Page 3 of 4

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:07 am
by shorty
I agree I should go ahead. Its just that in my financial situation this is a relatively big investment.

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:00 pm
by e2c
I can appreciate that (financial situation), believe me!

Which is another reason I'd encourage you to talk with some of these vendors about everything.

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:49 am
by e2c
shorty wrote:I agree I should go ahead. Its just that in my financial situation this is a relatively big investment.
I guess I want to throw something else out on the table here - that there is no single "perfect" drum for any of us. (Unless - maybe - we hire out own carvers and either skin the drums ourselves or else hire someone trustworthy to do a custom heading job for us.) All drums are different - at least, those that are carved in the traditional way. (Mass-produced drums don't count here.)

The very best way of picking any instrument is to try out a number of them, hands-on. If you can't do that, for whatever reason, going to a good, honest seller is the next best thing. Tell them what you're looking for (including the highest amount of money you can afford to spend), ask for their suggestions, and then - go through with it and place the order.

I've personally spent so much time looking for the one that got away that I've missed great instruments that were right under my nose ... it's easy to do. ;)

I bet you'll feel better about this once you go ahead and commit to buying a drum, but only you can make that step.

Here's to happy drumming ahead! :D

e2c

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:06 am
by johnc
shorty

Ive been drumming for less than four months and after 6 weeks of banging on a kids drum I spent $450 Oz on a drum recommended to me by its owner...hes a pretty fair drummer and I trusted him. He re skinned it ta boot. Mali djembe, Hare wood. Ive got two small kids and a fiscally tight wife who saw something good comming from it despite $$$kid pressure.

Jump in, go tighter elswhere.


West African music has really added some roundedness to my life and at 42 I wish id got to younger but tasty fruit ripens late sometimes.

go man go!

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:52 pm
by Garvin
I just want to jump in here and say that I have had experience with Wula, Drumskulls and Onetree drums. I can honestly say that all three of these drum makers are on equal footing as making the best drums I've ever seen. Most recently, I saw Nates drums at Bantu camp and was floored by the quality of the shells and the painstaking job he did with the heads. Absolutely stunning looking and sounding. Without a doubt these drums are worth every penny.

The Wula drums I've seen and heard have been great looking shells, but I didn't care for the rubber bottoms personally. This is simply an asthetic choice however, as they sounded great.

Drumskulls made a set of congas for me and I am at a loss for words at how pleased I am with their work. I did have them cut a recessed rubber bottom into the shell at their reccommendation to prevent future cracking (see below) and protect floors as these solid shell hare wood drums weigh at least 30 lbs each. But they are amazing instruments.

I think committing to a professional quality instrument is an important step. I have yet to purchase a pro-djembe, but when I do it will come from one of these three companies.

Image
Image
Image

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:48 pm
by James
Whoa....cool, I want, I want 8)

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:38 am
by shorty
those congas look sweet!

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:26 pm
by barefootdesigns
Well, I've been playing for about ten years, own four djembes, and drum regularly with two Wula dealers in New England. Have studied a bit with Michael Markus (nice guy!) and have seen and heard/played about fifty Wula drums at least via a total immersion in Wulas at Michael Markus' outstanding Magbana Drum Retreat in NY. (http://www.magbana.com/weekend-retreat.php) They are, without exception, great drums, and the carving is simply perfect; that's a strong point since I'm a guitar maker (luthier) known for inlay work and carving, so I know what I'm talking about--the carving is so clean that I've wondered if it was done by laser on a cad-cam machine. Didn't have the guts to ask Michael about that.

I recently bought my first Wula drum. It's melina wood and very nice--at 19# it's much lighter than their "master" drums out of traditional woods. I don't think it has quite the rich bass sound of my lenke drum but it's extremely tight and a great solo drum. These drums are very heavy and sturdy. I've never heard one I didn't like, nor seen one go out of round. Warning: The oversized tires on the bottom are great except that they make the drums difficult to fit in many standard djembe bags.

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:28 pm
by barefootdesigns
Garvin, those congas are simply sick!!!!

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:35 pm
by e2c
...at 19# it's much lighter than their "master" drums out of traditional woods.
Really? I bought a beautiful lenke drum (top quality but not a "special piece") of theirs several years ago, and it weighs about 21 lbs. - not much difference there, really.

Am wondering if either they're using heavier shells these days, or the proportions of the drums have changed (re. what you said about the foot) or both? I've never had problems getting mine into either of my bags, although I did figure out that putting a plastic grocery bag over the foot helps a *lot* when it comes to taking the drum out of the bag. :)

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:43 am
by bops
barefootdesigns wrote:the carving is so clean that I've wondered if it was done by laser on a cad-cam machine. Didn't have the guts to ask Michael about that.
Nope, it's all done by hand.

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:40 am
by bubudi
e2c wrote:
...at 19# it's much lighter than their "master" drums out of traditional woods.
Really? I bought a beautiful lenke drum (top quality but not a "special piece") of theirs several years ago, and it weighs about 21 lbs. - not much difference there, really.
you'll find melina shells generally carved a lot thicker than lenke shells. so not a big difference, although 2lbs is still significant.

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:39 pm
by Garvin
My current Wula is the heaviest djembe I've ever played! I was told that the shell was a bit thicker when I ordered it, but I wanted it that way because of the calf-skin head. After performing with it several times, I can honestly say that its probably too heavy/big for my body. The stem is just a bit larger than my old drum and makes me feel like I'm riding a Harley Davidson, which feels cool but leaves me a bit saddle sore :)

I've thought about buying a full-sized Melina drum from them as well. I've heard and played them and they definitely have their own unique voice. Anything you buy from Wula is gonna kick serious ass. Same goes for DSD, definitely 2 top notch and fully trustworthy companies whom I've dealt with several times and would absolutely reccommend doing business with.

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:55 pm
by barefootdesigns
The master drums I'm speaking of are the specials, I imagine. My teacher (who is a Wula dealer) has an extremely heavy drum. When I posted the 19# weight I was emphasizing how heavy a regular (melina) Wula drum is. My lenke drum (not a Wula) is only 15#. My Wula didn't fit any of the three cases I already owned. Fortuntely I found a large EMS backpack at Salvation Army for $4 that fits it perfectly! What a find! It has serious backpacking straps, two long pockets I use for sticks, and a huge outer pocket for other goodies, plus a map pocket on the top that serves well for flyers and notebooks. LOVE IT! Most of the other people I know who own Wulas bought cases specifically for them. Several commented about the very large tails on their drums.

Re: what do you know of these companies?

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:53 pm
by e2c
bubudi wrote:you'll find melina shells generally carved a lot thicker than lenke shells. so not a big difference, although 2lbs is still significant.
Yeah... I've played melina djembes of the quality that Wula sells. (My teacher has built some nice ones.)

My point - in reply to barefootdesigns - is that most any top-quality hardwood shell is going to be around 20 lbs. or more.

:)