SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

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!

Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby docarroyo » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:49 pm

I really hate to get involved in these discussions but I also knew them both. Junior made drums way before Jay I remember when Jay would go to local rumbas in Brooklyn and study the drums we were playing. Among those drums were Juniors drums. He had asked me to let him repair an old Vergara I had so that he could study it at the same time. This was before Jay opened his first shop on Smith street in Brooklyn with his brother. I am positive that Junior was a major influence on Jay's drums as were Vergara's, lets remember that its not the egg or the chicken question we all know that Junior came before Jay. I actually met Junior in Jays shop on Smith street I was buying a skin and Jay had just finshed repairing one of his drums it was 1978. I am in no way saying that one is better than the other I think Jay makes incredible drums as does Matthew Smith among others, but that Junior influenced many of the drum makers of today. I do know that there was a compition between them since I was asked which drum sounded better in front of them both. At that time I said Jays sounded better because it did, Junior looked pissed and walked to the back of the shop with Jay behind him to the office. The funny part is I own three Juniors and none of Jays drums. Would I sell my Juniors ? I own may drums and if I had to sell any the last ones would be my Juniors. Some have used the comparision of a famous luthier named Stradivarious to Juniors hand crafted drums and many hold his creations in the same esteme. Its not the wood, finish, or metal used or even the technique used in making them but the magic or love the craftsmen uses in creating his works. Thats why all Violin luthiers copy or are at least influenced by the man from Cremona but can not attain his sound, theres just something different in some makers creations. Mr. Tirado had THE TOUCH that make his drums treasured and adored by their owners making them the Stradavarious of the congasphere ( I just made that phrase up) con mucho ache para todos y especialmente a DON Tirado QEPD.
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby Omelenko1 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:13 pm

Both Junior and Jay were influenced by the work of Gonzalo Vergara, their congas evenhtough influenced by Vergara, are made much better and stronger. Vergara's shells were very thin, the hardware on Vergara congas were not made by the Vergara brothers, it was made at a welding shop in "La Calle Zanja" (a Chinese section in Old Havana). Junior improved the Vergara concept by making his shells thicker, he copied the side plates but in his later years improved them by adding some welding at the bottom of the rivets. Is true that Junior came before Jay, Jay also followed the Vergara pattern. His side plates are similar but they lack the rivets that Vergara and Junior used, he uses a solid loop.
Most of Junior congas and were made from Honduran mahogany until the end when he started using ash, but he always told me in person "buy the mahogany". Jay doesn't use mahogany, he uses oak, ash, cherry and for his lower end congas he used poplar.
I think eventhough they based their creation on Gonzalo Vergara, their congas are different. I love them both, was more of a personal friend of Junior, ate a few "asopaos" in his apartment on Halvemeyer St. in Brooklyn. Now you have a new kid on the block, Mr. Matthew Smith, following Vergara's tradition and having been influenced by both Junior and Jay. The fact that he is in his 30's, he has taken conga making a step further. He uses the most exotic woods, curly maple, bubbinga, walnut. His hardware is a work of art and the best in the business, his congas, bongos, batas are second to none and he makes some mean Cuban style timbales and pailas. There are Junior, Jay and Matthew drums and then the rest follow, some of which are very good, but not like the big 3 from NY. Matthew is originally from NY.

Mis dos centavos and I have been on this crusade for over 35 years.

Dario
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby ABAKUA » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:08 am

Image

Pool looks strangely familiar.... :wink: :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Image

Im sure some will recongnize the hands... :wink: 8)
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby ABAKUA » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:24 am

Feast upon these bauties...
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby ABAKUA » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:33 am

some more....
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby Omelenko1 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:51 am

Marcelo,

The ones in the pool are mine. The middle conga, which was made out of ash, I sold on Ebay a couple of years ago for $600. It sounded great, should have kept it. Like I say, Jay, Junior and Matt, they are in a league of their own.

Dario

Ps. The hands are those of the late great Francisco Aguabella (Matancero).
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby KING CONGA » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:26 pm

KING CONGA wrote: Can you also please comment on some famous people that you know of that have used and or use SOS's?


Here are some more Francisco Aguabella pictures I came across. Although sponsored by Pearl his favorite drums were always his Skin On Skins and he would play them whenever possible. Check them out:
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Playing his Folk Pearls (Awesome looking drums)
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby bongosnotbombs » Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:16 am

I was at the gig where he is playing the Pearls, Yoshi's SF a few years back.
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby KING CONGA » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:21 pm

Congratulations cadenza, that is AWERSOME!!!!!. I’m positive that you already know that you won’t be disappointed. I tell you the honest truth, my SOS sound better as they get older, the sound is amazing. See if Jay will take a picture with your actual drums before he ships them. By the way, what wood did you choose?
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby KING CONGA » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:06 pm

Cadenza wrote:Thanks KK, I went with the quarter sawn oak but am not 100% decided on the skins, I guess I have some options which is cool. I haven't played the drums before so making a call on the heads is a bit tricky. Any thoughts?


I prefer the Oak myself, as far as not having played SOS before, don’t worry about it one bit, the sound is phenomenal.
As for the skins, well what can I say, Jay has all of the experience necessary to provide you with the best skins for your drums, in other words let him choose them for you, you won’t regret it.
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby pcastag » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:16 am

I had some cherries, great open tones and bass perfect for rumba and other settings, but the slap would get lost in louder gigs.
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby goingquinto » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:09 pm

How about walnut? Is that even an option for congas? I had thought that it was, but I could be mistaken. If you had any info on walnut from conversations you guys already have had with Jay, I'd be interested to know. I hear the oaks are built like tanks, I'm sure you will be happy with them.
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby KING CONGA » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:16 pm

goingquinto wrote:How about walnut? Is that even an option for congas? If you had any info on walnut from conversations you guys already have had with Jay, I'd be interested to know. I hear the oaks are built like tanks, I'm sure you will be happy with them.

Per my conversation with Jay, there are only three types of woods that he is curently working with, at least on congas, White Oak, Cherry and Ash, I have the white Oak and let me tell you they are beautiful.
Be sure to click on the picture for a better image.
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby KING CONGA » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:35 am

Greetings Cadenza. These drums are the Bomb!!!! I have used them in close and open environments, From Contemporary Worship to Latin Jazz to Salsa and even some R&B, they sound great all the way around. I have the 11", 12" and 13" which is the perfect combination for me. I have noticed that the tone of the wood continues to change as they age, it's gotten a bit darker. I really like the tone that they have right now, it seems like they just keep getting better and better.
You are going to be 100% satisfyed with your S.O.S.'s
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Re: SKIN ON SKIN's Please comment

Postby FidelsEyeglasses » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:07 am

bongosnotbombs wrote:I forgot to mention, these drums are also owned by friends of mine.
Cherry SOS with black oxide.

My friend Matt got the conga and tumba and James still has the quinto.
Matt lives just 2 blocks away so I play these often.

Actually I'm thinking of getting the quinto, to add to my conga and tumba, oh the temptation.

btw the quinto is from 2000 and the other drums 1992

(please don't hate me Abakua :lol: )


I don't know if people know (I'm sure Dario and Faustino probably do), but originally the drums that Jay Bereck first came out with made of Cherry wood with black oxidized hardware, were his so called *"Econo" line of drums.
(*economy, less expensive).
He sold them for $250.00 each.. no matter what size they were.
Not chroming the hardware cut down on the cost, as did using Cherry wood.
My own personal experience with S.O.S. "Cherry" wood drums, I find them to be not loud enough to "cut through" in a band setting and not have enough volume in a rumba setting.

The Cherry wood drums B.N.B. owns are the first ones I ever saw with Chromed hardware.
I have no Idea what Jay sells Cherry woods now for, but back in the day when he first started producing them, they were only $250.00 each, great for people on a budget.

Markito
Vintage, classic and contemporary Cuban tumbadoras a.k.a. congas and bongoes made in Cuba:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1418352131820747/
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