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MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 11:50 pm
by Madlatin
Hey All,
It's been a while since making any posts here. Just checking in to see if anyone has purchased any congas from Matt Smith recently. I'm sure the workmanship is great but wanting to know about turn around time on orders. Any info is appreciated.
Thanks,
Madlatin

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 4:31 am
by Psych1
No easy answer. Depends on how many orders he has, who you are, how his life is going & where his head is at. I once waited a year for a repair before I gave up. I can't work with him - maybe you can.

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:28 pm
by ABAKUA
My bro Luis placed his order with upfront a third deposit. ETA given was approx. 12 months for 4 x custom African Mahogany Tumbadoras with matching Bongo.
His drums were completed by end of the 12 month period, added delay came when Luis decided to change direction with the V's on the crown and reverted back to Matt's traditional style V's over the ones he had completed with his newer style rounded style V's. (changed all 4 crowns on drums + bongo crowns)
The drums landed into Sydney 14.5 months from order.

The waiting period became a distant memory once the drums got unwrapped, tuned and played. AMAZING. iPad pics do not do them justice.

I've heard he is backlogged again, unsuccessful with finding an apprentice/assistant yet. From what this person advised me, waiting period is 12 months + minimum. But always best to contact him direct: ritmostudios@gmail.com
Just don't expect an immediate reply! When you are a one man operation, you don't spend much time at all in front of a computer, but rather in the workshop getting stuck into the orders and restorations from around the world.

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:57 pm
by Mike
Wow, those are amazing drums, absolutely gorgeous!
Very beautiful. 8) 8) 8)
I do understand that one-man business operation are slow, but still, such a long turnaround time can be very hard for the customers.

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:15 pm
by blavonski
Yeah, I agree, those are beautiful drums!
And, I must say, that's a beatiful lathe he has there and I dig the way he's got his hard wood planks stored; space in any work shop is always an issue with materials. I also prefer the old style crowns as well as the plates over Matt's new style.
I think that considering it's four beautiful drums, and a Bongó with top skins, including changes made by a top craftsman... well 14,5 months is a good amount of time to practice the craft of playing Tumbadora on what one already has, so that when the pearls do arrive they can be enjoyed to the utmost fullest.
There's always something else to do besides waiting. Or one can sit quietly doing nothing!

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:32 am
by ABAKUA
Yeh, not the kind of lead time you can work with if you are looking to buy your ONLY set of congas. With Matts lead time, its more likely the customer already has a working set of drums they use in the interim etc.

Thats why with mine, I couldnt care less when they were ready, when they ready, they ready. I had drums to use and continue using before, during and after their arrival.

Few more pics of my bro Luis' set.

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:43 am
by Madlatin
I appreciate those that responded to my post. I understand those that feel the way they do. I was also burned by another drum maker a couple years ago. Sent my deposit, got the run around and never received what I ordered. Abakua, thanks for the response and pics of your brother's drums. Very beautiful indeed. I agree about the older style hardware looking nicer. I do hope that things are working out for Matt. I figure that with a turn around time being atleast 12-14 months, there must be quite a few customers out there with recent purchases. I really would like to place an order with Matt... I will email him and see how it goes from there.

Thanks,
Madlatin

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:47 pm
by pcastag
I've owned a couple sets of his drums and he's done about three repairs for me. He's currently working ona set of juniors for me ( or will be). His drums are definitely some of the best if not the best traditional cuban style drums being made today. Time is relative, you won't find a used pair or will wait just as long waiting to find one for sale as you would waiting for a new pair. If you got the cash and its what you want order now. I've heard some horror stories abut wait time but I thinkif you stay in communication wth him he will make sure they get done. He's definitely nor ripping anybody off. For sure!

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:43 pm
by onile
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My Matthew Smith Ritmo Congas!
Alafia Abures!
I hope that you are all well and abundantly blessed!

I know it's been a super long time since I've posted anything here, but I just can't resist on this topic!

I own a set of 4 Matthew Smith drums, one of which I've sent back to him about a year and a half ago due to a surface split just above a side plate. I will say, without apprehension that his drums are the pinnacle of great sounding drums in existence today. His skills are unsurpassed as an artisan, and he is one great human being when dealing with customers.

I was so impressed with his drums, and one that he had finished for me which I had ordered from JCR when they were producing drums about 7 yrs. ago. I am the owner of two original JCR drums which I purchased from Issac G. and figured I would send them to Matthew for refinishing. I wanted them to match the finish that Matt had completed on the 13" Tumbadora that I purchased from JCR.

Now, I don't know what moves one "repair job" to the front of the list and another not, but my JCRs have been somewhere in his shop for the last 7+ years now. I understand that his priority is on "New" orders, as it should be, however, I continue to read on a couple of forum sites, that someone else has received their "repaired drum" from him......every time I speak with him, he is such a great guy, kind, and soft spoken, that it's disarming to the point that he gives me hope that I'll see/receive my drums within a couple of months........at this point I'm not sure! I wish him well, and hope that his business continues to be successful, but come on! 7+ Years Now!

Abure Abakua, if you find this post a bit too inflammatory, feel free to delete it.....as I stated, I mean no disrespect to the man, but enough is enough!

Odagbo!

Respectfully,
Onile!

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:51 pm
by s'chopp
I ordered a set from Spirit in the Wood, Conrad Kubiak in 2011. Six drums. Half the money up front..

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:45 pm
by rhythmrhyme
s'chop -- do you have them yet?

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:29 am
by s'chopp
Not even a shaving of sawdust to call my own.

onile wrote:I understand that his priority is on "New" orders, as it should be, however, I continue to read on a couple of forum sites, that someone else has received their "repaired drum" from him......every time I speak with him, he is such a great guy, kind, and soft spoken, that it's disarming to the point that he gives me hope that I'll see/receive my drums within a couple of months..



I can relate.


And because I love this forum and like to provide a laugh every now and then, here's a video of Conrad making one of my drums. :shock:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3puhWWujyI

If you feel like giving him a call be my guest, he simply won't answer an international call any more (or he wouldn't at least). I even asked cuco to give him a call as he lives nearby.
If the wood checked then I assume he would just say so but short of legal action it ain't lookin good. Didn't really want him to have to make them 'under duress'.. I din't want to ruin his reputation either but it's been so long now he's sort of asking for it..

.

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:16 pm
by rhythmrhyme
I always wondered about the reclaimed river log idea. I wondered how it is possible that an ancient, waterlogged, log could be turned into a conga so soon after being pulled out of the water. It seemed obvious that it would check and split as soon as it started to dry out. A fantastic idea, but I haven't actually seen any pictures of playable drums made from those logs -- has anyone else?

That's an unfortunate story S'Chopp, Spirit in the Wood congas are often promoted in my facebook feeds etc. I run a business and have built it using an opposite strategy i.e. did great and consistent work for a long time then very slowly began to advertise as I was set up to take on more volume. Perhaps social media has gotten ahead of him.

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:26 am
by ABAKUA
onile wrote: but come on! 7+ Years Now!

Abure Abakua, if you find this post a bit too inflammatory, feel free to delete it.....as I stated, I mean no disrespect to the man, but enough is enough!

Odagbo!

Respectfully,
Onile!


Abure mi how are you hermanon, not at all man, no prob at all with your post, its simply facts.

7 years for a repair is asking a bit much for patience, sounds strange as my bro got his drums from first conversations and ideas/planning to delivery in under 1.5 yrs.
Have you followed up expressing your concerns? 7 years is beyond anyone to understand, surely your drum can be moved to the front, from what I see on FB he has pumped out countless sets of drums since receiving your repair.

Re: MATT SMITH TURN AROUND TIME

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:15 am
by onile
Alafia Ni Abure Abakua!

The last time I actually spoke with him was the early part of this year. He explained what was his main concern with the finish of the drums, and that he was wanting to make sure that it was done correctly. "It won't be too long now," so I asked him if he wouldn't mind sending me some pics of them, you know, like when he was making the other drums....."sure" he said......still waiting.

Like I said, he is soft spoken, and very kind that when I'm talking with him I just can't ........well, the option of just having him return the drums to me in the condition they're in was offered, I'm seriously considering that!

I have been EXTREMELY patient with him. I'm just venting!

Adupue Abure Mi Abakua!

Odabo!
Onile!