dan wrote:I suppose I was hoping to hear that this was in fact a hardwood djembe.
Here's a rule of thumb dan. If you press your thumbnail into the wood and it leaves a dent, it's not hardwood.
dan wrote:I picked it up from a private seller and was wondering if anyone can tell what type of wood it might be, possible country of origin.
If I had to guess, I'd go with tweneboa from Ghana.
dan wrote:Now, my other concern is how crooked it is. Not only is the edge a little uneven but it is way off level. This is 23.5" tall with a 12" head. It's off by about 9/16".
DF is right. I've seen angled bearing edges so often I long ago began to suspect it's done deliberately. Since djembes are usually played at an angle, the angled bearing edge can be an advantage. It's the jagged edge that should cause concern.
dan wrote:Oh well, hopefully it will hold out while I play on it for a bit, then I'll upgrade rather than try to replace the head. Thanks.
You scored dan. This drum should serve you well as a beginner and beyond.
The rope looks good. If the rings are too large (can't quite tell), they aren't ridiculously so (this I can tell). The drum may not be particularly well skinned, but it should sound fine if you tune it well.
IMO the drum is worth another skin. Despite the shell not being of the highest caliber, if everything else is done right, the drum can sound great - maybe not world-class, but great just the same.