The 4 Best Conga Drums – Reviews 2016

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When it comes to alternative forms of percussion, there is no drum more popular than the conga. This type of drum originated in Cuba and belongs to one of the more basic forms of percussion. It is played by hands and provides the backbone to numerous Latin styles of music. Anything from Salsa and Merengue rely on conga drums for rhythm. With that said, the use of congas has spread out into mainstream genres of music as well.

Shopping for a conga drum is a lot different than shopping for a drum set. You need to figure out what kind of sound you are after, and which types of wood work the best for your particular application. We have selected four conga drums which represent a great cross section of what the market has to offer at the moment.

Our list includes models from most prominent brands and variety of different tonewood selection. If you are looking for a decent set of conga drums, you are in the right place because these are the 4 best conga drums we could find. Let’s start our list with one of the more refined models.

Latin Percussion LP Galaxy Giovanni Series

For those who have some experience with conga drums, LP is a brand that is very familiar. They are among the top 5 conga manufacturers in the world if we exclude small custom shops. The drum we have here is one of their mid-range models that delivers a great combination of build quality and sound. This is what you’d want to have at your side if you perform often and need a conga that can keep up.

Build and Performance

Latin Percussion LP Galaxy Giovanni Series (see full specs) features a shell that is slightly different from your standard one. Aside from its somewhat unusual design, the shell is made of high-quality North American Ash that has been hand selected and handcrafted. The finish is a glossy one and the hardware is gold plated. This is a Quinto conga, meaning that it’s designed to drive the rhythm and act as the base of the percussion section. The performance this instrument offers goes in line with that role perfectly. It packs a lot of warmth and well-rounded tones, but it can punch through the mix if you need it to. Latin Percussion LP Galaxy Giovanni Series is a true stage performer.

Meinl Percussion HC512WRB

Meinl is no stranger to percussion instruments and accessories. You will find their cymbals on a good portion of drum sets around the world. However, cymbals are not the only thing Meinl produces. They have a very nice line of congas that cover the entire range. Meinl Percussion HC512WRB is a conga set that features great performance and great build quality offered at a reasonable price. This is one of the more popular sets on the market, and there is a good reason for it.

Build and Performance

For an entry level set, Meinl Percussion HC512WRB (see full specs) packs a decent punch. We are looking at an 11 inch and 12-inch drums which are both 28 inches deep. They are made of rubber wood material and come with good quality heads. In terms of aesthetics, Meinl Percussion HC512WRB are definitely among the better-looking congas on the market. Performance-wise, you are looking at great amounts of volume combined with good definition and overall range. Tones are warm and offer enough projection to satisfy even the more experienced players. These are strong contenders for the best conga drums for the money.

Toca 2300BB

When it comes to congas in particular, there are several brands that are considered to be a safe choice. Toca is definitely one of them. The model we chose for today is one of their entry-level sets that can be used for a variety of applications. The quality of this pair is great, especially considering the price you are asked to pay. In the grand scheme of things, Toca 2300BB is a great value for the money options.

Build and Performance

The two congas that come in the Toca 2300BB set feature an 11 inch and 10-inch head diameter. Both are 28 inches deep with the shells constructed out of two layers of plywood. The finish is Bahama blue, which definitely makes the Toca 2300BB one of the more attractive sets in their price range. The sound you can expect to hear from these is well balanced. The plywood construction definitely sets some limits, but you will generally find these congas to have a pretty decent range and projection. Hands down, this is one of the best conga drums around.

LP Aspire Wood Conga

We have started the list with an LP conga, and we are going to end it with one as well. This time, we are looking at a nice LP Aspire conga brings a lot of features found in their more professional models but at a much lower price. Whether or not this is something you would want to use for more serious performance is debatable, but the value is definitely there.

Build and Performance

LP Aspire is a 12 inch wide and 28-inch deep tumba conga that feature a well made Siam oak shell. The finish is a natural one and you can count on seeing a high level of build quality on this model. Hardware is standard LP stuff meaning it’s easy to use and maintain. When it comes to sound, you can expect a lot of deep tones with a lot of range and definition. Compared to some more expensive tumbas, LP Aspire comes across as very capable.

Conclusion – What Makes the Best Conga Drums?

A great conga drum is defined by the materials used to make it, and the manufacturing process as well. We have shown you some great models that really excel in both of these aspects. You’ve probably noticed that all of the entries on our list feature wood construction.

That is because we feel that wood is still the better solution and that fiberglass models just can’t deliver the same type of performance. We hope you have found something interesting in this list, or at least formed a picture of what is available and at what prices. Good luck!

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