Sometimes an idea can seem totally revolutionary, and yet at the same time seem so obvious that you wonder why no one has done it before. Such is the case with LP's new LP Series Top-Tuning Congas. The idea is indeed simple: Create a system that allows a conga drum to be tuned from the top, without having to turn the drum, lift it out of its basket, or remove it from its stand. Some traditionalists may question the idea, but most congueros will immediately recognize the advantages it offers—especially in live situations. Immediate access to all tension bolts will eliminate situations where only the nearest bolts can be tensioned easily in a hurry—situations that result in uneven tuning. With top tuning, the player can access every tension bolt quickly and easily in order to tune the head evenly for a good fundamental pitch. The LP Series Top-Tuning Congas feature 30" tall Siam Oak shells in 11", 11-¾", and 12-½" diameters with natural rawhide heads. They're fitted with specially modified Comfort Curve II steel rims to which are welded unique "ears" that allow access to the top of each tuning bolt. These ears are thematically designed in a V shape that echoes the shape of LP's heavy-duty steel side plates. They're also carefully recessed below the level of the Comfort Curve II rims to ensure hand comfort and extended playability. In addition, the new system provides a direct pull on each tension bolt, eliminating the "bend" that often occurs with hooked tension bolts. And to make things even easier, the tuning bolts are fitted with hex heads that can be turned with a standard socket available in any hardware store (just in case the included tension wrench is ever misplaced).