- Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:59 pm
dsd vs wula is an age old debate. my observations Comparing wula special piece vs dsd premier. Certainly the below comparison are 100% subjective, while I have met both Matt Hardwick and Michael Markus, i have no affiliation to either.
also, my observations are in general terms looking at the drums as a whole, their may be one offs that go beyond my observations
1. Wula djembes are fully mounted in Guinea vs DSD shells are imported and then reworked and mounted by Matt and his team here. (i.e. fine sanding, oiling etc..).
2. there are certain cosmetic traits that are unique to wula or unique to dsd.
-rubber bottom, wula will be a tacked bottom material vs dsd will be 1/2" glued rubber bottom
-while both utilize tackwork, dsd are more often patterned at the bottom vs wulas are normally dispersed thru carving
-both feature the nice trimmed cuff look, but dsd will offer a short cut (non cuff) option on premier line whereas wula special pieces are typically only fur cuff
-rope: dsd offers wider variery of patterned rope than Wula, tho recently wula has been introducing more drums with rope other than black.
-rope used by both is poly with a poly core, tho wula poly core is woven and dsd poly core is not. wula is asvertised as 5.5mm and dsd is at 5mm. having used both i havent noticed huge differences in performance.
-hitches: dsd offers extended hitches or a double laced bittom hitch in different colors which wula does not, wulas typically are run with standard hitches in black
-rings: dsd has a few options including the shiny stainless rings or the powder colored rings.
-carving styles, in my opinion wula djembes are more ornate on design than dsds. (on avg).
-sometimes premier line drums will have a rope wrap which is not offered by Wula.
3. Skins-- both appear to use high quality attractive goat skins in general. dsd offers premier line in calf which is not as common with wula special pieces
4. Price. Wula tiers their special piece options (SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4) based on the amount of carving in drum, SP1s include carves top bowls which dsd typically will not (infrequently theyll show up in dsd). they vary the pricing on these, vs dsd ive found the premier line pricing to have less variation across different levels of carving. in general if you wait for right time ive found you can get good deals on wula via sales, coupons or bargain deals for blemishes. also, wula now offers free shipping where dsd does not.
5. lastly, country of origin. Wula offers Guinea djembes exclusively where DSD offers djembes from mostly Guinea and Ivory Coast right now, but their was a time years ago where Mali and Senegal djembes were frequently on the website