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Remo Gold Crown Drums

The Remo company has long been known and respected for its innovative and diverse line of drum heads (and practice pads), but it has never been a major player in drum-set manufacturing-until now. The introduction of the superb-sounding Gold Crown line should finally put Remo on the map and allow it to become a serious contender in the high-end drum-set market.

Remo’s Metalized bronze, nickel-silver and brass finishes give the Gold Crown drums a classy, aged, antique look. The five-piece set sent to me for review came in a bronze finish that looks chocolate brown in low light but emanates a handsome, glowing tone under stage lights. The five-piece kit sizes include 7-inch x 10-inch and 8-inch x 12-inch mounted toms, 14-inch x 14-inch floor tom, 16-inch x 20-inch bass drum and a 5 1/2-inch x 14-inch snare. The drums are heavy in weight due to the die-cast hoops and thickness of the Advanced Acousticon shells. Made with a prefabricated wood that gives the shell a thickness and pitch falling between maple and birch, the shells offer consistent, 45-degree routed-bearing edges with strong tonal projection. The tom shells are 1/4-inch thick, and the snare and bass shells are 5/16-inches thick.

The Gold Crown line is mostly designed for jazz playing, and it focuses on all the right characteristics for achieving the bright, crisp and projecting tonal qualities of a traditional jazz kit. The 20-inch bass drum was very punchy and warm. It was equipped with a clear Remo Powerstroke 3 batter head, a Diplomat-weight Fiberskyn 3 closed front head and minimal internal dampening via the Remo Dave Weckl muffling system.

The mounted toms, with clear Remo Ambassador batter and clear Ambassador bottom heads, offered a sweet sustaining pitch and were easy to tune as such. Toms are mounted with the Remo Suspension System (RSS), which attaches between the lug and the drum itself, so heads can be replaced without removing the drum from the mount. Each tom arm is totally independent from the other for optimum adjustments and can even be removed from the main arm if you prefer a single mounted tom, leaving the other mount open for a cymbal arm, cowbell holder, etc. With Remo’s versatile ball socket tom mounts, toms can be easily positioned and inverted, if necessary, to quickly change bottom heads. The tom arm holder that mounts to the bass drum also has a nifty drum key holder with convenient access for quick tuning. The 14-inch x 14-inch floor tom, with Remo coated Ambassador batter and clear Ambassador bottom heads, had exceptional sustain and tuned to a pitch much easier than most other floor toms I’ve tested. I like the idea of having memory locks on the floor tom legs, although I found this design to be a bit cumbersome when removing and reattaching the legs between gigs.

The 5 1/4 x 14-inch snare drum, mounted with Remo coated Ambassador batter and clear Ambassador bottom head, is the highlight of this kit. Although the snare lugs look a bit bulky, this drum really sings and has amazing articulation. Interestingly, only the snare shell has the coarse bronze Metalized finish on the inside and outside of the shell. This is unique in that I’ve never seen a snare drum with a nonsmooth inner shell. I’m not sure how that affects the sound, but whatever the reason it works! Most drummers would never believe that this was not a metal drum because of its volume and tone. I used this kit on a fairly loud jazz-rock-funk gig, and the snare drum was the loudest thing on stage (sans microphone).

When I tuned this kit up for a straightahead jazz gig, the toms rose to the occasion and sang out with the same bright articulation of the snare. (I would have preferred a coated bass-drum batter head for this setting as the clear Powerstroke 3 had a bit too much punch for straightahead playing.)

My only complaint with Remo continues to be its 6300 Series hardware. The instability and awkwardness of the hardware, particularly the snare stand, is the only drawback keeping Remo from having a strong total package. But make no mistake, the Gold Crown drums are certainly the royalty of all Remo drum kits, past and present. They are top-notch in construction and offer exceptional sound quality and balanced feel for articulate jazz drumming. It is truly the best professional drum kit that Remo has ever created.

Originally Published