Need help buying my first Conga set

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Need help buying my first Conga set

Postby bsharp » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:21 am

I've been playing a djembe at a pretty small open mic night for a few months and mentioned to my girlfriend how much I'd love to play the Congas. I was going to wait till after Christmas to buy a set but she went out and got me an 11" LP Aspire without any research on the subject. Still thoughtful but from what I've learned, I should buy a better conga when I purchase the second one. I'll be taking lessons and going as far with this hobby as I can and I know plenty of musicians I can play with. From what I've read, a two conga set would more traditionally be the Conga and Tumba rather than one of those and a quinto. Can I still play a Quinto and 11.75" Conga or Quinto and 12.5" Tumba for a while until I can afford to buy both of them? And which one should I buy first? Seems like two sizes next to each other make sense and that I could add a Tumba a few months down the road after I've bought an 11 3/4" Conga.

Is it risky to buy it used? What questions should I ask? What risks are there with a used conga?

I could get an 11 3/4" Matador for a little over $300 after shipping. Should I hold off and hope for a better deal on a used one? Or is that a decent price for that brand? And what alternatives to the Matador should I consider? GonBops? Toco? Mienl? LP Aspire and Performer series are out of the question because too many posts and articles trash them.

It would be nice to find something decent for under $250 but if I have to pay $400 I'll make it happen eventually. I just want something that lasts and is respectable enough to play 3 or 4 songs at a dive bar once a week. I'd also like to not have to replace it if I get good and start playing actual paying gigs. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Re: Need help buying my first Conga set

Postby Juaort » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:14 pm

Hi bsharp! Happy Holidays. I would not add a Tumbadora to that Quinto. I would go the Conga route. Unless you want that big of a tone difference between drums. Being that the Tumbadora is deep bass. Going in between is probably the safest ways to go.

Also, you can get a sweet pair (Conga and Tumbadora) from EBay, Craigslist and FB Market Place for around your top budget ($400). Matador is a great choice for the price and quality. Their great sounding Drums. I’ve passed up on some amazing deals on drums on the sites mentioned due to finances, but you’ll be surprised what you can find for the price. Tycoon, Meinl are good choices as well.

Usually the things to look for I’d say are the following,
- If Wood or Fiberglass Drums? Are there any cracks or splits on the shells. Is the Hardware in good Shape? Are there any blemishes on the finish etc.

I currently own a pair of LP Classics Congas (Conga and Tumba). I’ve had these babies for over almost 30yrs and they sound and look as good as they did when I first bought them. I just recently changed the skins to some Dark Steer from Manito Percussion. They sound even better now!

Good luck to you with your conga endeavors. Conga playing can be very addicting Lol!

Regards, Juaort
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