Vintage Emperor: noticeable difference?

I've had the same Emperors on all my batters for 3 years now. So, yeah, time for new heads. This is where you come in.

The Vintage Emperors caught my attention, and I was totally willing to throw down the money for the full outfit, but they don't make them in 26" (my kick). Being that I have OCD, using Vintage Emperors for everything except my kick will be uncomfortable for me. The reason why I became interested in the Vintage Emperors in the first place is because I wanted to round off the tone of my 45' bearing edges a little bit. If the difference is negligible, I will satisfy my OCD and just get Emperors again. If there is a significant difference, I will ignore my OCD and get the Vintage Emperors.

What's your experience with these heads?
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I love 'em. Toms and Snare coated VE's on top .. coated VA's on the bottom, 26" Bass Drum.... Powerstroke Pro Batter, Fibrskyn Reso. Works for me.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I prefer the sound of the Vintage Emperors. I immediately got a nice round tone out of my toms with them, and being a little old school I prefer the look of the slightly hazy film over the fully clear film Remo uses on the current Emperor.

I wouldn't even think twice about using different bass drum heads from what was on my toms. I'm actually struggling to remember a time I've ever used the same model on both. To me they have such different requirements to sound "good" it wouldn't even occur to me to try to match models.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
They are great, I've used both the clear and coated versions and while I prefer the clear the coated versions are great.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I think it depends on the drums a lot.
I have them on some newer Yamaha Tour Customs and they made the drums come alive. They sound just right.
But I also tried them on some Absolutes, and they pretty much killed the tone and sustain.
 
I think it depends on the drums a lot.
That has to be pointed out! Not every head sounds the same on whatever drum you put it on. I own three kits and a couple of snare drums, and each of them needs different heads to fit my taste and achieve the best sound. Of course you can make all of them sound sort of o.k. with Ambassadors, pretty standard so to speak. But to really make me happy, it sometimes requires some experimenting with different heads.
 

Moejo

Senior Member
That has to be pointed out! Not every head sounds the same on whatever drum you put it on. I own three kits and a couple of snare drums, and each of them needs different heads to fit my taste and achieve the best sound. Of course you can make all of them sound sort of o.k. with Ambassadors, pretty standard so to speak. But to really make me happy, it sometimes requires some experimenting with different heads.
Completely agree. I purchased some Remo heads for my INDē kit and hated the sound. Vintage emps over Ambs and was not happy with the sound of the toms at all. I spent many hours tuning and trying to get a sound I was happy with but to no avail it never happened. They just like Aquarian heads, so that's what I have on there. However I put all the vintage Emps and Ambs on my '68 Slingerlands and they sound awesome on those.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
As everyone has already said, the Vintage Emperors are darker and have a slightly shorter sustain. I have a Vintage Emp on my '79 LM402 and it sounds exactly like John Bonham; with a regular coated Emperor I thought the sound reminded me of a mouth harp, which is not what I want out of my snare. But hey, I'm one of those guys that's perfectly happy with coated Ambassadors on everything.

I wouldn't worry about not having a matching kick head; I don't like 2-ply heads on kicks in general and the one time I put an Emperor on a kick it immediately sounded flat and dead, so I'd stick with either an Ambassador and some felt or a Powerstroke 3 for the kick drum. An Ambassador will look the same as a Vintage Emperor anyway.
 

trickg

Silver Member
Between standard Emps and Vintage Emps, for toms I'll take the coated Vintage every time - really really nice round, smooth, warm tone, and they've always been pretty easy to tune up.
 
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