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Remo Superbeat


Article from International Musician & Recording World, October 1986

Bob Henrit back in the land of real drums, with the latest from Remo

Budget big beat

The Remo company would appear to be serious about cornering a large portion of the drum market single-hardly. They now have a large and varied assortment of different sets, all with those Acousticon shells. This month's test set is different in that even though it's completely made by Remo, it isn't built in America. The company have a facility in Taiwan and it's from here that the Super Beat sets emanate. This of course is to enable the sets to be sold on world markets at a more advantageous price.

As I said, this set has the usual Remo Acousticon shells which we could say were made from compressed cardboard impregnated with special resins to give them strength and tone. However, reality is slightly more up-market than that and the company line is that they're fabricated from wood fibres which are compressed and held together with resins. Be that as it may, these shells, as I've written before, make a very bright and solid sound. (I've still yet to hear of any shell failures.) To all intents and purposes then, apart from the fact that their interiors are sprayed a sort of dove grey colour, the new Oriental shells are exactly the same as the California-built ones.

However, this set is different to any other Remo set we've looked at this year in that it has regular fixed nut-boxes, triple flange hoops and tunable heads. The fitted hardware is either a copy of the old Maxwin stuff, or perhaps even the real thing. Certainly the nut-boxes and the leg holders are identical. Still, as I've mentioned many times before, there are companies in Taiwan which make hardware for several drum manufacturers.

As you can see from the heading this is certainly a cheap drumset. It's aimed firmly at the beginner, but given that it's still a very professional sounding kit. Some of its hardware is not meant to take sledgehammer blows but all in all it's a sturdy little set. To keep the cost down Vincent Bach, who import the cheaper range of drums from Remo as well as a very large selection of his heads, are prepared to sell them without stands. However, should you want stands and pedals they'll be very pleased to supply you with a set of mid-quality, single strutted equipment for something like £100.

Anyway, the stuff I saw consisted of five drums complete with double tom holder and all the other usual bits and pieces necessary to hold it in position and allow you to give it some stick.

The bass drum measured 22" x 14" and, in common with all budget priced drums, had a total of 12 nut boxes, pressed steel claws and 'T' handled tensioners. The nut-boxes are those Pearl/Maxwin Beaver-tailed types and the tension screws have a slight curve in their handles to accommodate the hand more comfortably. Remo fit disappearing spurs located into a cast block which is angled sensibly forward. These spurs are extra-long and their ends may be spike or rubber tipped. The hoops are made from pressed steel inlaid with plastic. As per usual there's a channel running around the inside of the hoop but I was unable to spot a plastic block to fit into this to enable your bass pedal's jaws to 'bite' more securely. Mind you, it's not difficult to achieve this with a piece of packing and some gaffer tape.

At the top of the drum, set close to the front, is your double tom holder block. It's cast and sticks up an inch or so from the shell; into this we locate our tubular holder arms which are articulated in the centre via splined, and sprung ratchets. This enables us to position the tubes wherever we want. A pair of holes locate the tube into the block attached to the drum and position is lockable by way of two drum-key-operated screws. Each tom has a single cast block mounted to it and this too has a tube sized hole in it (for obvious reasons), and a square locking screw. Remo thoughtfully fit a pair of locking collars to each tubular holder to memorise position — both height and angle. These too are drum-key adjustable. The bass drum does not arrive with a felt strip damper and I'd recommend that you fit one to cut out the overtones. (Should you wish to use the drum single-headed I'd advise you to cut a hole in the front head rather than removing it completely. There's no sense in running the risk of over-stressing an Acousticon shell and the hoop and head will protect the overall trueness of the drum.)

The three toms were the usual sizes: 12" x 8", 13" x 9" and 16" x 16". All had triple-flanged hoops, square-headed tension screws and those same Pearl-type nut boxes. The floor tom had three bent steel rod legs with rubber feet and a knurled top portion which locates securely into a cast block bolted to the side of the drum. As usual for this type of set a locking screw is tapped directly into this block to lock the leg in the desired position. Tom tom airholes use a very large collet and are set very high whereas the bassdrum's one is hidden underneath the drum when in its playing position.

It must be said that I'm very partial to Remo's snare drums. I've never heard a bad one and they all sound bright and rustley as snare drums should. This one measures 14" x 5" with eight double-ended nut boxes, triple flange hoops, a cast side action strainer (much like Hoshino's), 20 strand metal snares and very little else. The strainer is, of course, adjustable via a thumb screw and joins to the end of the snare with a plastic strip. Like all Remo drums great care has been taken to keep the interiors smooth, clean and uncluttered. This ultimately engenders those precise qualities to the sound itself. No dampers are fitted but the usual air-hole is. I played several other Acousticon shelled snare drums whilst I was at it and all were very impressive. They now have a very responsive 8" deep model as well as a 7" and the more normal, shallower drums. I would say anyone looking for an alternative snare drum should check these out. They're definitely not expensive and great value.

Remo no longer fits dampers to his drums since he maintains (quite correctly) that his Muffler system is a better bet anyway. I've reviewed these but to reiterate, they consist of foam rings and circles which maybe either dropped into the drum or held against the underside of the batter head to significantly cut down the unwanted overtones.

The set was fitted with cheaper CS heads except for the snare drum which had an equivalent quality brush-coated one. Several different Quadura-type colours are available; I saw a blue but there's also a maroon and what I'd suspect were the most popular ones: solid black and solid white.

I couldn't honestly say that there was any appreciable difference between this 'Super Beat' set and any other Remo one. The more expensive ones do sound somehow thicker and heavier, but they have more expensive heads so this is predictable. But, each set has this overall clear 'timbre' whatever the price. They are extremely audible and to sum up I'd say they sound exactly as wood-shelled drums should.

Remo 0005 Super Beat - RRP: £299 (Five Drums, No Stands)

Info: Vincent Bach ((Contact Details))

Previous Article in this issue

Custom Sound Lead Combo

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Studio Diary

Publisher: International Musician & Recording World - Cover Publications Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

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International Musician - Oct 1986

Donated & scanned by: Mike Gorman

Gear in this article:

Drums (Acoustic) > Remo > Super Beat

Review by Bob Henrit

Previous article in this issue:

> Custom Sound Lead Combo

Next article in this issue:

> Studio Diary

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