Who makes the 'best' claves?

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Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby Yuca » Tue May 02, 2017 9:07 am

Best is subjective, but please can you recommend me a pair of clave sticks that have a decent sound. (Regular clave not clave africana, and preferably with an old school sound like the ones from back in the mambo era.) I will have to get them online without having heard them, so your advice will be much appreciated!
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Re: Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby Yuca » Tue May 02, 2017 8:56 pm

To clarify: I want something of decent quality and suitable for mambo and salsa music. If they're available in Europe it's a bonus but I don't mind getting them imported if it's worth it. If they're mass produced e.g. LP that's fine too, as long as I know which model(s) are decent.

Or maybe claves are hard to get wrong, and any pair will do?
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Re: Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby Yuca » Wed May 03, 2017 9:03 am

One more thing: if anyone has a spare pair of decent claves (homemade or mass-produced) they would like to sell I would be interested.
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Re: Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby burke » Wed May 03, 2017 12:11 pm

I guess there are not a lot of very strong opinions one way or another and I don't have much to offer except to say I made my own years ago out of white oak. I liked the sound and still do ... maybe ask for opinions re: material? Type of wood, those awful pingy synthetic ones ... other?

I'm making some homemade woodblocks and have access to white oak, maple and ash ... they all seem to have slightly different tonal qualities.
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Re: Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby Chtimulato » Wed May 03, 2017 12:58 pm

Hi.

I think any hardwood would fit. Depending on the sound you're searching. If you have the possibility to find a music shop "in real life" and try some claves out, it will be better.

I've got a funny alternative : I cut some pieces of bamboo, once or two, on travels I made in exotic countries, and left some of them by distraction unattended near the heating. And after a while, it split apart, giving some kind of "bamboo blades". A drummer I used to know used such "bamboo blades" as a clave, calling them "japanese clave". This delivers an original, rather cutting sound. I'll post some pics later on if you wish too.
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Re: Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby Yuca » Wed May 03, 2017 2:48 pm

Sounds crazy. Photos would definitely be interesting please. Japanese clave makes me instantly think of:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_RY3_OsGqE

According to Humberto Morales' book from 1949, the best woods for clave are ebony, snakewood or redwood.
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Re: Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby Yuca » Wed May 03, 2017 3:12 pm

These are nice but not cheap:

http://islapercussions.blogspot.co.uk/s ... bel/Claves

Fortunately I'm not looking for rumba clave so I'm not tempted.

The LPĀ® GRENADILLA WOOD CLAVE looks to be the best I can find so far:

http://www.lpmusic.com/products/percuss ... wood-clave

And available in my country too, which will save time and money.
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Re: Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby Chtimulato » Wed May 03, 2017 8:32 pm

Here they are :

Image

I just took the picture in my basement, and it's 10:30 pm here, so the picture looks dark and dirty. I'll try to make a little video one of these days, if my smartphone allows it.
I also can try to make a better picture by daylight.

IMHO, you can use a rumba clave even if you don't play rumba. But maybe it's an heresy.
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Re: Who makes the 'best' claves?

Postby Yuca » Fri May 05, 2017 6:41 am

Nice.
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