I thought this was strange....

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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I wonder if this has happened to anyone else. It has only happened to me twice now.

On my new Ludwig Signet Gigabeat kit, for the life of me, the 14x14 floor tom only sounded good with both the stock heads and when I replaced them with a coated emperor on top and clear ambassador on the bottom, with a high jazz tuning. No problem going for that tone. But I had a helluva time getting it tuned down low and meaty - and for a couple of days I was pondering if I inherited a lemon drum. Literally, that whole first week I had it, I de-tuned, removed heads, started over, and it would only sing tuned up higher than I'd like.

Today, after I let the kit sit for a couple of days because I was working and couldn't play them since I get home really late, I went at the floor tom again, and surprisingly, it tuned down. Now it tuned to a nice meaty pitch. I dropped the tuning of my rack tom too, and now the kit is displaying to me what it should be able to do: be tuned at any range and sound good.

Like I said, this only happened to me once before long ago with a bad set of drums, so I expected it there. But I was kinda' disappointed my new Signet floor tom wouldn't tune low, and thought I'd be limited to a Elvin Jones sound (not a bad sound, just not good if you want to play Eagle's music). Now, it suddenly tuned and went to where I wanted it to go. Am I crazy? I know how to tune, so it couldn't be that. Gremlins, perhaps? I dunno.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I would guess it is the head settling in, conforming to the bearing edge. Probably more of a head consistency issue than a drum issue?
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I would guess it is the head settling in, conforming to the bearing edge. Probably more of a head consistency issue than a drum issue?
God I hope so. The stock Ludwig heads sounded lousy until I tuned it up, and even my replacement remos sounded bad unless I tuned up.

It's some kind of phenomenon because my Reference Pures didn't have that issue, and my Classic Maples didn't do that. Heck, my Pearl Vision Mash-up didn't exhibit that, either. Weird.

And I remember when Neil Peart went with Ludwig, he said he was looking for a kit that made him work to get it tuned right, and he liked that. Maybe that is what happened here? It's an X-file.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
God I hope so. The stock Ludwig heads sounded lousy until I tuned it up, and even my replacement remos sounded bad unless I tuned up.

It's some kind of phenomenon because my Reference Pures didn't have that issue, and my Classic Maples didn't do that. Heck, my Pearl Vision Mash-up didn't exhibit that, either. Weird.

And I remember when Neil Peart went with Ludwig, he said he was looking for a kit that made him work to get it tuned right, and he liked that. Maybe that is what happened here? It's an X-file.
Yeah, it's interesting, all right. You may never know. If they never do it again, will it be because those first heads weren't good, or because something changed or settled in the drums themselves? If it happens ocassionally, after head changes, I'd just blame the heads.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Yeah, it's interesting, all right. You may never know. If they never do it again, will it be because those first heads weren't good, or because something changed or settled in the drums themselves? If it happens ocassionally, after head changes, I'd just blame the heads.
I wanna try Fiberskyn 3's on that entire kit and try to go for that early Chicago Danny Seraphine sound, that might be cool. Maybe the Fiberskyn heads would seat more immediately. Maybe I'll find a glass table and check my bearing edges on that drum too.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Did you try to rotate the drum head while you were tuning it? Tuning it with the head in different positions?

There could be small inconsistencies in the head and/or the drum shell.


.
 

ncc

Silver Member
I agree it was the heads setting in. it may may also have be a seating problem that you corrected without even knowing it. I've had that happen on a floor tom where it was slightly offset under the hoop. Nothing to do with the bearing edge, just the way it moved under the hoop when I put it on.

I put fiberskins on the front heads of my bass drums and I have to say they do make a difference. Septic that I am, I was very surprised.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
FWIW...

My floor toms sound totally different three feet from the throne than they do up close. My perception of how they sound changes day to day, and varies in direct proportion to the proximity of the nearest elephant herd ;-)

Much like my bass drum, I employ my 5 year old son when I need to tune them properly.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Maybe I'll find a glass table and check my bearing edges on that drum too.
Glass table tops are notoriously poor as a reference. Ideally, properly calibrated reference plate, but if you can't find one, a thick stone kitchen counter top - because at least that's been ground.

FWIW...
Much like my bass drum, I employ my 5 year old son when I need to tune them properly.
Tuning keys are generally faster & cost much less to maintain ;)

Septic that I am
Most unfortunate :(
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I agree it was the heads setting in. it may may also have be a seating problem that you corrected without even knowing it. I've had that happen on a floor tom where it was slightly offset under the hoop. Nothing to do with the bearing edge, just the way it moved under the hoop when I put it on.

I put fiberskins on the front heads of my bass drums and I have to say they do make a difference. Septic that I am, I was very surprised.
Have you ever tried them as batter heads? It might be too much of a good thing if you're striving for a 'calfskin' sound, but I've yet to try it. It could be cool on this kit.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Glass table tops are notoriously poor as a reference. Ideally, properly calibrated reference plate, but if you can't find one, a thick stone kitchen counter top - because at least that's been ground.
I guess somebody's kitchen counter top is it! It can't be mine - mine is made up of those little squares. The wife hates them and it'll be the next thing to get changed out :(
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
I have a few drums that are quite finicky, perhaps even possessed. The biggest offender is a Joyful Noise soared copper snare. I can spend a half hour with this drum to get it tensioned/tuned to produce an acceptable tone, without success. I mean, sometimes this drum sounds horrid, choked and toneless. Pull the snare out of the bag a week later and it can sound like the most unbelievable metal snare I've ever heard. I'm afraid to gig with it because I never know what I'm going to get with that drum. It can turn heads when it's right but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what it will sound like on a give day, and I'm a fairly competent tuner.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I have a few drums that are quite finicky, perhaps even possessed. The biggest offender is a Joyful Noise soared copper snare. I can spend a half hour with this drum to get it tensioned/tuned to produce an acceptable tone, without success. I mean, sometimes this drum sounds horrid, choked and toneless. Pull the snare out of the bag a week later and it can sound like the most unbelievable metal snare I've ever heard. I'm afraid to gig with it because I never know what I'm going to get with that drum. It can turn heads when it's right but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what it will sound like on a give day, and I'm a fairly competent tuner.

I can relate. When I get a new set of drums, I usually go through a period in the beginning where it's as if I never tuned before, and I get lousy results. Not all drums. Some drums. Only when I first get them. I don't know why that is. I think there is a gremlin they pack with all new drum sets that dies after a couple weeks.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I concur that is probably a head-seating issue.

I can relate. When I get a new set of drums, I usually go through a period in the beginning where it's as if I never tuned before, and I get lousy results. Not all drums. Some drums..
This is sort of the case with me when I play a different kit or get new heads. I get used to a drum sound that I think is good and ANY change to it (my knee jerk reaction) is that it doesn't sound good. Especially so when I change out a snare that I've been playing regularly for a while.

I have a little ritual now where Mark, our sound guy, has to sit at the drums and play each drum for me so I can hear them out front. Driver's seat sounds can be somewhat misleading.
 

ncc

Silver Member
Have you ever tried them as batter heads? It might be too much of a good thing if you're striving for a 'calfskin' sound, but I've yet to try it. It could be cool on this kit.
With the exception of the resonant fiberskins on the bass drums, i switched everything else to Aquarians some time ago. For my 22" vintage maple bass drum I put on a Super-Kick 10 and for the 'mystery wood" 20" i put on a Super-Kick III. Both work well with the fiberskins.

One day I may just try the Aquarian Modern Vintage Drumheads (v2 or deep).
http://www.aquariandrumheads.com/products/vintage-heads/vintage-series-2/
 

STXBob

Gold Member
Have you ever tried them as batter heads? It might be too much of a good thing if you're striving for a 'calfskin' sound, but I've yet to try it. It could be cool on this kit.
I've used them as batter heads and really enjoyed the sound. Very mellow, warm, and "vintage-y." Useless for rock, in my opinion. I really liked them for jazz and big band.

They didn't last very long, though. The fiber skin started separating quite quickly. YMMV, as that was quite some time ago.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
With the exception of the resonant fiberskins on the bass drums, i switched everything else to Aquarians some time ago. For my 22" vintage maple bass drum I put on a Super-Kick 10 and for the 'mystery wood" 20" i put on a Super-Kick III. Both work well with the fiberskins.

One day I may just try the Aquarian Modern Vintage Drumheads (v2 or deep).
http://www.aquariandrumheads.com/products/vintage-heads/vintage-series-2/
i'm tinkering on the brink of getting some of the Modern Vintages as well. I'm gradually being won over by Aquarian for all of my drums. I've never had to "seat" an Aquarian head. They just seem to seat themselves.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I've used them as batter heads and really enjoyed the sound. Very mellow, warm, and "vintage-y." Useless for rock, in my opinion. I really liked them for jazz and big band.

They didn't last very long, though. The fiber skin started separating quite quickly. YMMV, as that was quite some time ago.
This is why I haven't yet tried them as batters on an entire set. All I've heard is how the fiber starts to separate. Great sound, but you'll be replacing them sooner than you want. This is why I love the black dots ;)
 
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