Best Quintos

To determine the best Quinto, we considered the following features: the drum head, the shell, accessories/design, and the price. While Quintos are a more expensive instrument, you can still find reasonable options. However, natural drum heads and shells are always preferable to synthetic materials as they can impact the quality and resonance of the sounds your Quinto creates. And additional accessories or a slick design might be important to you if you are an active performer as opposed to an at-home drumming enthusiast.

After considering all of the above, we nominated the Latin Percussion LP522T-RGM Richie Gajate-Garcia Signature Series Quinto as our Top Pick. While it was the most expensive option, it prioritized premium materials, using natural rawhide for the drum head and Romanian Tilia wood for the shell exterior. That combination is designed to give you the warm full-bodied sound you need, especially for live Latin music performances. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of our top picks.

Top 3 Best Quintos

 #1  Latin Percussion LP522T-RGM Richie Gajate-Garcia Signature Series Quinto

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: A taller 11 ¾-inch wide Quinto that features a premium natural rawhide head and wood-fiberglass combination shell to create warmer full-bodied sounds — making it ideal for backing live Latin bands.

Pros
  • Best materials
  • Romanian Tilia wood & fiberglass shell
  • Natural rawhide head for warmer sound
Cons
  • Most expensive

If you routinely play Latin or Afro-Cubano music, you know that your performance will sound flat if you lack a good drum. The Latin Percussion LP522T-RGM Richie Gajate-Garcia Signature Series Quinto is designed for the professional performer who wants to create the right warm, full-bodied sounds that make Latin and Afro-Cubano music so distinctive. This 11 ¾-inch wide premium Quinto is made for longevity with sturdy construction that will stand the test of time, all with a beautiful design.

We like that this Quinto pairs a natural rawhide head with a combination shell. While the exterior of the shell is made from three-ply Romanian Tilia wood, the interior features a fiberglass layer for improved strength. You’ll also like that the tuning lugs feature chrome plating with steel rims. And the 30-inch height makes this comfortable to play. You can use it with the best microphone for streaming.

 #2  Lp Matador Puerto Rican Flag Motif Quinto

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: A stylish 11-inch Quinto that proudly represents your Borinquen heritage while also providing quality sound thanks to the combination of a natural rawhide head and three-ply Siam oak shell.

Pros
  • Best Puerto Rican pride
  • 11-inch Natural rawhide head
  • Tuning wrench included
Cons
  • Expensive

Embracing your heritage is important to everyone. But being able to prominently display that heritage is equally important — especially if the music you play is a representation of your culture. For Borinquen (another name for Puerto Rican) performers, a Quinto that proudly showcases their country’s flag is a great way to highlight their heritage while also playing music that they love and ties them to the island.

This is another 30-inch tall, 11-inch wide Quinto from Latin Percussion (the same brand behind our Top Pick). However, this is slightly more affordable and is still a competitive option if you found our Top Pick more expensive. You’ll like that you get a natural rawhide drum head that’s paired with a natural wood shell. Except this time, it’s Siam Oak instead of the Romanian Tilia in the Top Pick. But you’ll appreciate that this Quinto comes with a tuning wrench. It is going to sound good with the best wireless microphone.

 #3  Meinl Percussion DCS11VWB-M 11-Inch Quinto and Attachments

Award: BEST BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: An affordable quinto that comes with instrument attachments for cymbals and additional instruments, making this perfect for professional bands that need quick and easy setups and breakdowns between gigs.

Pros
  • Best Quality
  • Great for bands
  • Bracket attachments for additional instrument mounting
Cons
  • Drum head material unspecified

If our Top Pick and Honorable Mention recommendations were just too expensive for you, the Meinl Percussion DCS11VWB-M 11-Inch Quinto and Attachments is a great alternative. One of the biggest draws to this Quinto is the fact that it comes with instrument attachments. We think that for traveling performers who can’t rely on a road crew to manage setup and breakdown on your behalf, you’ll appreciate that this option is mobile and makes it easier to perform.

While the brand hasn’t specified the drum head material, you’ll like that the shell is made from wood. But more importantly, you get two accessory mounts. On is Z-shaped and is designed specifically for mounting cymbals. The design helps to improve your crash sounds. The other mount features hook and loop fasteners, making it perfect to hold castanets. Whichever instruments you decide to include in your performance, this Quinto with attachments is perfect for acoustic performances. Combine this with the best singing bowl set and you will have some sweet music. We have reviewed many music instruments to make your life brighter.

How We Decided

Whether you’re a professional drummer or you enjoy playing for fun, there are certain criteria that everyone should use when shopping for a Quinto. To create our guide, we focused on the following — the drum head, the shell, accessories/design, and the price.

Quintos can vary in price, often because of the materials used in the design. While this specific drum is a pricier option, we did feature a range of options from very expensive (Top Pick) to more modest (Best Budget/Quality). So, it is possible to own a Quinto of your own without breaking the bank.

For the drum head, we prioritized natural skins over synthetic. Serious drummers know that natural drum heads provide warmer tones, which can help to make your overall performance sound stronger. While the Top Pick and Honorable Mention feature natural skins, unfortunately, our Best Quality/Budget failed to clarify whether the drum head was natural or synthetic.

Likewise, the quinto’s shell is equally important in helping to create the perfect reverberations when you play them. All of our recommendations feature a wooden shell, which is ideal for creating a warmer sound as well. However, our Top Pick takes this a step further by including a fiberglass interior to help improve the Quinto’s longevity.

And for some people, they want their instruments to make a statement or to come with accessories that make it more multifunctional. If the design is important, our Honorable Mention is a great buy because it prominently features the Puerto Rican flag. But if multifunctionality is more important, the Best Budget/Quality pick is a good choice. It features two instrument mounting attachments which help to give you a more mobile-friendly setup. This will be especially important if you’re a performer and need to manage your setup and breakdown at every gig.

Best Quintos Buyer’s Guide

Quintos Most Important Factors to Consider

  1. Drum Head Skin
    Since quintos are an essential rhythm instrument that you’ll be using to maintain a beat for any song, you want to make sure that the skin used on the drum head is tough so that it’ll be durable and won’t need frequent replacements. Depending on how often you play your quinto and the type of sound you’re attempting to create, you can use either natural or synthetic skins. While synthetic skins are easier to replace, serious drum players tend to prefer natural skins such as buffalo, calf or even natural rawhide. However, pay attention to the thickness of the skin. If it’s too thin the sound will be off, but too thick and it can hurt your hand as you strike it.
  2. Shell Material
    The shell is the rest of the drum and should also be made from durable materials. Typically, quinto drums feature either wood or fiberglass outer shells. Fiberglass is ideal if you’re trying to project more sound, which is ideal if you’re performing in a band. However, wood shells create a warmer sound and tend to last longer. Popular options for wooden shells include oak and mahogany.
  3. Tuning Lugs
    Tuning lugs allow you to adjust the tension on the drum head, helping to control the frequency of sounds that are created by striking the drum head. You’ll want to make sure that these are easy to adjust.

Best Quintos FAQs

What is the difference between a quinto and a conga?

Quintos are a subcategory of the conga drum. They are the smallest of the most commonly used conga drums. The other core options include the conga (mid-size) and the tumbadora (the largest and also known as the tumba). So, the quinto is considered a percussion instrument and is especially known as a membranophone.

Which is better, a synthetic or natural drum head skin?

This is going to depend on your interests and needs. While more experienced drummers tend to prefer natural skins, there are instances where synthetic skin may be preferable. Specifically, people who live in more humid climates may find that natural skins might not last as long as synthetic skins. Likewise, if you’re not interested in routinely maintaining your natural skin drum head with routine oil applications, then a synthetic drum head is better for you.

If I want to avoid having to constantly retune my quinto, what kind of materials should I pick?

For the most low maintenance option, you should opt for a synthetic shell and drum head. Natural drum heads and wooden shells are more susceptible to changes in weather and humidity. And that means that you may need to retune them more often, as well as the fact that they require more routine maintenance to ensure their longevity. In contrast, unless you want to change the types of sounds you can create with a synthetic-based drum, you won’t need to retune a synthetic-based quinto drum as frequently.

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Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

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