As I've stated in another review, sound preference is a very personal thing. I had in fact budgeted about three times as much for a set of bongos. I went to a Sam Ash store and started smacking on a few display models. This model was the best sounding to me by far. I was surprised, because this set is on the lower end in price for this brand. I tried to remind myself, that just because something is more expensive, doesn't mean it sounds better. I bought these and added them to my conga set up. I love playing the whole set up. The only thing you may need to keep an eye are the heads. On the display model, one of the heads had a small tear in it - but this could be because of it being a display model (and it sees a lot of action), i don't know. I apply some lotion to the heads of my bongos and congas. That should dramatically extend the life of them.