Any experience sending DW stain/satin drums for finish matching?

drumstuff66

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Hi everyone,

I have a 1999 DW Collector's kit in what was then called "Black Cherry Satin". It has served me well on literally 1000's of gigs. The bass drum is 16" x 22" and I'm considering having them do a 14" x 20" in the same finish. They now offer "Cherry Satin" and it looks, if not identical, at least very close to mine - especially after 21 years as the "Black Cherry" has softened a bit.

The dilemma is do I send them my 10" tom in order to get a "finish match" (with all the risks involved: loss, damage, etc., I'd be a nervous wreck until I got it back), or just order up the drum in their "Cherry Satin" knowing it might not be EXACT, but also knowing my tom is safe and sound it's case?

Anyone have any experience sending DW their stained/satin finished drum for matching? Or would well-lit, clear photos work? Happy with the results?? I'm assuming matching stains is an inexact science given all the variables.

Haven't spoken to DW yet, thought I'd throw it out here first.

Thanks for any experiences or insights!

PS. Any late 1990's DW catalogs out there? I'd be interested...
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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I've never had DW match a drum for me. I have shipped plenty of drums, though, and as long as it's packed very well, shouldn't be a problem. I would probably take all the hardware off and just ship the bare shell. This way you have the best chance of them maybe making a custom color mix for you to match what color the drum currently is. I'm sure they can match the sheen. I suppose the risk is that the bearing edges get damaged but I doubt it. As for DW customer service, I've always had very positive experiences.

The performance series and design series also have a cherry color bass but I don't know if they match your drums and of course they're lower lines. Also, Bentleys has a cherry wood red bass for sale 16 x 20 in stock and maybe that could work for you too....

 

sixplymaple

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I placed an order for a new floor tom 2 weeks ago. Collector’s VLT 14x18 natural satin oil over curly maple exotic. They are having me send in a drum for finish matching in the next few weeks. They wouldn’t accept a small rack tom as they need at least a floor tom sized drum (bigger the better) to finish match the exotic grain. I’m not sure if that's the same for non-exotic kits though. I am going to send them my 11x14 floor tom once they email me. My kit was custom ordered in 2006.

I have a 13x16 floor tom to use in the meantime, so it’s not a huge deal to me. For $1500 the drum better match! If spending extra money and sending my floor tom in guarantees that, then so be it. Just make sure you purchase plenty of insurance to replace the tom if it gets damaged/lost during shipping.

They also told me to leave the heads and all the hardware on the drum. Apparently it helps the structural integrity during shipping? Plus the extra weight won’t change the size of the box, which is what really determines shipping costs. It’s not like it’s going to be over the 150lb UPS weight limit.

All of their drums are hand painted, so even the new factory finishes can vary slightly from kit to kit. I wouldn’t count on a picture of the new color perfectly matching in real life. All the paint is hand mixed, so they can definitely match your older color. It’s not like they run out of a certain color.

If you don’t agree to send in a drum and they don’t get the paint job right, they probably won’t allow you to return it...
 
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sixplymaple

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I agree with everything SixPly posted. If it were me, I'd wit to see how it turns out for him first.

Good luck to both of you....and please let us know.....
Hopefully it’s sooner than later lol. With all the covid delays they told me possibly 6+ months. :(
 

drumstuff66

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There you go! I have full faith in DW's paint/finish guys and their Q.C.........
Thanks, JazzDrumGuy - the Bentley's DW is pretty close! Beautiful! Lacquer over an exotic, so a bit shiner and a different wood pattern that only I would most likely ever notice and a little more red...BUT, if that were a 14" depth, I might have grabbed it by now. It has a BD cymbal mount which I'd most likely get (and have on my 22") and even thought a bit today about buying it and having Precision cut it down...I keep going back to look at it!

I also checked out the Performance and Design Series (thanks again!) - unfortunately, only 16" depths on the 20" and different sized lugs than Collector's - but did have me thinking shell pack and Precision again!

Appreciate your input and agree with your call on DW's finish crew...
 

drumstuff66

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I placed an order for a new floor tom 2 weeks ago. Collector’s VLT 14x18 natural satin oil over curly maple exotic. They are having me send in a drum for finish matching in the next few weeks. They wouldn’t accept a small rack tom as they need at least a floor tom sized drum (bigger the better) to finish match the exotic grain. I’m not sure if that's the same for non-exotic kits though. I am going to send them my 11x14 floor tom once they email me. My kit was custom ordered in 2006.

I have a 13x16 floor tom to use in the meantime, so it’s not a huge deal to me. For $1500 the drum better match! If spending extra money and sending my floor tom in guarantees that, then so be it. Just make sure you purchase plenty of insurance to replace the tom if it gets damaged/lost during shipping.

They also told me to leave the heads and all the hardware on the drum. Apparently it helps the structural integrity during shipping? Plus the extra weight won’t change the size of the box, which is what really determines shipping costs. It’s not like it’s going to be over the 150lb UPS weight limit.

All of their drums are hand painted, so even the new factory finishes can vary slightly from kit to kit. I wouldn’t count on a picture of the new color perfectly matching in real life. All the paint is hand mixed, so they can definitely match your older color. It’s not like they run out of a certain color.

If you don’t agree to send in a drum and they don’t get the paint job right, they probably won’t allow you to return it...
Thanks for the detailed response, sixplymaple! You answered questions I should've asked. Feeling much better moving forward.

My biggest tom is a 11" x 14" floor tom, but I don't have a replacement. With a possible six month wait I could always grab a beater FT off Craigslist or see what Music-Go-Round has laying around.

Appreciate your insights - hope you'll keep us updated!
 

drumstuff66

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I did this when I added an 8x12 tom to the collectors kit I had at the time. If I remember correctly, I sent them a 14x14 floor tom for matching. No issues with the process, and the new tom matched perfectly.
Thanks, mpungercar! Short & sweet and exactly what I was hoping to hear!

Appreciate everyone helping out. I'll be contacting DW...

Thanks again!
 

sixplymaple

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DW/Memphis Drum Shop contacted me with a reference number today. I’ve got my floor tom all packaged up and am sending it out to DW tomorrow via UPS. I’ll keep you guys updated with how it all works out.
 

musiqman

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I didn’t had to send in, due to the distance.

31D593E2-375D-4AEB-BFCA-02DD49CF6153.jpeg



It is a very hard to make Excotic finish with a fade.

They made a perfect matched 12”
tom and 15” snare for me.

And yes it it is for sale, just as the 80’s and 90’s catalog set:
70B62F99-57F5-4258-BAA7-A9B285E0A69D.jpeg
 
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Blisco

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I would highly recommend you send in the drum. I had this emerald satin oil short stack and wanted to add an 8" tom. As you can see from the pic, it was not a good match. I ended up sending that tom back along with the 12" to get it matched and they did a perfect job. Before and After:
 

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Hop

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I recall seeing videos of the DW shop where, if I'm not mistaken, it's been the same guy doing that job for like 30+ years. So if anybody is going to accurately match I'm sure it would be him.
 


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