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  #1  
Old 12-14-2017, 04:33 AM
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Default 26” Bass Drum Head Help

Before I start, I would like to say that I have searched and searched for a solid pre-existing forum with no luck along my way. I have learned a considerable amount about heads themselves and tuning in general.

I am looking for an experienced drummers opinion on head choice (I am only 16). I recently purchased a Ludwig centennial Zep set and have quickly fallen in love! My only gripe is the heads... I feel that with better head selection, still sporting the factory skins, these drums would sound better to my ears. I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to Coated Emperor batter & Coated Ambassador reso for the toms, 14, 16, 18, but I have read mixed opinions on bass heads.

Should I go with the same batter/reso combination as the toms with felt strips? Should I buy a clear ps3 Batter and Coated ps3 felt tone reso? I am looking for a loud open sound for rock tunes.

If anyone can point me in the right direction or send me to an updated thread where this has already been discussed, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance...
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Last edited by Mark32; 12-14-2017 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

On my 1980 classic maple 16x26, I use clear POwerStroke3 on the batter side and a regular logo head with a felt strip on the front. You're gonna tune higher than you think to make the drum project better too. Other than that, it's pretty much "tune to taste". Have fun!
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
On my 1980 classic maple 16x26, I use clear POwerStroke3 on the batter side and a regular logo head with a felt strip on the front. You're gonna tune higher than you think to make the drum project better too. Other than that, it's pretty much "tune to taste". Have fun!
Thanks so much for the quick response!
What’s that regular logo head like? One or two ply? Richie ring?
Also somewhat unrelated but do you ever have any problems with beater flutter?
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Last edited by Mark32; 12-14-2017 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:33 AM
loach71 loach71 is offline
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by Mark32 View Post
Thanks so much for the quick response!
What’s that regular logo head like? One or two ply? Richie ring?
Also somewhat unrelated but do you ever have any problems with beater flutter?
Welcome to the great journey in life that is drumming. One of the beautiful factors of large diameter bass drums is that you can tune the batter head at a higher tension to get enhanced beater rebound while still getting "low-end" bass "oomph." The bigger the bass drum, the larger the column the air it pushes, and with the larger column the higher the mass. Higher mass is inversely propositional to resonant frequency. The lower the resonant frequency, the more "bass oomph" you get! You can't get this freebie with smaller bass drums.

Try this tuning idea with some sliding weight rings on the beater shaft. Then attempt to do triplets while playing heel down using head rebound like you would while doing double or triple strokes on the snare drum. At one of his drum clinics in the early 1970s Tony Williams showed me this... His input 'blew my mind' and changed my bass drum technique forever. You can hear a good example of his bass drum technique on the Tony Williams Lifetime album titled "Emergency!" It is a pity that Tony is no longer with us. :-(

Don't be constrained by "conventional wisdom" occurring in music media and advertisements -- don't let this rubbish deter you in the pursuit of your drumming artistry. Experiment with multiple head types and tunings, drum stick sizes, foot & hand techniques until you find something that is 'truly you.' Remember this -- the only bad drum technique is one that causes injury to your body.

Stay loose, have fun, experiment with your artistry, and don't become bored.

Last edited by loach71; 12-14-2017 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by loach71 View Post

Stay loose, have fun, experiment with your artistry, and don't become bored.
I greatly appreciate the words of wisdom, those that I will take to heart and never forget.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:54 AM
loach71 loach71 is offline
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

Tony Williams was a grand master of foot and hand technique. I would consider myself a good drummer if I could only master 1% of Tony's technique and musicianship. Although popular acclaim eluded him, Williams attained fame among other drummers and jazz enthusiasts. Tony studied under Alan Dawson at Berklee College of Music. A good place to start is any book or video done by Alan Dawson.
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by Mark32 View Post
Thanks so much for the quick response!
What’s that regular logo head like? One or two ply? Richie ring?
Also somewhat unrelated but do you ever have any problems with beater flutter?
The Ludwig logo head is rather thin, about the same consistency as a smooth white Remo ambassador, so it rings a bit - which is why I continue to use a felt strip to keep that head under control. At one point I tried a Remo fiberskyn power stroke 3 for the front head and that was awesome - very round and warm and it didn't need a felt strip since it has the built-in muffling ring.

Of course, if you really want that Zeppelin sound, go with a regular black dot on the batter side and a clear ambassador on the front with NO muffling whatsoever. That's what John Bonham had available to him at the time (later in his career, say after 1972, since The Song Remains the Same movie was the 1973 tour). Or you could use coated emperors front and back in the same fashion. Just crank it up, and get it sing like a small concert bass drum you'd use in orchestra, and you're on your way to that sound.

Beater flutter is a technique issue and I've never had that problem.
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

My favorite combo is coated Powerstroke 4 batter and a smooth white Powerstroke 3 reso. P4s are basically Emperors with richie rings and P3s are Ambassadors with richie rings.

I highly suggest coated Vintage Emperor batters. They are a bit warmer and slightly more controlled .They work great on larger toms.
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

Welcome to the world of the 26. Wish I still had one you're a lucky man. I've had a couple in my time and here's what I did.

I had an old 70s Hayman 26x14 which had a Aquarian Superkick batter and a ported ambassador reso left wide open. It parted hair from the other end of the room.

Another setup I ran on another 26 I had 26x20 was to roll a towel up, gaffer tape it in place and then gaffer tape it to the batter head (Inside the drum obviously!). Simon Phillips does this there's a youtube video of him showing you how to do this. I had a ported ambassador with a felt strip on it. Sounded great and even better miced up. Thankyou Simon Phillips!

Tuning wise get your batter head where you feel comfortable and how you think it should sound. Tune the resonant head a lot higher than the batter head as you need to get the air in the drum out as quickly as possible.

Failing that go on youtube and type in Jeff Ocheltree John Bonham.

Enjoy dude!
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
Welcome to the world of the 26. Wish I still had one you're a lucky man. I've had a couple in my time and here's what I did.

I had an old 70s Hayman 26x14 which had a Aquarian Superkick batter and a ported ambassador reso left wide open. It parted hair from the other end of the room.
I’ve seriously considered that head as well, I play an English made Yamaha Power V Special, 22x16 maybe, daily at my high school and love the thump it brings. The heads on that kit are WELL worn in however, been on there maybe 20 years! How do the Superkicks break in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull View Post
My favorite combo is coated Powerstroke 4 batter and a smooth white Powerstroke 3 reso. P4s are basically Emperors with richie rings and P3s are Ambassadors with richie rings.

I highly suggest coated Vintage Emperor batters. They are a bit warmer and slightly more controlled .They work great on larger toms.
That is exactly what I wanted to hear!
With vintage Emps on the toms, would you still use coated Ambassadors as resonant heads?
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Last edited by Mark32; 12-14-2017 at 05:27 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2017, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

If you want to go the old John Bonham way, coated emperor over coated ambassador on everything as you're already doing. On the bass drum, go coated emp over coated amb as well and run a felt strip along the reso and you're set. Make sure to tune it higher than you think, the best thing about big bass drums is that you still get the low-end boom and punch when you tune high.

Good choice on the Ludwig Centennials! I'm actually looking at getting a set, myself. They look phenomenal and I'm sure they sound phenomenal as well :).

Remember to have a good time!
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by AModestRat View Post
Good choice on the Ludwig Centennials! I'm actually looking at getting a set, myself. They look phenomenal and I'm sure they sound phenomenal as well :).

Remember to have a good time!
Thanks for the information.

As I said, I love these drums! I sided with the natural maple finish and I’m happy as can be. They were on sale for $900 on Musicains Friend around November and serve as a great upgrade from my B/W 10,12,16,22 Ludwig Accent.

The only bad part is, there are no drummers in the family to play them so I can really hear ‘em! ;)

I would also like to ‘brag’ on my new buttery smooth set of 15” K lights I picked up at Fork’s!
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Last edited by Mark32; 12-14-2017 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

Currently on my 26" Legacy Maple, I'm running a clear Ludwig Power Collar batter (exact same type of head as a Remo PS3) and a white logo Power Collar reso, nothing in the drum, no hole in the front head. Batter tensioned a bit under medium, reso a bit over medium. That gives me a very big, loud, and boomy sound without nearly as much transient overtones as you might think. What kind of sound are you going for? Kinda need to know that before I could recomend heads and tuning method...
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by Mark32 View Post
With vintage Emps on the toms, would you still use coated Ambassadors as resonant heads?
Yes. Coated Vintage Emps over Coated Ambassadors are my go-to combo.


I tried Vintage Ambassadors as resos but prefer the standard Coated Ambassador.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by Ghostnote View Post
What kind of sound are you going for? Kinda need to know that before I could recomend heads and tuning method...
I am looking for quite an open sound, toms tuned slightly lower than Bonham, kick and snare tuned about the same. The sound that I’ve had stuck in my head for years is Bobby Chouinard’s drum sound on the Billy Squier tune Lonely is the Night.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

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Originally Posted by Mark32 View Post
I am looking for quite an open sound, toms tuned slightly lower than Bonham, kick and snare tuned about the same. The sound that I’ve had stuck in my head for years is Bobby Chouinard’s drum sound on the Billy Squier tune Lonely is the Night.

Hope that helps.
Funny, the Bonham-ish tuning you listed is pretty much what I'm shooting for lately too, except I'm tuning my snare batter around medium instead of cranked a bit like Bonham would.

For the Bonham sound- coated Emperror batter tensioned a half turn on each tension rod up from JAW, smooth white Ludwig reso with a felt strip tensioned almost a full turn on each tension rod up from JAW. No hole in the front head, nothing in the drum. If you want to substitute something like a PS3 for the reso it'll sound pretty much the same, but the smooth white Ludwig head with the felt was the way he did it.

The Bobby Chouinard sound is a little different, a little flatter with more attack. He commonly would cut all but an inch or two left around the flesh hoop off of his bass drum reso. Just enough left on there to be able to put the front hoop, claws, and t-rods back on the reso side of his drum, but for all intents and purposes, no front head at all really. It certainly wasn't contributing anything acoustically, besides maybe helping to hold a blanket in there. For that sound I would use a coated Emperror batter tuned a quarter turn past JAW on each t-rod with a Falam Slam patch stuck on the beater impact area, no front head, or at least port your front head, and then throw a blanket or pillow in the drum.
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

Thanks a million, you guys have provided great information.
I will definitely be looking back on this thread when the time (money) comes.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: 26” Bass Drum Head Help

When I had a 26" I used Aquarian Full Force heads on the front and back, with a DW pillow inside. The Full Force heads are equivalent to a Remo P3.

I tried a lot of different head combos, and this was what I get the best sound out of. I like a punchy kick, not a lot of boom.
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