- Fri May 17, 2019 6:54 am
Not sure why you didn't get a reply, but in case you haven't used them yet (?), or for other people searching the forum in the future, here's my two cents:
-First of all, who told you to apply shea butter? It dampens the sound considerably, I only apply a tiny tiny amount, IF the skin is very "dry" sounding (full of harmonics, no "unified" tone). And even then I thin it out with essential oil first, to avoid over-doing it. I also use other treatments to unify the tone, but that's another topic.
-Apply any oil after soaking and heading when it's tuned up and all done drying. Oil is hydrophobic, so it will reduce the water absorption in the collagen fibers, and slow the drying process, so it's not helpful to do it before soaking.
-As for skin age, it depends how it's been stored and kept. Vintage drums can be played that have skins on em that are decades old, so it shouldn't be a problem necessarily. That said, it is essentially protein, so bacteria want to eat it if they can, and people often treat the skins to prevent it. If it's been preserved with formaldehyde or ash, it might be more brittle than untreated skin. I'm skeptical of treated skins, and wouldn't waste my time with them personally. Cheap pakistani skins often look "salty", with a patchy fine white coating on them. Also, radiation during import accelerates the chemical bonds breaking down, so they don't last as long (same with sun damage).
But if they're good skins, kept well, should be fine, in my opinion. Skins aren't cheap, but neither is your time and energy, so I'd give em a hard look and compare it to photos online, to see if they look good quality.
They might need a longer soak than usual.