Meeting place for buying and selling instruments
By Garvin
I bought this drum about a year ago. Originally it had a calf-skin, but the current skin is goat. I'm selling it because I fell in love with one of the new drums coming in the next shipment, and I can't help myself.

I will try and make a recording to post as well. This is an awesome drum, and if it doesn't sell I won't be upset to be "stuck" with it.

There is a small split which formed a couple weeks ago. It is located about a quarter way around the right side on the bearing edge (see photo). I posted a thread about this, and super glued the shite out of it. I've played it and pulled a knot since then and it's fine. I will sell it with the split, or re-head it at buyers request for an upcharge for parts and labor. The rings, and rope are still brand new though. I only played a show or class a couple times a month (if that).

This is an immaculate "Artist" shell, and a bit thicker than usual (I was told). Ultimately though, this is a year old Wula drum and I don't think at this point that I need to belabor the fact that these are incredible instruments. If you are looking for an essentially brand new Wula drum for a fair price (less than $650), here you are.

I'm in the US and will charge a flat rate of $25 for shipping no matter where you are (unless you are in Hawaii). I don't really want to ship outside the US, even though I love all of you who are living out there in the big wide world, its just too much of a hassle.


Dimensions - 13.5 inch X 25 inch

Shell - Lenke

Skin - Medium female goat.

Asking price:


Last edited by Garvin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.
User avatar
By Dugafola
475??? that's an unplayable drum IMO.

for materials only, i'd expect to pay no more than $350 for a shell, rings, and rope.

just sayin...
By Garvin
Its a totally playable drum.

I'm just going off what they told me at Wula in terms of the price. I talked to Galen yesterday about this. This drum is certainly worth much more than $350. Are we negotiating or are you just pissing my parade? :)
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By Rhythm House Drums
475 is kinda steep... just saying. I'm selling new drums (drumskull shells - on the same level with Wula) with new skins without patches for 20 bucks more...

Buddy of mine just picked up a new Wula for under 500... with the rubber foot and all, looks very similar to what you've shown.

Maybe 350 would be an ok deal for someone with the extra cash and time to rehead. If you are really wanting to sell it to people that know drums (like on this forum) I'd suggest 250, it's pretty much a shell and rings and rope (and the unpleasant task of undoing all that before putting a new head on).. or go ahead and rehead and 350-400 would be a good deal all around if headed nice.

Sorry to piss on the parade
By Garvin
Dang guys...

Where are you finding these? I didn't think I was way off base, and I've looked around a lot online. Who has these for $500 anymore?

I'm more than willing to work on a price, and I totally don't expect to be pulling one over on anyone on this forum at all. I'm just going with what I was told, and stacking it against what I see online.

Rhythmhouse has this listed for $525, and I would say it's darn comparable to mine in terms of wood type and dimensions... (Nice drums by the way!)

Please continue to send me links to comparable drums to show me how far off I am on this. I appreciate the input.
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By Dugafola
i think you'll see drum shops charge similar prices for shells, rings, rope, edge work etc...ballpark at least.

the extra charges(the ones that put a drum at 500+ and beyond) depends on their labor rates and if the drum was skinned in Africa or not.

and then always expect to pay more for an extra thick or super duper decorated or "rare old wood" charge or tacks etc etc...

didn't mean to piss at all.
By Garvin
Thanks Duga, I've got a thick skin (haha) and totally don't take any of this personally. I do appreciate what you are saying. I've just been looking at Drumskulls and Wula for reference (and talking to Galen, and another friend who sells Wulas). This is what I was told I could expect to pay if I bought this drum today.

I do understand that the split is a turnoff, but if I rehead it, it'll cost me time and money. I'm not selling the shell rope and rings only, but a fully playable drum. I suppose I would consider selling the shell itself for less, but I see no purpose in destroying the skin at this point.
User avatar
By Djembe-nerd
I sold my Mali hare for 250, thats the most i could get. Second hand djembe means 50% price for most people unless you find one thats looking for something and you have it :-)

Here is a photo of mine, was awesome sound. Just couldn;t keep 4 in my small house.
Hare 13 inch dia.jpg
Hare 13 inch dia.jpg (108.12 KiB) Viewed 4887 times
By Garvin
Yeah Adam, there's definitely an element of "its worth whatever someone will pay". I get that and I'm not opposed to taking offers. I'm not under the impression that any of the regulars here are hurting for instruments, but there may be someone who turns up and finds this to be a fair enough starting point for negotiation. I'm certainly not sitting here expecting that anyone must buy this drum from me or else.

But I don't even know where I could buy a Wula artist shell for $350 unless I ordered 60 of them. And from what I 've heard, I don't even think they are doing the wholesale thing anymore.
User avatar
By michi
Hi Garvin,

the problem with the split is that it is almost a certainty that the skin will go before long. When that happens, the new owner is up for the re-heading cost so, from the buyer's perspective, the real cost of the drum is whatever you charge plus the cost of fitting a new skin.

Moreover, you usually can only do three to four skins before the rope frays too much to be used again, at which point the drum requires a full rebuild. So, the value of the drum (assuming that it does not depreciate at all) is its value as new, minus the cost of re-heading, minus around 30% of the cost of a full rebuild.

Now take off some amount for depreciation because the drum is not new, and you arrive at its real value. Yes, I know, these drums basically don't ever wear out, but there is still the fact that second-hand is not the same as new, and people expect to get second-hand cheaper than new. I mean, why would they buy second-hand otherwise? They could just go to Wula and choose from dozens of drums at the same price rather than having to take or leave your one drum.

Of course, a drum that's been played in and has fully dried and has proven its qualities can often be a better deal than a drum that's new. (No risk of splits developing as well as known and proven sound). But now we are into connoisseur territory, much as with old violins that can cost far more than any new instrument. For a second-hand drum to not depreciate, you would have to have a singularly outstanding example and happen to have a buyer who specifically wants your drum rather than a drum. Chances are that there are not that many such buyers around...


User avatar
By e2c
Good comments so far!

Garvin, no offense, but if I were to hypothetically pay 350.00 for your shell, I'd also be taking it to a friend (shop owner) for a rehead, plus there would be shipping costs to get it from you, so I'd be looking at approximately 550.00 (or more) for your shell plus the rest.

Which is pretty close to what I would be paying for a new shell, headed + customizations, from my friend.

Just sayin'... (fwiw, I have a nice older Wula in near-mint condition with a still-good skin, and I think the *most* I would feel comfortable asking - or taking - for it is 450.00-475.00, with current head. Shell only would bring it down to about 300.00-350.00.)

(Maybe I'll learn to head my own djembes someday, but at this point, I'd rather trust folks who've been building them for a long time in terms of the work + any bearing edge adjustments needed, etc. Not everyone has the patience - or space - for DIY drum work...)
By Garvin
Ok folks, I think I've heard from just about all the regulars on this, and being that I defer to you all as my peers in regards to these things, I have humbly and self-consciously lowered my asking price (see my edited original post) to $415 flat.

I do appreciate the input and while I don't necessarily expect the offers to start rolling in, this has been a great educational process for me. I also did manage to contact Earthtribe Percussion while trying to value this thing and found a vast selection of beautiful shells there. Not sure why I've never heard of them before, and though I did search for threads I only found their name mentioned once.

And bringing up the rear of the parade is the sad clown shuffling along in his oversized shoes holding the string of a deflated balloon. Fade out, cue music.
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By Djembe-nerd
(Maybe I'll learn to head my own djembes someday, but at this point, I'd rather trust folks who've been building them for a long time in terms of the work + any bearing edge adjustments needed, etc. Not everyone has the patience - or space - for DIY drum work...)
I was of the same thinking, till I reheaded my first djembe last month. I can't explain it but its a diffeent experience than playing it, and although I am only 1 down, I learned a lot, it came out good (next time it will be very good, if not perfect :-)).
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By Djembe-nerd
I also did manage to contact Earthtribe Percussion while trying to value this thing and found a vast selection of beautiful shells there.
Some nice shells, and some different style ones too, those malian/senegal ones, I never seen like those ones on professional catagory.
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By e2c
one more thought... my drum is also one of their "artist" line, although made before they came up with that designation. The proportions are a bit different to what they're selling now (a bit closer to what I think of as a "regular" Guinea shell, though with a bit of an Ivory Coast feel to it, with a ledge for the bottom ring, etc.) and more elaborate carving than yours, G.

Here's a cropped shot of the stem (angle is a bit deceiving; the leg is more flared than it looks in this photo):