Sometimes I like my gear new and shiny, and other times I like it showing the signs of use. The patina on cymbals, the wearing surface of a coated head, to me these can be as comforting as the jig bone handles of a grandfather’s pocketknife worn smooth from years of use.
I’d like to see some of your well worn, or road worn, or weathered gear, from use, from reaction to climate, all fair game, as long as you are still playing it from time to time.
The lines have blurred regarding true wear from use. The guitar market seemed to have been hit first with the relic trend. Drums have followed.
I have mixed feelings about this. For example, I’ve had this sort of subliminal love-hate thing going with the raw brass snare trend: the Ludwigs, the A&Fs, the Oriollos, the Joyful Noises.
Visually, I like the wabi-sabi aesthetic, and then I’ll turn away as it will appear forced.
But, dang, those aforementioned raw brass drums are unique and intriguing and to my eyes stunning and from what I’ve heard fine instruments.
All the same, I got this Pearl snare, and present it here as an example that may be a mixture of possibly forced patina and natural worn/weathered. Some of what happens to our instruments is from us lovingly hitting them, and some is just them interacting with the elements, and that counts, too.
This is a solid, full-sounding brass drum recently acquired for not too much silver. This is not my wear on the drum, but I respect it’s journey. What really amazes me is the diversity of sound I can get merely by changing the snare tension from song to song as needed, as I experienced the other night playing in a cavernous bar with a cover band. Once that hit me, it doesn’t matter what it looks like.
It is, I believe, a Pearl Sensitone Classic II which has seen some mileage. The rims have some pitting and some of you might be wincing at die cast hoops choking a brass drum. Personally, I think this drum is a great all-rounder for what I do.
Back on topic, the shell doesn’t appear to have any coating and has some patina, which I’ve tried to show in photos here in different lighting. The badge shows signs of wear around the edges so perhaps something was done, aggressive polishing with something too gritty, maybe sanding off the shell’s coating to accelerate aging.
The rim pitting perhaps tells of a damp environment or careless storage, or gigs on the Lido Deck by the prior owner.
I don’t know if brass Sensitones were ever made with no shell coating, and I’m curious if anyone knows. In any event, it’s not visually perfect but it functions well and sounds great.
I was going to remove the hardware and polish the shell but maybe I’ll just leave it’s wabi-sabi alone. It is after all a Sensi Tone.
We often share our best here but...would love to see your funky old used stuff....
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