Mapex Black Panther Phat Bob Snare review

Fat sounds from a thick-shelled maple bad boy

  • £420
  • $719

MusicRadar Verdict

A big, fat-sounding drum with a thick response.


  • +

    Vintage rounded profile bearing edges. Extra fine sensitivity of the new Panther snare strainer.


  • -

    Nothing of note.

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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 Phat Bob


Big in every sense, the 14"x7" Phatbob has a fat shell consisting of 12mm of 100 percent maple ply. It also has a couple of vintage style features. First, it's the only drum in the Panther range which has rounded profile bearing edges, which Mapex dubs 8:2. And second, whereas the snare bed dips on the other wood drums are shallow, on this drum the beds are cut deeper, so you really can't miss them.

The drum is finished in ominous black stain lacquer with matching black hardware.

Hands on

Everything works to give Phat Bob a big sound. The thick shell elevates the pitch and potential volume, while the rounded bearing edges soften the impact a little, fattening up the tone. The relatively deep snare beds help the snares to lie flat and tight to the head, further thickening the snare response.

You appreciate the extra fine sensitivity of the new Panther snare strainer. The overall feeling as you lay in is one of solidity and gravitas, a sense of confidence, no matter what sort of music you play.