Mapex is one of my favorite drum brands. The company has been creating some of the world’s best solutions, both for high-end and low-end users.
Value for Money
- Incredible built quality and detail
- Warm and resonant toms
- A versatile snare
- Limited production and lack of options
I was going through some online commends recently where I came across someone asking whether or not Mapex was a good company. And many reviewers agreed that indeed it was one of the best drum companies in the modern world.
About Mapex Black Panther Drum set
In this review, I will be focusing on the Mapex Black Panther Widow Kit. Any drum that is in the Black Panther range by Mapex has to be very special. And the Black Widow kit carries all the features that describe this line of drums.
Talk about the best quality built and detail; this kit has it all. It delivers warmand resonant toms with a flexible snare that leaves nothing to chance.
The only issue I have with this line is the lack of options and limited production line. I find this to be an interesting tactic that may not end up well.
However, it still makes the kit more desirable, increasing its overall demand.
Who is the Mapex Black Panther Drum Kit for?
Mapex Black Panther Widow came back on the market in 2010 as a line of 14 high-spec snare drums made from different materials. There have been three full Black Panther kits founded on specific snares, although they come in limited numbers.
The Black Widow follows market-winners Blaster, Velvetone, and Retrosonic kits. The kit is made for professional performers. It comes as one of the top products across the market, and hence, very expensive.
I would not recommend it for beginners, because that might not be what you are looking for at this stage. But if you have the money and are sure you want to drum for the rest of your life, the Black Panther Widows is a lifestyle solution.
Construction of the drum set
As stated above, Mapex Black Panther drum kits come in a limited production run, and this one is no different. It comes with only 30 sets projected to sell on the UK market. Despite this limited production, the snare that inspired the drums continues to be produced. The snares are available separately, which means you only get the bass drum, the tom, and the floor tom shell packs.
The Black Widow, just like the other Black Panther drum kits before it, is configured with a 22 by an 18-inch bass drum, 10 by 7-inch and 12 by 8-inch toms, and 14 by 12-inch and 16 by 14-inch floor toms. It comes in one finish too, Transparent Black Lacquer.
The Velvetone is made from maple/walnut/maple, the Blaster from maple/walnut, and Retrosonic is all-walnut. In this case, the Black Widow shells are conventionally all-maple. The shells are straight-sided and made from 100% Maple from North America.
The 5.1mm thick toms, and the chunkier individual plies (7.2mm), are the features that make this kit stand out. Its standard construction is nothing to be disappointed about. The brand delivers beautiful finishes and great roundness that maximize head contact while promoting response on the body.
These drums reveal a great sense of accuracy and consistency in quality that share the best of Mapex. There are no half measures with how the finishes are executed. Its Transparent Black Lacquer is deep and glossy.
It comes with a single piece of shell hardware to the tension rods, which is nickel-plated. This feature is added for a great visual boost. Even the nylon washers are black. The cord attaches the wires on the snare release, and the butter end is also black.
Another notable feature is the Black Panther double-ended tube lugs that taper nicely in the middle and are fitted on the snare drums. The other drums have short tube lugs, which also feature the one-off Black Panther Sledgehammer kit, although it does not feature any of the Mapex drums.
Also, the kit has rubber washers to insulate the shell at the twin point of contact.
As you may have guessed already, this is one feature that puts this kit on the higher end.
Permanent attachment of mounts affects head changing. The kits have Sonic Saver hoops, curved top lip, snare, and all tomes. This is an ingenious feature that creates a great-sounding drum set.
It is the sound that matters the most when choosing a good drum set. And the Black Widow does not disappoint in this.
The Remo suede heads with Ambassador thickness fitted on the tom makes them sound sweet. The bass, on the other hand, comes with a pair of Suede Powerstroke 3s.
These Suede heads give it a better touch of warmth and emphasize the tom’s sweetness.
Do not get me wrong, though, and think they ignite when you dig into them. Instead, they sing loud, depending on how you have set them to behave. But you will love the rich and full notes, even when you only tap them.
I started testing them with a Phil Collins piece. It was so nice that is found it hard to stop. But that is not everything I was looking for in this kit.
Therefore, I changed Suede Ambassadors for clear versions, which gave me a dark and saturated tonality from the toms. Well, it still did not seem to get me there, although the original Suede heads seemed more convincing.
The kit’s response increases with increased velocity while expanding to fill all space available. There is a discernible warmth at the edge of the note that does not cover over the thundering power when you give it enough force.
Generally, there is everything good to love about this kit. The snare features 5-inch deep shells that guarantee the best performance. The entire kit is extremely good at all corners.
What is the best drum brand?
One of the best ways to choose a good drum set is always to consider the brand. And today, there are so many drum manufacturers in the world that finding the right one may not be easy.
There is a wide selection of the best drum makers in the world. But I will only mention five of the best, according to what most drummers say.
British Drum Company
British Drum Company can come first on any list of top drum companies in the world. BDC is a brand owned by Kasabian Drummer Ian Mathews, pub landlord comedian Al Murray, Builder Keith Keough, Verve drummer Pete Salisbury and product designer Alan Kitching, among other people who all know a lot about drumming.
This company has been one of the main heavyweight contenders, and it’s easy to find a lot of their top products.
The Legend Series Sky Blue 4-piece Drum Kit is one particular kit that a lot of drummers love. Just like all of their drums, it comes with high-end features.
When you talk about the most reputable drum sets in the world, many people will talk about Yamaha. And there is every reason to call Yamaha a good company.
They are a reliable and very hard working company. From the beginner Rydeen kits to pro-level Yamaha Live Custom Hybrid, there is something for everyone with Yamaha.
And if you are looking for something in the electronic drum world, you should know Yamaha has got you covered.
Who does not know Tama drums in the drumming world? They are one brand that has gained a great reputation in making incredible drums.
The company was founded in 1974 and has remained a unique brand across the globe, offering everything a drummer may need. The firm mostly makes shells and kits, but you can also find hardware, sticks, and everything else that makes drumming count.
Gretsch drums are not only known for making guitars, but for high-end drums as well.
The brand is a little expensive, but if you prefer better quality and have the money, this is the brand you should be looking for.
You will feel the high quality immediately you touch the drums. And it has been in operation since 1883, which proves it has a good reputation and experience.
The Mapex Black Panther drum set with hardware presents a valuable asset for any drummer. Mapex offers everything you will need to start enjoying drums.
Lacquer coating and may other features give this brand an incredible look. The brand offers an isolated tom mounting system that ensures top-end performance.
Mapex’s Black Panther drum set is a ferocious drum set that lives up to its name and reputation. You may not need anything else if you know your technique.
Mapex has been creating innovative drum sets over the years. And this Mapex Black Panther Black Widow drum kit is the best example of what they can do. You will never need another.