Snare Drum Reviews
The Mapex Black Widow snare drum is part of the Mapex Black Panther series. It's made from 100% Maple and has one of the coolest names for a snare drum ever!
The shell is 14"x5", so it's a little shallow compared to the more standard 5.5" deep snares.
But, there's a reason it's been made that way. We'll get to that later but for now let's cover how this deadly looking thing is put together.
As I mentioned above, the snare is made from 100% Maple. The shell is actually quite thin at 5.1mm, and the bearing edges are 5:5 which is Mapex's way of saying a 45-degree slope to a sharp edge, with a roundover to the outside.
After a quick look around the shell it's clear to see that its been well made and there isn't anything that worries me. On the outside, the features look pretty damn cool with the hoops and lugs coloured in Black Chrome.
Speaking of lugs, this snare has some fab looking tube lugs that work like a dream, plus Mapex's patented Sonic Saver hoops on the top and bottom. The difference with these is that the top lip of each hoop bends over and in, instead of out like standard hoops.
Next, the throw-off is a pull away handle that lets you adjust the strainers at either side. It's very smooth and straight forward to use. Not that I expected anything less from Mapex of course.
What's really nice is the finish Mapex have used. It's a high-gloss black finish and you can even see the wood grain through it. To complete the look, Mapex have then put a die-cast, chrome-plated Black Panther badge on it. It's subtle but looks very very sleek and cool. Maybe even too cool.
Even though the Black Widow is eye-catching, it's the sound that really matters. The Maple gives it a warm, slightly dark tone, but the thin shell seems to increase the resonance and let the sound linger for a while. It's quite dry too, making it sound more focused.
Striking the head gives quite a sharp and biting crack! with a crisp response. It's mega sensitive too and even the slightest tap gives a nice sound. Rim shots cut through easily and playing cross-stick gives a bright precise note.
I like the tuning options too. It's fairly quick and easy to tune-up, and you'll be able to get a decent range of sounds from it. The shell is only 5" deep so medium-high tunings seem to work best. If you play punk, rock, indie, bop, or even funk, this is your kinda sound.
It has a cool name, it looks cool, I feel cool when i'm playing it, and it sounds cool. Yes, you've guessed it...the Black Widow is cool! The dark, warm Maple sound combines well with the shallow shell to give a quick, sharp response. Plus, the features are really well designed and easy to use.
Any downsides? Well, i'm not sure I can think of any. It maybe wouldn't suit every style of play, but hey, that's why Mapex have a whole range of different snares...so you can pick one that does suit you!
What about the price? In terms of quality, the snare is great. The price is fair considering what you get, and i've found a good deal on this for you anyway. Where's the cheapest place to buy? Here's the cheapest site i've found. They usually have the lowest price and sometimes free delivery too, so I recommend checking them out for the best deal!
The final word: the Black Widow is quick, biting, warm, and resonant. If you play punk, rock, or bop, this might suit you very well. It's a super snare!