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  #1  
Old 11-12-2013, 09:01 PM
RickH RickH is offline
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Default 20 inch head suggestions

I recently purchased a set of PDP Concept Maples with a 20" kick. I love the drums, but I'm having a little trouble getting a big deep sound out of the kick. I have an Aquarian ported reso head on the front. On the batter side I've tried an Emad, Superkick, and my latest combo (by recommendation) is a Remo pinstripe with the Remo Muffl's ring control system. I'm trying not to put anything inside the drum as it has to be constantly adjusted. I'm trying to tune it next to a Pearl Export 20" kick with the same Remo set-up on it but I just can't seem to get it to sound as deep. Could it be the fact that it's maple? Or does anyone have any head combination suggestions I could try. I play country, polkas & swing. I'm kind of stumped. Thanks, Rick
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

i struggled for at least 2 years on a combo for my custom 20" (Keller -- african mahog / birch / maple rings) Fortune Drums BD. i bought the kit for big band and jazz so worked for a long time trying to get that ultimate "jazz sound" (wide open). i tried a bunch of batters: single ply coated, PS3 coated, Fyberskin (ambass) w/ a ported front reso head...smooth white single ply Remo. the combo i lived w/ the most was coated PS3 batter / Fyberskyn reso (no hole). pretty nice tuned med-high. somehow in my head, i thought this jazz sound must be single ply...no muffling, etc.

my current combo blows all of them out of the water: my bud suggested a single ply evans EMAD and it changed the drum completely. batter is single ply coated evans EMAD w/ a smooth white PS3 Remo batter (no hole!). this PS3 has a thin inner ring. no hole is kinda a big deal here & makes tuning much better.

tuned high w/ just the EMAD tray (no muff ring), it sounds great for jazz. even w/ the thin ring...fine. nice "tom" tone out of the BD but deep. i run it medium tight w/ thin ring for 70s Funk & it is INSANE. Balkan fusion w/ polkas & 2-beats...INSANE. same w/ singer songwriter or country. i bet Maple will sound equally nuts. mine is a 20 x 15 Mahog / Birch, so when i tune it low-ish w/ the thick ring...just magic. put the tea towels on the toms & go Ringo.
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2013, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

Try a black dot as your batter and a regular coated ambassador on the front with no hole. Use felt strips on both sides, or just use one on the batter side if you want a bit more ring. That'll do it. In a live situation if you're not miked up, nobody will hear the extra ring but you anyway.

Old skool sounds require old skool methods. EMADs and Powerstrokes didn't exist when they made the sounds I think you're looking for ;)

Good luck on your quest!
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickH View Post
I recently purchased a set of PDP Concept Maples with a 20" kick. ..... Pearl Export 20" kick with the same Remo set-up on it but I just can't seem to get it to sound as deep. Could it be the fact that it's maple?
If you're using the same heads on both kicks ..... and the Export is giving you a deeper sound ...... then it's probably the deeper sounding drum.
That said, one of the best sounding head combo's I stumbled upon, on a 20x14, was Powerstroke3 batter and reso. Gave the drum a real nice balance of tone and punch. A 20" is only gonna go so deep.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

On my 20x18 D'Amico kick, it doesn't like highly muffled heads. I tried a SuperKick on it, which I usually love on most drums and it was just this high woody thud. I have a PowerStroke on it now and an EQ2 waiting in the wings when that wears out. A tighter, more open batter carries a deeper sound into the room. I leave an Evans pillow in the middle just to kill the pipe resonance from the deep shell but not touching either head. Unless it's mic'd. Then I push the pillow gently against the batter head and maybe a small towel against the reso. Just to shorten the sustain a bit for overcooked subs booming in a room.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

My Yamaha Club Custom 20 x 15 has a Clear Remo PS3 batetr and smooth white PS3 logo head on the resonant side with a felt strip front and back and it sounds great. Perfect balance of resonance and attack. Mics really well even without the port hole.

My Gretsch USA Custom 20 x 14 has a coated Remo PS3 with a Remo Gretsch Fiberskyn logo head and I added an Evans EQ pillow to make the bass drum more punchy and cut resonance.

These two approaches give me two great sounds for my gigs these days.

I am also a fan of the Aquarian Superkick 1 batter with unported Ambassador weight resonant side head with no additional muffling.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

Ambassador batter and reso, felt strips, no port. Look out!
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2013, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Ambassador batter and reso, felt strips, no port. Look out!
agreed 100%

for many years I coveted the bass drum sounds of Joe Morello, Ginger Baker, etc

I found it with this combo
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2013, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Try a black dot as your batter
You will always recommend the black dots, won't ya now? ; )
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2013, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

On my 20" kick, I use a Powersonic batter, with the stock resonant, and a KickPort

On my 22", I use a PS3 on either side, with a Muff'L ring on either side, and a KickPort.

Just put a KickPort in it, and tune it JAW, and you should be able to get a great tone.
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2013, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

Ive always love coated PS3's. I prefer Evans for everything else though. I just bought an EQ1 which Im optimistic about after not liking EQ4's at all.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2013, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Ambassador batter and reso, felt strips, no port. Look out!
That's pretty much what I use.

Aquarian Modern Vintage. Single ply coated heads. One felt strip on both heads. Lovely sound.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2013, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Ambassador batter and reso, felt strips, no port. Look out!
yeah. actually never tried this in recent memory. i hear the felt strips are a bit tricky RE getting the "good" ones...there are some old school ones that are 4" & use nice felt ? i also have heard 1-2 kits w/ Aq Modern Vintage that sound fab.

no port = winning.
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  #14  
Old 11-15-2013, 01:18 AM
EWGroove EWGroove is offline
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

I too messed w/a few head combos, on my Yamaha MCAN 20" x 16". Had a Yamaha/Remo factory batter head, and later, an Aquarian Superkick II, before settling on an Evans EMAD. Still have the factory Remo reso which has a 4" port. The piece d'resistance however, was going back to an old Ludwig Speed King hard felt beater, which gave me that much more umph to the stroke, and allowed the heads and the 7 ply maple to fully vibrate, vs. the flat felt small side beaters which come with many modern pedals, including DW, Pearl and the Tama Iron Cobra these days. I also use a Carvin kick drum mic, which was relatively inexpensive ($70), and a small pillow, which I place lengthwise on the bottom of the drum from back head to front. The pillow is optional, of course, but I like a slightly muffled sound. The above combo allowed me to finally achieve a much deeper, and fuller sound, which suits our repertoire (old school rhythm and blues) just fine, though it's never going to be "big hair" rock kick deep. Listen to Sam & Dave, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, and you won't hear that kind of sound. With a decent PA and EQ however, we can dial it in as deep as we want. Tune JAW on both sides, and don't hesitate to retune, if it sounds out of whack. Good luck, but remember the beater is half the battle. UPDATE-Picked up a DANMAR hard felt beater head (8/14), which is lighter, yet a bit more solidly constructed. They're out of Anaheim, CA, and available via many better drum shops. Sweet.
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Last edited by EWGroove; 09-12-2014 at 01:54 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2013, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
agreed 100%

for many years I coveted the bass drum sounds of Joe Morello, Ginger Baker, etc

I found it with this combo
Me too! I experimented with so many heads looking for 'the sound' in my head..... Superkick, PS3...and so on.

In the end I just love an Amb, it breathes so much more life back into a bass drum.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

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Originally Posted by double_G View Post
yeah. actually never tried this in recent memory. i hear the felt strips are a bit tricky RE getting the "good" ones...there are some old school ones that are 4" & use nice felt ?
.
easy. go to fabric store - $5 for a sheet of white felt, cut your own strips.... whatever width you prefer (mine are 3" max)
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:09 AM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

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Originally Posted by Emmaticus00 View Post
You will always recommend the black dots, won't ya now? ; )
Heck yeah! If it worked for Tony Williams, then it'll work for me ;)
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: 20 inch head suggestions

Just watched a video of him a couple of days ago. Wwwooowww... blew me away!
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
easy. go to fabric store - $5 for a sheet of white felt, cut your own strips.... whatever width you prefer (mine are 3" max)

Next time I get some, I'm gonna' have them cut it for me on their big fabric machine.
I can never get them real completely straight.
I find felt hard to score and cut by hand. I'm usually not too clumsy either - ha ha.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Next time I get some, I'm gonna' have them cut it for me on their big fabric machine.
I can never get them real completely straight.
I find felt hard to score and cut by hand. I'm usually not too clumsy either - ha ha.
I measure and draw a line, in light pencil.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: 20 inch head suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickH View Post
I recently purchased a set of PDP Concept Maples with a 20" kick. I love the drums, but I'm having a little trouble getting a big deep sound out of the kick. I have an Aquarian ported reso head on the front. On the batter side I've tried an Emad, Superkick, and my latest combo (by recommendation) is a Remo pinstripe with the Remo Muffl's ring control system. I'm trying not to put anything inside the drum...
If you want a "big deep sound" why are you using muffled heads and considering stuffing the drum? For the biggest, deepest sound, you want your drum as "open" as possible, tuned well with unmuffled heads and unported. Maybe try an unported front head with your batter head choices. Maybe do coated Ambassadors for both heads, or Fiberskyns if you want less sustain. For a "classic" big deep sound, you can't beat a pair of Ambassadors with felt strips.
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  #22  
Old 11-15-2013, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Head suggestions for 20" Kick

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
easy. go to fabric store - $5 for a sheet of white felt, cut your own strips.... whatever width you prefer (mine are 3" max)
Actually, for $5, you can buy felt strips at a Guitar Center that are 3" and quite thick. But the trick to felt strips is the way you mount it. It has to be tight up against the head. I usually start by taping one end to the shell, then taping the other end down (using gaf tape). Then I put the head on, and once it's mated together, then I take the tape off of the shell.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: 20 inch head suggestions

I run a PS3 coated batter over PS3 smooth white, with a felt strip on the batter side on my 20x14 8 ply keller maple.. unported is incredible. I just recently ported it because I was going to be micked up and all that, and its still awesome. During rehearsal the guitar player said my bass drum sounded like it was micked!
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: 20 inch head suggestions

Just got an Evans EQ1. This is the head Ive been looking for from Evans. The emad (and gmad) have kinda a crappy action when it comes to rebound and what not. I just wish they made a white coated EQ1. Not a fan of the frosted stuff.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: 20 inch head suggestions

I have a related question for the all the felt strip enthusiasts.

I have been trying to get a nice boomy vintage sound out of my 20" kick. I have tried this on a Drumcraft birch and a 60's Rogers Holiday, both 20x14. I have a remo coated single ply batter and reso with a 1-1.5" felt strip on both heads. I have tried tuning both heads to the same tension at JAW and up in a jazz tone. Can't get it to sound good. At low tension it sounds sad and flappy and at higher tensions i'm getting that wierd boingy sound. I can't get both heads to ring in unision.

What can I do for it? More muffling? Thicker strips? Tune the reso higher than the batter?

...I hate small drums
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