• Black Panther Design Lab Heartbreaker
  • Black Panther Design Lab Cherry Bomb
  • Black Panther Design Lab Equinox


The MAPEX™ Black Panther Design Lab Series embodies the performance qualities desired by top players. These distinctive instruments have been engineered using the Design Lab’s “Concept Hybrid” approach to sound design, shell composition and drum construction. Each drum has been designed to combine “Sound Concepts” to create unique and personal instruments for the demanding player.






Concept Hybrid: Dark / Rustic / Throaty

The all-mahogany shell and reinforcement rings of the Heartbreaker snare blend historic snare drum tone with modern snare design. It combines the dark, rustic, and throaty sounds of rock classics, but easily fits with today’s more organic alternative styles.


The softer Mahogany shell and edge reinforcement rings of the Heartbreaker snare give significant boosts in 150-400 Hz frequency range, creating a big and full sound that takes up a lot of sonic space.







A re-imagined and optimized version of the original Black Panther model, the Design Lab Cherry Bomb is crafted with a medium-thick Cherrywood shell. The soft density of Cherry absorbs higher overtones, delivering a warm, focused tone and a punchy backbeat. It sounds and feels vintage, but is built with modern precision, reliability, and function.


The softer Cherry shell produces a pre-EQ’d sound with strong response in the 400-600 Hz range for strong low-end, but with a boost in the 5-7 kHz range to enhance attack, delivering a vintage tone for classic and alt-rock styles.






A North American Maple shell, reinforcement rings, and the classic styling of single-flanged hoops make Equinox evoke musical traditions and modern execution. This drum possesses the controlled articulation needed to hear the most subtle ghost notes with a bright and open presence at full volume.


The harder all-Maple shell and edge reinforcement rings raise the frequency response in the 1-3 kHz range, giving this drum a clear and bright tone to cut through guitars, larger ensembles and horn bands.









SAS (SONIClear™ Attenuation System) Finish

The Natural Satin SAS Finish brings out the beautiful character of the woods used in the drums, but also allows the shell to vibrate fully due its extremely low-mass application. Thicker finishes like high-gloss add mass to the shell and shorten sustain. Future Design Lab models may employ a thicker finish to create a more focused sound.




The Black Panther Design Lab identifies a combination of performance characteristics, called a “concept hybrid”, desired by top players based on their advanced live and studio needs. We then reverse engineer those performance characteristics by blending different tone woods, bearing edge profiles, counterhoop styles, lug casings, snare wires, drumheads, and shell finishes to achieve the desired result.



Softer tonewoods (lower on the scale) produce a naturally lower fundamental pitch and a more focused sustain. Harder tonewoods produce a naturally higher fundamental pitch, which results in brighter overtones and increased sustain.



The SONIClear™ Bearing Edge is standard on all Black Panther Design Lab Shells and allows the drumhead to sit flatter and make better contact with the shell. The result is a clearer fundamental pitch, effortless and consistent tuning, and a significantly expanded tuning range.




SONIClear™ Edge Audio Test Sessions



The increased drumhead to shell contact acheived by the SONIClear™ Edge enhances shell vibration, resulting in the "biggest" sound possible from the drum.

The Green Waveform is a recording of a drum with the SONIClear™ edge. The dark grey waveform is a drum with a typical edge.  Tuned to the same pitch and recording identically, it's clear that the drum with the SONIClear™ Edge produces a much larger waveform from the initial strike through the full sustain of the note.


Because the drumhead sits flat on the SONIClear™ Edge, the tension applied during tuning is more balanced and stress-free. This allows the drumhead to vibrate freely and fully. 

Waveform Comparison Example: The Green Waveform is a recording of a drum with the SONIClear™ edge. The dark grey waveform is a drum with a typical edge. The size of the SONIClear™ waveform indicates a lower and stronger fundamental pitch while the length indicates a longer sustain compared to a typical edge.


The Puresound® Custom Series

The Puresound® Custom Series 16-Strand Wires feature medium-gauge wire with evenly spaced standard coils, providing an even balance between snare response and shell sound.


Cylinder-Drive Strainer & Butt-End Adjuster

The Cylinder-Drive Strainer and Butt-End Adjuster use a self-lubricating bearing to ensure smooth operation. The adjustment dial employs “micro-lock” technology that provides precise control and prevents the snare wires from loosening during play.