Buying a set of congas.

I've been asked for advice by a local musician who is studying rumba. He is considering what congas he should buy. This is a big decision. Congas can be expensive and some makes of congas require a big commitment in both time and faith as well as money.

I will be making a series of posts this week comparing the different pros and cons of what I can see are 3 different choices facing a musician purchasing a new set congas.
  1. Congas made by artisan craftsmen such as Skin on Skin, Ritmo (Matt Smith), Isla Percussions, Volcano Percussion, Moperc, Resolution Drums, JCR ,etc, etc
  2. Vintage congas made by companies that no longer exist, such as Gon Bops, Valje, King Congas, Sol Percussion, Junior Tirado, etc.
  3. Congas manufactured by the large companies such as Meinl, LP, Pearl, Toca, , etc.
I won't be discussing which makes or models I think are the best or which is better than the other, all that is subjective. What is more important and matters the most is getting the drums that meet your needs; drums that will suit you as an individual conguero, rumbero and percussionist the best.

I don't have my camera at the moment, this series of posts should begin on Monday.


  1. It's Monday and I'm patiently awaiting your analysis :) We were at Galo's house on Father's day and Gino was talking up some Canadian tumbadoras that his friend just purchased and by process of elimination they must be the Moperc brand you list above. Have you ever played any Moperc's? Do any of the park rumberos you know own a pair? If so, do they sound as good as your SOS?

  2. Yes, I have played a Moperc drum about 2 years ago. It was a very well crafted drum, and the quality of it's sound stood out clearly from the other drums being played.