Topic: Cobalt River Junior Congas  (Read 1408 times)

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Neil Johnson

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Cobalt River Junior Congas
« on: April 01, 2020, 08:40 PM »
Picked up a pair of Cobalt River Junior Congas, and one of them had a split head. I did some initial measurements and decided to try a set of Remo Tucked NUSKYN heads. I measured only the bearing edges at, generally, 8.25 and 9.25 inches, ordering bongo heads. They came at different times from different sources (never again), and I ended up installing the larger 9-inch on the smaller drum. It fit nicely and after a couple of tunings was sounding nice. The 8.5 arrived; I discovered my “error” and realized Remo jumps to a 10-inch conga head in the tucked variety. From there, I encountered the bongo/conga head industry isn’t real forthcoming on dimensions. Research helped me find that Cobalt River drums are now essentially Cannon Junior Congas, but again no hint of head sizes. From there, I followed Remo’s measuring guidelines snd submitted my findings to them, but they are out of service because of COVID-19. Here are my results:
Ear ID= 10 3/4 inches
Hoop ID= 10 1/8 inches
Bearing Edge: 9 1/4 inches
Ear ID= Still need to measure, but it’s the same size as the rim in the 9-inch Remo Tucked NUSKYN (snug fit)
Hoop ID= 9 3/8 inches
Bearing Edge: 8 3/8 inches
I’d prefer the heads to match. And I did find and OD of 10.5 inches on an LP 9-inch Calfskin LP Junior head, but I wasn’t as lucky on the 8-inch LP Junior head. Any advice?

Bart Elliott

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Re: Cobalt River Junior Congas
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2020, 01:09 PM »
You might want to do some searching here on the forum for past discussions on bongo and conga heads, as well as tucking your own.

Drumheads for hand drums typically are "extended" heads ... meaning the drumhead extends well beyond the outer shell ... much like the extended heads on timpani.

Every manufacturer for bongos, congas, djembes, etc., typically has their own unique drumheads and measurements. Several reasons because of the drum shells are typically made from wood staves (unless fiberglass or carved wood), the drumheads themselves vary when they use real skin (eg. calf, goat, buffalo).

I would suggest that you measure the flesh hoop, that is the metal ring that the skin is wrapped around, to find out the size you need when replacing. You can also contact a drumhead manufacture directly to see if they known whether their drumhead will fit your drum.

If you can't find a synthetic drumhead to fit your drum, you will need to purchase a real skin head for replacement, or purchase the skin and retuck yourself using the original flesh hoop. 

Soaking the skin head in warm water for a period of time will soften it to the point where you can reshape the bearing edge to fit your drum as needed. Beware of soaking too long as the head will give way from the flesh hoop tucking ... and/or you run the risk of softening the head to the point it tears.

Neil Johnson

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Re: Cobalt River Junior Congas
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2020, 05:21 PM »
All great ideas. Just anxious to get in touch with those manufacturers.  With a little soaking, I am thinking the LPs would stretch into place, because from what I can tell, their rims would catch and pull in the right way. Thanks. I am newb, so I definitely will check out other posts. enj