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Wakanda Forever! – Mapex Black Panther 2020 Snare Drums

GET IT? IT’S A MARVEL JOKE! Sorry, I’ll try and keep those to a minimum. I don’t get out much and as my fellow colleagues will tell you, there’s a lot of classic movies I haven’t seen thanks to Stan Lee’s costumed escapades…much to their disappointment and my shame. Something none of us saw coming however was Mapex dropping some fresh Black Panther snare drums for 2020. Not just one. FOURTEEN. The coffee must have been strong AF in the design lab to churn out this many incredible drums.

The Black Panther range had some fan favourites within the range such as; The Velvatone, The Heartbreaker, The Cherry Bomb and Peter Gabriel’s favourite: The Sledgehammer. Thing is, those drums are soooo last decade so without further ado, lets take a brief look into the NEW Black Panther range for 2020 (and beyond!)…

  1. The Wasp

THE WASP IS ANOTHER MARVE…damn, I promised I wouldn’t go on another Marvel tangent. First up is the smallest of the bunch, The Wasp. The Wasp as the name might suggest produces a tight “sting” of a sound due to it being a 1.0mm Seamed Steel Shell with 45-degree SONIClear Bearing Edges. It’s decked out in classy Chrome Hardware and comes with Sonic Saver Hoops, Cylinder-Drive Strainer topped off with a mirrored Chrome finish.

It’s only 10×5.5in making ideal for side-snare action, but don’t let it’s size fool you. This Snare can easily hold it’s own if you want a smaller drum to use for a bop kit or even for intimate pubs or garden parties. The addition of a tom-mounting bracket is a great touch so you don’t need a dedicated snare stand either. Neat!

2. The Hydro

 Next up is The Hydro, the first of our wood snares. It’s a 13x7in 6-ply Maple Shell with 4-ply Walnut Reinforcement Rings. It’s #THICK. Probably should have been named The Hulk, ammirite?! If you’re keeping score, that’s three now. The Hydro (Hulk) features SONIClear Bearing Edges on the Outer Cut and 45-degree Rounded in the Center Cut. This blend of two different edging techniques results in a drum that embodies dark, low tones. Essentially this is your meat & potatoes “My Heart Will Go On” big ballad snare drum.

Naturally it’s finished off with Brushed Black Hardware to match the tonal aesthetic and a gorgeous Black Satin finish on the shell. If you’re looking for a back-beat machine, you’ve found it.

3. The Razor

The Razor is a straight up workhorse snare drum. It’s a 14x5in 6-ply Maple Shell featuring SONIClear Bearing Edges to produce an articulate warm snap! Unlike all the drums we’ve spoke about so far, this snare features Triple-Flanged Hoops which open up the shell a little bit more due to less weight on the batter head, which aids in the sharpness of the snare tone!

It’s also the first of the new snares to feature the Staggered Offset Lugs that really give The Razor an edgy look while maintaining a family friendly sound! Finished off in Dark Grey Lacquer means The Razor is a force to be reckoned with. Be careful you don’t cut yourself on it!

4. The Nucleus

The dictionary definition of The Nucleus is “the central and most important part of an object, movement, or group, forming the basis for its activity and growth”. The Mapex definition of The Nucleus is a 14×5.5in 8-ply Maple/Walnut/Maple shell with 45-degree SONIClear Bearing Edges. Personally I see this drum more like a Peanut Butter Sandwich.

The Maple Inner & Outer provide the familiar warmth and texture while the centre Walnut ply adds rich, organic flavours that let the drum produce a central sound most drummers desire. Couple that with Sonic Saver Hoops, Staggered Offset Lugs and a classy Piano Black finish and you’ve got one exceptionally well dressed Peanut Butter Sandwich!

5. The Pegasus

The Pegasus originated from Greek mythology traditionally and is the brave companion of VALKYRIE IN THE FINAL BATTLE OF AVENGERS ENDGAME…that’s now five. The snare drum iteration of The Pegasus has a slightly different origin. The Pegasus is a 7ply Maple/Walnut hybrid shell that’s 6.15mm thick, making it thinner than most hybrid snares.

This thinner shell construction allows surprisingly darker tones flow through making it a force to be reckoned with. Having said that, this snare can take flight at a moment’s notice with a crisp tight crack! The Pegasus is finished in a Natural Gloss Lacquer with a Natural Maple Burl offset with Black hardware. STUNNING!

6. The Venom

 The Venom, aside from being one of Spider-Man’s greatest adversaries (Six. SINISTER SIX. Seven), is a 14×5.5in 8ply Maple Shell. It’s infectious just how amazing this drum sounds. The Triple-Flanged hoops allow the shells to open up a little more giving a lovely warm tone that’s versatile and serve as the perfect antidote. The Arctic White lacquer finish and Chrome hardware give this drum a clean, almost clinical appearance to cure your backbeats of all that may ail it!

7. The Metallion

OH HELL YEAH. Brass Snares are a personal favourite of mine and The Metallion is no exception. 1.2mm Seamed Brass shell. It’s HEAVY but most Brass drums worth having are, plus it means you’ll get a workout carrying it around! It’s warm and rich tone will make you instantly fall in love.

Like most of these snares it’s the standard 14×5.5in in depth and it’s finished beautifully with the Staggered Offset lugs, which I have to admit really give these drums a certain flavour that I’m 100% on board with. The Metallion is #blessed with Sonic Saver Hoops which give this snare so much character that it would easily land the starring role in a Martin Scorsese movie. The Metallion is one Goodfella…

8. The Cyrus

Cyrus The Great has arrived…in Snare Drum Form. Great is the perfect adjective to describe The Cyrus because it’s simply just that. GREAT. The Cyrus is a 14x6in Chrome over Steel 1mm Seamed Shell. Just like the knights of the round table, it’s chrome armour is shiny and proud and therefore should not reside in Camelot for too long (it’s a silly place), but on the musical battle field.

The Cyrus comes armed with Sonic Saver Hoops and an extra wide snare bed for increased sensitivity. Don’t be mistaken, it may be a sensitive soul but can unleash a mighty roar at a moments notice with a powerful crack and deep groove capability. Don’t count out The Cyrus the next time you’re at the market…

9. The Predator

 “You’re one ugly motherfu***r”… is NOT what I’d say about The Predator. At least, not this iteration of it. The Predator is a 14x6in Copper shell that’s 1.2mm thick and ain’t got time to bleed. It features 45-degree SONIClear bearing edges which encourages you to stick around and hear The Predator’s inspiring dark and powerful tone.

Unlike the CIA, The Predator won’t have you pushing too many pencils but instead encourage you to search and discover what’s waiting for you musically with it’s profound weighty roar, turning you from drummer to a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus! Trust me, you’ll want to get to the choppa to pick up The Predator.

10. The Heritage

 Some drummers prefer to focus on what sounds new and hip, but others enjoy delving into a sound a little more classic. That’s where The Heritage Snare fits in. The Heritage is a 14x6in 5ply Maple Shell with 4ply Walnut Reinforcement Rings to give the player a taste of tradition. The thin maple brings a sense of familiarity in tone while the walnut adds a dusting of darkness, creating a vintage tone.

Think of The Heritage like a beautifully aged whisky in that sense. The gorgeous White Strata finish further adds to the vintage sound of this drum that appeals to drummers seasoned and new! This is a vintage drum with modern features, the perfect fusion of new and old is here with The Heritage.

11. The Atomizer

 Marvel, or DC reference? I can’t decide which one to make. You’re probably thinking “neither, just talk about the drum!” Understood. Feast your eyes on The Atomizer! It’s a 14×6.5in Aluminium Shell that’s 2mm thick. Aluminium drums inherently are much dryer drums, but this shell is surprisingly lively! The Atomizer really brings a whole brightness to the overall groove while at the same time invoking a deep presence and focus to the tone.

The versatility of The Atomizer being a 14×6.5in shell makes it really useful in a handful of situations. It tunes remarkably easily as well, letting all your stress be reduced to ATOMS! The brushed aluminium exterior brings a gorgeous finish to a beautiful, articulate snare drum.

12. The Persuader

Can you be PERSUADED? We think so! The Persuader features a 14×6.5in Hammered Brass shell. Think of this like The Sledgehammer on STEROIDS, only simplified to focus less on aesthetics and more on sound.  The hammering of the Brass mellows the shell down, so it’s not as abrasive as your standard brass shell and allows it to be a bit more flexible.

Like all of the models we’ve spoke about it features SONIClear 45-degree bearing edges and Sonic Saver hoops. This hoop pairs beautifully with the hammered shell giving it a dry defined tone and a powerful rim shot. The Antique Nickel plating and chrome hardware means The Persuader will fit well on stage, in the studio or on the mantle piece!

13. The Shadow

 If horror movies have taught us anything, generally what lurks in the shadows is never good news. Mapex did an M Night Shyamalan twist on the genre and turned the concept of shadows into a KICK-ASS Snare Drum for the Black Panther range. What lurks beneath The Shadow’s gorgeous dark maple burl finish is a 7ply Birch/Walnut Hybrid shell. The blending of these two woods give The Shadow extreme focus and dark tones, much like it’s namesake.

The Shadow isn’t shy, though. If you tune it right this snare can break the chains of any groove that needs an overhaul and let out a pleasing growl tuned low and fat. Next time you find yourself in the dark alley of the snare wall, you might be pleasantly surprised when you encounter The Shadow…

14. The Solidus

SOLIDUS AS A ROCK. Had to be done, because i don’t know if you’ve noticed…The Solidus is a BEAST. It’s a 14x7in 11ply, 11mm thick Maple shell. If you thought The Hydro was #THICK, The Solidus is #THICKER! It’s a drum full of warm, wood tone that sits BEAUTIFULLY in a medium to low tuning. Hitting this drum is the equivalent of when Thor uses his new hammer in the big battle of Infinity War (EIGHT), everything around it will just crumble…in a good way of course.

The Solidus features a rounded 45-degree center cut bearing edge and a SONIClear 3/8” outer cut allowing for unique wood tones to shine through no matter what head you put on it. You’d expect a thick drum head to pair well with a drum so thick and deep but surprisingly, single-ply works WONDERS on this drum. It’s finished with a subtle call back to The Blaster series with a beautiful Red-Black Lacquer finish. This drum is not shy, nor is it for the faint of heart.

And…BREATHE. We did it! Only eight Marvel references too, which for me is a new record. The new Mapex Black Panther range has some solid contenders for your next snare drum, the range is so diverse and varied that there’s guaranteed to be a snare for you. Especially when you consider that all these drums individually are under £400, so it’s a saving on your bank account too!

Getting the right snare for you can be a tough call, but Mapex make that choice super easy with these fourteen delicious new flavours to choose from. Check out what tasty treats we have in stock, you could just find the snare drum of your dreams!

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