Tuning another way & hoops

force3005

Silver Member
Hi everyone. I have another way of tuning and help keeping you Counterhoops (hoops or rims) from torquing, bending or warping after your finished tuning.
1.) Start the same way as you normally do with hand tightening all the tension rods around the hoop after you pre-paired the bearing and seated the head.

2.) Now tighten each rod two full turns in a criss-crossing pattern when tightening each rod and pressing somewhat firmly with you palm on the head after the full drum turns are completed each time till where you are satisfied with head tension.

3.) Now as we all do, tap about 1" from each lug with stick till they sound the same or in tune by adjusting the tension rods.

4.) Now if you have access to a 6" digital caliper ($15-25) does not have to be a top of the line but one that re-zeroes and have an accuracy of +/- .001 or .02mm. (Pittsburgh from Harbor Freight Tools)

5.) Now measure form the bottom of the outer hoop from where tension rod goes through to the top of the swivel nut of the lug. Now the fun starts. Try getting the same reading at each lug +/- .003 or so. I have a Precision DrumDial not the digital one, that I checked against what I have done with the caliper's and I am for the most part I am within 2-lbs or +/- at each lug.

6.) Go back after a day of playing and recheck with the caliper's and adjust if needed. This way you keep even pressure on the hoops, have a tuned drum and the hoops last longer without any damage. Now any slight adjustments for tuning will not effect the hoop shape. At this time, I just use my ears and my calipers when changing heads. Calipers $15 or DrumDial $60. You can also use the calipers for other uses too.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Problem is, sound is not measured by mm on a caliper, but by the sound. Having 8 lugs within .006 of each other does not guarantee tuning. My opinion, stop using tools and use your ears. Finger tighten, turn with key to get them close, then tweak with your ear. Before I spend 15 - 20 dollars on a caliper I will learn to tune the Old school way. Music is about sound, not mechanical measurement. I can imagine a violinist using a tool to measure stretch on each string. As they would say on ESPN, "Come on Man"
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Are the calipers any more accurate that experienced ears, though?
No, never, no way. Man makes calipers that couls be off. Ive been watching woodworking videos, another hobby, and one fellow laid down three rulers, good ones to show they aren't all the same.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hey guys, I know how too tune by ear see #3. I have been doing this since about 1972. What I am try to convey is keep even pressure on the hoops and if you do the hoops will have less problems and the tune will be very close. I have seen were t-rods have quarter inch difference and are in tune but when you replace the head the head is deformed and after a while the hoops start to go. Just saying if you can tune by ear also check the distance #5. With what I have said you do not need a $60 or $100 tune bot.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I swear by the two key method. If you bring the tension up slowly there's little chance you'll stretch the head unevenly or warp the hoop.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
The issue with using distance measurement is it relies on the assumption that all contributing elements are dimensionally accurate. That is almost certainly never the case. Just the differences inherent in head manufacturing alone is enough throw it all out of sync, & that's before you factor in lug positioning on the shell.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi everyone, read #5 and #6.

#5 same reading at each lug +/- .003 or so. I have a Precision DrumDial not the digital one, that I checked against what I have done with the caliper's and I am for the most part I am within 2-lbs or +/- at each lug.


#6 Now any slight adjustments for tuning will not effect the hoop shape. At this time, I just use my ears and my calipers when changing heads.

This is just another way to tune but the final tune is by ear. You will be with-in tune or very close too if you try tuning it this way and also not effecting the hoops shape. That is why +/- deviation set up. I know about the other outside factors and it works the same with the DrumDial or Tune-Bot also.

All I am saying is, this is another way to go about tuning heads and keeping the hoops shape intact. If you do this the fine tuning will be easy and you save $40-90 if you use the Dial or Bot
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
The issue with using distance measurement is it relies on the assumption that all contributing elements are dimensionally accurate. That is almost certainly never the case. Just the differences inherent in head manufacturing alone is enough throw it all out of sync, & that's before you factor in lug positioning on the shell.


This is is exactly true.
Heads would have to have tolerances like the caliper, which will ever happen. And since tuning is subjective...

I agree you can turn a drum on its side (or look at a pic of a drum on its side) and determine how high the head is tuned. This may be helpful when buying used drums, say if a seller reveals the drums been sitting for years and the tension rod threads are minimal to the eye, you'd know its possibly a drum that's sat years under high tension, and lugs may be affected etc.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
In theory, there's an easier way. Imagine a metal tube, all the same exact length, and just round enough to go over a tension rod. You pull off the hoop, slip the "tubes" over the tension rods, thread the rods to the lugs, and tighten until the tubes make the rod bottom out. In theory, assuming perfect components, the drum should be evenly tuned. I think it would be more accurate that way.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I had a 10" tom sitting for about 10 years in a case and when I opened the case I realized the shell was looking warped from weird tuning years before, but it sprang back to round when I changed the head. I was very impressed.

In theory, there's an easier way. Imagine a metal tube, all the same exact length, and just round enough to go over a tension rod. You pull off the hoop, slip the "tubes" over the tension rods, thread the rods to the lugs, and tighten until the tubes make the rod bottom out. In theory, assuming perfect components, the drum should be evenly tuned. I think it would be more accurate that way.
That's a good Idea!
I bet it would work with a plain old plastic drinking straw slit up the side so you could remove it.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Larry, yes that is also a different also use a metal block as a gauge. But would need different ones for different drums. This is why a caliper works better. Remember, this is just to get close on tuning and to keep the hoops from torquing. The final will be by ear and when finished recheck with the caliper and see how close they are and if you can get all the rods to read the same with keeping the head in tune. I like the straw idea also. This is what I was try to get at, other ideas from tuning to keep the hoops from twisting.

Thanks, Larry & Wally.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
I was on my way to the kitchen when I saw this post and a question popped into my head:

How tight are you guys tuning your toms that warping the hoops is an issue?

I mean apart from my snare drum heads my tom heads (and bass drum heads for that matter) are like one or two turns above finger tight. I can't imagine that type of tuning (geez-even "jazz tuning" for that matter) actually warping a hoop, die-cast or steel...

But I'm not that smart of an old dog...

....now where is the mustard....
 
Top