Remo Apex and Advent Djembes

The latest featherweight options from the pioneers of synthetics

Most contemporary percussion manufacturers would be more than happy just to shift even a fraction of Remo's extensive drumhead ranges, but with world-class percussion and widely-regarded drumsets, the company is bigger than ever.

Remo championed the use of its proprietary 'Acousticon' man-made shells in both kits and much of its hand percussion, but here we look at its lighter option made from ABS plastic.

"The drum has integral eye-hooks so that you can clip on a strap for portable standing performance or stage-strutting antics."

Build

Remo's Apex and Advent Djembes are constructed from moulded ABS plastic, and as a result are infinitely lighter than the models that Remo its from their highly-regarded Acousticon.

The Apex stands 22" tall and sports a fine 12" diameter Skyndeep black, goat-stripe graphic drumhead. These are wonderful heads to play on, with a superb, lively feel, and they're weather resistant into the bargain!

The scaled-down brushed-metal counter hoop sits comfortably low and the eight tuning hooks are non-protruding and securely located into moulded tuning lugs that are not going to dig into the player mid-performance.

Everything about the Apex screams minimalist, and as such this just lets you get on with enjoying playing, rather than gawping at an overly ornate finish on a drum that possibly doesn't sound half as good.

The reinforced base keeps the drum feeling stable when played on the floor, and the drum has integral eye-hooks so that you can clip on a strap for portable standing performance or stage-strutting antics.

Remo's Advent is just 20" tall and is an ideal djembe for the beginner or younger player. It has a concise 10" diameter synthetic Suede head, and is also fashioned from moulded ABS plastic for super-lightness of feel and all-weather durability.

All the hardware is über-minimal, which keeps the weight down and, although rather basic in design, results in a particularly low-fuss starter drum.

Hands on

Even though the Apex sports a reasonably modest 12" head, you can certainly still achieve a satisfyingly wide array of sounds. The bass tone is fairly full, but not quite as prominent as you'd expect on Remo's other Acousticon- shelled models.

A removable foam muffling pad on the underside of the Skyndeep goat-stripe graphic drum head produces a much drier sound with fewer overtones when left attached, and a more vibrant open tone when you remove it.

Remo supplies a rather impressive tuning socket wrench with the drum that connects up into each of the lugs and results in super-quick tweaking of tones. You can crank up the tension without fear of compromising the head and, at higher tensions, the slaps and finger strokes are cracking and super-crisp.

The Advent's dimensions make it ideal as a 'solo' drum, as the bass response is minimal - but saying that, you could still get a lot out of this unassuming drum. The reduced dimensions result in a tight, focused overall sound, but with the limited bass tone you would probably find it most effective when exploring its higher registers.

A younger player's smaller hands might find a djembe like this more comfortable, and its unfussy design wouldn't distract from the enjoyment they would surely get from playing them. Certainly for schools and percussion groups they would make much more financial sense, as a set of these would possibly be a great deal more affordable than many other choices currently on the market.

The teeny tuning lugs are easy to tune with the supplied wrench, and although the miniscule hoop seems a bit questionable, it does keep the mass down and actually works quite well.

When tuned fairly high, the tones are in the region of a doumbek (in no small part due to the responsive suede head), and it's actually huge fun to play, too.

With regard to all areas of percussion, Remo has quite positively revolutionised all things synthetic, whether it be drumheads, drumsets or percussion, and no one with a sound mind could begin to question that. However, with such a huge catalogue of percussive triumphs firmly under their belts, you might think that it would be content with that, too.

MusicRadar Rating

3 / 5 stars
Pros

Minimal hardware keeps weight down. Wide variety of sounds.

Cons

Minimal bass response. Questionably small hoop.

Verdict

Looking to the future with no-nonsense additions such as this duo, the Remo star certainly looks set to continue to rise.

Colour

Black

Drum Shell Material

ABS plastic

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

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