Mapex Armory Daisy Cutter Snare Drum
By Dendy Jarrett |
MAPEX Armory Snare Series – The Daisy Cutter
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 Armory snare drums. There are five drums total and each is distinctive in sound and look. And let me add, these things were appropriately named. The series is not limited to a metal snare but also wood models.
The wood models feature the SONIClear™ bearing edges, and 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. (I’ll cover this drum in a future installment.)
And in a move that is purely ingenious, Mapex has a “trade-in program” that I’ll cover at the end of this review.
The first drum I am going to lock ‘n’ load in the series of five is the Daisy Cutter.
To understand the name's significance, consider some history.
If you are not old enough to have had discussions with World War II vets or to remember the Vietnam War, you may think a Daisy Cutter means you go to a field of daisies with scissors and bring back a bouquet, it's not that peaceful and innocent.
The Daisy Cutter bomb was introduced in WWII, refined for use in Vietnam, and is still being used today in Afghanistan. In brief, it weighed in at 15,000 pounds, was 17.5 feet long, dropped from 6,000 feet attached to a parachute, and had a 3 or 5-foot long plunger on the bottom as the detonator.
It sucked everything upward into a mushroom cloud and sent a shockwave that could be felt three miles away!
When it was dropped, you had 34 seconds to say a prayer or go deep underground.
As bad as that bomb is, it makes an evocative name for the Mapex Armory Daisy Cutter snare.
— Bombs Away
The Daisy Cutter is a 14” X 6.5” steel shell that is 1mm in thickness. I’m a sucker for hammered drums, so I was infatuated instantly with this drum because of the beautiful hammered shell. The hammerings are quite large dimples, which adds to the appeal. Additionally, the drum has a black plating on it that's striking against the chrome tube lugs and 2.3mm power hoops. The black plating gives it a black chrome appearance that can fall into the sinister and/or classy spectrum.
While this drum has a destructive prowess, it is really a beautiful instrument. Some drummers feel like companies went overboard with the tube lug “thing,” but I believe that there is a classic simplicity to them. I really appreciates the history they represent in drum design, and love them on this drum. The throw-off is smooth as glass to operate and is a Mapex vertical proven design with the piston strainer. The snare wires are premium stainless steel with brass end-plates. Finally, the drum comes standard with the Remo® USA Coated Ambassador® Batter drum head, which is yet another bonus you wouldn’t expect on a snare in this price point.
But what makes the name association with this drum to the original Daisy Cutter is the sound. GOOD GOSH! I think you could use this thing in a Zombie Apocalypse because one hit will knock their heads off. This snare requires ear protection (and should come with some). And while I'm playing the sound volume factor up a bit (as I could have played softer), it is a pretty accurate reflection of the power and projection of this drum.
It has the quality of much higher priced snares, and considerably more than the caliber you would expect for the price point.
To say this drum is explosive or bombastic might seem like a cliché; however, it would be true. As you’ll read in future installments, the entire Armory Series of snares is pretty incredible.
I have my favorites of the five, and this one is on the top of the list.
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 out the snare. If you already have a steel snare or prefer the hammered 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 out with another Armory Snare. I really believe this may be an industry first (I can’t say for sure, but I haven’t seen it in my over 30 years in the industry).
So, as you decide what you need in your war chest of drum gear, you might want to go gunning for these Armory Snares. They’re high caliber!
Check out the Expert Review of Mapex Armory's The Exterminator
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.