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 Stinger
The smallest of the collection at 10"x5 1/2", the Stinger has just 12 single-ended lugs and comes with a tom-style mounting bracket for suspension from a stand. The highly polished chrome shell is 1mm steel and the whole drum is surprisingly heavy.
The strainer and butt end on all the new Panthers have 45-degree clamps for stringing the snares, making sure the wires are pulled tight against the bottom head.
Stinger is quite a clever title for this little drum. The combination of small size and steel shell means you can expect piercing rim shots which loosen the ear wax. It can slice your head off at high tunings, but it works all the way from medium slack to as high as you want.
Although there's quite a marked depth-to-diameter ratio, the drum doesn't have that much body. Rim shots can sound more like a slap, a biting click - and the drum's obviously suited to all post-jungle/drum'n'bass beats, not to mention street samba-like crush rolls.
Not so much a novelty, perhaps, as a speciality.