Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby Mike » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:50 am

consciousnist wrote:and there is a difference with the skin as well, now that you name it, the Quinto and Tumba
got calf skins while the newer Conga seem to have a cow skin on it.


Now with the skins there seems to have been a change over the years too,
first calf, then cow, and finally water buffalo for the aforementioned more recent model.
The latter ones I was glad to exchange with German cow skin (by Banux, as I wrote before).

Meinl logo badges? Only the expert can help there. Norbert Saemann will surely be able to
shed some light on these details
I can ony assume that they did not make much of a fuss about positioning of logos
in the earlier times of the Woodcraft production, these drums are so unique anyway :D
Maybe the first ones did not have any at all.

Anyway, the older, the better, seems to be the idea of Woodcrafts, despite the better
hardware of the more recent models. Pretty much like the liquids you can store in those barrels... :lol:
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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:16 pm

Mike wrote:Now with the skins there seems to have been a change over the years too,
first calf, then cow, and finally water buffalo ...

Skins of water buffaloes became standard when the worldwide conga production went to Asia (where most of these animals live). I don´t know how many companies exist, but maybe all Meinls are built by the same workers than all Tycoons, all Tocas, all Sonors, all Natals, all Schallochs or even all LPs. Maybe the complete industrial conga-production of the world happens in 3 places with several local component supplier.

Mike wrote: ... the earlier times of the Woodcraft production, these drums are so unique anyway :D
Maybe the first ones did not have any at all.

Don´t be too sentimental! :? Roland Meinl GmbH & Co. KG is the world´s biggest percussion producer. Every Meinl product is primarily not the result of a philosophy but a result of a pricing. When the first Woodcrafts came up, all over Europe existed workshops, where freaks built really unique instruments under specific local conditions. Afro Percussion in the Netherlands, PJ in Copenhagen, Delaporte and formerly ASBA in France, Finnish Percussion in Suomi, Schalloch in Hamburg and some more ... Even Sonor, one of the big brands, built congas from local beech for professional requirements and with elaborated hardware (Sonor congas were at that time more expensive than the Classic models of LP). But nevertheless there was the suspicion that the really authentic congas were made in the USA: Gon Bops, LP, Valje. Meinl was more or less known as a producer for reasonable school equipment, not for high-end.

Considering this market situation it was surely a good idea to show some competence by combining "Made In Germany" with original barrel making traditions, provoke connotations of the legendary german oak etc. What I want to say: the beginning of Woodcraft production is more motivated by marketing strategy than by cultivating a specific requirement. This can be seen at the today´s instruments named Woodcrafts. They don´t have anything in common with the original barrels. Meinl seems not to be very much interested in continuing the self-initiated tradition. They obviously assume that today´s customers are not sensible for authenticity. Therefore they try to make money with just the former image of Woodcrafts. The material attributes (and the true principles) have disappeared - are now just a painting on their cheapest series:

Image

Some words about the endorsement of prominent musicians: modern endorsement practice is completely independent from the instruments´quality. But I know that it is nice to be endorser for Meinl, because belonging to Meinl connects you to a very familial and solidaric community.

Mike wrote:Anyway, the older, the better, seems to be the idea of Woodcrafts, despite the better
hardware of the more recent models.

I am sure that the Woodcrafts from the 90ies are of same quality (or even better) as Woodcrafts from the 80ies. Btw. those plastic pieces under the sideplates make not much sense in my eyes - and prevent that the instruments become dignified with age.

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby Mike » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:06 pm

p.a.dogs1 wrote:Don´t be too sentimental! :? Roland Meinl GmbH & Co. KG is the world´s biggest percussion producer. Every Meinl product is primarily not the result of a philosophy but a result of a pricing.


Now, now, I do know that Meinl did not produce for humanitarian reasons, but to make profit.
There is no doubt about that. What I wanted to express is that I simply find the early Woodcraft and its sound really stunning.


p.a.dogs1 wrote:When the first Woodcrafts came up, all over Europe existed workshops, where freaks built really unique instruments under specific local conditions. Afro Percussion in the Netherlands, PJ in Copenhagen, Delaporte and formerly ASBA in France, Finnish Percussion in Suomi, Schalloch in Hamburg and some more ... Even Sonor, one of the big brands, built congas from local beech for professional requirements and with elaborated hardware (Sonor congas were at that time more expensive than the Classic models of LP). But nevertheless there was the suspicion that the really authentic congas were made in the USA: Gon Bops, LP, Valje. Meinl was more or less known as a producer for reasonable school equipment, not for high-end.


Maybe. And don´t forget Jost Reiche as the German mahogany "freak". :)


p.a.dogs1 wrote:Considering this market situation it was surely a good idea to show some competence by combining "Made In Germany" with original barrel making traditions, provoke connotations of the legendary german oak etc. What I want to say: the beginning of Woodcraft production is more motivated by marketing strategy than by cultivating a specific requirement. This can be seen at the today´s instruments named Woodcrafts. They don´t have anything in common with the original barrels. Meinl seems not to be very much interested in continuing the self-initiated tradition.


You might have a point there. Of course Meinls are mass produced, which does not say much though, as virtually ALL major brands are mass-produced.
They have really marked their territory just as much as LP or Pearl, with all its good and bad sides.
Hence bashing Meinl for their undoubtedly clever marketing strategies would be rather pointless. For "ze Jermans": http://www.thomann.de/de/prod_pdfreview ... 412058.pdf
At least I am still loving those oak tubs of mine :lol:
Which by the way are not really mass-produced :wink:

p.a.dogs1 wrote: I am sure that the Woodcrafts from the 90ies are of same quality (or even better) as Woodcrafts from the 80ies. Btw. those plastic pieces under the sideplates make not much sense in my eyes - and prevent that the instruments become dignified with age.


What do you mean by dignified with age? I have seen sideplates sunken into the shells of luan Gon Bops, for example, and cannot say I find that particularly "dignified".
Besides, the fact that the metal of the sideplates does not touch the wood might have certain extra sound qualities, perhaps the shells can vibrate more freely? Don´t know.
On the other hand I have even thought about removing that rubber coating of my 1998 Woodcrafts, they do not look to good and start to crumble.
But I am too lazy - or busy ;-)
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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:21 pm

Mike wrote:I do know that Meinl did not produce for humanitarian reasons, but to make profit.

I feel always sad that the companies´ strategies and the concurrence between them has the final effect, that everything becomes the same - maybe the Woodcraft production was the beginning of a crowding strategy:
    - Afro sold itself to Pearl
    - PJ produces in Asia by itself (maybe still have better skins)
    - Schalloch sold itself to Meinl
    - Sonor, whose instruments had traditionally innovative features, became producer of discount products
    - Just Jost Reiche still builds unique instruments (but I don´t know if already professional when the first Woodcrafts came up)

Mike wrote:I simply find the early Woodcraft and its sound really stunning.

Of course they are of outstanding quality. But I think that sound is a combination of instrument, playing technique and the players character. Maybe not every good player generates good sounds on every good instrument.

Mike wrote:Of course Meinls are mass produced, which does not say much though, as virtually ALL major brands are mass-produced.

But Meinl tried to bring into the foreground that the Woodcrafts are made in a craftsman tradition. And they launched the informations about the extraordinary producing process to the magazines etc. I remember that very concretely because at that time I was looking for my first pair of congas and I bought almost every magazine with tests etc.

Mike wrote:They have really marked their territory just as much as LP or Pearl, with all its good and bad sides.

But I feel there is only one territory in which I can choose between some more or less periphere attributes dependent to defined price classes (made by two or three asian companies).

Mike wrote:Hence bashing Meinl for their undoubtedly clever marketing strategies would be rather pointless.

This is not what I want.

Mike wrote:At least I am still loving those oak tubs :lol:

I have a tumba from the so-called Collection series, which were built by the same barrelmakers as the Woodcrafts. It´s from cherry wood and I love this too.

Mike wrote:What do you mean by dignified with age?

There is no structural affinity between the charisma of the whole instrument and those pieces. When looking on antique furnitures we can discover details (for example the used keys) which tell us if something is made in the blooming period of a specific style or if it is just a sentimental imitation from a later time. :wink:

Mike wrote:I have seen sideplates sunken into the shells of luan Gon Bops, for example, and cannot say I find that particularly "dignified".

Regarding the pressure, generated by the screws, this thin piece of plastic makes not much difference. If the curvature of the sideplate corresponds sufficiently with the curvature of the corpus there should not be a problem. If the curvature of the sideplates is a little minor than the curvature of the corpus (what would make sense) there would be no problem as well, because the screws are placed in the vertical centerline. When you have four screws near to the corners of a sideplate with a minor curvature than the corpus, there is probably a problem.

Mike wrote:... perhaps the shells can vibrate more freely? Don´t know.

Free Vibrations :D . Okay! Just think about the enormous tension generated by the skin / the lugs. Try to imagine what extraordinary forces can be affected on single holes, which possibly are drilled 1/4 millimeter incorrect (this can only be compensated by the pressure against the corpus). And then have a look on this plastic piece.

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby Mike » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:39 pm

p.a.dogs1 wrote:
Mike wrote:Hence bashing Meinl for their undoubtedly clever marketing strategies would be rather pointless.

This is not what I want.

I did not say you did :)

p.a.dogs1 wrote:
Mike wrote:What do you mean by dignified with age?

There is no structural affinity between the charisma of the whole instrument and those pieces. When looking on antique furnitures we can discover details (for example the used keys) which tell us if something is made in the blooming period of a specific style or if it is just a sentimental imitation from a later time. :wink:


I am not sure I can fully understand that I am afraid. Of course nostalgia plays a role in my life too - so I think I will remove the black rubber thingee :)


Enough of that, I think we are too obsessed with too many details now, aren´t we? :wink:
At least I am feeling a bit - dizzy right now :lol:
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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby Mike » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:39 pm

P.S.:
At the end of the day it is like always a matter of taste which congas you prefer IMO,
critical or even ideological thinking aside.
I love my Gon Bops just as much as my Woodcrafts...
And the Delaportes are also fantastic drums...
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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby consciousnist » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:17 pm

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:27 pm

consciousnist wrote:Sorry that I can't describe the sounds of a drum any better, I am just not used to talk about drums,
will come up with some rather boring videos sooner or later maybe, not sure yet ...

For me most of the pure sound-clips are boring in fact. I know there are people with a so-called perfect pitch and maybe real cracks do exactly perceive sounds regarding their convenient musical contexts - me not. I remember a conga player who described his preference generally with: "the drums should sound as if they got eggs" (maybe only a german saying).

More interesting is not, which sounds somebody likes but why he preferes a specific sound compared to others. The attributes of an instrument combined with a playing technique represents the players personality, doesn´t it? In some way a drum is a personality as well - not only because of it´s sound but also because of it´s standing inside the scene. This standing depends on several aspects: who built the drum, who owned and played it, does it have a historical prominence, which animals gave their skins and some more or less spiritual and auratic reasons which are similar to how we appreciate original works of artists - much fetishism.

consciousnist wrote:I believe its too many Germans here :) , maybe I am the ( most clueless ) one that is just one too much. :) :)

Mike and me know each other since we discussed many things in a german forum (often controversial as I remember). And once we met personally.

Mike wrote:At the end of the day it is like always a matter of taste which congas you prefer IMO,
critical or even ideological thinking aside.

But I always feel great when I find reasons for my preferences. Taste is often the result of education (intentional or unconsciously) - for example: enjoying wine has to be learned (it is not an inherent acquirement).

Mike wrote:I love my Gon Bops just as much as my Woodcrafts...

    :shock:


Mike wrote:And the Delaportes are also fantastic drums...

There would have been no excuse for not naming them as well. :wink:

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby consciousnist » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:04 pm

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:08 pm

consciousnist wrote:since Kiel is just around the corner, you are always welcome at my place to check out the drums and get some
nice homemade food with it whenever you are in Hamburg.

It will happen, I guess :) . I am in Hamburg rather frequently. We could also meet at Adoro Drums http://www.adoro-drums.de/.

consciousnist wrote:I'd love to hear the sounds a more professionel (conga)player can pull out of these drums, not that I suffer with what I do so far.

I am not a conga player. I am a therapist with a special neuro-motoric interest. So, I have a sensibility for technical details.

consciousnist wrote:would love to see a pic from your Cherry "Woodkraft" please, to get back on topic.


Image

This photo was made by a shop in south Germany before I bought the drum for ca. 200 euros. Don´t wonder about the reversed hooks. One of the originals had been exchanged. The new one was from a different series - with the effect that they had to turn all others afterwards. I ordered a new original hook and now everything is okay again.

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby consciousnist » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:23 pm

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby Mike » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:02 am

The Meinl oak woodcrafts are high-priced, right,
but please do not forget that Abakua had to pay a lot more cash for his.
And they are definitely are well-constructed drums.

Well, I have thought about my Woodcrafts, and I can only say I have the feeling they
have come full circle only with quality cow skins!
Reiche congas always have top-notch cow skins from the start.

Finally, it´s like always: Hands -> skin -> drum

Feeling, sound, and all the visual details are the very last thing that matter...
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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby Mike » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:19 am

consciousnist wrote:the shop guy at Schalloch told me he wants 1200 Euros :shock: for the
2 piece Woodkraft anniversary set they got sitting on their shelf for so long.
must be the old DM prize then, should be 600 or better 500 Euros by now, but not sure If I am going to
ask him that question.


Why not - you should try doing so IMHO.
Tell them I got mine for 500€. That should have been the old price in German D-Mark indeed.

Have you heard anything about your little quinto from that Meinl expert yet?
Please do keep us informed.

And stay away from drumming if you suffer from tendonitis!
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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:06 pm

I remember that the prices for European high-end congas of the early-until-mid 80ies were between 750 DM and ca. 1200 DM per drum - very expensive (and my absolute favorites at that time) were the PJs from Copenhagen.

New PJ model: Image and a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG8ZdoUeS04

(My) Sonors were sold for 810 DM for a quinto and 840 DM for a conga. The Woodcrafts were a little bit more expensive. A new phenomen at that time were the floatune-models by Meinl.

Dependent on the US dollar I could have bought LP classics for 750 DM - 820 DM at that time. For Gon Bops (mariano series) had to be payed ca. 1100 DM.

@ consciousnist:
You mentioned cooking already several times. Now I am curious. Sounds as if this is your main passion (profession?). Tell us more!

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Re: Meinl Woodcraft - quality oak !

Postby Mike » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:30 pm

p.a.dogs1 wrote:I remember that the prices for European high-end congas of the early-until-mid 80ies were between 750 DM and ca. 1200 DM per drum - very expensive (and my absolute favorites at that time) were the PJs from Copenhagen.


THey were said to have had reindeer skins if I am not wrong.

And yes, boutique congas like Delaporte, for example, were definitely in the upper price segment,
as were (and still are) the Woodcrafts... BTW, both Woodcraft oak and Delaporte ash and other wooden shells
were made by barrelmakers. Which brings wine to my mind - now that you mention food... :)
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