Snare Drum Reviews
The Mapex Blaster snare drum is part of the Mapex Black Panther series.
It's made from a combination of Maple and Walnut, and is the only snare in the series that has internal reinforcing rings. Why? We'll cover that shortly.
The combination of Maple and Walnut is pretty interesting, and considering the shell size is 13"x7" this should be something a little different. Let's get started.
Well, the Mapex snare is made from a 5.1mm Maple shell with 3.4mm internal reinforcement rings made from Walnut. These rings are placed at the top and bottom of the shell and reach about 4-5cm into it. What do these rings do? The basic idea is that they increase the dryness and darkness, while giving the drum a slightly lower pitch too.
Mapex have then used a 45-degree bearing edge that slopes to a sharp edge with a roundover to the outside. It's pretty sharp looking, but not as sharp as the features.
The hoops are Mapex's patented Sonic Savers and are used 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. Then, there are some small cast-lugs with a sorta cool shield design. I like 'em alot, they work well and help make tuning easy.
Next, the throw-off is a pull away handle, and you can adjust the strainers at either side of the drum. It's very smooth and straight forward to use, not that I expected anything less from Mapex of course.
And, if a good finish is important to you, you won't be disapointed one bit. The snare has a high-gloss two-tone Brown Fade that shows off the beautiful wood grain underneath. To complete the look, Mapex have then put a die-cast, chrome-plated Black Panther badge on the outside.
Aggressive, loud, and punchy. These are just a few of the words i'd use to describe how this baby sounds. Its got quite a dry tone too, and that back beat is big and chunky. It you're into playing rock or metal, this is a cracking snare that cuts through no problem!
Rim shots are bold and sharp, while cross sticks are chunky and bright. It's pretty sensitive as well though, and playing light ghost notes and rolls sounds clear and precise. But, I enjoy just laying into it hard most of all!
As far as tuning goes, the 7" depth suits slightly higher tensions. Still, you get some great sounds from it at a medium tuning as well where it's really fat! Whatever you go for, it keeps that power and volume regardless.
What I really like about the Black Panther Blaster is the aggressive, chunky, wallop! it delivers. Even though it's a 13" diameter drum, it's just as powerful as a 14" shell. And, that 7" depth makes it almost nasal sounding, but in a good way. All the features are great, and the finish is stunning too.
Any downsides? Well, i'm not sure I can think of any. It would really just suit rock, metal, or other loud styles, 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? It's a little more expensive than some of the other snares in the Black Panther series. But, that's because it's quite unique with those Walnut rings (Walnut is expensive). But, if you like this kinda sound, it's worth every penny! 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 Blaster is loud, aggressive, dry, and punchy. If you play rock, metal, or any style where you need to heard, this will cut through and then some! It's a beast!