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Mind over Matter - wrapped vs lacquer

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#1
repete

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This is not a post about sound comparisons but deciding on a finish - I am hopefully going to be in the market for a new kit soon. For years and years I've played Tempus and wrapped finish drums - I get peace of mind knowing that just about anything that comes in contact with them can be washed off and cleaned up with some soap and water. Anything that get knocked over, its maybe get a scuff mark that can be wiped off. 

 

I'm looking at wrapped finish options but there are some beautiful sets out there I would love to own in lacquered finishes. I always pack, set up and break down my own stuff, use protection racket bags etc etc but I'm having a hell of a time making this choice.

 

I think the only sure choice would be if I could get classic maples in Purple sparkle!

 

 


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#2
paul

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I played with a large set of Yamaha Maple Customs with a beautiful lacquer finish a couple of decades ago. They were great drums, and absolutely gorgeous. I was the only one who played them, and was very careful when packing/unpacking. Despite my efforts, over time I picked up different nicks and scratches in the finish. That damage helped me decide that I needed a wrapped set for gigging.

 

I've been playing the wrapped set I built after that since 2001. After 17 years of fairly constant use the drums still look and sound as good as the day I brought them home. I also was fortunate that the color I chose looks good under every light.

 

Lacquer finishes are great, and I love the lacquer set I keep at home, but from 20 feet you can't tell the difference with a wrap, and natural finishes from a distance are just brown or tan drums. If you gig your drums, there will be bumps along the road, and a lacquer finish will show its age fairly quickly.


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#3
blueshadow

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My lacquered kit is almost 25 years old now and still looks great.  Yeah  a few nicks here and there but guitars get nicked up and no one worries.  In my case the lacquer is less to worry about then a wrapped kit.  I play outdoor gigs and also have them stored in the garage and or the truck to and from gigs during the heat of the summer and don't have to worry about wrap bubbling up.



#4
cochlea

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I see that you're located in South Florida so another thing to consider is whether you will be playing, transporting, or storing your kit in high temperature situations. Heat can wreak havoc on a wrapped finish in terms of bubbling and lifting at the seams.


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#5
blueshadow

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re: to Purple Sparkle Ludwigs... those would look great and I think Ludwig has that in the catalog, if not you can do Customer supply option.  Of course then you're in the money for the wrap but you can do any wrap you want then.



#6
chris_dw_drums

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PM sent!


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#7
bigbonzo

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If you don't mind, it don't matter.  Age old proverb.


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#8
drumtimejohn

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I see that you're located in South Florida so another thing to consider is whether you will be playing, transporting, or storing your kit in high temperature situations. Heat can wreak havoc on a wrapped finish in terms of bubbling and lifting at the seams.


Yes, heat is an issue for outdoor gigs. The seams can become unglued under high temp of the desert. Just the reflection of my uncovered grill melted my siding. The brass out west can burn you.
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#9
repete

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good point about the heat - that's why I ruled out Vistalites!!


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#10
VintageUSA

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During my entire drumming life (50 years), I have owned only 5 kits  --  all of them were lacquer finish.

Nothing against wraps  --  I just like the natural look of wood better.

 

I have one snare drum now (in my big collection of four) that is wrapped in traditional silver sparkle.

I have never worried too much about damage because, like you, I do all the roadie/drum tech work myself.

I guess I'm lucky that some dumb-ass band member has not created a big problem.


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#11
DanRH

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Heat. Sun. Outdoor gigs...it’s why I use my JM and Oriollo kits outside. I would never use my gold sparkle wrapped Broadkasters or Rogers blue onyx Holidays outside. I also had a blue sparkle lacquered kit that had a big crack in the finish. I have no one idea how that happened...

Edited by DanRH, 17 May 2018 - 06:01 PM.

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#12
Topsy Turvy

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Are you gigging frequently? If so, it just makes more sense to go with a wrapped kit. If you are mostly playing at home, with the occasional gig here or there, then go with the finish you visually prefer. 


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#13
jaymandude

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Sound matters to me more than finish, and it's my belief that I can hear a difference between the two kits. I had a chance recently to do a blindfold test with some Gretsch USA Customs, ( 4 kits) and I could definitely hear it.

So, that's being said, I just ordered a new Broadcaster kit, Satin Burnt Orange. That, plus issues with the Southwest sun..

Edited by jaymandude, 17 May 2018 - 09:24 PM.

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#14
DrummerJustLikeDad

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Sound matters to me more than finish, and it's my belief that I can hear a difference between the two kits.  I have a chance to do a blindfold test with some Gretsch USA Customs, ( 4 kits) and I could definitely hear it.  
 
So, that's being said, I just ordered a new Broadcaster kit, Satin Burnt Orange.   That, plus issues with the Southwest sun..


Not to hijack, but that's my dream kit, with my dream finish. Mind sharing pictures come unboxing day?
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#15
repete

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Heat. Sun. Outdoor gigs...it’s why I use my JM and Oriollo kits outside. I would never use my gold sparkle wrapped Broadkasters or Rogers blue onyx Holidays outside. I also had a blue sparkle lacquered kit that had a big crack in the finish. I have no one idea how that happened...

That’s what I love about my Tempus kits. I can leave in car or the garage and not worry about them.
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#16
zenghost

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Jenkins-Martin shells have the finish spun right into the shell itself - they are capable of many finish types from matte colors to a variety of metallics and glitter/sparkles. It's like having a wrap built into the shell without the sonic downside of a wrap. Check with Dave Martin on finish possibilities.


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#17
Topsy Turvy

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Is there a video or something comparing the sound of a wrapped set of drums to ones which are lacquered? I didn't realize there was a big difference in sound. 


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#18
drummertom

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I agee with Zen and Dan. J-M’s are a great choice to combat any durability or weather concerns. They look and sound great.
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#19
kb

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In the early '80's I was worried about taking my beautiful Antique Maple Gretsch's on the road with Circus Vargas (Worlds Largest Traveling Big Top!) thru Ca and into Nevada. Then I flew with them to Maui for a three month gig outside on the lanai six days a week. And then moved to NYC with them, then toured thru the States. Moved back to SF area and still have 'em.

 

They've held up amazingly well. I just don't get the "wrapped is more durable" argument. 

 

And they still look better, to me, than any plastic ever could. 


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#20
jaymandude

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Is there a video or something comparing the sound of a wrapped set of drums to ones which are lacquered? I didn't realize there was a big difference in sound.


Speaking for myself, as someone who has heard 4
of the same sets, 2 of each. I don't know if you'd hear it in a video. Some guys claim there's no difference, myself and a few other drum shop guys think otherwise.
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