CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Vintage Conga and Bongo Restoration - Gon Bops and Valje

Monday, November 28, 2011

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Vintage Conga and Bongo Restoration - Gon Bops and Valje

Skinned and repaired these drums for the Maestro Sandy Perez, and repair, restore and reskin for several other local Masters of the AfroCuban and African traditions. I am blessed to contribute in this way, to such an amazing tradition.

Here are some recent restorations, repairs and reskinning projects I thought you might enjoy. Some of these projects were complete restorations, others just repairs and reskinning.

The ugly truth.. lol

Superfly.. super fat 14" Gon bops in Oak!


  1. Dear Tony.I am most interested in replacing my sold tumba with one by SOL congas.How do I contact them for placing an order or obtain a price list for new and/or used models.I await your response.Thank you so much!

  2. Sol has been out of business for many years now. Once in a great while you can find these truly great drums on the used market.

  3. Hey Tony...just acquired some old school GonBops...they have the fiberglass shell on them...If I remove that shell will that affect the sound? What's your take on that. By the way, love your work.

  4. Hey Izz,

    Thanks for checking in. Thanks for the kind words.

    Yes, it does change the sound to remove the fiberglass shell.. they are less ringy and more earthy sounding without it.


  5. Hi tony, I've been refinishing gon bops for a little while and was wondering what you use to resize the bands around the drums. After sanding down the shells the bands are loose. Do you cut them and re fasten them with? I would like to get them back on tight. Thanks Bro, great site.... Mike

  6. Hey Mike, yes, I usually install them where they are tight, and tack them there but gon bops bands arnt load bearing , except the bottom band .. you can also re rivet them tighter

    Hope it helps

  7. Gon bops made two different thicknesses of mahogany drums, but even the thicker shells have sidecuts and should be sanded lightly, and if the dents are too deep, is leave them and enjoy the well used look. If the bands are that loose, we probably too too much material off of the drum, making them fragile, and changing the sound and projection of the drum as well

    1. Thanks Tony, I did sand them down to bare wood. They look great now. I sent some pics to your old address and hope it's still good. Love your site, helps me feel connected to the people that love Valjes and Gon Bops.. Mike. Henderson NV


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