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Djembefola - Djembe Forum •Advice needed for buying online - Page 2
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Re: Advice needed for buying online

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:05 am
by batadunbata
Third on big deep round bowls, love that full sound.

While I agree it appears to be dense wood, I'm not so convinced that it isn't stained.
For one, it's suspicious how neatly finished it is, yet the wall is so thick. Why go to the trouble in one area, but not the other? And with that in mind, I looked closely, and I do see some lighter spots (consistent with staining) around the bottom foot:

-First is near the top of the foot (it's circular, so near 12 o'clock or due North on a compass), a little to the right. Right where the rubber starts, the wood is lighter. It resembles a scuff, as if the surface was abraded somehow. It's not as suggestive as the second one though.

-Second one is at 3:30 (or southeast, going by compass), on the inner edge. this one is even brighter and harder to explain unless it's stained, though I suppose damage could cause the fibers to refract light. It's hard to tell with such low resolution. When I open the image in a new tab and enlarge it, it does look like a sort of nick/gouge, as if the darker stuff is on the outside, and deeper in is lighter.

-Third area is also along the inner rim, above the second one I mentioned, so around 3 o'clock and above, there is a series of very small light spots. The location is consistent with damage having removed material there, as the edge is exposed.

I'm not saying it's definitely stained, but if I were looking at this on craigslist, and I was interested, the first thing I'd do when I showed up in person is take a long hard look at those spots, and try to inconspicuously pick at them to see if I could get a fiber to pry loose or at least scootch sideways from it's neighbor, and reveal bright wood underneath.

I know that sounds bad, but I've seen so many stained instruments, I've become aware that there is a huge incentive for people to make cheap wood look more expensive. There's always someone who thinks they can fool people, and they obviously do, because otherwise I wouldn't be seeing them for sale used. I've seen Iroko stained dark purplish red. I've seen guitars and flutes painted to look like striped rosewoods. It's almost comical when I see it, that they think that's ok. But mainly it's a wake up call to inspect carefully.

It's unexplained why the fit and finish on this drum is impeccable, given how thick that wall is. Such a skilled person would only leave it that thick if they meant to. Usually that means it's soft wood. There might be another reason, like speeding up production, but wouldn't the added weight increase shipping costs and reduce the sales appeal of the drum also? It's puzzling.