Hailed worldwide as one of the greatest congueros of all time, Giovanni Hidalgo also knows his way around a set of timbales. And apparently he has longed for the authentic look and sound of the timbales played during the heyday of New York City’s Palladium Ballroom, where such Latin music legends as Tito Puente, Machito, and Tito Rodríguez rose to prominence during the ’50s.
As soon as LP got wind of Hidalgo’s wish, the company began working with their prize endorser on the specifications for what eventually became the new Giovanni Series Prestige Timbales. The set’s 13" x 6.5" and 14" x 6.5" phosphor bronze shells feature an expanded space between the top and bottom ribs, creating an extra-wide cascara playing area. Above and below the ribs, the shells are buffed to a gleaming high gloss, while the area between the ribs is specially sanded and buffed to create a lustrous matte finish. The two drums include a recessed “top key tuning” system that uses oversize bolts, and come with a chrome plated heavy-duty stand, as well as a cowbell bracket and a pair of timbale sticks. Suggested list price: $965.