By Andy Doerschuk Published January 3, 2011
I’ll never forget walking into the Mapex booth at the 1997 Summer NAMM show in Nashville and seeing an entire wall of snare drums from the company’s then brand-new Black Panther line. The sheer abudance of sizes, shell materials, hardware options, and finishes knocked the breath out of me. “It’s only a matter of time before Mapex launches the Black Panther drum set series,” I thought to myself. And while I was right, little did I know that the time period would be an expanse of roughly 14 years. But here it is, Mapex’s new Black Panther drum set line, all new for 2011. Expect to see a number of new Black Panther kits introduced in coming months, each modeled on the snare drum from which it is derived. The flagship outfit is The Blaster kit, which features thin maple shells (5.1mm toms and 7.2mm bass) with walnut sound-shaping rings (3.4mm), accented with brushed black chrome hardware and Remo Renaissance Ambassador heads. The Blaster series will be available on a very limited basis for a very limited time, beginning January 2011. The second half of 2011 will feature the second release in the series, The Velvetone, with more models slated for release in 2012 and beyond.