Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

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: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby RitmoBoricua » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:06 pm

Thebreeze wrote:That drum looks horrible now. It was never meant to have bands ( except on the base ) . Too bad someone had to go and ruin it like that.


Agree, don't like either, the bands got no business on that particular drum.
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby JohnnyConga » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:34 pm

The drum on Ebay is a Gon Bop from the late 70's..It is NOT a Cuban drum...those are Gonbop back plates and the 'inset' 'wooden band around the middle was part of the Gon Bop design back then...
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby Thebreeze » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:41 pm

JohnnyConga.....That's exactly why I said it looks horrible now. That Gon Bops has no business having bands on it except the base band. If the Godfather was the Father of that Gon Bops he would say......." Look how they messed with my Boy".
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby Omelenko1 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:10 am

That Gon Bops never had bands on the outside, only at the bottom, however the bands look very well made. The drum was in Betlehem, Pa, that's where Matthew lives. I think at one point Matt restored that drum then it was beaten all to hell.
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby 11am » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:59 am

hey Brothers, I'm new here but I'm the one who bought this drum. I live in Ct about 30 min from NYC. I've been playing congas on and off professionally since 1969, and i also work with wood, professionally ( it's a hand thing) These old GB's are getting hard to find and most of them have been tortured and cracked. This drum was no exception. It's getting stripped tomorrow, the glue up is done. 2 major cracks, and 5 or 6 minor ones. Somebody put about 50 carpet tacks around the shell and never bothered to remove them in the do over, so it will be a good 6 hrs to restore this tub. I just did up 3 others to get matched pairs out of them, but I might keep the rings to have the drum resemble the mahogany pair. They'll look good onstage. I've been enjoying this site, and would be glad to offer any restoration support, if anyone wants to know. I've included a few pics. The drum in this discussion will look like the dark oak Tumba when it's healed, and refinished. Nice to be here, J M
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Last edited by 11am on Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby rhythmrhyme » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:53 am

Hey, welcome to the board.

I sold a vintage Gon Bop to a fella in Washington state a couple years back who did it up in a redish refinish to match an existing set. he sent me an after pic and the drum looked fantastic, quite similar to yours. The board gobbles up resto threads, keep us posted!

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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby RitmoBoricua » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:36 am

Welcome to the board. Love restoration projects as matter of fact
I am looking to restore a drum or drums this spring, I just got to
find something that I like. Is good to hear that there are more people
out there bringing back to life them old vintage drums and playing them.
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby 11am » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:22 pm

Thank you, Brothers, for the kind words. It's good to know there is a community of like minded people who understand the power and spirituality of these instruments. All of these drums represent a history of passion, pain, tradition, and rebirth. No quality drum, American, Cuban, Borican, etc. should be left in disrepair. it's painful to see when they're a pile of cracks, gouges, scratches, and over sized screws. But that's just me. Amazing the love and craftsmanship that can go into a barrel! They all can be brought back to life with a few tools, some elbow grease and attention.They deserve it. This is a 24"Taiko Drum that i was asked to build for a customer. It made from an old wine barrel. Never built one before so i had to design some jigs to stretch the skins, etc. Never played one either! It was recorded in the soundtrack of the movie " The Hunger Games" It got sampled alot. I'll post some progress pics of that Gon Bop as it progresses. J M
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby pcastag » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:31 pm

Nice! Do you do repair work on a commercial basis? Or just for yourself and friends? I'l looking for someone to refurb some sonoc cuban batas for me.
PC
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby 11am » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:58 pm

Brother PC, I'd be happy to take a look at your drums and advise you. My email address is 11am@optonline.net. Send me some pics of the drums and i'll tell you what I can or can't do for you. I will help you if i can. J M
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby KING CONGA » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:39 pm

11am wrote:Brother PC, I'd be happy to take a look at your drums and advise you. My email address is 11am@optonline.net. Send me some pics of the drums and i'll tell you what I can or can't do for you. I will help you if i can. J M

Hey welcome to the forum 11am and thanks for offering your services. By the way, nice restoration job :lol:
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby 11am » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:45 pm

Thank you, Brother King!, I'm in the process of restoring the GB oak / inlay band, 2d pic down from the top. ( With the bands) I'm doing an in dept restoration Pictorial for this forum. The shell got stripped today. The drum is typically shot like the top photo was, ( different drum, same condition) ( You can't rely on a photo, really) . This is what most brothers can expect when they get one off ebay. When you factor in shipping, plus initial cost, it gets pricey when you then pay to restore it as well. I bought this with the intention of matching it to the mahogany requinto and quinto, so i didn't really care about condition. I do this type of refinishing for a living so I decided to do a step by step and take some of the mystery out of it for the players that want to get their hands dirty. It will get you to a nice drum. I like this forum, Good People!
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby skinslapper » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:17 am

Indeed , welkom 11am .
Nice restojob .

Keep 'm posted
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Re: Cuban Conga Drum Identity?

Postby Mr.Rumba » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:36 am

Matthew Smith wrote me back on Facebook tonight: " This is not a Matthew Smith drum...most likely made in Cuba". So that takes him out of the equation...
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