Topic: Conga Head Size Determination Measurements  (Read 2113 times)

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Jason Carr

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Conga Head Size Determination Measurements
« on: February 23, 2019, 08:49 PM »
Hello out there, new user here!
I understand to measure from bearing edge to bearing edge, or the actual drum itself with the head removed.  Hear me out here.  I first measured the old rawhide head after I removed it, from middle of bearing edge to middle of bearing edge and it was app. 9.5 in, the drum shell itself is 9.0 in from BE to BE.  The larger conga Toca drum measured 10.75 from BE to BE, but the head is fine.  After taking a crash course in buying drum heads online, I took the plunge and purchased a 10 in Toca TP-40110 4010 & 4070 Fiberglass Series 10" Conga rawhide head.  The drum in question here is an old Toca Kaman Thailand Fiberglass conga, accompanied by a matching Toca Kaman 11 inch Conga.  I assumed that the 10 inch conga is the quinto and the 11inch is the Conga and not a tumba.  These drums were purchased used in 93, so they could go back to the 80's.  Toca is not making Kaman congas anymore that I can find, but the heads seem to be comparable to the model I purchased.  I wanted someone more experienced than me to set me straight here if I am incorrect in my assumptions and my conga head purchase.  It will be here in a week or so.  So we will find out eventually.  Thanks for reading...

**Update: The new skin's bearing edge fit perfectly on the shell of my conga, but the flesh ring was too small for the rim, even with bending the hoops a tad with the end of a socket wrench for leverage.  I ended putting the old head back on and will possibly try to buy some flat skin and do it right.  There is only one other type of 10 inch prefab skin Toca makes.  The new skin has a a short collar compared to the original head, which had a deep collar of at least another .5  inch above the flesh ring. 

Bart Elliott

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Re: Conga Head Size Determination Measurements
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2019, 05:47 AM »
Sorry for the late response, Jason.

Purchasing pre-formed/pre-seated skin drumheads for congas, bongos, djembes, etc., are always very tricky. As you've pointed out, there are a lot of variances... so it's always best to purchase a replacement head recommended by the manufacturer. What do you do when the manufacturer goes out of business or discontinues a particular model of drum? Well, that's the issue you ran into.

I would always suggest taking the original head off, measuring the flesh-hoop and points of bearing edge contact... to assure proper head replacement.

If the flesh-hoop works but the pre-formed bearing edge shape does not, you can always soak the head in room temperature water over night ... softening it enough to be reshaped and seated on your drum.

As you mentioned, you will probably just need to purchase some raw hyde and reuse the existing flesh-hoop from your existing drumhead. It's not tough to do, but can be a little tricky if you've never done it before. Check/search the Drummer Cafe forum for previous discussions on the topic.

I also recommend, when possible, to visit your local drumshop and solicit their assistance with getting the correct head for your drum. The service you receive is well worth the extra $$$ you'll spend by purchasing from them rather than online.

Keep us posted!


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