip of each pressed stainless steel hoop bends over and in, not out as on standard hoops.
The handsome throw-off is a smoothly operating pull-away lever with adjustable strainers at both ends. Micro lock knobs click silently as you turn them for sensitive adjustment of the stainless steel wires. There are several new bearing edge profiles, and capping it all a new die-cast, chrome-plated Black Panther badge.
You can watch a video overview of the new range with Craig Blundell and Steve White below. Scroll down for the full review.
Black Panther 'Panther'
Mapex describes this as the ultimate Black Panther. Unlike all the other metal drums it has a 14"x5" seamless, spun shell of 2mm steel, reinforced at each end by 23mm deep internal sound control rings. These are 1mm gauge steel, making up 3mm on the bearing edges, which are 45 degrees to the inside and rounded over to spare your skins.
The result is a seriously heavyweight drum. It's distinguished also by the decorative Braille-like calibrations running round the shell. The inside is sprayed matt black, the outside a burnished gun metal silver/grey.
With no seam, this is the ultimate metal shell in terms of resonance and projection. It's only 5" deep but the tone is full and rounded. When you play there is no delay between the batter stroke and the snare response - they are as one, the shell is so vibrant.
The resonance is such that you may be tempted to employ a little damping, which would be a pity. The steel Sonic Saver hoops sit perfectly with the drum, cushioning those rim shots however hard you play.