Toca Traditional Series Congas And Bongos review

  • £169
  • $259

Percussion has rarely looked this good. Do the sounds match?

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Our Verdict

Toca has done a particularly fine job with these 'new traditionals' and considering their impressive, quality construction and truly professional sound, they really do represent exceptional value for money.

For

  • Asian Oak sounds great. Solid build quality. Excellent value for money.

Against

  • Not much.
Buying options

Toca's Traditional series was up to now only available in a fairly conservative 'natural' finish, but is now available in this attractive satin-matte Dark Walnut stain.

Build

"Sustainable two-ply Asian Oak not only gives all the drums a substantial feel but also improves both their tone and projection"

Traditional series shells are formed from sustainable two-ply Asian Oak, which not only gives all the drums a substantial feel but also improves both their tone and projection.

The 113⁄4" conga and 121⁄2" tumba both stand 30" tall and have a classic 'Cuban-style' shape. The minimal, brushed chrome hardware complements the shell finish beautifully.

We've always favoured having the smallest amount of hardware on a drum as possible and this is another tip of the hat to the look of vintage congas.

Even the Toca logos are branded onto the shells, which has always seemed sensible on any drum. Topping all the Traditional range drums are top-grade bison-hide heads that sit comfortably proud of their hoops.

Hands On

All the drums feel really solid under your hands and are fairly heavyweight compared to many other models on the market.

"We were able to achieve a myriad of quality tones between the two drums, from great slaps to warm mids and open tones"

The conga and tumba both emit plenty of volume even when played floor-standing and because their heads sit well up from the hoops you get a truly comfortable playing experience.

We were able to achieve a myriad of quality tones between the two drums, from great slaps to warm mids and open tones. The tumba's open tones were sympathetic and complemented the crisp articulation of the conga really well.

The heavy shells on all the drums coupled with the shape of their 'bowls' seemed to let the Bison heads sing out effortlessly. The 7" and 81⁄2" bongo set was a bit of a revelation, really comfortable to play for extended periods in the traditional seated position (between the knees).

You can achieve a wonderfully articulate response on the smaller macho, with cracking slaps and warm, musical finger tones. The larger hembra complements the macho well and when tuned down gives an authentic Afro-Cuban sound.

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