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  #1  
Old 01-10-2009, 06:14 PM
Derfel Derfel is offline
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Default Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

Hi folks, thanks for taking a look.

I played the drums for a few years back in my teens and recently decided to take them up again for fun and exercise! I have just acquired a fairly new (1 year) bog standard Premier Olympic kit for cheap. It still has the original unbranded heads on which are heavily dented have patches of duct tape residue all over them and I don't think have ever been tuned properly (some of them actually had ripples in!). So I am doing some research about re-heading and tuning them and making them sound ok (I know they are budget drums but I have read of people making them sound decent!)

At the moment I have no immediate plans for performance of any kind, I will just be playing them at home to work on my technique and have some fun. So my main factor in choosing new heads is really low volume and a nice sound – I want to play an hour or two most days without practise pads. I won't be playing at unsociable hours or anything but want to make sure I disturb my housemates and neighbours as little as possible! I'll be playing mainly rock/pop and I'm not after any specific sound, just low volume and versatile, maybe a bit 'studioish'.

Specs:
Premier Olympic (6ply/6mm Basswood shell )
12" x 9" Tom
13" x 10" Tom
16" x 16" Floor Tom
22" x 16" Bass Drum
14" x 5.5" Snare


I have read quite a few guides to head selection and tuning, in fact probably so many that I am a bit confused so I thought I would ask for some opinions and advice here to see if I am on the right track!

Example of my current thinking (I'm more concerned with type of head than the brand for the moment):

Toms: Aquarian Studio X clear + Power Dot / Aquarian Hi-Frequency
Kick: Aquarian Impact II / Aquarian Regulator 22” + 4.25" Port
Snare: Aquarian Studio X coated + Power Dot / Aquarian Classic Clear Snare Bottom


Could this give me an ok sound but with low volume or should I be thinking more like double-ply muffled like powerstroke 4's?

Should I be replacing the resonant heads or giving the generic ones a try?


Apologies for any naivety displayed, I am new to this!
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2009, 09:49 PM
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Ruok Ruok is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

My first thought was toward Evans Hydraulic heads. Perfect for minimal sustain and that dry and low pitch studio sound. Maybe even take off the resonant/bottom heads, since they're more for projection and for a fuller drum sound, which you don't need.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2009, 12:28 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

Ruok, good man. Evans Hydraulic heads or Remo Pinstripe heads with no reso. heads. Low volume. If you need to further decrease volume after that, stuff pillows/foam into the drum shells. Not so they touch the batter heads, but they will muffle the sound further.
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2009, 01:16 PM
Derfel Derfel is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

thanks for the advice guys I hadn't heard of that method yet, evans do a pack for my tom sizes so I'm sold there!

Do you mean the same thing for all the kick drum and snare too?

If I used a hydraulic for the kick would you recommend something like the evans eq pad, or is getting a head with built in muffling preferable.

What snare side head should I use for low volume!

thanks again
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2009, 06:31 PM
Numberonefan Numberonefan is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

How low volume do you want? These heads recommended with a pair of hot rods will help or if you want it really low go with mesh heads. You can still here mesh heads as long as your pedal is well oiled!
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2009, 10:49 AM
Derfel Derfel is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

Hi, thanks for the advice, a pair of hotrods are on my shopping list.

I don't have a baby next door or anything and will be playing in the afternoons when not many people are about so I want to go as quiet possible but don't want to use mesh heads or pads so I think I'll go with the Hydraulics on the Tom's at least.

If I start playing more seriously or with anyone else I will naturally change things up, but for the moment I just want it to sound ok to me sitting at the kit!
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2009, 12:52 PM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derfel View Post
Do you mean the same thing for all the kick drum and snare too?
On the kick, yes. A cat I know has a Gretsch Black or Night "Hawk" kit set up like this. Total low volume. He has a "roommate" situation, and is totally dirt poor, so you do what you can do to make things work, with what you got. On the snare, you can't remove the batter, there would be no snare then (unless you wanna forsake the snare). You can run a piece of foam inside the snare shell (this should touch batter and reso. heads). That will de-volumize the drum a lot, but you'll still get a playable/tunable snare.
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2009, 10:13 PM
Derfel Derfel is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

ok thanks all, I've ordered as advised!
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2009, 01:50 AM
Derfel Derfel is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

just one more question!

I remember reading somewhere that it's best for the hoop and shell of the bass drum if you keep a head on it, so should I keep the stock one on and cut a big hole (>7") so it has no acoustic effect?
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  #10  
Old 01-13-2009, 04:46 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

Certainly, that will help protect your bearing edge(s). You can do that on the rack toms, floor tom and kick.
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2009, 12:54 AM
Derfel Derfel is offline
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Default Re: Advice on heads for a budget low volume practise kit!

roger that! Should I just stick the holes bang in the middle?
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