11 Best Darbuka Drum Reviews 2018 (Doumbeks and Goblet Drums)

Best Darbuka Drum, Best Doumbeks & Best Goblet Drum

Best Darbuka Drum, Best Doumbeks & Best Goblet Drum

The darbuka is a type of drum that forms part of a larger category of drums known as goblet drums. They are important drums in the sense that they offer you quality opportunity to learn how to play the best of conventional drums.

However, it is one thing to love the darbuka, also known as doumbek drum, and it is another thing to choose the best one for your needs. Most darbukas come with varying notes and sound, depending on where it comes from. For example, the notes and sound of a darbuka made in Turkey will vary from the one made in Saudi Arabia. This is why most drummers pay utmost attention to details when choosing their doumbeks/darbukas.

What are the Best Darbuka Drums/Goumbeks to Buy?

2) HE-3000 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

  • Black Vinyl Finish
  • Handmade
  • Great Sound
  • Professional

1) HE-124 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

  • High Quality
  • Aluminum Body
  • Hand Engraved
  • Lightweight

3) HE-114 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful Sound
  • Hand Hammered

Choosing the precise and correct darbuka requires that you do the following.

Know which type you are buying

That should be the first thing to do. Do not muddle your idea of darbuka with an American doumbek or an Iranian tombek. Otherwise, you will end up complicating the entire selection process for yourself. Specify the type that you want, which could be the Egyptian Darbuka, Turkish Darbuka, Arabian Darbuka, etc. This will enable you to choose the right one for your needs.

Place of purchase

The next step is to decide where to buy the darbuka. Not every shop you will come across sells darbuka. The quicker you realize this, the better you are saving time and energy. Look for a store that sells darbukas close to you or simply go online and place an order. But never forget to tell them the type that you want. Otherwise, be ready to receive disappointment.

How to buy the best darbuka

Buying the best darbuka entails knowing the qualities that define a resounding darbuka.

Consider the head/skin design

The most important aspect of any darbuka is the skin design that comes with it. The followings are skin designs that come with darbukas/doumbeks:

  • Regular Egyptian transparent skin: This is the skin design that comes with about 90% of all the darbukas made in Egypt. The skin is designed using plastic, and the thickness level amount to 0.3 and 0.6 millimeter. They are very easy to install when the need arises.
  • Power beat skin: One of the most favorite skins that features high-quality plastic design. It has a much stronger and accurate rim compare to the Egyptian skin, and it has a 0.8 thickness level.
  • Remo Fiber skin: Similar to the Power Beat skin in strength and having the same 0.8 millimeters of thickness level. But it has more bass and crispy sound over the Power Beat skin.
  • Fish and goat skin: These are the most common natural skins that come with ceramic/clay darbukas/doumbeks. They control the sound perfectly. The goatskin is very strong and both have an amazing resonance and higher pitch sound.

If you are looking to buy the best darbuka in the market, below is a list reviewing the best darbukas in the instrument market.

11 Best Darbuka Drum Reviews, Goblet Drums and the Best Doumbeks

1) HE-124 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

The HE-124 darbuka is a hand engraved and precise aluminum shell drum design to suit the interest of people who love percussion instruments. This darbuka is the right choice if you are out looking for an instrument you want for a backpacking trip. The thing is lightweight, measuring just 5 pounds, and the dimensions range 8 x 8 14.5 inches, which is just perfect for that purpose.

However, if you think because the drum is small and won’t produce the desired sound, then you are wrong. The 8-inch synthetic head project great tone considering that most ka darbuka sounds are somehow diminished when featuring such metal shape design. But thanks to the lightness of this drum, it doesn’t disappoint.

The HE-124 comes featuring an Allen wrench that enables the player to fine-tune the head for better tone. The head is also replaceable, and the rim doesn’t hurt when playing gently. It bears the Meinl label, adding more glamour to the engraving and overall finish.

2) HE-3000 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

Now, we are looking at one of the best handmade percussion instrument in the market. The HE-3000 Meinl Percussion Doumbeks brings to you the best of sound from the Middle East and elsewhere with amazing tones and deep low notes. It also projects high popping and snapping sounds. By reason of the tunable and replaceable synthetic head, you have the best of rich quality sounds.

The head of the drum comes with a rim sitting flush that enables you to use the finger snapping technique during play. These features account for the reason why so many professional percussion players across the globe are crossing over to doumbeks due to their solid acoustic sound projection.

The drum, like most darbukas, is a hand-held design featuring elegant appearance. The black vinyl finish gives it an exquisite look and adds handsomely to the overall finish.

This drum is perfect for beginners and professionals alike.

3) HE-114 Hand Hammered Meinl Percussion Aluminum Darbuka

Designed in the traditional format of the real Turkish esoteric goblet-shaped drum, the HE-114 Meinl Percussion drum provides amazing tone and excellence glide through sound as you play. The head of the drum is just the perfect size for anyone with a small hand. The amazing thing about this darbuka is that, unlike some models in the market, the rim on this one doesn’t hurt or affect your fingers as you play.

Being a darbuka with a plain-looking aluminum shell, you will expect the sound to be high-pitched, crisp and providing good resonance. That is exactly what it does. Another good thing we noticed is that this darbuka comes with a tuning key that allows you to tune the instrument precisely and get the right tone you prefer. But you may not make use of that since the darbuka came well tuned.

If you are a beginner, you will definitely find the price tag on this one attractive. The highs and bass on the HE-114 are nice and very reliable. It’s the kind of drum you would recommend at any time.

4) HE-3012 Meinl Percussion Copper Doumbek

The HE3012 is a highly tunable doumbek with a replaceable head. The doumbek is yet another extremely lightweight option from Meinl, creating a go-to instrument that offers extreme perfection and stylish play sound projection. The shell of the beautiful doumbek is hand engraved and down to details.

The teks that comes with this doumbeks provides high pitch resonance. The head is also designed to be replaceable and tunable as well. But what really attracted us is the additional head that comes with it. That means, you will not be spending money on a new one should the first goes bad.

Overall, the drum is good-looking and the sound that comes from it is great for its size and price tag. Now, this one comes with a soft and light carrying case with which you can simply move the instrument anywhere you want. As for creativity, this drum has everything you need to be a great drummer. Although you may not have that desired sound like the one on its metal versions, it nevertheless sounds great and does what it is supposed to do.

5) HE – 103 Plain Aluminum Darbuka

The Meinl Percussion HE 103 features a plain aluminum shell which provides excellent sounds from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Southern Asia and North Africa.

Weighing less than 3 pounds, this darbuka is the type of drum that you can carry just about anywhere—thanks to its 8.9 x 9.1 x 14.8-dimensional designs, which makes it extremely compact and perfect for playing on the go.

The drum is a nice little piece that does exactly what it is designed to do. The sound is great (even more than what you could have expected). This darbuka is the precise drum for those looking to learn hand drumming.

The HE-103 Meinl Percussion Darbuka comes with a head that is well secured and tuned with precise external rings that are made to stay closer to the shell. If you are looking for a light but powerful darbuka with a deep bass sound—you just found it. This is the type of drum that enables you to develop your skills as a hand-drum player.

6) Medium Mosaic Pretuned Mid-East Wooden Darbuka

Mid-East Medium Pretuned Mosaic Wooden Doumbek

For those of you who prefer wooden construction to metal, here is one amazing solution for you. This is one of the best starter drums in the market. The wood may look cheap on the surface (and which is expected considering the price tag) but it holds up to expectations. The design is beautiful and though the sound projection may not suit some people, it renders good tone popular with most wooden drums.

The Mid-East darbuka is designed to suit the playing taste and comfort of small stature people. It weighs just 1.5 pounds and measures 12 x 7.5 x 6.5 inches in dimensions, which is completely suitable for kids and small handed people. The darbuka is a smallish instrument but one which is mighty in sound.

It also provides a great feel when playing it. The shell simulates a Mother of Pearl design, boasting a mixture of white, black and red tiles that are beautifully arranged in fine geometry. As long as you do not hit too hard on this drum, it should last fairly for a decent time.

7) HE-100 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

The HE-100 Meinl Percussion darbuka is in a lot of ways similar to its sister version, the HE114 we discussed earlier. The darbuka features a plain, silver-like aluminum shell just like the HE-114. This aluminum shell design means it is corrosively protected and also designed to withstand rustiness.

The darbuka also comes with a synthetic head that can easily be taken out and replace if there is any need for that. At a weight of 1.37 pounds, this is one of the lightest darbukas on the market. It measures 5 x 5 x 9 inches in dimensions, which gives it a precise body frame perfect for people with small hands.

A tuning key accompanying this design enables you to adjust the head for a better and precise tune that satisfies tour taste. The quality is tight, and the band is perfect for play while lying down. The treble resonance is just top-notch. The only thing we find not up to the mark is the bass, which is understandable, considering the small size of the instrument. Aside from that, everything is just perfect.

8) HE – 205 Meinl Percussion Hand Engraved Darbuka

Here comes another good-looking Meinl Percussion darbuka with the copper body design. This one features a rawhide at the top surface that you can remove and replace with another when the need arises. But the unique thing about this darbuka is the sound it projects.

The HE-205 Meinl Percussion Darbuka is remarkable in the sense that it projects super quality and powerful sound. It is the type of sound projection that leaves you wondering how on earth such a tiny instrument could produce such a huge sound. Well, it does, and it packs all the power of the original esoteric goblet-shaped drum from Eastern Europe.

Designed to mimic the Turkish drum style, the HE-205 Engraved Darbuka is highly lightweight—weighing just 2.4 pounds, and extremely compact—measuring 7.5 x 7.5 x 15.5 in dimensions. This is the type of instrument that makes converting to Percussion an interesting process. And if you play the guitar, this is the drum that will blend perfectly with your play and style.

9) HE-214 Meinl Percussion Hand Hammered Copper Darbuka

Meinl keeps up the heat with this copper design styled darbuka that features amazing qualities. This model comes featuring a synthetic head that is highly tunable and replaceable when the need arises. That is, you can easily customize this drum without any difficulty.

The HE-214 is a hand-hammered design, with a powerful sound projection. The body is lightweight, and at 2.4 pounds, you know it’s the type of instrument you can take to the playing ground and play. There is a tuning key which allows you to set and get the precise tone you want. It is similar to other Meinl Percussion instruments listed above in this review.

The drum is dynamic and the treble and deep bass projection offer real quality from such a tiny little drum. This drum pack all the qualities that make a nice Turkey drum. You might even wish for a larger version after playing this drum.

10) Remo Egro Crystal Doumbek

This model comes featuring the popular Remo Crystal SKYNDEEP Fish graphical synthetic head design that attracts every lover of the drum.

Weighing just 0.32 ounce, this is the type of drum you can easily play or get for your kid who wants to master the art of playing the drum set. Thanks to its 10 x 10 x 10 inches in dimensions, the Remo Ergo is the type of doumbek you play comfortably while lying down on your back. The flush mount on this piece is perfect, producing the right and precise tension on the head of the instrument. This saves the time it would have taken to manually adjust the head.

This design also features a very reliable tuning wrench that will enable you to tighten the instrument’s head in the event you want to achieve a different sound projection. But this may not really need to be done since the drum already came perfectly organized.

The beauty about this drum is its high sensitivity which delivers quality sound at amazing resonance. Although the sound appears dry and crisp, there is not a single trace of plastic and tininess in the sound projected.

11) ZAZA Kids Percussion Aluminum Darbuka

Have you ever played the Doumbeks before? If you have, then here is a nice little piece for you. But if you haven’t, you might be missing out on the fun. The ZAZA Kids Percussion is the type that can be likened to a “junior darbuka,” due to its compact and little size and weight.

As the name implies, this darbuka is designed for people with very little hands and small stature. The darbuka features aluminum shell construction that is surprisingly lightweight, weighing just 1.1 pounds. The sound featured by this doumbek is amazingly awesome. The sound project perfectly along the aluminum silver line design of the instrument, as such that you wonder if this is a tiny piece with such powerful projection.

This darbuka is the perfect choice for your kids and if you have one ranging from 4 to 8 years, then this is the perfect gift you can offer him or her this year.

The head is perfectly secured into position by 4 solid bolts. So no matter how rough your child plays this, it will never come off nor get damaged easily.

Choosing the Best Darbuka Drums, Goblet Drums and Doumbeks

If you are new to the world of darbuka or doumbek drums, this review will help you to know something about the instrument. There are many doumbek/darbuka models on the market. The best darbuka is the one that delivers on sound and quality of head. There is a darbuka for everyone, and the most reliable are those that flourish not just in sound but also portability and appearance.

2) HE-3000 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

  • Black Vinyl Finish
  • Handmade
  • Great Sound
  • Professional

1) HE-124 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

  • High Quality
  • Aluminum Body
  • Hand Engraved
  • Lightweight

3) HE-114 Meinl Percussion Darbuka

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful Sound
  • Hand Hammered

While most darbukas are lightweight, some have more favorable dimensional build and quality of shell. If you are choosing a darbuka today, always remember to consider the ones that come with elegant body structure capable of enduring some years. With a resounding darbuka at your service, you will soon learn to play the traditional drum in a short while.

The brand to consider is Meinl, and the best of them will be determined by the quality of the head and how elegant it sounds.

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