Do you prefer Lacquer or Wrap for your kits and why?

Do you prefer Lacquer or Wrap


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hector48

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As said many times before, lacquer is classy, but it "will" ding up easier that a wrap.
So, I say a lacquer kit for a home/studio kit.
And a wrap kit for gigging.
 

cobaltspike

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I didn't vote because I only use Urethane Basecoat/Clearcoat. It will outlast any lacquer and contrary to some people's opinions it doesn't change the sound. Depth of gloss is much deeper than lacquer and is really easy to touch up if needed. Here are two of my kits done that way.
DRUMS FOR 2015 PARTY IN THE TENT.jpg
 

Slingwig26

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Both.
The beauty and resonance of lacquer and the road worthiness of a nice glittery wrap.
 

DDGarner

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Have and like/enjoy both. If I could only have one it would be lacquer. My ‘86 Gretsch kit in walnut lacquer just makes me smile. I do get the durability argument though. I gig my lacquers a lot but in cases and I’m the one setting up and taking down. If I was big time like you guys and had roadies then I might feel differently!!
 

kzac

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Drum finish is all about the look you personally desire... It has not one thing to do with the sound of the drum... engineering wise..... so wrap um or stain um or do both if you like... your choice....
Personally... mine are..... Naked ....
 

standupguy

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I have both on old Gretsch kits. The old black diamond pearl celluloid wraps have shrunk a little but do hide scuff marks well. I believe that how the drums are cased or stored in various temperatures affects this. The amber lacquer finish hasn’t really changed. I love both but favour the natural finish. No matter how careful you are, like our cars, they all end up with battle scars.
 

hsosdrum

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I prefer wraps because they look better on stage. When I was 9 years old I fell in love at first sight with the first drum kit I ever saw in person (a WMP Gretsch kit that Keith Thibideaux — "Little Ricky" — played with a jazz trio at a Cub Scout function I attended).

It only took me another 52 years to realize that a chunk of what I originally fell in love with about drums is the wrap finish. Before then I used a Vistalite kit, then a Gretsch USA kit that would have been sacrilegious to order in anything but Red Rosewood, Natural Maple or Walnut (I chose Rosewood and it really was a nice finish, but on stage under lights it simply looked RED). When I replaced the Gretsch kit with my Ludwig Classics in 1990 I wanted to get a wrap finish, but back then Ludwig's wrap choices were totally lame (see catalog sheet below), so I got the kit finished in Sable black polyurethane, which was brand-new at the time. It was OK but it wasn't even as nice as the finish on the Gretsch kit it replaced (and on stage under lights it simply looked BLACK). So when I replaced the Classics with Legacy Maples in 2013 I got them in WMP, since Ludwig had finally replaced the WMP that they'd been using since the 1950s (which I can't stand, shown on the catalog sheet below) with a more conventional smaller-chip WMP, similar to what Slingerland was using from the '60s on. On stage under lights it reflects and sparkles whatever colors are shining on it — it's dazzling!

1988 Ludwig Finishes.jpg
 

pozz

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Lacquer - hands down. If you’ve ever played an outdoor gig in the sun with a dark color wrapped kit you’ll understand why. Besides, IMO lacquer looks better.
 

cruddola

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In almost six decades of drumming and owning over thirty kits in that time, not once did I ever consider the size, color, finish, wrap or brand name when purchasing. From Ames to Yamaha and many, many in between, only my ears has made every choice. Finally, for five decades I've always had a full 5-piece minimum kit with a second snare and 7 cymbals ready at the shortest notice. All drums were placed inside a padded case-bag and then placed inside a 2-inch foam padded road case. I've toured more often with lacquered drums. All cases are 1/2inch thick-walled with 3/4inch bases for those on casters. All my cases are Anvil, Calzone and Viking. Lotta drums have come and gone, but my cases, hardware and cymbals always stayed. Nothing worse than showing to a job with broken gear! Your gear is only as good as the cases they're kept in. Color, finish or brand means zero. Tuning range is everything.
 

Santino

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I'm a natural wood finish guy be it lacquer, poly, hard satin or oil rubbed. I own one wrapped kit which is my original 67 Stewart MIJ in BDP. That said, I eagerly await the day that John Good releases the ultimate wrap made from the disposable razors used by runway models of the 70's and 80's. I hope it's a sparkle.
 

Kevinpursuit

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Lacquer all the way! Not only does it look more natural, the finishes avail today offer more depth and many choices! The natural stained type lacquers bring out more of the characteristic view of wood.
 

michaelocalypse

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I prefer lacquer, because I like to see the wood grain. That being said, mine are so dark that you can't tell anyway. That's what happens when you buy black because green isn't available.

Also, I'm probably going to sticker bomb a wrapped kit soon.
 

JDA

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"so many fun & interesting threads drift out of sight and into oblivion at dfo"

- bump
 

T_Weaves

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I like lacquer but I could deal with some of the nicer wraps like say Ludwig's Vintage Black Oyster. I've seen some Gretsch lacquers with some really bad checking so I think it pays to find out each company's process before buying. Sonor's High Gloss lacquers are really nice and last forever.
 

cashmanbashman

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I have wraps, paints, stains and lacquers oh my. I choose the lacquer because it’s purtyiest.
 

backtodrum

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Lacquer. I love a good sparkle wrap as much as the next guy, and on classic drums, I get the wrap thing, but I would never buy a wrapped late model drum kit. To me, it's like buying fine furniture with contact paper on it, rather than seeing the actual wood finish.

I still don't understand the "durability" issue. Just take care of your drums. I've been gigging the same set of lacquer Tama Superstars since 1987, and I'm not overly careful, but what does it really take to keep your drums from getting banged up? Not much. This 34 year old kit has accompanied me on ~90% of the gigs I've ever played. They have a few minor nicks and scuffs, but the shells look great and photograph amazingly well.

View attachment 493263 View attachment 493263
I've been gigging my lacquered kit for over 20 years practically every weekend before covid hit and I still don't have a scratch on them. I just take care of my kits and haven't had an issue. If they were wrapped I would still be as careful either way...
 


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