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  #1  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:47 PM
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Default A question about heads...

Hello all. I'm relatively new here, but not to drumming. Been playing for a number of years.

Basically, I'm looking for a particular sound in a tom head. The Evans Genera Dry - the one with the tiny vent holes around the rim - has been my "go to" snare head for a LONG time now. I love it.

So what I'm wondering...is there a tom batter which has a similar character? I love the way the Genera dries out the snare just enough. Not so much that it's dead but still enough to kill a bit of the ring. The Aquarian Focus X batter LOOKS like it might be what I'm looking for. Or is it too 'thuddy'? Give me your feedback please.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Put on your best headphones and look at samples on youtube.

Use your best judgement. Other people don't know that specific sound idea you have in your head. If you have a drum store around you, try and go in and test some heads.

Use your ears :)
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Glad to hear that you're digging the Genera Dry on your snare! A lot of the sonic characteristics from the Genera Dry can be applied to the toms through choice and tuning of the reso head. Thicker heads will shorten sustain, as will heads tuned differently from the batter side. I would recommend checking out G12 heads for the reso side and maybe consider getting them in a coated finish.

Cheers!
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by Nobartholem View Post
Put on your best headphones and look at samples on youtube. Use your best judgement. Other people don't know that specific sound idea you have in your head.

I'm sorry. I thought I was quite specific. You've heard the Genera Dry snare batter I assume? It has a very characteristic dry tonality. People who have used them will know what I'm looking for - a head with that has a similar effect, only for toms.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by EvansSpecialist View Post
Glad to hear that you're digging the Genera Dry on your snare! A lot of the sonic characteristics from the Genera Dry can be applied to the toms through choice and tuning of the reso head.

Hmmm. Interesting. So if I understand you correctly, the effect I get by putting a Genera Dry on a snare batter is best achieved on a tom by changing the reso head?
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2013, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

I think that Aquarian Super 2 with studio X ring batters will do the trick. I too use Genera Dry batters with vent holes on my snares. They're perfect for my taste.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by Terrence R View Post
I think that Aquarian Super 2 with studio X ring batters will do the trick. I too use Genera Dry batters with vent holes on my snares. They're perfect for my taste.

Thanks for the input. I went to a local music shop this afternoon and ordered a 12" in both the Focus X and the Studio X series. Contrary to folk wisdom, most drum shops aren't too keen on opening up new heads and mounting them on drums just to "test them out". :)

I considered the Super 2's also. But I am concerned they may be a bit too dead for my tastes. I may try one at a later date if neither of the others is satisfactory.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by Drumz View Post
Hmmm. Interesting. So if I understand you correctly, the effect I get by putting a Genera Dry on a snare batter is best achieved on a tom by changing the reso head?
That's my best recommendation. The dry vents on the Genera Dry allow air to escape, which shortens sustain. Using a thicker reso on a tom will have a similar effect. The Genera series has the overtone control ring which also focuses the tonal response to a bit darker sound. Again, a thicker reso head will vibrate slower, which means a lower frequency (and a darker sound). That's my best recommendation based on what you described. As you know, snare drums and toms are sort of apple vs. oranges. This would be like painting the orange the color red :-)
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by EvansSpecialist View Post
That's my best recommendation. The dry vents on the Genera Dry allow air to escape, which shortens sustain. Using a thicker reso on a tom will have a similar effect. The Genera series has the overtone control ring which also focuses the tonal response to a bit darker sound. Again, a thicker reso head will vibrate slower, which means a lower frequency (and a darker sound). That's my best recommendation based on what you described. As you know, snare drums and toms are sort of apple vs. oranges. This would be like painting the orange the color red :-)
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the rule of thumb the thicker a drum head the longer it vibrates because of the weight? From what I've read a THIN reso head will give quick punch and decay with a touch higher pitch and brighter tone depending on tension. Wouldn't a thick batter and reso just cause bigger drums to resonate for days, depending on tension? Also I believe tension on the heads, no matter the thickness, also plays a role in tone and how quick the decay will be. Are you saying that a EC2 over an EC2 "reso" will cancel eatch other out giving a 16" FT a more dry and quick decay, rather than an EC2 and an Evans Glass Reso or standard Genera Reso?
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by oddtime74 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the rule of thumb the thicker a drum head the longer it vibrates because of the weight?
You have it the opposite.
Thinner is more *resonation* one of the reasons a thinner 1 ply head is often used as a reso, irrespective of whats used on the batter (1, 2 ply or thicker...).

If you take it to the limit, think how thicker and thicker heads will eventually result in a dead sounding drum because of the lack of vibration.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by Drumz View Post
Thanks for the input. I went to a local music shop this afternoon and ordered a 12" in both the Focus X and the Studio X series. Contrary to folk wisdom, most drum shops aren't too keen on opening up new heads and mounting them on drums just to "test them out". :)

I considered the Super 2's also. But I am concerned they may be a bit too dead for my tastes. I may try one at a later date if neither of the others is satisfactory.
I'd think the Super-2s to be more open than the Focus/Studio Xs due to its lack of muffling.

Anyways, I'd recommend coated resonant heads as well- I had coated Ambassadors for a while as reso heads on my kit and they really dry out the tone. Worked really well for a classic rock style tuning or a high jazz-type deal.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by Drumz View Post
Contrary to folk wisdom, most drum shops aren't too keen on opening up new heads and mounting them on drums just to "test them out". :)
I think don't think any drum shops are going to do this. Nor will they take used drum head returns for buyers remorse. Maybe if you're a high roller and spend thousands on other equipment every quarter. I don't know anybody personally doing that.

You do the best research you can online and maybe by hearing other players use the heads you're interested in while playing live in a smallish venue. Once that's done, buying a head is the cost of being a drummer. Unlike a drum, a head is considered a consumable and is relatively inexpensive. I've bought heads that I didn't care for. I then either played it until it was time to change them, saved it as a backup or gave it away.

Presently i have three different types of heads on my home kit toms (soon to be four) because I wanted to try them out and get the general sound in my head.. Some are keepers and some won't be bought again. I'm OK with that.

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  #13  
Old 07-12-2013, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by porter View Post
I'd think the Super-2s to be more open than the Focus/Studio Xs due to its lack of muffling.
Yeah. If the Focus X ends up being a bit too...errr...focused, then I will most likely get a Super 2 and try it out on toms. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by porter View Post
Anyways, I'd recommend coated resonant heads as well - I had coated Ambassadors for a while as reso heads on my kit and they really dry out the tone.
Yeah. I know coated tends to be better in that regard. I just despise the look. I like to show off those beautiful maple interiors. :-D

I've also considered having new bearing edges cut. Perhaps a 45 degree with a round over. I've read that makes for a fatter and less 'ringy' sound. Heard a set of Tama Starclassics with a round over and those things sounded SO good.

Last edited by Drumz; 07-12-2013 at 02:16 AM. Reason: messy
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  #14  
Old 07-12-2013, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

I'm a huge fan of coated Studio-X. My late-70s Ludwigs have them (with dot) and my 63 Slingerlands have them (without dot).

I think the tone is very nice and focused. They ring out, but not excessively. The focus is on the fundamental tone of the drum.
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  #15  
Old 07-12-2013, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
You have it the opposite.
Thinner is more *resonation* one of the reasons a thinner 1 ply head is often used as a reso, irrespective of whats used on the batter (1, 2 ply or thicker...).

If you take it to the limit, think how thicker and thicker heads will eventually result in a dead sounding drum because of the lack of vibration.
Ok so it resonates more easily because the thin reso is more sensitive but wouldn't the sustain be shorter, with a loose tension to help that? Well still tight to get a bit of tone but not floppy like the batter may be.

I had a Genera HDD before I switched back to Remo and I know exactly what he's wanting. Honestly though I don't know why he would want such an effect on his toms though. The snare and bass drum is one thing but you should have a tiny bit of resonance in your toms, unless you really want a lifeless rack tom. If so that can be achieved by leaving everything finger tight and going to town on them lol!

For example, in my mind, I see a two ply 14 mil batter over a two ply 14 mil reso as having too much sustain while, even if it resonates easier, the thinner single ply 7 mil or thinner reso having a quicker decay without the need of having to leave it crazy loose like you MAY have to with a very thick reso.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by oddtime74 View Post
Honestly though I don't know why he would want such an effect on his toms though. The snare and bass drum is one thing but you should have a tiny bit of resonance in your toms, unless you really want a lifeless rack tom.
But I'm not talking dead here. There's a HUGE jump from a head designed to focus the tone and bring out the drum's fundamental and something like an Evans Hydraulic. If dead was what I was after, I know how to obtain that. I'm looking for dry...not a table top.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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But I'm not talking dead here. There's a HUGE jump from a head designed to focus the tone and bring out the drum's fundamental and something like an Evans Hydraulic. If dead was what I was after, I know how to obtain that. I'm looking for dry...not a table top.
Well to be totally honest the only way you are going to find out what works is to try a configuration for yourself. We could sit here and talk characteristics until we are old n gray but fact is it's what you can come up with and that works for your set to get the sound you want obviously WITHOUT the aide of holes in your rack/floor tom batter heads.

I would try an Evans G14 and/or G2 over one of their thinnest and thickest reso and see what happens with tuning. You may very well get the sound you want with a thick batter and reso and it may not resonate or have much sustain like I'm thinking or like opentune has said. I would have to go back through the tuning and drum head bible and information alike but I believe and in my mind a very thin reso will help minimize sustain quite a bit. I just think thick on thick will end up too dead too soon when tuning and with no tone.

If you want to go a step further and I don't know if this will work but buy a power center drum head, drill little 1/8 or 1/16" holes around the edge of the head and see if that works. The dot will focus the tone of the drum and then you will have vents to dry it out.

Just some ideas is all.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by oddtime74 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the rule of thumb the thicker a drum head the longer it vibrates because of the weight? From what I've read a THIN reso head will give quick punch and decay with a touch higher pitch and brighter tone depending on tension. Wouldn't a thick batter and reso just cause bigger drums to resonate for days, depending on tension? Also I believe tension on the heads, no matter the thickness, also plays a role in tone and how quick the decay will be. Are you saying that a EC2 over an EC2 "reso" will cancel eatch other out giving a 16" FT a more dry and quick decay, rather than an EC2 and an Evans Glass Reso or standard Genera Reso?
You are dead on! W/in reason of course, a thicker head(more mass), once put in motion will stay in motion LONGER, period, than a thinner head(less mass). I think even Gatzen has discussed the irony of thinner head offerings called "resonant" - that is their function, but they do not add more resonance - they actually, relatively, offer less(!), given the same tunings (uhh, snare side heads anyone, for an extreme example?). This is the law of physics, period. Ahhemm.

Want some pure resonance w/ out funky overtones? Try clear G14's over clear G14's on floor toms. I have. G12 over G12 on my rack toms... I promise, you these combo's have longer sustain over thinner "resonant" heads. So say the laws of the universe.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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You are dead on! W/in reason of course, a thicker head(more mass), once put in motion will stay in motion LONGER, period, than a thinner head(less mass). I think even Gatzen has discussed the irony of thinner head offerings called "resonant" - that is their function, but they do not add more resonance - they actually, relatively, offer less(!), given the same tunings (uhh, snare side heads anyone, for an extreme example?). This is the law of physics, period. Ahhemm.
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And which law is that? :)
I think you are referring to laws of momentum no? ....which indeed depend on mass/velocity.
But in drums you want to be speaking about Acoustic resonance, not laws of momentum.

A drum and drum heads one is dealing with acoustic resonance, which has more to do most with tension on a drum membrane, and lesser with thickness (though not ignorable).
There is a reason thin shelled drums resonate more, and thin heads (for a same shell thickness) resonate more. You need the vibration to get resonation. If it were the opposite, acoustic guitars would be made of thick (not thin) tops of wood.

There is a reason we don't put thick heads on our drums - increased thickness does not cause increased acoustic resonation. Thick heads can change the pitch though.... all other factors the same

Your snare side head is an excellent example. Its made ultra thin for the response we look for (vibration) - and so tuned tight to hi tension - no resonance (what we look for in a snare) but tuned loose, way too much resonance (sounds poor).
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

I stand by all I wrote, w/ the caveat of all things equal tuning/tension (More "rigid" shells are apples to these oranges) if that helps.
A 14 mil single ply head will vibrate longer when struck than a 10 mil head will, not to mention thinner "resonant heads". There is a clip of Gatzen discussing this very thing, but I'm not gonna go find it... back to work.

A G1 over G1 will have more resonance than a G1 over a diplomat (lesser mil head), w tunings being equal.
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

must mean this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIcUBJrtKTg

Good video, but what he says confuses 'sustain' with 'resonance'. Again 2 different things.
Yep the thicker head has more sustain, but is no more resonant.
Semantics....back to work for me too.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
must mean this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIcUBJrtKTg

Good video, but what he says confuses 'sustain' with 'resonance'. Again 2 different things.
Yep the thicker head has more sustain, but is no more resonant.
Semantics....back to work for me too.
Thanks Louis for finding the clip/video. 2:07 mark explains it well enough for me... as in my mind, resonance and sustain are "peas and carrots" - they "dovetail" if you will.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Yeah Birdman I knew I was right. Bob even says and shows us what the difference is. Yeah the thin reso head is just a touch bright but the sustain is very short, with that EC reso it's dark and deep but rings for days. IMO the sound this guy is after would be a very thin reso, a G12, G14 or G2 on the batter and tuned to his liking. No it won't be doom, death, gore sounding deep but it won't be high pitched and jazzy if tuned properly as well.

Also sorry to lol but I have to say that Specialist isn't really a "specialist" if he's giving that kind of info. I'm just an average Joe who knows better and tbh it's really common sense when you think about it. Seems to me that guy is just here to push their products onto people. Another reason I'm glad I went back to Remo.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Apples and oranges for sure, and simple to understand. An unplugged Les Paul has tons of sustain, but not nearly as resonant as any acoustic guitar.

Although you could look at it from a different angle and say we are looking at two different kinds of sustain...

Last edited by sethlowden; 07-13-2013 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Put Evans EC Resonant heads on your tom bottoms, and it will be just what you want. The toms still ring, but it is more focused. Good luck in getting the sound you want. Peace and goodwill.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:53 AM
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Put Evans EC Resonant heads on your tom bottoms, and it will be just what you want. The toms still ring, but it is more focused. Good luck in getting the sound you want. Peace and goodwill.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Back to my original question. I like the sound the Evans Genera Dry gives my snare drums. Is there a similar sounding head for toms? Gonna try the Aquarian Focus X and see if it works for me. Thanks to those who gave suggestions for various heads and combinations. oddtime74...I have considered a really thick single ply...just haven't experimented enough yet with different combos. Remember, I'm not after dead...just dry. As I said, the Genera Dry gives me THAT sound for snare. Looking to get something close to that for toms.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by oddtime74 View Post
Also sorry to lol but I have to say that Specialist isn't really a "specialist" if he's giving that kind of info. I'm just an average Joe who knows better and tbh it's really common sense when you think about it. Seems to me that guy is just here to push their products onto people. Another reason I'm glad I went back to Remo.
I certainly appreciate your opinion, though through my experience with our heads and based on the description given in the OP, I would stand by my recommendation for a thicker reso for a darker tone (created by the overtone control ring on the Genera Dry). Given some experimenting in tuning between batter and reso, you can achieve a VERY short sustain with a thicker head. All I can offer up is my experiences and knowledge. While a thicker single-ply of material will resonate for a longer period of time if tuned the same as a thinner single-ply, it will require more force to put it in motion.

At the end of the day, a lot of this comes down to tuning variables. There are lots of ways to attain a variety of sounds from the same head configuration. When it comes to creating certain sounds, methods are definitely subjective. Though I'll always try to offer my reasoning for why I would make a given recommendation.

I don't believe I've ever pushed Evans products on anyone here. I'm very careful about offering assistance- not being a billboard and I believe many people on this forum would back me up on that. I'm here to offer support to drummers and answer any questions possible. I've yet to see a representative from any other drumhead company offer that here.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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Originally Posted by EvansSpecialist View Post
I don't believe I've ever pushed Evans products on anyone here. I'm very careful about offering assistance- not being a billboard and I believe many people on this forum would back me up on that. I'm here to offer support to drummers and answer any questions possible. I've yet to see a representative from any other drumhead company offer that here.
Certainly agreed. EvansSpecialist is a valuable member of this forum, though I have had my disagreements with Evans in the past- he's certainly not in it only for advertising.

Anyways, I think the statements about what thickness offers the most resonance is somewhat disregarding the force applied. As has been hinted at, a thicker head offers generally more resonance, but requires more force to 'activate'- whereas a thinner head at a lower volume will generally open up easier and offer a better quality of tone at that volume as well. I already recommend coated heads, but the suggestion of punching your own holes might also work.

You could also check out KickPort's new FX Series, which are 1" and 2" ports designed for use with both toms and bass drums. I'd get some of those sooner than later... can't see them being very popular.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: A question about heads...

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I don't believe I've ever pushed Evans products on anyone here. I'm very careful about offering assistance- not being a billboard and I believe many people on this forum would back me up on that. I'm here to offer support to drummers and answer any questions possible. I've yet to see a representative from any other drumhead company offer that here.
Not sure the reasons for the negative comment directed at you.
Actually your opinion and presence here is appreciated by most people here. I'd like to see more industry people show up and chip-in comments, as there are certainly lots of questions about their products.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:26 PM
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I don't believe I've ever pushed Evans products on anyone here. I'm very careful about offering assistance- not being a billboard and I believe many people on this forum would back me up on that. I'm here to offer support to drummers and answer any questions possible. I've yet to see a representative from any other drumhead company offer that here.
You know what, you're right and I can appreciate the fact that you do participate here. While I may have had a bad experience dealing with a customer service rep at Evans it gives me no reason to respond to you like I did as it wasn't your fault I had said experience. So I apologize for my immature and unprofessional remarks.

Good day sir.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by EvansSpecialist View Post
I don't believe I've ever pushed Evans products on anyone here. I'm very careful about offering assistance- not being a billboard and I believe many people on this forum would back me up on that. I'm here to offer support to drummers and answer any questions possible. I've yet to see a representative from any other drumhead company offer that here.
True.

ES has never bashed anyone else's product or preached on the superiority of his.

I even asked him in a PM a while back about some differences between Evans and Aquarian. Not once did he say one was better than the other. He simply answered my questions with professionalism.

The forum could use a lot more members from "the biz" on here like EvansSpecialist.
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  #33  
Old 07-19-2013, 09:00 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Thanks guys, I really do appreciate it and am happy to help out when I can, wherever I can. Cheers!

Ben O'Brien Smith
Percussion Product Specialist
D'Addario & Co.
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Carlock did. Anton Figdid. Kenny Aronoff did. Join the revolution! Evans Level 360.
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  #34  
Old 07-19-2013, 09:38 PM
HMNY HMNY is offline
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Its always good to have a contribution from some-one in the biz, and Ben's a welcome visitor here, there a re few others within the drum industry who do read a participate here, and I for one always appreciate hearing straight from the horse's mouth.


oddtime, a tip of the hat to you for your last post, nice touch.
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  #35  
Old 07-20-2013, 02:05 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: A question about heads...

When speaking of drum heads, it would be really nice to hear from a representative from Remo just to keep things from becoming so lopsided at times. Maybe the coating issues are keeping them away. ;)

Dennis
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  #36  
Old 08-01-2013, 02:45 AM
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Drumz Drumz is offline
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Default Re: A question about heads...

Oh well. It seems this thread got hijacked into a discussion of Evans Specialist's hidden agenda or lack thereof. But I thought I might post a follow up for anyone who's at all interested. I ended up with Aquarian Focus X on the batter and Aquarian Hi-Frequency on the reso. The Hi-Frequency head is VERY thin and open...at 7 mil it is even thinner than a Diplomat. But I think this is going to be a perfect combination for me. I am loving the sound of it so far. Put it on my 12" Ludwig tom on Monday and have been pounding on it ever since. Nice rich full fundamental with powerful punch and very little in the way of odd harmonics. Not dead. But very dry. Ordered a full setup for the other three toms today. Looks like this combo is a winner.
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