Reviewed: Mapex Black Panther Snare Drums
The Black Panther series of snare drums has been a staple in the Mapex world for a very long time. While the series has grown and expanded throughout the years, there are a few things that have stayed the same: high quality hardware, interesting wood selections and beautifully crafted drums. This month we got a chance to sit down with two of the newer models in the Black Panther series, the Cherry Bomb and Versatus.
Reviewed: A Tempo Percussion Flamenco Basico Cajon
Cajons are a wonderful thing. Due to increased popularity in traditional and popular applications, there are lots of situations that will suit this type of instrument. As a result, there’s a lot of choice in the market at the moment, catering for players of all levels and budgets. This Flamenco Cajon from A Tempo Percussion happens to fall right in the sweet spot of ‘budget meets quality’ in many ways and is a good, all-round basic drum. In fact, the company even calls it Basico - simple and basic. Usually this is a great recipe, so let’s see what the simple Flamenco designed Cajon is all about.
Reviewed: Toca Percussion Kalani Flex Drum
Percussionist Kalani has teamed up with Toca Percussion to create a new and innovative drum that could appeal to many players. It’s called the Flex Drum and sound and playability aside, it’s actually the construction and versatility that could be the real selling point. For lovers of convenience and the next new thing, read on.
Reviewed: Gon Bops Bongo Cajon
Gon Bops have been bringing out some very cool percussion gear, quickly demonstrating that they’re also a go-to when looking for a quality instrument. Players like Alex Acuna are playing Gon Bops exclusively now and maybe for some, this would be enough to entice them to have a look, but this latest offering should speak for itself. This time we have the Gon Bops Bongo Cajon. It is great, as I found out.
Reviewed: Gretsch Swamp Dawg Snare Drum
Everyone knows Gretsch drums. If you don’t, you probably should. Combing a rich history with that ‘Gretsch Sound’ they’re still one of the leading forces in drum manufacturing. When I got thrown a snare drum to try I was naturally already interested, but when I took a frankly monstrous looking 14x8” beast out of the box, I was a little taken aback. It’s called the Gretsch Swamp Dawg and it’s a bit of a character.
Reviewed: Alesis Strike Pro electronic drum kit
I’ve always had a soft spot for electronic drum kits. The idea of having hundreds of different sounding drums and cymbals at your fingertips and being able to practise without the neighbours wanting to kill me was almost too good to be true. Thanks to companies like Alesis, that idea has been a reality for a long time now. Alesis have been at the forefront of the electronic drum market for over a decade now (it’s hard to believe that the DM5 kit came out in 2006) and their newest kit, the Strike Pro, is a true testament to the forward thinking and innovation that they’ve been praised for since the mid 80’s.
Reviewed: Sonor SQ1 Drum Kit
Sonor drums have gone to a lot of trouble to work out what they wanted with their new SQ1 kit. In consultation with some of their biggest endorsees such as Chris Coleman combined with blindfold sound tests, the designers made the conscious decision to make a new line of drums featuring an all European Birch shell. Sonor don’t currently have a birch option in their line up, so the SQ1 offers a unique alternative to the ever-popular maple. Enter the new ‘Made in Germany’ SQ1.
REVIEWED: DIXON GREGG BISSONETTE BRASS SNARE DRUM
Dixon have certainly come a long way with their premium and signature series drum kits in recent years. Most noteworthy of them all would have to be the range of Gregg Bissonette signature drums that include a couple of kits and two different snares. This month I got to unbox Dixon’s 14” by 6.5” signature brass snare drum. This is one of the two Gregg Bissonette signature snares available now from Dixon, the other being a steel shell of the same size, but after hearing this one, I am pretty certain I got to play the better of the two.