Questions about old LP's

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Questions about old LP's

Postby TonyB » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:29 pm

My buddy just got these in his shop. He said I can have them for $200, seems like a good deal.

My concern is the conga head had some flat spots on the sides. When I took the head off of the conga the shell looks slightly misshapen and the head is molded to the imperfections. If I put a new head on it will it stay round and have an even tone? If not, is there anything that can be done?

The other two drums are in good shape, structurally, other than the bottom ring missing from the quinto.

Any idea when these were made?

Thanks, I've never had a set of fiberglass. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby RitmoBoricua » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:20 pm

Those are black pearl fiberglass congas if I am not mistaken. Rare according to LP founder.
Not too long ago(like in the last 6weeks) Martin Cohen commented on his facebook that LP
did not make too many of those black pearl congas back in the day because it was a pain in
the ass to get the mother of pearl flakes in the resin.

If there is no structural damage to the drum I will mount a new head on the seemingly out of
round drum; for the most if the drum is structurally sound it should not have a major effect on
the tone. There are ways for a do it yourself to fix an out of round wooden drum but fiberglass
I do not know; probably requires in-depth repairs. I know many years ago I left a set of fiberglass
congas inside my car in Puerto Rico during the summer time and they warped like crazy. I had a
fiberglass guy repaired my drums.

Looking at the picture of the bearing edge and it does not look out of round to me.I think you
should be fine with a new head as long as there is not structural damage.My recommendation
if I were you "leave them as is" repairs may "damage" the black (mother of) pearl finish, which
is rare. I hope this helps.

Check this out:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/congahea ... =3&theater

Read Mr. Cohen's comments at the bottom. You own a rare set of vintage Black Pearl LP Fiberglass
Congas and the set is close to 40 years old.
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby TonyB » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:25 pm

I just pulled the trigger - these are mine now.

Thanks a ton for the info!

I was planning on leaving all the nicks and scratches as is. The gold color is flaking off the hardware and I plan on using steel wool to get the little rusts spots off of the rims, good or bad idea?

The only history I know is a guy bought them at a yard sale many years ago for his grand kids to beat on and they sat in his garage, unused, for a long time until he brought them to my friend's shop.


I guess I should replace all the heads at the same time so they match sonically, huh? These don't seem to ring like some newer fiber sets I have tried. I would like to keep that aspect. Any suggestions for heads that won't make these "ringy"? I am not a fan of synthetic heads.

Thanks again!


I should add that these will be played a lot by salt water where the weather changes every 30 minutes. It is hard on skins.
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby Mike » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:31 pm

TonyB wrote:I guess I should replace all the heads at the same time so they match sonically, huh? These don't seem to ring like some newer fiber sets I have tried. I would like to keep that aspect. Any suggestions for heads that won't make these "ringy"?
I should add that these will be played a lot by salt water where the weather changes every 30 minutes. It is hard on skins.


Although you are not a fan of synthetic head (like me btw), those weather conditions could require sythetic skins...

But on the other hand, good cowskins like L&H etc. should be really nice on those vintage beauties.

Personally I would even leave the original skins on for a while just to check the drums´ sonic qualities.
To me, being not (too) ringy is a rather desirable thing with fiberglass congas!

P.S. Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the forum :)
Peace & drum
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby RitmoBoricua » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:31 pm

To me those fiberglass sound good with the LP water buffalos. The only thing the LP pre-mounted heads are kind of pricy.
About the metal bands and rust. Normally the metal bands are chromed so you can hit them with aluminum foil and
water and that should take care of any surface rust.What I do after I finished scrubbing the chrome with aluminum
foil and water I have a solvent like lacquer thinner or mineral spirits to wipe down clean the chrome. If you are going
to use lacquer thinner to wipe down make sure you tape the finish with blue painters tape around the band, the lacquer
thinner is real strong and chances are that it may melt the finish to be safe is better to use mineral spirits.

Almost forgot to mention you can do the same thing for the top rim, plates and lugs. What I do is I take them off the
shells and clean them real good, also this is a good opportunity to assess all the hardware, lubricate the lugs threads and
inspect the shells inside and out, etc.

Congratulations and good luck.
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby pcastag » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:37 pm

I just got a set of palisades park in which the bearing edges were really messed up on the conga. I tucked a really nice skin that sounded great on all my other drums but for some reason didn't give me the sound I was looking for on these old fiberglass drums. Then I got some pre-tucked skins from a guy off e-bay, price was reasonable, 50 bucks shipped each, real nice columbian skins from tambores baranquilla, I turned the skin over , filled it halfway with water for about four hours so it would conform to the messed up bearing edge, voila, they sound awesome, particularly on the tumba. I would highly reccomend this guys stuff. Here's his ebay contact.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bongo-Head-skin ... 232bd9c1fc

Cool guy, I don't think he posts his bigger skins but I bought an 11 3/4 and 12.5 from him and they fit the drums perfectly. Real nice sound on these old fiber glass drums.
PC
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby Omelenko1 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:29 am

Those are early 70's (70 - 72) I had 2 of them years ago, they are very rare and desirable. I recently picked up 3 Palisades Park in mint condition, they are 1973. See photo attached.
LP%20original%20model.jpg
LP%20original%20model.jpg (31.45 KiB) Viewed 3458 times
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby TonyB » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:55 pm

I just got them home!! Psyched!

I am thinking I should get them restored after this season is over. I am sending a few of my wooden ones to get refinished in a few weeks and will need these for work.

I can't believe these came through my one horse town. I think a proper restore is the right thing to do, considering what I've learned from y'all. There are a lot of marinas that do fiberglass/clear coat work around here. Are they qualified to work on something like this or do you guys think I should ship them to some expert?

Thanks!
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby RitmoBoricua » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:19 pm

Basically most/any professional that does
body work whether auto or marine should
be able to refurbish your drums. Like
everything you want to make sure you
get a reliable and reputable shop. Good
luck and if you go ahead and refurbish the
drums please post some pictures for us
so we can drool. :mrgreen:
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby TonyB » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:34 pm

These are, dead on, 29 inches tall. I thought the LP's were all 28" or 30" from that era. Could these be a prototype?

Does anyone have Mr Cohen's email so I can ask him some questions about the restore and maybe get some history?

Thanks guys,
TB


Edit - I want to take the things that hook to the tripod stands off of these and my wooden ones. Do I need to plug them? Will it impact the sound in any way? I like basket stands and all those hooks do is scratch the drums next to them.
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby roberthelpus » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:07 pm

TonyB wrote:Edit - I want to take the things that hook to the tripod stands off of these and my wooden ones. Do I need to plug them? Will it impact the sound in any way? I like basket stands and all those hooks do is scratch the drums next to them.

One of my Gon Bops had the side plates moved. They both had holes for the stand brackets too. I plugged all the holes with oak doweling and was really surprised at the the difference it made for the better. You could actually hear it.

Pretty easy to just put the old bolts back in the holes. Even if only for temporary purposes.
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby TonyB » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:10 pm

Thanks!

Should I put some rubber washers in there too?
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby RitmoBoricua » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:53 am

Normally you can plug the holes
with the bracket bolts or sometimes
the drums comes with rubber plugs.
Perhaps the shell by itself with no
head and bottom ring is 28" tall.
I posted here some time ago where
LP founder explained that the 28"
tall shells initially was a mistake by
the supplier since originally the first
LP fiberglass congas were 30" tall.
I think Mr. Cohen explained due the
circumstances he was kind of forced
to accept the shipment to keep
operating and somehow the shorter
28" tall shell became really popular
with the players and the rest is
history as they say. Now you can
probably contact Mr. Cohen on one
of his Facebook pages. I would not
doubt there were variations on the
LP fiberglass shell heights back in the
day since it seems LP initially did not
make the fiberglass shells.

Have you ever seen the pictures
of the huge fiberglass bata LP made
according to Carlos "Patato" Valdes
specifications. There is a picture of
Patato seating with the bata on his lap
the bata is almost as big as Patato
himself, I think later on John Amira
provided LP with better measurements.
I would not be surprised at all if your
congas are in fact 29" tall.
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby Mike » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:17 am

There have definitely been 29" tall LP fiberglass congas.

By the way, very interesting background story, RitmoB.! :D

roberthelpus wrote:
TonyB wrote:Edit - I want to take the things that hook to the tripod stands off of these and my wooden ones. Do I need to plug them? Will it impact the sound in any way? I like basket stands and all those hooks do is scratch the drums next to them.

One of my Gon Bops had the side plates moved. They both had holes for the stand brackets too. I plugged all the holes with oak doweling and was really surprised at the the difference it made for the better. You could actually hear it.


Really? I cannot believe that that makes much of a difference. :?
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Re: Questions about old LP's

Postby roberthelpus » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:00 pm

Mike wrote:There have definitely been 29" tall LP fiberglass congas.

By the way, very interesting background story, RitmoB.! :D

roberthelpus wrote:
TonyB wrote:Edit - I want to take the things that hook to the tripod stands off of these and my wooden ones. Do I need to plug them? Will it impact the sound in any way? I like basket stands and all those hooks do is scratch the drums next to them.

One of my Gon Bops had the side plates moved. They both had holes for the stand brackets too. I plugged all the holes with oak doweling and was really surprised at the the difference it made for the better. You could actually hear it.


Really? I cannot believe that that makes much of a difference. :?

It's been a long time since I did that and it did surprise me. I remember it as the sound being deeper and more focused. Admittedly sound perception is very subjective and can be affected by many factors. Then there is humidity, temperature, tuning etc. Since my plugs were glued in it was not something that I could repeat by taking them out.

On one drum I plugged 32 holes. 8 for the little metal legs, 20 for the side plates, and 4 for the stand bracket.

Otherwise, I would err on the side of plugging any unused holes on our drums. At least putting the unused stand bracket bolts in.
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