New heads for Meinl Marathon Exclusive series

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 heyitsrob » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:50 pm

I have a set of Meinl marathon exclusive series Congas. They came with buffalo skins. I would like to replace them. I found some Bauer mounted cow skin heads and was wondering if these would be a good replacement. There is a link to the heads at the bottom of this post.
Also, how difficult would it be to replace my meinl heads with these mounted heads?
Thanks in advance.

Bauer Heads
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Postby Raymond » Sat Mar 22, 2003 3:24 pm

When replacing heads from the drums, the most important thing is to find the correct size that will fit your Conga and if applicable the rim of the drum. I am aware Meinl had in their Marathon series some "odd" sizes, i.e., 11 or 10 5/8, 12 and 13 when every body is 11, 11 3/4, 12 1/2, for quinto, conga and tumbador. However, in their latest models they have gone into the standard sizes. With the differences in rims, sometimes you have to take that in consideration also when you buy a head. (I am aware that is true for LPs Giovanni and Galaxys series). If you are not sure beware of buying head you do not know if it will fit your rim. Differences in rim are making these thing about buying heads more interesting. Is not anymore the correct size...does it accomodate your rim?

If you looking for already mounted heads and you have the standard sizes you could use any of the "already mounted heads" including the synthetic heads taking in consideration the "rim" factor.

When I am looking for natural heads, one of things I look for is the "thickness" of head. Personally, I like "medium thick" heads which tend to give a more "low tones sound" and. (The thinner the head the sharper is going to be your sound, the thicker, it is lower the tone). Also, I look at the "texture". LP's "see through" tend to require a little more of playing or what we call "breaking in" before getting the sound you want. (Eventually, LP's will turn "white" and the more you play and tune them, the better the sound will get. A head that is already white or with color has already been "broke in" a bit and takes less to eventually get the sound you want). Therefore, I am not concerned with the brand as long as it means both requirements mentioned before. By the way, finding out what I want and how to determine what head will give me the sound I want, took awhile of trial and error. (I swithched to synthetic heads by the way. After trying, Evans, which are "opaque" in their sound, I have gone to Remo Fyberskins which give me more overtones and the sound I like. Synthethic takes awhile to get used because they sound sort of "too clean" from your perspective, however, the sound the "project" is great).

Meinl's bufalo skins are pretty good. Better than LPs in my opinion. If you liked the sound of Meinl's it is worth looking for them. (There are several Meinl's distributors out there). If not, then look for a head that you want that will give the sound you want. Sometimes, this thing about getting heads you have not inspected or seen, could be a trial and error thing and the next thing you know they do not fit or you do not like the sound. The same is applicable when you buy and you have not had experiences with the textures and thickness of the heads you are buying.

Some people have other methods....Above is mine. Good luck in your search for the right sound.
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