Sol Percussion by Akbar Moghaddam is back! This is great news for the percussion world as Akbar is always very innovative and creative and the percussion and conga drum-cajon-bongo market needs his wonderful new products and insight to push the bar even higher then where it is currently at now. I have always loved his products in the past and it was only a matter of time before he resurfaced again with some brilliant new stuff!
I first met Akbar Moghaddam at Haight Ashbury Music center in the early 80’s when I was a percussion salesman there and he was repairing drums there as well. The late great Armando Peraza would always come in as well as other local greats so we were exposed to very knowledgable people right from the start. I had no idea at the time that he would move on to conga drum and percussion building greatness with the likes of Tom Flores from Valje, his own company of Sol and Gon Bops as well.
I have played all of his products in the past and they have always been outstanding! Akbar is not limited by heritage yet respects it, and his designs always incorporate beauty as well as optimum sound quality. Nothing is ever sacrificed for sound. The design must be about the sound first and foremost.
His version of Valje although short lived, were very well made. I love the original Sol congas that i still play often at my friend Wade Peterson’s house, especially the amazing super tumba. His hand made California model Gon Bops congas were great and I reviewed them in a Youtube video i made called, “top ten congas”. If you can find them, pick them up because they will be collectors items!
So obviously I am very excited about the return of Sol!
I have some new Sol Oak bongos i just bought coming soon so keep your eyes out for a review and test coming up shortly!
SOL PERCUSSION from their website
We’re passionate about making the finest hand percussion instruments available today. We also want to change the way drummers and percussionists look at their gear. Music and drumming is a very personal thing, and we know that a set of bongos isn’t just wood, metal and hide. A cajon isn’t just a box. Drums are personal. They’re a means of self-expression. If our passion can fuel musical creativity, everyone wins. Our mission is just that, to help more drummers experience the joy of playing a pro-quality instrument.
Why does the good stuff cost so much? At Sol, we don’t think professional players should be the only ones to play high-end, high-quality instruments. We aspire to only make the best. To do so and have it be more accessible is a challenge, but we’re up for the task. As Sol Percussion grows, we’ll reinvest in this philosophy. We’ll grow our product line, get more people working in California and put smiles on the faces of drummers who have never experienced a hand-crafted, expertly designed percussion instrument.
Akbar Moghaddam started Sol in a small shop in San Francisco, California. He took his drum-making experience and put it to good use. His life revolves around creating authentic and innovative instruments. He is the soul behind Sol, pure and simple. Lane Davy is a music-manufacturing veteran. He worked with some of the most recognizable brands in the industry. With Akbar’s help, Lane is building a business, but he’s also building a dream. He and Akbar share a passion for drumming and willingness to forge new territory and challenge the status quo.
Sol was originally founded by Akbar Moghaddam nearly two and a half decades ago. Akbar remains the passion and guiding force of Sol today. Understanding the history of authentic drum making is one of the many things that sets Akbar and Sol apart. “Knowing the future of hand percussion is only possible if you know where it all started”, chimes Moghaddam. You see, he not only studied the flagship conga brands of the time, he lived it. In the eighties, he took the production reins at the legendary Valje factory, only to watch it burn to the ground in an accidental fire that destroyed the entire facility and put the company out of business. From the ashes, Sol was born.
Akbar’s small, fledgling shop in San Francisco, California, and soon became the favorite hang out and repair shop for Bay Area pros. As Sol became more well known for the sound and playability of its instruments, Akbar became an in-demand drum builder. Drums we’re backordered for months and some of the world’s top players sought out the instruments for their private collections. In the early 2000s, Sol was purchased by high-end custom drumset makers, Drum Workshop, and the operation moved south to Oxnard, California. DW decided to relaunch the famous Gon Bops brand with Akbar at the helm. Using history as a template, a reimagined line of percussion instruments was reborn. Major artists flocked to Gon Bops and the GB story continued. The operation was sold to Canadian cymbal makers, Sabian, some years later.
Now, Sol reemerges with a new life and new spirit. Dedicated to the art of hand percussion and fueled by a passion to make instruments better than ever before, Akbar and Sol are proud to introduce a new generation of congas, bongos, cajons, unique percussion toys and accessories. Big on ideas and steeped in the details, Sol has firm grasp on tradition, but also an eye towards the future.
Akbar is just about the only link to the glory days of U.S. percussion manufacturing.
We strongly support local music stores and anyone else who helps people get started playing an instrument. We have no plans to sell through the large chains.
Once we are up and running and making a profit, we plan to donate a portion of our profits to help people who deserve a great instrument, but can’t afford one, get one.