Ludwig Conga - makes a good ashiko/tanbou

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Postby Sakuntu » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:33 am

So I bought this old beat up ludwig conga for 25$. I figuired i could fix it up and make it sound good...well after a couple coats of spray paint and a nice thick skin... i came to the conclusion that its really not a "conga"...its more like an ashiko or a Haitian tanbou sound. The wood is so light weight, it couldn't take the force of the skin pulling down on it...almost broke the stupid thing. So I reinforced the side plates and slapped a thin african goat skin on it. At first i wasn't happy with the sound...it sounded like a cardboard box..then just messing around with it I covered up the hole in the shell that the Ludwig logo fits on and a nice full ashiko/djembe bass tone came out of it. It also gives a great rim shot sound (a common sound in Haitian Drumming). Heck, I was even thinking that you could put one of those "brazilian" heads on it (The ones made outta fake leather that give a nice "boom" bass) Just some ideas.

I know there are some of these ludwig "congas" floating around ebay etc. so if you wanna project to work on try it out. Just wanted to share the experience! :)
Sakuntu
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Postby Sakuntu » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:46 am

Sakuntu
Sakuntu
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:52 am
Location: Rochester, New York

Postby Whopbamboom » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:10 am

I have two of those drums myself (I tune them differently).

They really are not designed to play by hand at all, they are meant to be played with sticks.

But I would like to know how you mounted your skin, and how you play them-- I'm curious!!!!
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Postby Sakuntu » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:47 pm

Whopbamboom,

When I bought the drum it had a plastic ludwig factory "ensemble select" head on it. First thing I did was take it off and cut the plastic off the aluminum ring with a sheetrock knife. Then I grinded the aluminum ring down a little with a belt sander to make it smaller in diameter- not so tight fitting-to allow a natural skin to wrap around it. (carefull that flesh hoop gets HOT from the friction! Then I just took a goat skin, soaked it and tucked it like i would a conga.

As for playing, I prefer playing with my hands...like i said it has a sound similar to an ashiko or a Haitian tanbou. I make sure i always detune after playing becuase even with my reinforced side plates, I don't trust the shell (its just thin plywood). ???
Sakuntu
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Posts: 282
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:52 am
Location: Rochester, New York

Postby Whopbamboom » Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:52 am

Think this company might be willing to produce a head for the Ludwig co-conga? I've already hit them up to see if they'll do natural skin heads for more popular drums, such as the Remo hand drums. Hopefully they've just gotten started making stuff!

http://earthtoneheads.com/shop/
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