First up is the Crown Cajon, which is super affordable, simplistic, but seriously cool and for a number of reasons. It’s all birch construction with a fixed face playing plate gives a natural resonance. The Cajon features a slick black exterior with a smooth finish that feels great to play with a large sound hole on the back. It’s lightweight and comes with two rows of pre-tensioned snare wires that run vertically down both sides of the box instead of horizontally or in the middle. This is crucial because you can easily achieve a great bass note further up the Cajon instead of having to reach. It’s a strikingly easy box to play, and the most awesome feature is the ability to remove the wires. Remo calls it QuickWedge and removing it transforms the drum from a Flamenco style instrument to a tradition Peruvian Cajon. Then, simply chuck them back in if you like the extra slap sound. It’s a really great Cajon for the coin that sounds great too.
BONGOS / CONGAS
Another total winner are the Bongos and the Congas. Made with Toon hardwood and finished in a natural gloss, they certainly look the part from the offset. Remo made sure these drums could handle the high tension tuning that players crave and as such, fitted great chrome radius counter hoops and hardware adjustable the traditional way with a spanner of course. The Congas also feature crown shaped mountings on the shell for the hoop arms – a little tick to the Remo logo and a nice touch.
The drums come as standard with Remo’s super cool synthetic Fyberskin 3 heads and this is perhaps a real selling point because a) they’re ultra durable – you could even use sticks, which is a real win for drummers who want to add some percussion to their kits and b) they just sound great. Super sensitive, warm and rich with a nice amount of depth – not to mention crack and projection. The heads really make these drums sound professional. Available sizes for the Bongos are 7″/8.50″ and the Congas come in sizes 10″, 11″, 11.75″ and 12.50″ diameter.
Remo haven’t just stopped at the Congas, Bongos and a Cajon either, rather offering a range of accessories to cater for a variety of situations and applications. The smaller percussion instruments are super affordable, and for some players, will do the job perfectly well. The Maracas feature durable plastic and are loud but musical. The tambourines have 16 chrome jingles in dual rows with a bright, cutting tone. From the excellent hammered cowbells, the great feeling Cabasa or Agogo bells to the hanging chimes or vibraslap, there’s quality to be had at a great price. This makes these instruments perfect for students and beginners, but also professional players that need to have the whole lot but don’t want to take out a personal loan for a tambourine. It’s pleasing to see that lower prices don’t have to mean a compromise in tone and durability.
Overall, the Crown percussion range succeeds where other cut priced options have failed. The perception is that cheaper priced instruments are only for beginners but I’m telling you now, there are professional musicians that would love these offerings – in particular the Cajon, Bongos and Congas, which really tick all the boxes.