new lp heads on toca congas - don't fit?

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Postby congabebe » Wed Oct 30, 2002 6:18 pm

So after much shopping on ebay. I get what I think is a good deal. LP hand picked heads. 4 for the price of 30 bucks. Took the risk that they would not fit. I have the toca premiere series, easy play hoops. I got (2) 113/4", and (2) 12", I figured the 11" I would wait on, or make one... Risky business. So, I put them head to head with my Remo Mondos that I have on the congas (the orginal heads are all synthetic). The curve looked fine, the depth looked fine, put them on the drum placed the hoop on it... looked fine. I actually tighted down the 12", and played it without soaking in water, worked great except the skin that flips up came up out of the collar/hoop. So, I took that one off and tried the other 12" head, it came up alittle above the hoop, but I thought I could live with it. So, I soaked them in hot water. Kept it hot, filled the bowl part up to a 1/4" before it got to the hoop/tuck edge. Laid them in the Tub, with water underneath as well. I soaked them maybe an hour? They were soft my not soaked. I then towled them dry, put them on the drum, hand tightened them but just enough to get the hoop/collar even. I rubbed a little lanolin lotion on them. And Did I mention I got the LP shell protectors? I had put them on a week before and noticed that they did not fit the mount without forcing them a bit and when I tuned, some of the lugs would turn easy and some were stiff. I thought if I left them on they would pull up and meet the bottom. I looked like they did but some of the lugs were stiff and the others loose. Well, I tried the new head anyway, let it dry 24 hours. When to tighten it down and the lugs tighted down way past were I usually tighten down and it still sounded slack. Could the skin have been too damp? The some of the lug nuts were stiff, some so loose I could hand tighten. This just doesn't feel right, so I loosened them and am going to let them sit longer. I need some advise on this. Should I scrap this idea and get Toca heads, or maybe I didn't let them dry long enough? I tried to get information on LP's website and Toca's and so far, I can't find anything that will help on what kind of head I should buy etc. LP used to have something on their website, but I can't find it anymore. Any advise is needed.

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Postby congabebe » Sat Nov 02, 2002 2:39 am

I broke down and emailed Toca. I found a website and emailed them, here is the response for anyone interested.

"Thank you for your question and congratulations on your purchase of Toca Premiere congas and bongos. The answer to your question has two parts to it.

Generally, heads from different manufacturers are not interchangeable. So, an LP head does not fit a Toca or Meinl drum.

The second part of the answer is that Toca does not offer a bison head for the Premiere series congas. As you know, we market the Premiere series as an "All Weather" drum and there has not been any market demand for bison heads that fit. However, it is possible that will change in the future.

We can suggest do two things that you could do. One is to have a repair shop "tuck" a conga head for you. There are many vendors that sell unmounted calf or bison heads. A quick search on the web will probably find one in your area. You will need to find counter hoops to fit with the hoops. Toca offers TP-UCH18 and TP-UCH20 18" and 20" unmounted heads respectively. Please see your local Toca dealer to order those models.

The other option is to try the Remo "Nu Skin" conga heads or Evens conga heads. Both are a big improvement on the Mondo heads and fit the Premieres.

Thank You,

Toca Percussion"

I was impressed, the response was quick and they have a full website now. If you search for Toca, you will see a web site for Kaman Music, it does not link to Toca website, you have to the address above.


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Postby JohnnyConga » Sat Nov 02, 2002 4:30 am

I gotta tell there is no satisfaction better than mounting your own heads. you don't towel dry the skin you beat it against the tub to get the extra water out of it then mount it with out oil and a pair of plyers will do the trick to pull the skin over and through the hoop ring then(you might need an extra pair of hands the first time out)then a razor to trim the overlap of skin.after you have tightened it a bit all the way around. Then let it sit over night for at lest 24 to 30 hours then tighten a little bit more than let it sit for another 24 for complete drying then tune it up. Hope this helps...any questions? At your Service...JC JOHNNY CONGA......
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Postby congabebe » Sat Nov 02, 2002 6:25 pm

Hi Johnny,
Yes, looks like mounting is the only way to go with real skin. I have 4 lp heads that are now useless to me. (2) 113/4 and (2) 12 ... wish I had asked sooner, it really looked like it would work. Bummer. If I do my own heads, I got to buy the rings and the skin, I bet it will end of costing /$50 a head. I was trying get a deal. My learning experience. For now the old heads are going back on.

Thanks for your insight.
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Postby Benjamin Esparza » Thu Nov 07, 2002 9:58 pm


Check with Toca and see if they sell the skin wires for your particular sized drums. If so, buy them from Toca and buy the flat skins from Moperc. They sell them for $39 apiece and may possibly discount them by 25%. That has been the best deal I've seen for flat calf skins. There is a thread somewhere in the forum that has an attachment on step-by-step installation on flat skins.

BTW, if your are going to do any custom fitting of heads, you may want the water to saturate through in order to evenly stretch the skin and not risk tearing.

Big Ben

Edited By Benjamin Esparza on Nov. 06 2002 at 22:59
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