The LP compact conga is an amazing invention (I've been practicing with one for about 3 years now). This instrument is suitable and pretty much perfect for practicing as it is easily transportable- all you need is this drum and a snare stand! This is a big difference from the days when guys like me had to lug their drums to and from the practice rooms every time we wanted to play.
This drums is also great for a beginner who wants a descent instrument but doesn't have the money to spend on an entire drum.
One thing I don't understand is why guys play these things on gigs- they really sound terrible! Don't get me wrong- the head sound obviously sounds great but there is no resonating body to get that great, warm conga sound! There's really no sound to the heel toe on this drum- its basically like playing a regular conga thats flat on the floor. The heel toe is really the glue that sticks together the tumbao, so not having any real sound for the heel toe is a really big deal in my eyes- especially for a live situation. If you ask me, guys that take these things on gigs are just plain lazy.
My only true gripe about this drum is that you cant seem to change the head. I personally hate those synthetic white Evans conga heads (yes, even though they don't go out of tune as easily)- I just don't think they give a very good, authentic conga-y sound. They also don't feel right under my hands while I'm playing- I really prefer the natural cowhide heads and feel like they just give a VASTLY superior sound, tone and warmth. Also- what are you supposed to do when the head that comes mounted on the drum wears out? Sounds like an industry ploy to make you have to buy another drum to me.