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  #1  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:32 PM
visionvsx visionvsx is offline
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Default Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Looking to invest in a skin tesion tuner. Any info ans opinions would be great. Seems to be a few different types and am a little unsure of what would work best.
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

The only two I am aware of is the Tama Tension watch and Drumdial, Drumdial comes in reg and digital, From what I have read the one to go with is Drumdial, I have one and for me it makes tuning allot easier, I do know how to tune by ear but it gets me in the ballpark faster. You might want to check into the Tunebot as well. And to answer your question for me yes it was worth it.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Dont bother, I fell for the hype and bought one and if you finger tighten all the lugs and then use even turns with a key you will actually have all your tension rods a lot closer in pitch than using a drum dial and do it a lot faster that way as well. I use dial indicators everyday for a living so I have no problem using one but it just takes so much longer to get where your going then when you tap to fine tune it will take you longer as well because you will be farther away than if you had just used equal turns after getting them finger tight. I have not tried one yet but the tune bot seems to be getting decent reviews from alot of the members and from what I have been reading once learning how to use it properly will put you right on the money although to save time I would still finger tight and use even turns to get where im going then use it to fine tune. Once you experiement and find where your drums like to be it can be duplicated quite quickly.My maple toms sweet spot seem to be about 1 full turn from finger tight. Then when i fine tune i tune the batter to the lowest sounding tension rod and the reso to the highest sound one and let the shell size give me the steps between each one.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

I've never used one and have managed a good consistent sound for the last 30 years or so of playing. The less tools you need the better, I always say.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

I have a drum dial and find that it is useful for experimenting with different tuning techniques. I can know without a doubt that I have the heads tuned to the same tension, or with one above the other. It can be hard to know HOW MUCH difference there is in tension between the two heads, and that factor will really affect the sound of your drums.

However, once I find a good tuning technique on a new drum, I can usually find it without using the drum dial.

The drum dial is sturdy and well built. I've never used the Tama model.

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Old 04-14-2012, 10:05 PM
The Parcher The Parcher is offline
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

I had one briefly and all it did was reassure me that I am decent at tensioning drum heads, so I sold it.
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: Drum head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

It would be much wiser investing your money into a drum instructor to tutor you in all aspects of drum tuning. It isn't difficult when you know how to do it and what to listen for, it just takes practice. The "what to listen for" part is paramount and no tuning device knows what you want to hear.

Dennis
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

For me, they would be a complete waste of time and money. I can tune. I've been able to tune for years. I don't need a machine to tell me how to tune or what to tune to.....my ear tells me that already.

But for others, they are obviously a god send. Whether you'd find any benefit out of them, I really can't say. What I can say is, I see no benefit in spending money on a device that by all accounts from those who use them is.... "good at getting you close, but you still have to fine tune by ear".......why not just learn to do it yourself from the outset? The end result is still the same.....your ear still ultimately determines a good drum sound.
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2012, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

I tuned for years by ear have have had decent toms and good snare and bass sound. However I recently got a Tunebot and it is actually useful, not so much in dialing in a head but in getting all your heads in the proper intervals as well as repeatable tuning. I now have my whole kit tuned to fourths (6 piece) and have the perfect pitch bend on each tom. So tension tuners I wouldn't bother but the Tunebot has a place though nothing makes up for your ear ever.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:38 PM
visionvsx visionvsx is offline
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMC View Post
I tuned for years by ear have have had decent toms and good snare and bass sound. However I recently got a Tunebot and it is actually useful, not so much in dialing in a head but in getting all your heads in the proper intervals as well as repeatable tuning. I now have my whole kit tuned to fourths (6 piece) and have the perfect pitch bend on each tom. So tension tuners I wouldn't bother but the Tunebot has a place though nothing makes up for your ear ever.
Hi thanks all for the reply. How much did you pay for the tune bot as not is australia as yet and cant see on ebay. i understand its only in the guitar centre shops in the states for the moment. Your the second person who has mentiond it and would like price and any other info with opinion cheers.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

I would train my ears to do the job. If you ever need to tune and your gizmo fails or gets left home then you are screwed. there are many toys on the market but your ears are the best.
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  #12  
Old 04-15-2012, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMC View Post
I tuned for years by ear have have had decent toms and good snare and bass sound. However I recently got a Tunebot and it is actually useful, not so much in dialing in a head but in getting all your heads in the proper intervals as well as repeatable tuning. I now have my whole kit tuned to fourths (6 piece) and have the perfect pitch bend on each tom. So tension tuners I wouldn't bother but the Tunebot has a place though nothing makes up for your ear ever.
Andy what are the notes are you using on top/bottom?
Whats you tom sizes and skins?

thx

jorn
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  #13  
Old 04-15-2012, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
I see no benefit in spending money on a device that by all accounts from those who use them is.... "good at getting you close, but you still have to fine tune by ear".......why not just learn to do it yourself from the outset?.
+1 on that statement and from my experience in using one they dont even really get you that close. People say they put you in the ball park, more like the parking lot of the ball park. When fine tuning after using even turns from finger tight I would only have tweek it to get each tension rod in tune but after using the drum dial I have had to loosen and or tighten tension rods as much as a full turn to get them all sounding the same but if you just use it in the middle of the head just to see if your overall head tension is the same as it was on the old head then its fine but just not so good for making all tension rods the same pitch so if your looking for a hole in one they will get you on the golf course just not on the green..IMO.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

From what I've read here, once you learn how to use the thing, it seems that the Tune Bot is the way to go, compared to the DD.

I will say that in using the DD, I learned a lot about the forces on the drumhead and it most definitely gave me a better understanding of things. So in that respect, I feel it was worth the price, for the new knowledge it gave me. I use it when reheading to repeat the tunings I like.

I haven't tried a tune bot yet, but it seems pretty cool. I'd get one. But don't neglect your unaided tuning skills.

Overall, I think tuning aids are a good thing. Anything that gets you thinking about what is going on with with the forces on your drum head is a good thing.

Between ear tuning, tuning to pitch pipes, drum dials, and tune bots...drum tuning is starting to really rise up out of the muck and mire.
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2012, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
From what I've read here, once you learn how to use the thing, it seems that the Tune Bot is the way to go, compared to the DD.
I agree Larry, from all the reviews from members it really looks like the tune bot may be the answer to a lot of peoples trouble tuning. The only other thing I have seen that works was the resotune as it actually sends a sonic signal down thru the drum and can tell you the drums sweet spot or you can just pick the note you want. It will tell you what rod to turn and which way to turn it but unless your tuning a lot of drums like a drum shop or maybe even a music teacher $250 is a bit much to toss out. The $99 tune bot price is much easier to swallow and if it works like people are saying it works makes a lot more sense than investing money in things like drum drum dials and torque keys which IMO are a waste of money better spent on something that actually works.
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  #16  
Old 04-15-2012, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by visionvsx View Post
Hi thanks all for the reply. How much did you pay for the tune bot as not is australia as yet and cant see on ebay. i understand its only in the guitar centre shops in the states for the moment. Your the second person who has mentiond it and would like price and any other info with opinion cheers.
Not sure if MF ships overseas. Below is the product in their online catalog. You can get many reviews and feedback on the 2 threads in "Other Gear" and "General Discussion". Look them up. I know somewhere somebody mentioned a distributor that ships overseas. Looks to be a 1 month delay on shipping...
Awesome tool until your ears are trained.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums...nic-drum-tuner
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  #17  
Old 04-15-2012, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jornthedrummer View Post
Andy what are the notes are you using on top/bottom?
Whats you tom sizes and skins?

thx

jorn
The Tunebot runs $99 US. My set is 10x8 12x9 14x12 16x14 and 22x20 Mapex Saturns with Emperors over Ambassadors for toms and SK1 over EMAD reso w/ Kickport for bass. My 10 inch has a 3Eflat overall with 3A# top and 4Eflat bottom. 12 inch is 2Bflat overall with 3F top and 3Bflat bottom. 14 inch is 2F overall with 2B top and 3G bottom. 16 inch is 2C overall with 2F top and 3C# bottom. Bass is 1G overall with 2F top and 2E bottom. The sound is rather punchy overall and quite low tuning for each drum.

If anyone knows a lot about the physics of double membrane drums and any equations than would help relate head frequency to overall frequency that would be extremely useful.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Weird - to order tunebot from MF and ship to the UK works out cheaper than ordering it from absolutemusic.co.uk. At least 15 cheaper.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by Netz Ausg View Post
Weird - to order tunebot from MF and ship to the UK works out cheaper than ordering it from absolutemusic.co.uk. At least 15 cheaper.
Globalization at work!!!
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Netz Ausg View Post
Weird - to order tunebot from MF and ship to the UK works out cheaper than ordering it from absolutemusic.co.uk. At least 15 cheaper.
Remember to factor in import duty/VAT plus Parcelforce's charge for processing. Remember, they charge 20% on the value of the item PLUS the shipping cost.

Parcelforce's normal charge is about 13
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  #21  
Old 04-15-2012, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

I tried a drum dial and found that it doesn't really do it- at least for me. Learn the proper procedure for tuning your drums and it will last you a lifetime. There are literally hundreds of great tuning videos available for free on you tube.

Remember, practicing tuning will only cost you your time. You can tune and de-tune as much as you want. Practice tuning each head to different pitches (i.e. reso head in relation to batter) for different effects.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, will do as good a job as your own ears once you learn how to tune properly.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

What? Can't do a search? This topic only comes up at least a month.

Drum dials are useful to a point on toms, but useless on snares and bass drums.
I own the Tama version because many years ago a producer my then band was working with insisted I go buy one, and the rest of the band said if the producer insists, I have to do it.

And it is useful, but it's usefulness is rather limited.

I saw a demo if a tune-bot a few months back. Assuming it works in the real world as good as it does in the live demo, it should put drum dials out of business. It's more expensive than a drum dial, but is 100 times more effective.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2012, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

If you are blessed with great ears you don't need one. If like me you hear lots of confusing overtones etc, a drum dial will get the head at least tensioned evenly, and that is all they really claim to be. Hence the name of the Tama Tension Watch"

If you can get an even tension at each lug it makes tuning much easier, and the dials show just that.

Starting at finger tight at each lug is very hit and miss, if you are tuning by ear, as anomalies in threads means some will feel tight but it is just the thread. The dial indicator actually measures the tension of the head, not the screw, so you will have a consistent and measurable starting point.

Some of the more experienced drummers have great ears and years of experience tuning there kits. I wish I was one of them but I am not and I find the Tension Watch a great help in tuning to the sound I want and avoiding nasty overtones.

Also if you make a note of the tension figures for each drum, batter and reso, you can quickly achieve the same settings should you split a head or need a head change.
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2012, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikel View Post
If you can get an even tension at each lug it makes tuning much easier, and the dials show just that.

Starting at finger tight at each lug is very hit and miss, if you are tuning by ear, as anomalies in threads means some will feel tight but it is just the thread. The dial indicator actually measures the tension of the head, not the screw, so you will have a consistent and measurable starting point.

Also if you make a note of the tension figures for each drum, batter and reso, you can quickly achieve the same settings should you split a head or need a head change.
Not really. When fine tuning after using even turns from finger tight I only have to tweek it to get each tension rod in tune but after using the drum dial I have had to loosen and or tighten tension rods as much as a full turn to get them all sounding the same, and with or without the drum dial you still need your ears to fine tune so whats the sense of buying one?

Also if you make note of how many turns it takes you will also quickly be able to achieve the same settings, without wasting money on a drum dial.
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  #25  
Old 07-12-2012, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

http://www.idrumtune.com/

I plan to try it this weekend and see how close the Drum Dial gets me.
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  #26  
Old 07-16-2012, 02:53 AM
imispgh imispgh is offline
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

I tried idrumtune today. It seemed to struggle to hear certain lugs no matter where I put it. I detuned a lug one full turn and all the app could pick up was the lower fundamental of the whole head not by each lug - no matter where I put it. Plus it takes a long time to register new hits. I would imagine the mic in the phone is the weak link.

The drum dial is much more effective.
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  #27  
Old 07-18-2012, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

There is a very good use for the drum dial....the studio.
We just recorded a 12 song cd and the drum dial was invaluable.
All new heads (5 tom setup) and then tuned by ear to get the desired sounds. Then checked heads...top and bottom. Tweaked a bit to get them even at all lugs. Surprisingly tuning by ear got them extremely close. Then recorded the number for each tom and the snare. Actually wrote the numbers on the top of the snare head for quick reference.

From there it was so quick and easy to guarantee the exact same tuning for each session and even between takes (especially when the skins were still fairly new). Made for perfect punch in/outs later on also. I would highly recommend it for recording.

This process still assumes you know how to tune by ear which I would highly recommend that everyone spend the time to learn.
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  #28  
Old 07-18-2012, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Drun head tension tuners. Are they worth it?

I've got the Tama Tension Watch. I like it. I don't use it very often any more but I do like for quick head changes. It gets you back to the ballpark quickly. You've still got to use your ears to get it right. Same exact tension on each rod doesn't always equal same pitch.
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