Suggestions Sought - Choosing Congas

Manufacturers, brands, skins, maintenance, stands, sticks, michrophones and other accessories for congueros can be discussed into this forum ...... leave your experience or express your doubts!

Postby delkron » Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:10 pm

Cost considerations aside, for LP conga and tumba, please help provide rationale for evaluating the wood Giovanni Galaxy, Classic, and Matador series. Primary consideration of course would be sound and playability.
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Postby 120decibels » Mon Aug 26, 2002 3:53 pm

Hey Delcron,

Welcome.

Cost aside, an evaluation of these drums boils down to what you are looking for in a drum. I am a relatively inexperienced conga player, but I will give you my perspective based on two things: I went through this evaluation a little over a year ago and I am an acoustical engineer by day.

Matadors: These are a good entry-level drum. They are solid, they sound good, and they come with decent heads. The construction, hardware and heads are of a little lower quality than the higher-end LP products. They come with "traditional" hardware. After playing on "Comfort Curve" rims for a while now, I tend to prefer them. Compared to the Classics and Galaxies, I found thier sound a little "thin". I'd recommend these to someone who was on a budget but wanted a nice drum for the money. If this is the case, check out Meinl too.

Classics: These were the drums that I ended up buying. I thought they sounded great, they were very easy to play, and I had heard great things about them. I have been thoroughly satisfied with them. I do envy Gon-Bops and some of the other limited production drums (Timba, etc.), but I have not been disappointed at all. If you like traditional rims, you can still get Classics with them.

Giovanni Galaxies: I liked the way these drums sounded, but I didn't like the way they looked and I didn't think that the difference in sound was enough to make me want them more than the Classics. The extended Comfort Curve rims didn't do anything for me, but I have very big hands. I found the overtones in the galaxies a bit warmer than the Classics. I think that this is due to the difference in wood.

As a final note, my buddy just got a set of the LP Armando Peraza series Valje drums. I really like them. They have traditional hardware, a unique shape, and therefore a unique sound. Also, I have heard a lot of the Meinl line lately, and they have really got some nice drums.

My advice is to play as many of these drums (and other brands) as you can. If you look like your in the mood to buy, the guy at the shop should let you play and tune all you want. I was able to set up Matadors, Classics, Giovannis and Salsas all together to make my final decision. Good Luck and have fun! :D

Zach
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