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  #1  
Old 11-24-2013, 10:27 PM
charliejuson charliejuson is offline
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Default drum dial or tama tension watch

i want to get one of these tuning aid devices to help tune my toms mainly and I'm not sure which one to get, the drum dial (non digital one) or the tama tension watch, everything i have on my drums is tama (except for snare and older cymbal stands, and obviously cymbals).

i thought as christmas is around the corner i could maybe ask for one of these from my parents. thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2013, 10:34 PM
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v.zarate v.zarate is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

they areok to help you get in the range. i have one too (i just dropped mine like an hour ago and got screwed up) but have you tried the tune-bot?
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:02 PM
AudioWonderland AudioWonderland is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

Still have and use a drum dial. Looking at a tunebot myself
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:48 AM
charliejuson charliejuson is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

i just looked at the tune bot, would anybody recommend it?
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2013, 09:25 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

Not to derail your thread, but someone must explain to me what these devices do. I've never had a mechanical device that helps me tune my drums. I just experimented and learned along the way and can do it mostly blind (and deaf) these days. Is there a great difficulty in being able to keep the tension even on the drum head while tightening and lowering it? That's basically all you're doing when you "tune" a drum. I'm failing to see how a mechanical device makes this process easier.

(and I'm really not being sarcastic).
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2013, 12:55 PM
soulfly28 soulfly28 is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

I had a drum dial and a tune bot. Out of the 2, tune bot is better.
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2013, 11:01 PM
Bill Stevenson Bill Stevenson is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Not to derail your thread, but someone must explain to me what these devices do. I've never had a mechanical device that helps me tune my drums. I just experimented and learned along the way and can do it mostly blind (and deaf) these days. Is there a great difficulty in being able to keep the tension even on the drum head while tightening and lowering it? That's basically all you're doing when you "tune" a drum. I'm failing to see how a mechanical device makes this process easier.

(and I'm really not being sarcastic).
The Drum Dial is a device that measures the deflection of the head. As you tighten the tension rods the deflection of the head decreases. The idea with it is to get the tension even all the way around the head. It provides a very fast way to get in the ball park with each drum and then use your ears to fine tune. It also helps you get consistent results. Both the DD and the Tama have been on the market for years and work quite well.

The Tune Bot is electronic and with a microphone in it that measures and records the resonance or frequency of head vibrations. Here again the idea is to get the head to vibrate at the same frequency all the way around the head. Although the variable measured is different (i.e. head deflection vs. frequency of vibration) the end result is essentially the same. The Tune Bot allows you to store settings for each drum, and is just a little slicker. Neither is a panacea and you must rely on your ears to achieve the sound you want from each of your drums. The most important thing to remember is no matter if you use a Drum Dial/Tama Watch, or a Tune Bot, or your ears alone, at the end of the day if your drums sound good to you then they are tuned well.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:18 AM
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TheBob TheBob is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

I would also suggest a tune bot.
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2013, 09:54 PM
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Bonzo_CR Bonzo_CR is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliejuson View Post
i just looked at the tune bot, would anybody recommend it?
Yes! If you are looking for a tuning aid, the Tune-bot is the one to get IMO.
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2013, 10:22 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Stevenson View Post
The Drum Dial is a device that measures the deflection of the head. As you tighten the tension rods the deflection of the head decreases. The idea with it is to get the tension even all the way around the head. It provides a very fast way to get in the ball park with each drum and then use your ears to fine tune. It also helps you get consistent results. Both the DD and the Tama have been on the market for years and work quite well.
First and real quick... If you are the Bill Stevenson who played with Black Flag and Decedents, then I'm just going to mention that you're one of my heroes, and leave it at that.

And then regardless if you are that Bill Stevenson, or not, I'd like to ask if you have tried both the DD and the Tension Watch, and prefer one over the other. The "tunebot" thing just seems a little too fancy and bulky to throw in my cymbal bag and haul around, but I've been wanting to get a dial for a while now so I can get things into ballpark quicker when changing a head at some bar/venue or whatever.
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  #11  
Old 12-01-2013, 02:06 AM
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gconyers gconyers is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

Tune Bot. Google it, or search the forums here. You won't be disappointed.
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  #12  
Old 12-01-2013, 03:02 AM
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lsits lsits is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

The Drum Dial and the Tension Watch are pretty much the same thing. The only difference I could see were the markings on the dial. The Drum Dial indicates standard dimensions and the Tension Watch indicates metric.

I did a little interned research on these about a year ago. The way they work is there is a spring that presses down onto the surface of the drum head and measures how much "give" there is. Just like pressing your finger onto the head. The dial indicates exactly how much "give" there is. A looser head will give more and a tighter head will give less. The problem I saw is that the numbers will be different depending on what heads are being used. (i.e. singly ply versus double ply and coated versus clear) The only advantage I could see is if you had to replace a broken head in a hurry these tools will get you in the ballpark pretty quickly. I always do a quick inspection of my entire kit before I pack it up for a gig so I've never broken a head on a gig.

Here's a link to how you can build one yourself pretty cheaply:

http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/sh...5-DIY-DrumDial
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2013, 03:08 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

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Originally Posted by lsits View Post
The only advantage I could see is if you had to replace a broken head in a hurry these tools will get you in the ballpark pretty quickly. I always do a quick inspection of my entire kit before I pack it up for a gig so I've never broken a head on a gig.
Another benefit is ensuring that you've got at least an even tension across the head. That can be hard to do in a dark, noisy bar at night. I can't imagine that the tune bot would work so well in a noisy environment and it just looks like it would be more mucking about than I usually like to do.
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2013, 09:48 PM
Bill Stevenson Bill Stevenson is offline
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Default Re: drum dial or tama tension watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
First and real quick... If you are the Bill Stevenson who played with Black Flag and Decedents, then I'm just going to mention that you're one of my heroes, and leave it at that.

And then regardless if you are that Bill Stevenson, or not, I'd like to ask if you have tried both the DD and the Tension Watch, and prefer one over the other. The "tunebot" thing just seems a little too fancy and bulky to throw in my cymbal bag and haul around, but I've been wanting to get a dial for a while now so I can get things into ballpark quicker when changing a head at some bar/venue or whatever.
I am not the same Bill Stevenson, but I know of my namesake and must agree with you that he is a great drummer.

I actually own both a DD and a TW and they are pretty similar. Of the two I sort of prefer the DD as the dial is easier for me to read. Note this is more about my eyes than it is about the legibility of either dial. Look at them yourself to see is one is easier for you to read than the other. More importantly, both are very consistent, meaning you get the same reading in the same spot time after time. These are both well made and reliable instruments.

I am an old guy and when I was young all heads were made from calf skin. Because of daily fluctuations in relative humidity, all drummers had to loosen our heads after playing every day, and then tune up again before playing. We did not have any of these modern marvels, only our ears, but because of constant practice got pretty good at tuning up quickly and consistently. I can still do that as it is sort of like riding a bicycle, once learned never forgotten. But any of these tuning devices will help anyone tune up faster and more consistently. Too, if you need to do this on the bandstand, these devices will get you close without disturbing the other musicians you are working with. I can't speak highly enough about these aids to tuning. Like anything else related to drumming, though, there is a learning curve and the more you practice the better you get. Tuning is aided by these devices, but your results will improve if you tune often.
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