Timeless wrap finishes.

joshvibert

Senior Member
Hey guys, I'm looking at new kits and as much as I think lacquer kits are beautiful, I really appreciate not worrying as much about a wrap finish when I'm playing out. Hence, part of my decision to move my Wine Red Masters kit. The finish is just too pretty to risk messing up. I've got this love affair with DW that just won't go away, so I'm looking at used Collector's kits and have already passed on several good deals because of the finishes not being versatile enough.

At this point, I'm thinking White Marine Pearl or Broken Glass are really my only options. I'm not a huge fan of a plain white kit or a plain black kit (though black could work, but I like for there to be at least some "POP" to the finish). After previously owning a DW Collector's kit in burnt toast fade and a Tama Artwood snare drum with black hardware, I think I'd much prefer to stick with chrome. Once black starts to chip, especially on the hoops, it starts looking rough!

What I'm looking to get is "the kit." The one that could last me the rest of my life and sound great as well as being high-end and recognized as such. I also need the finish to fit in multiple settings, everything from a church, to a wedding, to blues, funk, and even hard rock.

So, what do you think are the most versatile wrap finishes to cover all genres and look good doing it?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
thsi si all subjective of course, some of my faves:
Sky Blue Pearl (Ludwig's version), Black Diamond Pearl, Green Sparkle
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Any of the "onyx" wraps....but ESPECIALLY as done by Rogers in the 60s...

Personal favorite: Red Onyx

Why? Not as common as the pearl and oyster wraps but still wayyyy cool.
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
From church to hard rock? My first thought was white marine pearl, but not sure that fits every category.

That copper pearl that Drum Foundry has is very classy and unique. They also have a copper strata that's very cool.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
From church to hard rock? My first thought was white marine pearl, but not sure that fits every category.
I don't think you'll find a finish that fits everything except black. Lacquered piano black looks really stunning compared to a wrap black, and it would work with all genres, but hardly anything else would. That's why I have two kits - one a Ludwig Classic Maple in the blue/olive oyster finish, and a Pearl Ref Pure in piano black. The blue/olive oyster on the Ludwigs totally pop out to me, yes isn't too show stealing.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I know I said a wrap, but what about satin natural with chrome hardware?
That's a good option, too--a natural maple or birch, something with a subtle grain to it.

"Timeless" and "versatile" might be considered two different terms in my book. "Timeless" would imply a finish that is so ingrained in drumming history that it would always be in style, like white marine pearl. "Versatile" would mean a finish that would "fit" in any musical situation, or rather, would not "not fit" in any. I'm sorry, but white marine pearl has such a strong association with classic swing/jazz, that it would "clash" in a metal band, so to speak. This doesn't mean it's unacceptable by any means, but it does seem to have an inherent conflict of image.

Now, I'm of the opinion that a drum set is a drum set, and the finish doesn't really matter, unless it is REALLY making a bold statement (like those silly flame wraps, or other graphics that look like they belong tattooed on a sailor's arm). A wrap with naked ladies with AR15s sitting in cocktail glasses *probably* wouldn't "fit" at 99.99% of wedding reception gigs. :)

The two wraps that I see as "timeless" or the most "versatile" are a standard black wrap with chrome hardware (or a black lacquer or piano black gloss) and silver sparkle (or broken glass/glitter). The flat black is subtle. It doesn't stand out, and is just kind of "there" and unassuming. The silver sparkle/glass is a little more, "Hey, look at me!" but with no obvious association. Plus, it looks great under stage lights, especially if you have more of a white sparkle/glitter that reflects the color spectrum like a prism.
 

joshvibert

Senior Member
That's a good option, too--a natural maple or birch, something with a subtle grain to it.

"Timeless" and "versatile" might be considered two different terms in my book. "Timeless" would imply a finish that is so ingrained in drumming history that it would always be in style, like white marine pearl. "Versatile" would mean a finish that would "fit" in any musical situation, or rather, would not "not fit" in any. I'm sorry, but white marine pearl has such a strong association with classic swing/jazz, that it would "clash" in a metal band, so to speak. This doesn't mean it's unacceptable by any means, but it does seem to have an inherent conflict of image.

Now, I'm of the opinion that a drum set is a drum set, and the finish doesn't really matter, unless it is REALLY making a bold statement (like those silly flame wraps, or other graphics that look like they belong tattooed on a sailor's arm). A wrap with naked ladies with AR15s sitting in cocktail glasses *probably* wouldn't "fit" at 99.99% of wedding reception gigs. :)

The two wraps that I see as "timeless" or the most "versatile" are a standard black wrap with chrome hardware (or a black lacquer or piano black gloss) and silver sparkle (or broken glass/glitter). The flat black is subtle. It doesn't stand out, and is just kind of "there" and unassuming. The silver sparkle/glass is a little more, "Hey, look at me!" but with no obvious association. Plus, it looks great under stage lights, especially if you have more of a white sparkle/glitter that reflects the color spectrum like a prism.
Great reply Caddy, thanks! You're right about the distinction between "timeless" and "versatile." At the same time, there are some finishes that I feel like are pigeonholed into a certain timeframe. To me, an Emerald Green Pearl Masters kit can never be anything except 1990's. The vintage stuff has come around to being popular again, but a couple years ago, not many folks were too hot on the twisted oyster or onyx wraps unless they were doing a Beatles cover band or something. So, again, just trying to pick something that is versatile, but also won't ever really go out of style. I think you're pretty spot on with broken glass and that's my first pick, but finances dictate that I buy used, so I'm trying to find the best of what's available I guess.
 

Blisco

Senior Member
Why not a black sparkle wrap or some variation of that? You'll get the 'pop' under lights but it will look classy with chrome on any stage in any venue.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Ludwig's Vintage Oyster Black is definitely a Classic. Here is a sample on my Legacy Classic Liverpool 4 kit.
 

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RickP

Gold Member
My personal favourite wrap is the Espresso Burst wrap on my Gretsch USA Customs, these are only available from Steve Maxwell's shop.
 

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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
since you said timless, some of the drum companies aren't old enough to have timeless finishes, DW for one, but I sure they have Marine Pearl by another name, Piano Black, White, Blue Sparkle, Yellow back in the day. If you are looking for peoples favorites that's one thing. Timeless is another
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
Timeless IS an interesting point to ponder.

A finish which implies both the past, present and future. Tall order.

Not sure if you have considered veneer, but being into that myself, I believe natural wood, exotic or domestic, especially figured, is always timeless and appealing to any genre of music or any audience.
 

MasterCylinder

Senior Member
I agree with your top two choices..............both classic and beautiful.

See below -- I recently had this vintage Slingy wrapped in traditional silver sparkle..............and I think it sounds better :

 
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