MAPEX Armory Snare Series – The Peacemaker
We pry open the weapons cache and review the arsenal of Mapex Armory high-caliber Snares
by Dendy Jarrett
ARMORY ARSENAL INTRO
Mapex recently introduced a series of five Armory snare drums, each with its own distinctive look and sound. The series is not limited to only metal snares but also includes wood models.
The wood models feature the SONIClear™ bearing edges, while the metal models feature the same bearing edge found on the Black Panther™ series of snares, which is a slightly rounded 45 degrees. If you purchase one of the Mapex Armory kits, it comes standard with one of the five Armory Snares called The Tomahawk (which I’ll cover this drum in a future installment).
And in an ingenious move, Mapex has a “trade-in program” that I’ll explain at the end of this review.
To appreciate the significance of the “Armory” grouping, consider some history. In The Daisy Cutter review, we explored the “daisy cutter bomb” and the significance it held in war-time arsenals. For The Exterminator, we looked at the P-51 Mustangs known as The Exterminators that escorted the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-24 Liberator groups. And for The Dillinger, we saw how the Tommy Gun had become synonymous with John Dillinger along with his reputation as public enemy number one.
There’s an equally significant history with this drum — and, with a name like The Peacemaker, one might have thought I'd round out the Armory series showing how this drum brings peace and happiness. Not so! The Peacemaker actually carries the biggest stick.
— The Biggest Stick
The Peacemaker was the code name for the Convair B-36 strategic bomber, the first
bomber that could deliver any of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal from inside its four bomb bays without modifications. It was the first manned bomber with an unrefueled intercontinental range — capable of a stunning 9,900 miles coupled with a whopping 73,000 pound payload. The aircraft was huge, sporting the largest piston aircraft engine ever produced, and had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built … at an incredible 230 feet. The B-36 was produced from 1949 to 1959 and later replaced with the B-36D which used both piston and jet engines (this later led to the development of the jet powered B-52 Strotofortress).
The B-36 set the standard for range and payload for subsequent U.S. Intercontinental bombers and was the primary nuclear delivery vehicle of the Strategic Air Command. Because of the payload of nuclear bombs, it was dubbed The Peacemaker, because it carried the biggest stick.
— The Blast Wave
The Peacemaker is based on a 14” X 5.5” 6.15mm 7ply Maple/Walnut Hybrid shell that (as Mapex describes it) has a little more “guts” than the standard 100% Maple shell. I prefer to think of The Peacemaker as having a wider blast wave than the standard Maple shell. The tone from the Walnut is warm yet still possesses that Maple crack most drummers prefer. Unlike the plain aluminum skin of the B-36, this drum has a highly figured grain that is a natural maple color with an antique ivory “white wash” (just enough of the blond maple color, with a distinctive twist) over the top.
And while I thought The Dillinger was loud, this thing is incredible. Additionally, you benefit from the SoniCLEAR™ technology, which makes the tone on this drum not only great, but simplifies tuning.
The tube lugs add some classic simplicity to the drum’s overall appeal, and this drum comes with a highly polished chrome finish on the hardware. The throw-off is smooth as glass to operate, and uses Mapex’s Vertical proven design with the Piston Strainer. The snare wires are premium stainless steel with brass end-plates. Finally the drum comes standard with Remo® USA Coated Ambassador® Batter drumhead, which is yet another bonus you wouldn’t expect on a snare of this price range — nor would you expect the high level of quality that’s characteristic of much higher-priced snares.
But beware of this drum — if the blast doesn’t get you, the blast wave will.
Earlier in the review, I mentioned an ingenious “trade in program” Mapex recently launched: if you purchase an Armory drum set that comes standard with the steel Tomahawk snare, you’ll have two weeks after your kit purchase to test the snare. If you already have a steel snare or prefer a wood drum, or any one of the other five Armory Snares, you simply fill out an easy form and ship the snare back. The return form lets you swap it for another Armory Snare. I really believe this may be an industry first.
Much like the B-36, The Peacemaker has a job to do and carries out the task exceptionally well. Understanding that the B-36 carried a payload of destruction unlike anything we have ever known will help you understand why this drum is called The Peacemaker. Once you have played this drum, you too will carry a big stick and leave a blast wave of mass destruction.
As you decide what you need in your sonic arsenal of drum gear, take the time to put the Armory Snares — which truly are high-caliber — through their paces.
Harmony Central Looks At The Mapex Armory Snare Series:
Mapex SoniClear Explained:
Mapex Armory Series Drums:
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.