The most beautiful drum shells finishes

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
When I was a kid, someone told me to NEVER buy a sparkle drum set because I would get tired of the finish.

35+ years later, I've come to the conclusion that I will never ever get tired of sparkles, and I'm pretty sure that I will never buy another kit that's NOT sparkle. I own a red sparkle Ludwig Classic Maple and a teal sparkle Pork Pie USA custom.

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Check out this custom job below. This was THE kit that made me fall in love with Pork Pie drums. If I ever find this kit for sale, I will be buying it.

White sparkle lacquer with red sparkle lacquer diamonds. I love it.

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Ludwig Copper Rose Mist. This was only available for about 20 minutes back in 2019. It has since been discontinued.

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Since I can't find any drums in this finish like the one above, I think I'll be going with Ludwig Champaign (or Shampaign) sparkle:

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DW's broken glass drums are just magical. There is NEVER a good picture of them online. I guess the way the light catches the finish, pictures are never just right. The ones I've seen in person really pop.

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Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
I like iconic finishes and I think depending on the make and model of your kit, you should get a suitable colour. If I was to buy a high end Yamaha it would either be solid black or natural. If I was to buy a Ludwig, I wouldn't consider the pattern finishes/flame maple/birdseye maple or any lacquer finish. When I hear Ludwig I associate it with "wrap finish", I would not look further than the oysters and sparkles.

My favourite drum up to date is Mike Johnston's Gretsch round badge 3 piece kit in blue sparkle. I consider that to be the prime example of a good looking drum kit.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I know I already posted a pic of some of these earlier in the thread, but when everyone’s together for a family portrait, it sure does make for a striking pic. I find myself staring at these a bit too much. Am I a creeper if they’re inanimate objects? :D Lower lighting deepens the hue of the Real Wood finish. Yummy...

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I understand what you mean about having them all together making a striking pic. When I bought my second kit I set it up next to my first kit even though there really wasn't room for them. And with them both set up next to one another I loved looking at both of them. I packed away the first kit to make way for the new kit and while I enjoy looking at the new kit, I miss the old one out there with it. And you are definitely not a creeper. I stare at my drums all the time. Mostly at night when I can't play them.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
DW's broken glass drums are just magical. There is NEVER a good picture of them online. I guess the way the light catches the finish, pictures are never just right. The ones I've seen in person really pop.

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Agreed. Though I'm more partial to Green Glass Glitter.

I've always appreciated the gold and brass hardware option from DW but never thought I'd want it until I saw in person a Broken Glass kit and a White Glass kit with gold hardware. I regret not snapping photos. But here are a couple for reference.

If I were to ever order a DW kit w/ gold hardware, I'd swap out the gold badges from my other kit on it or order it w/ the gold ones from DW (which, at last time I checked was still an option).

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Nonetheless, I'm still finding myself drawn more and more to wood finishes.


My first "fall in love" finish was the transparent honey amber Tama did over Birds Eye Maple on the Artstar and Artstar II drums.
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DW calls their version of the finish "Amber Butterscotch"
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CommanderRoss

Silver Member
For me, natural finishes are king. I've seen some wraps that have a great look, but I abhor wraps. They just never go the distance as far as fit & finish I want in a kit.

These examples shown are just beautiful.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
My first "fall in love" finish was the transparent honey amber Tama did over Birds Eye Maple on the Artstar and Artstar II drums.
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DW calls their version of the finish "Amber Butterscotch"
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That DW Amber Butterscotch is the finish I want on my 80s Tama Granstar project. I believe the Tama Artstar finish above was the kit I had to choose between when I bought my Cherry-wine Granstar Customs in the late 80s. I probably would have chose the Artstars had they offered them without the shell-length lugs.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
DW's broken glass drums are just magical.
The ones I've seen from them and Tama (15-ish years ago) looked more sand-colored. I don't dig it. I think the glitter is great, but not the base color.

Anybody dig the Satin Flames?
I personally kinda do, but I recognize they're even more dated looking than sparkles and duco finishes.

My first "fall in love" finish was the transparent honey amber Tama did over Birds Eye Maple on the Artstar and Artstar II drums.
I also love great lacquer finishes, and I recall loving this one. The amber finish on my old Legend snare drum was fantastic. I'd love a kit in that finish.

Wraps have a tendency to increase the outer diameter, and that often makes seating heads more difficult.
Hm, I dunno. I mean, yes, obviously the outer diameter is slightly increased, but re: heads- that must be more of a thing on vintage drums. Most of my kits have been wraps and I've never experienced that, with a variety of head brands and types. They must either make the wraps thinner or the shells slightly smaller.

I love that Yammie kit!

@someguy01 , on the surface of my mind, I shouldn't like that new wrap on your Premiers for some reason (maybe because I can't stand the recent similar-patterned Tama ones?), but deep down, I know I do anyway. 🤷‍♂️ 😁
 

someguy01

Well-known member
@someguy01 , on the surface of my mind, I shouldn't like that new wrap on your Premiers for some reason (maybe because I can't stand the recent similar-patterned Tama ones?), but deep down, I know I do anyway. 🤷‍♂️ 😁
Orange Oyster from bum wrap.
I am not a fan of that Aurora or whatever Tama calls it on the starclassic performers, and I like a gaudy finish.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Hm, I dunno. I mean, yes, obviously the outer diameter is slightly increased, but re: heads- that must be more of a thing on vintage drums. Most of my kits have been wraps and I've never experienced that, with a variety of head brands and types. They must either make the wraps thinner or the shells slightly smaller.

Believe it! Most shells since the 60s are undersized by a tenth of an inch or more, but my first "real" drum kit was a Pearl Masters BSX in Bronze Glass; the finish ply was so thick that Aquarian heads would bind against the shell and wouldn't seat properly.

In all fairness, Aquarians don't fit on my 60s Ludwigs either.
 

fobz

Well-known member
I've always loved natural finishes, tho I do love some other retro ones, like a good oyster/marine pearl, champagne sparkle or that premier above :)
My favourite finish ever is probably Sonor's American walnut, but this classic (and, let's be honest, pretty iconic) finish will always have a special place in my heart...

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Bozozoid

Well-known member
I was fortunate enough to buy my favorite finish on my dream set a couple of years ago. I can tell you that none of the excitement has worn off yet. Plus, this gives me an excuse to post another picture of my babies.

That to me is so great that you still get excited today. I can feel what you feel..... don't let that go away.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
When I was a kid, someone told me to NEVER buy a sparkle drum set because I would get tired of the finish.

35+ years later, I've come to the conclusion that I will never ever get tired of sparkles, and I'm pretty sure that I will never buy another kit that's NOT sparkle. I own a red sparkle Ludwig Classic Maple and a teal sparkle Pork Pie USA custom.

View attachment 102875

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Check out this custom job below. This was THE kit that made me fall in love with Pork Pie drums. If I ever find this kit for sale, I will be buying it.

White sparkle lacquer with red sparkle lacquer diamonds. I love it.

View attachment 102871

Ludwig Copper Rose Mist. This was only available for about 20 minutes back in 2019. It has since been discontinued.

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Since I can't find any drums in this finish like the one above, I think I'll be going with Ludwig Champaign (or Shampaign) sparkle:

View attachment 102873

DW's broken glass drums are just magical. There is NEVER a good picture of them online. I guess the way the light catches the finish, pictures are never just right. The ones I've seen in person really pop.

View attachment 102874
My very first kit purchased as a Christmas gift by my mom was vvvery close to the crushed glass..not silver sparkle..crushed glass. It was an inexpensive Japanese kit but it was just like you described (magical). You know what they say about your first love.
 
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