Who's actually played Mopercs?

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Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby pcastag » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:46 am

I was just reading a blog where MOPERCS were referred to as overpriced heavy drums that had no resemblence to cuban drums. I've played a set of the original mahogany mopercs that a friend of mine here in Houston has and foudn them to be phenonenal drums. Anybody else?
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby congamyk » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:05 am

Man I WISH I could play some!
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby bongosnotbombs » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:53 am

That's the Fidel's Eyeglasses blog you're talking about. Mark has very strong opinions on congas...and
experience to back it up it seems.

Saying that I've played a Moperc Cubano Tres Dos, the one with the 3 bands. It sounded great, I could really tell the
sound quality when it was played with the other drums at the rumba. It stood out from the rest.

I looked at it pretty closely, and saw several nice little details that told me someone put a
lot of thought into how the drum was made. I didn't pick it up, so I don't know how heavy it
was. I think it was made of maple. Very nice drum.

Tonio here has one too.
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby pcastag » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:57 am

he may, but I haven't had one person who has played the drums express a negative opinion about them.
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby Tonio » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:20 pm

I've got a set (Segun, tumba) PC.

I can't vouch as being a authentic Cuban sound, but they are great drums. I've never played a new Cuban drum, so I could't compare. My segun is broke in, the tumba still needs a little work. They just sound fantastic.

Not as heavy as LP's classics. Note the tumba is 12 3/4 on the outside. They certainly do not ring as much as LP's or mass produced drums. I can't believe the tone that comes outta this drum. My segun is reall nice also and can be used in traditional or modern music settings. They are loud and project nicely, almost as loud as LP's. I am sure the ash models are just as loud as LP.
The stainless steel hardware is immaculately done. Michel makes each metal pcs. His roller is a manual hand crank , check the size of his anvil he uses . He grew up as a ironworker. His solid stave shell are sampled from Jr's, and appears the shape is about the same, but with a modern sense of continuity. Michel has been making drums for 20 or so years. He used mohagany in the past , then went to maple, now he cannot even use maple due the cost.

They have a nice earthy -somewhat traditional tone, and cracking slaps. I guess you can say they have a modern cuban sound, not too dry or too resonate. They have this quality that every note is detailed, very clear. They are more open sounding than say Jay or Matt's since the crown does not hug the shell.

If they are considered not to have a resemblance of Cuban drums, thats fine with me. I wonder why Cubans play them?
In the end its how you play the drum, and Mopercs stand up in quality with any of them - IMO.

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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby BMac » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:13 pm

I love my ash Moperc segundo and quinto (Salsa Club Series). They are magically musical over any other congas I've ever played. Bear in mind I haven't had access to other craftsman made drums. I have played most LP and some Toca and Gon-Bop congas at least a bit though. As far as authentic Cuban sounds ... I can't say. My access to the world of congas is somewhat limited to You Tube and the production line made congas that you see everywhere.

I can say this, I've got a couple of old cheap to mid-level LP congas with traditional rims and they are tight around their shells. Those drums have a very soothing simple tonal sound. I love them. The segundo is a cheap old CP, and the tumba is an old Matador, and they have beautiful brown thick oily steerskins on them. I call them my "cooperation drums" because I can tune them low and stay out of the way of conga bangers in the park and such.

My Mopercs on the other hand are my "not cooperation drums" because they sing. If there are lesser congas around, they're gonna get squashed by my sound. The bottom line is, I don't play my Mopercs with conga bangers, cause they'll just clash. It's like beating up a child ... there is no honor or music in it. But like the Moperc website says, the Salsa Club Series drums are loud and do sound great with other band instruments ... so I play my Mopercs whenever conga sound space is mine to own. Now I think I see that the Moperc Salsa Club Series has wider hardware than the Moperc Cubano Series. So maybe, but I can't verify this by having played all of them, the Cubano series will be more cooperative with other congas than the Salsa Club Series. Don't get me wrong, the Salsa Club Series sound great over other congas, but they need to be wielded by the top percussionist in the situation. Whether or not I can play top better than other players I encounter, those other players are going to insist on playing top ... so it's best if I trade down to my "cooperation drums" whenever conga bangers are around.

My suggestion is therefore that the Cubano Series Mopercs are for you traditionalists out there, and the Salsa Club Series are for you modern top percussionists.

But hell yeah my Mopercs are heavy. I've gotten addicted to their stability and enjoy the solid transfer from force-to-sound that I get when I want to play loud. I can lean one and play it without knee/leg support and it just sits there like a rock. Other drums feel a little shaky and vibrate too much now that I've gotten used to having that Moperc mass.

Well y'all have seen me praising Mopercs here before. I don't think they can be just summed up as good or not for one application or not. Thumbs up and thumbs down is just too simple to apply. The Moperc line has different products. The Salsa Club Series drums are described as super dynamic, and the Cubano Series drums are described as traditional. Although I can't speak for any but the Salsa Cub Series, perhaps the website descriptions are spot on and the different models have different best applications. I'm just a hobbyist, but I loves me my Mopercs. I don't feel like I own the absolute best available of many things, but I do feel that sense when I play my Mopercs.

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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby congamyk » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:51 pm

BMac do you have any photos or videos of your drums?

And what is the price point for the Salsa Club model with shipping from Canada?
Any advice you could offer would be great.
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby BMac » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:28 pm

I don't have photos or videos but my Mopercs look exactly like the stock photo from the Moperc website. That photo is shown as the fourth photo in this thread. The basic Salsa Club Series drums come with the long blade attachment plates (the signature look of the Salsa Club Series) with matte finish and no external bands.

So the photos you see in this thread with the bands and the mirror-polished hardware and such ... those represent options the buyers probably opted to purchase. Michel finished mine up to order. I waited a few weeks for each ... maybe a couple of months ... don't remember ... it's been a few years. But I think he has all the components, not the finished drums, in stock. He makes everything so you can mix and match options like the external bands. Look at the Denis Benarrosh photo. It looks like he's got mirror polished hardware, external bands, and decorative grooves above and below the external bands. All of that represents customization. So that guy has gotten Michel to assemble a matching set with custom options. I can't guess what the extra costs for all that would be.

I paid the prices on the price list, less a direct-to-customer prescribed percentage drop for U.S. customers, posted on the price list at the time (see the PDF download under the "Dealers" menu on the http://www.moperc.com website). I hate to publicly post anything too specific about prices. We're all trying to make a living. I don't know what kind of distributor arrangement he has now and I don't want to make it sound like I had some kind of deal or connection. I just called out of the blue and got the out of the blue price at the time. I recall telling people I paid about $1500 for the pair including the shipping I paid ... total expenditure. People roll their eyes because you can buy a set of Aspires for a few hundred bucks, you can buy three on a good day for less than half the cost of one Moperc. My Moperc purchase stands in my mind as the best money I've ever spent ... that and a little bent chisel tool I bought for a dollar ten years ago that somehow ends up in my hand almost every time I reach into my tool box needing an expendable sharp hand tool to pick at something. So there it is ... my finest possessions are my Moperc drums and an ugly little piece of bent metal with a cracked orange plastic handle ... oh wait ... no nevermind ... don't get my going on my vintage Schwinn tandem, it's a '62 with original paint, new white walls, polished original chrome, and fully operational two-speed kickback automatic three-band Archer hub ... see? ... leave it alone ... don't get me going on that.
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby caballoballo » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:51 pm

I do not own a set of Moperc Congas neither I am a Conguero. I do own a Moperc Bongó Salsa club series,tremendous sound, high quality everything. This Bongó has been with me since 2005 and every place I play where any other band is playing at the same time I always get the question of the other Bongocero about where did I bought it. Can I play it and such and such because of the sound projection and tone. In my opinion Moperc is at the same level of all the other Artisans making top of the line percussion instruments. He has nothing to envy and like somebody mentioned the Cubans are using them.
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby ozrivera » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:39 pm

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if you ever want to play the moperc cubano series, give me a call 361-510-9233. i live in Corpus and i have the entire cubano set. i dont like posting my opinions when it comes to sounds, looks and what not because it is very subjective. give me a call and we can jam out all day if you want. then you can post your personal experience about how they sounded to you. i can tell this, the quality of the shells and hardware are impecable. im willing to put my money where my mouth is at and be bold enough to say that the hardware is built better than any of the custom drum makers today. ill leave it at that.


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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby Tonio » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:57 am

Yoruba Andabo
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby KING CONGA » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:01 pm

ozrivera wrote: im willing to put my money where my mouth is at and be bold enough to say that the hardware is built better than any of the custom drum makers today. ill leave it at that.oz

Greetings ozrivera. I do appreciate the boldness of your statement. However I'm assuming and am confident that this statement is not a blind statement but is one that can be backed up with factual information, having said that, could you please school us, who are somewhat ignorant of others hardware’s, in detail, in the way in which moperc "hardware is built better than any of the custom drum makers today" in particular, comparing it to Matthew Smith and Skin on Skins? Thanks.
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby Tonio » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:53 pm

KING CONGA wrote:
ozrivera wrote: im willing to put my money where my mouth is at and be bold enough to say that the hardware is built better than any of the custom drum makers today. ill leave it at that.oz

Greetings ozrivera. I do appreciate the boldness of your statement. However I'm assuming and am confident that this statement is not a blind statement but is one that can be backed up with factual information, having said that, could you please school us, who are somewhat ignorant of others hardware’s, in detail, in the way in which moperc "hardware is built better than any of the custom drum makers today" in particular, comparing it to Matthew Smith and Skin on Skins? Thanks.


I can't compare Matt's or new Gon Bops, as I have not had the opportunity.

So I will add to the hardware comparison pictures.

Moperc's hardware is stainless steel, and the Bumperc protectors are genius. Don't know when Michel came up with it though. The hardware is almost flawless. The alignment of the lugs and side plates are close being perfect that I have ever seen. Many makers lug/plate alignment is usually off here and there. The crown ears are aligned straight, some can be cantered and does not have the correct camber with the rivet mounting for even tuning pull. Even the minor work of the bottom clear hose mounting is meticulous. Most have tack nails, Michel uses a screws with washer.

The shell staves are the widest I have seen sans Juniors. This lends to be a good design which eliminates mouting the sideplate bolts onto a stave joint, even with the 3 flush mounted allen bolts.. The shell shape is mimiced from Juniors design.

Just stating some things that Michel has told me and based on what I have seen/experienced. As said earlier I have not had teh opportunity to compare Matt's and Akbar's GB's. In my case I am refering to the Cubanos w/ maplewood.

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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby KING CONGA » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:30 am

ozrivera wrote: im willing to put my money where my mouth is at and be bold enough to say that the hardware is built better than any of the custom drum makers today. ill leave it at that.oz


Greetings Tonio, Thanks for the details. Moperc no doubt a great drum and well built drum, personally I hope to own one one of these days, the cubano series is my favorite. I know that you are a Moperc person what I don’t know is whether you agree with ozrivera’s statement or not, that the “moperc hardware is built better than any of the custom drum makers today" key word, “any”. The question here was never on the quality of the drum it self, whether the holes are aligned or not, whether or not tack nails or screws are used for the hardware or even in regards to bumper guards, which by the way I don’t personally feel that the moperc guard is very effective, the question here remains unanswered by you or ozrivera, in your opinion (if you do in fact agree with ozriveras statement), or ozriveras personal opinion, in what way is the mope hardware “better than any other”? is it just because it’s stainless? Cosmetically, structurally, mechanically, in which way is it better?
Ozrivera’s bold statement is the type that demands a clear answer backed by facts and not just by personal opinion.
Peace.
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Re: Who's actually played Mopercs?

Postby Tonio » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:23 am

Hola KC,

Sorry if I was not clear.

I can't vouch for OZ's testimony, as I don't know what he has experienced. So , no I do not agree with it. I only offered essentially a difference between SOS, Isla(though not mentioned) and Moperc.

That said, my opening statement will bear my thoughts on this. To repeat I do not have any experience of a close look or playing time with Matt's congas, nor the new GB's.

Since we are in the topic of Mopercs, I just wanted to share my thoughts on Mopercs in general. correct me if I am wrong, but the current non mass produced congas in N America are (in no specific order) SOS, Moperc, Matt Smith and I would like to include GB's CA model and perhaps Isla-though Mario has moved, IMO ahh, but then I forgot about Volcano, doh!! In essense that is my comparison.
So for a comparison I can say that I have had SOS in oak. Currently own Mopercs, Isla, LP Valje, LP classics. I also have in the past owned Tocas, old GB's, Meinl, LP original fiberglass,and played(not owned) old Valje, Juniors for some background info.

Again I cannot speak for OZ, but I understand his opinion since I own Mopercs. I believe Stainless steel is a higher quality steel than chrome coated. Price is a consideration, and most times the price does make a difference. The precision work Michel has on the hardware is only experienced by seeing, holding, playing with one of the drums. Cosmetically,most stainless steel has a brushed appearance (Volcano is another animal :) ), so it may not be as shiny as chromed steel. But the precision crown, ears, lugs and side plates make a mechanically better bet. Sure its just metal parts pulling on skin, but you can see quality work in a product. In the end it all adds up. Tunning the drum is effortless, and more precise. You know how you crank up a drum , the skin makes a pop sound? Lp's will scare the hell out of you at first :shock: if you never experienced it-I sure you know what I mean. Moperc congas do that(as any conga) but in a more subdued fashion. You can hear the skin ripple , but does not have the steel sounding knock ping.
My honest opinion is that Michel(Moperc) is making congas in a modern sensability of a traditonal design. The difference is hardware quality, shell shape/stave config from Juniors and a crown/skin mounting choke design . If you search some of mussings, I explained the difference of resonance vs the choke.
Moperc has a open choke-modern(open). Olsongos description of rubber head is what makes it choke as the skin is broken in. Matt's appears to be in between traditional and modern-half open. SOS are traditional choked. Old Gb's were choked too , but to the extreme with the bleached skin. Isla gets choked as they break in also.

My current obsession is having choked ride drum along with open lower drums. But I need a better size choked ride drum , so will be getting one made by Jay very soon :mrgreen: Soon after will complete the set of SOS. Best time to get em built is spring or fall, hopefully he will have a good set of cured wood stock on hand.
I wanted to get a cubano quinto ( 11" with 6 lugs) from Michel, but the shipping issues and the change to ash wood only (no more maple boo-hoo)has me concerned to curtail my acquisition .

Hope that helps.

T
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