Meinl 12 Inch Travel Series Djembe Review

PADJ5-L-F, 12″ synthetic head and shell, rope tuned

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    At the time I bought it, I could only find the manufacturer’s own promotional video of this exact drum. Plus one independent video review of a similar Meinl drum. So as I forked out my money, it wasn’t so much a shot in the dark as a “shot in the twilight”

    My oh my, I needn’t have worried

    Massive pure bass note that makes my ceiling rattle: seriously!

    A range of higher rounded tones nearer the rim

    Very comfortable to play, no sharp edges. Aching fingers have become a thing of the past

    The system of ropes is comfortable between your legs

    Technically, a vegan product. Also tree-friendly, as there’s no wood in it

    I was concerned that something made of completely synthetic components would sound, well, “synthetic”. But surprisingly, nothing of the sort. Is it because our hands are still “organic”?

    Whatever the reason, it’s become the darling of my drumming circle. People are always asking for a go on it and good sounds seem to explode from the instrument with deceptively little effort on the part of the player. After having a blast on mine, two other drummers in my local group have also bought large synthetic Meinl djembes

    A drum teacher’s assessment

    This is what percussionist Sebastian Campanile had to say (technically, he said it in Spanish) …

    • Very sensitive
    • Obvious that great effort and research has gone into the design
    • Generates “everything” in terms of range of tone
    • Good bass note
    • Loud sustained high notes
    • Rounded tone
    • Light weight
    • Needs less maintenance than an animal skin drum
    • Excellent drum for beginners and more advanced players
    • A candidate for professional gigs and sessions


    Sebastian said the drum’s very loud and sustained high notes might not be what pros want in every situation. That’s the only reason the final score’s a 9 and not a 10

    • Stunning range of exciting tones
    • Light weight
    • Low maintenance
    • Replaceable drum head
    • Eye-catching
    • If you’ve got the cash and you want to start enjoying Djembe drumming: don’t think twice

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    Overall score 9/10






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