CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Hadley's Skin on skin congas - Cherry beauties

Monday, August 11, 2008

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Hadley's Skin on skin congas - Cherry beauties

Funny thing about this quinto, owned by Hadley Louden of Oakland - percussionist, pianist, and composer extraodinair .

You can read about Hadley and his music at

The story goes, as he tells it - 'there are rumberos around here who crank the living life out of the quinto's.. well actually, one Rumbro in particular (you would be surprised who - Maestro to be named later) would only tighten one lug.. every time he played it! So, I skinned it over the lugs so you cant get to them easily '

Hadley ended up with bent rims over this manic quintero tightening thing. In fact, another Rumbero used to bring his Bauer's regularly, 'till every single rim was bent.

So Hadley wrapped the skin around and down, taking the bata skinning technique to new heights!

by the way, this Cherry set of SOS congas were the only ones ive ever seen (out of 15 or so) that had significant cracking. In fact, one of the staves had popped completely out, but was held in by the skin, and Jay's immaculate banding. The drums still sounded great last i played it, even with several big cracks (all on the stave line). They have had a lot of use, these drums. They are probably 20 years old, at this point, played regularly by many cats and bravely taken out of the house to many a rumba.

As far as this string, I have to include Matt in on this...

Jay and Matt are amazing. They both make virtually ideal drums for those looking for clear tones and sustain from drums that will last a long time. The They can be a bit ringy, depending on the wood choice, but the right skin will make them right. The sustain is legendary.

If you know what to order, you will get what you want. The only things i dont like about SOS or Matt Smith, is they are hard to take anywhere, due to them being so bleeding perfect. Letting these tubs loose to the dogs at a rum driven rumba is like watching someone date your teenage daughter.

Really, the way these cats work with both metal and wood is inspiring. The harder woods do tend to be a bit heavy, but i love the sound of their Oak - screaming quinto's!

As far as the new SOS's, I have yet to see or play Joshua's work. im not sure how much Josh is responsibe for, or how involved Jay is in the process at this point. I'll have to update this when i find out more. I bet they will be as nice as Jay's older work. I have a feeling he wouldnt allow a drop off in quality.


1 comment:

  1. Greetings tony. I hope that you are doing well. The restoration on my Requena is now complete, please visit to view the pictures. Please tell me what you think of it. I would be honored if you posted one of the pictures in your blog. Take care.


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