Today, just about anything that can be wrapped around a drum, is called “drum wrap”, so one needs to be informed, as to what they are about to buy. Below are a few imitators of our quality drum wrap that you need to be aware of:
- Laminated Paper — If you are told, “We can create any look you want on drum wrap.” usually what this means, an image is printed on paper, then laminated. Touted as the best option to get “anything you want” on your drums, these “wraps” are made using a large format printer to print a graphic onto paper and then the print out is sandwiched between thin layers of plastic. The laminated paper is just that, paper— the appearance is only going to be so good. It’s thin and can be easily torn or scratched. If you need a temporary look (like a 4th of July theme), to be used then discarded, this may work for you. But usually, for this service, the cost is the same (or more), than many of our genuine, quality drum wraps.
- Very Thin Plastic — These so-called “drum wraps” look great in the picture, but they are too thin for this purpose. Because they are so thin, they easily wrinkle, and look cheap on the drum. If your set is not worth much, and you want it to look reasonably good for a small child, this might be a low cost alternative. But for a serious restoration, this product fails to impress.
- “Credit card thick but very flexible drum wrap” (upholstery fabric)— Actually, we have made this very statement about our own drum wraps, but in many cases, this statement is being made about plastic materials that are far different from normal drum material (that we sell) or any recognized drum company (on their drums). These impostors look good in advertisements (the pictures look great), but they are not rigid enough for the desired application- it’s glorified upholstered material. It is usually sold as sparkles or glitters, and in photos, looks like hard plastic, but this is rarely the case. In our opinion, this is probably the worst product you can put on your drums. It is usually recommended to be all glued down, which will creates a terrible mess in the end (once the temperature has changed and wear sets in, and the reality of the wrong product for the application is truly observed). Sometimes removing glued on, soft upholstery material, just destroys the shells, making for a time consuming and perhaps expensive repair. Several of our existing customers who bought this type of product, immediately sent it back. Others used it, put it on their drums, and told us, what we are telling you now. If the goal is to save a few dollars and you don’t care about resale value, and you want something better looking than a set with destroyed wrap (or no wrap), or don’t care about the difficulty of getting it off, then this might be what you want. But for the difference in quality, for a few dollars more (and the considerable time it takes), I would recommend something better.
- “Hi-bond tape” (that’s really cheap double sided tape)— We have seen the term “hi-bond tape” used to mean, just about any lower-end, double sided tape, that will initially stick to a plastic surface. Our hi-bond tape (an industrial tape) is very expensive to buy and not usually available “over the counter”. Our tape is comonly found in the automotive industry, used to attach molding onto cars and trucks (also we provide an adhesive promoter which is part of the bonding process). In other words, if the material is cheap in price, and the tape is included, just imagine what you will get. Again, if price is the issue, and quality is not important, these cheaper tapes may be the way you want to go for an adhesive. But I would guess, you will probably not be happy with the results.
Bottom line, ask detailed questions about what you’re buying: Is it laminated paper? How thick is the product? How flexible is it? (Is it similar to the upholstery in a 50’s diner?) Is the bond (adhesive) warranted? In this day and age, with all the great looking photos, it is very important to get a sample and compare theirs with ours. That will save you a great deal of grief and disappointment (many have told us, buying the above alternatives, left them feeling ripped-off), so get a sample before you buy.
If the cost is under $100 for a full kit with “hi-bond tape”, it’s probably too good to be true- it’s most likely a cheap counterfeit.