VTB1415 Orestes Vilato Signature TimbaleGon Bops is pleased to announce the release of a strikingly unique and innovative Timbale set designed with legendary Timbalero Orestes Vilato. Available as a 14”/15” set with stand, these beautiful instruments are the culmination of years of work by Vilato and Gon Bops.

“There were a number of objectives I wanted to achieve with this Timbale, primarily weight, sound and look.” comments Vilato, “First, I wanted to design a lighter instrument, which I believe is important to working musicians who must transport their own instruments.”

The lightness is achieved primarily by manufacturing shells from aluminum, and by utilizing a shallow pan design; both features are exclusive to Gon Bops among major percussion manufacturers. But the aluminum shells provide more than lightness, they also deliver warm cascara and plenty of volume.

“The original timbales played by slaves in Cuba were often made from cooking pails, thus the name, ‘Paila’ which literally means ‘pail,’” says Vilato. “The Timbale derives from the Timpani, and came about as an attempt to make the Timpani smaller and more portable. In a sense, these new Timbales are a modern extension of that goal as we strive for lighter, shallower Timbales that sound very traditional.”

“The shallow pan design is important to Orestes’ style of playing. He likes to play under the Timbale to widen his palette of sound and for the spectacle as well,” says Gon Bops head of manufacturing John Teague. “The shorter pan makes this easier to accomplish and also lends the instrument a quicker response.”

Perhaps the most important objective in designing the new signature Timbale was building an instrument with classical Timbale sound.

“Timbale technique did not develop from drum rudiments, it came from Timpani technique,” says Vilato. “Today you most often see drumset guys playing Timbale, using much heavier drumsticks, and playing with a speed and volume that is simply not part of the tradition. To me, it doesn’t even sound like Timbale. Classical Timbale technique is simple and clean, it involves single sticking, not rolls, and the sticks used were very light, probably made from the wood from a Guava tree. This gives you that sharp, whip-like Timbale sound, something we very much wanted to achieve with this instrument.”

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