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4 Best Timbales To Buy in 2022 Reviewed

Percussion instruments add rhythm and depth to melodic lines. Timbales are Cuban-style drums that bring a Latin feel to an ensemble. 

With a resonant and crisp sound, timbales can add textures to songs, specifically in Latin music, such as reggae, mambo, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Salsa. 

Finding the best timbales can be challenging, especially with thousands of drums on the market. 

We’ll share our favorite timbales to choose from, give you their pros and cons and tell you what to look for. 

 

4 Best Timbales Reviewed 

Timbales are a shallow pair of metal-shelled drums that can be played with sticks or hands. Most timbales feature wood blocks and cowbells above the blocks. 

Whether you’re looking to incorporate Latin rhythms into pop music or want to play a Latin genre, choosing the best timbales is important. Here are the four best timbales on the market:

 

1. Meinl Professional Timbales 14 & 15 German B8 Cymbal Bronze

Meinl Professional Timbales 14 & 15 German B8 Cymbal Bronze

Meinl Professional Timbales BT1415 is the perfect set for Cascara playing popular Latin genres like Salsa, Mambo, and Rumba. 

These drums are made from the finest German bronze material that performs a warm tone with quick responsiveness. Additionally, it has quite a powerful midrange and muted high range. 

In addition, the set comes with a high-quality and durable cowbell holder. The adjustable mount lets you place the cowboy and percussion block in a relaxed position. Also, the stand can be used for tilted or straight-stand playing to suit your style. 

Meinl Professional Timbales can generate loud and powerful sounds that will make your sound stand out in a solo or ensemble performance. Meinl is a well-known, trusted brand in Germany that’s been around since 1951. Their BT1415 bronze timbales are great for beginners to advanced professionals. With its loud projection of sounds, you’ll know that you’ll always be heard and felt. 

 

PROS

  • Bronze shell helps produce warm sounds 
  • L-shaped tuning key and oil for easy tuning 
  • Adjustable stand for comfortable playing 
  • Plenty of accessories included 
  • Sizes 14” and 15” for greater volume

CONS

  • It doesn’t come with timbale sticks.
 

 

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2. LP Prestige 13 & 14 Timbales - Brass - LP1314-B

LP Prestige 13 & 14 Timbales - Brass - LP1314-B

LP Prestige 13 and 14-inch brass timbales are the perfect drums for experienced percussionists who need a tuning system that can perform on-the-fly adjustments. 

With a top key tuning system, you won’t need a wrench to tune. Instead, just turn the key and adjust to your desired settings. 

While Latin rhythms aren’t based on specific pitches, it helps get the right tune for the exact sound you’re looking for. A smooth tight drum causes the drums to vibrate quickly when struck, thus generating a higher pitch. In contrast, a loose drum head develops ripples, which vibrate slower and produce a lower pitch. 

Additionally, these brass timbales feature a recessed clamping screw keeping the drums at the perfect height for comfortable playing. Built from quality brass, this set of drums is a sight to behold. 

With its new rib placement, you’ll feel the difference in Cascara rhythmic patterns and rim shots. The design is detailed, where the top and bottom edges are made to form a more crisp Cascara. 

 

PROS

  • Capable of tuning on the fly
  • Great for rim shots and Cascara rhythms 
  • Golden brass design looks modern and attractive
  • The recessed clamping screw keeps position drums in place 
  • LP is a reliable and trusted brand 

CONS

  • Made from plastic heads instead of calfskin
 

 

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3. LP Tito Puente 15 &16 Thunder Timbs, Bronze

LP Tito Puente 15 &16 Thunder Timbs, Bronze

Its bronze shell construction generates distinctive and superior cutting-edge Cascara when striking the sides. Unlike many other timbales, the LP Tito Puente features extra shell dimensions with a depth of 10 inches. As a result, these drums offer a boost in volume, which also delivers a better response to lower frequencies, 

Additionally, this timbale set includes a heavy-duty chrome-plated steel stand. The height-adjustable stand has an anti-rattle sleeve for enhanced stability and a die-cast geared tilter, allowing you to play at a standstill or tilted angle. You also receive a completely adjustable cowbell holder made from high-quality, durable steel. 

The set comes with other accessories, such as a tuning wrench and a pair of timbale sticks (thinner than regular drumsticks). 

Founded in the 1960s, Latin Percussion (LP), Inc. is known for its timbales for Latin music. In particular, they're a trustworthy brand that manufactures timbales with modern shells that use a ribbed design. 

 

PROS

  • 15 and 16-inch drums offer loud projection
  • A depth of 10 inches provides rich low-end tones 
  • The ribbed design delivers more cutting Cascara 
  • Fully-adjustable height stand for maximum comfort
  • Plenty of accessories included 

CONS

  • More expensive than the other timbales listed
 

 

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4. Tycoon Extra-deep Shell Brushed Chrome Timbales

Tycoon Extra-deep Shell Brushed Chrome Timbales

The Tycoon extra deep shell brushed chrome timbales are the perfect drumset for professional and advanced players. These timbales have 14 and 15-inch shells with 10 inches in depth. A larger and deeper shell makes the tone sound lower and project loud. 

Its well-designed chrome finish makes it stand out and gives it an eye-catching appearance. The Tycoon timbale set includes a sturdy and fully height-adjustable stand that can be adjusted in height and tilted to your comfort. 

This set comes with various accessories and accompaniments to save you money. The package includes a TW-60 cowbell, a cowbell mounting bracket, a tuning wrench, and a pair of timbale sticks. 

 

PROS

  • The size and depth of the shell increase projection and improve low ranges
  • Affordable price 
  • Fully height and adjustable tilt stand 
  • Chrome plates improve aesthetics 
  • Designed with sturdy and durable construction

CONS

  • Higher harmonics will have less attack due to increased depth
 

 

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What to Look For in the Best Timbale

People play the drums for many reasons. Some like to play the timbales in their spare time and relieve stress, while others want to pursue a musical career. 

Whatever the reason, you should find the best timbale that matches your style, skill, and genre. Here are things to consider when purchasing a new timbale. 

Size 

Most timbales come in 13, 14, or 15 inches as standard. Typically, the larger the drums, the louder they’ll be. If you’re playing jazz music, you can opt for a smaller size, while more reggae music may call for bigger drums. Most timbales use a 15-inch hembra drum on the left and a 14-inch macho on the right. 

The thickness of the shell also matters. Thicker shells have a fuller low range, while thinner shells have more pronounced highs. 

There are many ways to play timbales, such as rim shots, muffled, side sticks, and open-hand drumming. Consider drums with greater depth if you want more resonances in your open-handed technique

Material

Timbales are made of stainless steel, chrome, wood, bronze, or brass. The materials of the drum shell drastically affect how the drum sounds. 

Stainless steel timbales sound sharper and crisp. They tend to bring a very clear sound with an average midrange. Wood can be harder to find. However, they can offer a vibrant sound with a long sustain. 

Brass shells tend to be warm and vibrant with a balance of lows, mids, and highs. Bronze shells produce warm and responsive sounds with a powerful mid and high range. 

Drumheads  

Most timbales come in plastic or calfskin heads. Plastic heads can generate a ringing effect, while calfskin heads deliver a more authentic sound. However, plastic synthetics on the market have improved and may still be a viable solution. 

When looking at drumheads, the thickness of the head affects the tone. Timbales generally have thinner heads, but some may have a thicker finish. Thin heads will be quieter, more sensitive, and have less attack, while thicker heads are louder, more durable, and have more attack. 

Calfskin drumheads offer a warmer tone with less overtime. They’ll have a natural skin appearance similar to the classic animal skin composition, with a darker tone.  These are less common these days.

Sounds and Tuning System

When choosing the best timbales, you may want to visit a store to experience the sounds and the tuning systems. Drum Center of Portsmouth is the largest drum-only store in the world, and we love having players come in to see how the drums they're considering sound. 

Most timbales are tuned in intervals of a perfect 4th, 5th, 6ths, or octaves. This largely depends on the style and genre of music and the timbales’ role in each setting. In a salsa format, it’s best to ensure your tuning complies with your bongos and congas tuning. When playing rock or pop, you may want to consider tuning a bit higher, so the timbale stands out above the tuning of the drum set

Accompaniments and Accessories 

Sometimes a timbale may come with other accessories, so you don’t have to buy them separately. For example, you need a timbale stand, sticks, a clave block, and a cowbell. Clave blocks are usually made from plastic and produce a bright, dry sound. 

Other items you want to consider are wood blocks, cymbals, or tambourines for their drum set. Some drummers go as far as to add kick drums, bongos, and a snare. Having a modern snare and kick drum creates a hybrid setup that allows playing different grooves.  

Most timbale setups will feature a small and large cowbell. The cha cha, which is the small cowbell, can play a downbeat accented pattern, while the large cowbell has a more syncopated pattern. 

Some timbale sets will include other accessories like tuning lugs, a wrench, rods, tune-up oil, a stand, and more. Having a complete set is typically worth the price rather than paying for each item separately. 

Want New Timbales? Shop DCP Today!

Timbales are a versatile set of drums that can be used for various Latin genres. They’re even used in contemporary rock, marching drum lines, and world music. 

With the right set of timbales, you’ll have the best drums suited for your playing style, skill, and genre. 

There’s no doubt that these four timbales are the best in the market. 

DCP has you covered when it comes to finding drums. Enjoy the benefits of a wide range of products, fast and free shipping, support from drum gear experts, and more. Shop DCP today!

1 month ago