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  #1  
Old 03-18-2009, 01:39 AM
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Default New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

Hey everybody. Well I am sad to say that I was happy w my Evans EC2 EC combo until I heard my kit from afar. My buddy came over and was playing it and yikes!, I didn't really dig the sound of it. I am thinking of going with G2 over G1 or something more open. I have only ever used Evans Ec2's and pinnies. Anybody with a Catalina set have an idea? I just want open, snappy, and a nice tone.
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2009, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

Sounds good to me, over some clear G1s, your choice coated or clear, I like the coated. I have the same kit they bring out the warmness much better.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2009, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

How hard was tuning the G2's? The EC'2 s were supposed to be super easy but my 12" tom is still not great.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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Originally Posted by ardvark666 View Post
How hard was tuning the G2's? The EC'2 s were supposed to be super easy but my 12" tom is still not great.
I actually found them fairly easy on the toms, I just have had fits the snare no matter what I put on it. I found the 10" to be the hardest, either roto tommy or too deep but I found it after much messing around. You just find the sweet spot and they sounded very solid, very versatile, I would definitly reccomend going with the coated though. I found a nice tone and tuned the two heads about the even, maybe the reso a little higher, and got a nice round tone. I've heard EC2's were really really dead, these sing nice.

BTW if you get a bassdrum head, Aquarian SKII for sure, mine is a monster.
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2009, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

On my Catalina Maple, I have G2 Coateds over G1 Clears on the mounted toms, and Coated Emperors over Clear G-Pluses on the floor toms. Snare is Coated Ambassador over Clear Ambassador. It has cost me a fortune in experimentation, but I really like these heads now. All my toms are equally tuned batter to reso, all at about a full 360 degree turn per lug. My snare is alot tighter, and I have tweaked it so much, I don't know the turns. I use Moongel to kill overtone ringing, and I absolutely love the sound of these drums, now.

I did try an EC 2 as a batter on my 14" FT. It lasted an hour - sounded entirely too dead. So I went to Emperors and Moongel on the edge - perfect.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2009, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

I bought a g2 coated & a genera res for my 12" tom today. I will try it out tomorrow. Hopefully all goes well and I find what I am looking for. Oh btw Musicians Friend has 20.00 off 150$ or more until the end of the month so I just picked up a pork pie throne for 139.00 Now I can play in some comfort.
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2009, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

I have EC2's on my Pacific set.. They are very fat sounding. Below was mentioned dead sounding, but they need to be a little tighter than those G2's which I had a while back.
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2009, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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Originally Posted by ardvark666 View Post
How hard was tuning the G2's? The EC'2 s were supposed to be super easy but my 12" tom is still not great.
I don't think there is such a a things a head thats easier to tune than another.Muffled heads may hide mistakes a bit thats not the same thing
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2009, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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Originally Posted by ardvark666 View Post
How hard was tuning the G2's? The EC'2 s were supposed to be super easy but my 12" tom is still not great.
If your 12" tom is a 5 lug drum, then it is critical to get a precise and even tuning on all the lugs. I had a problem getting a good note out of my 12" Catalina Club. Be real meticulous on seating the head and getting even tension and it may help.

Also, of course, check the drum for being round and that no hardware is loose.

Regardless of brand, I think that you get more attack, volume and sustain from single ply heads. If you want a thuddier sound then the G2s fit the bill.
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2009, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

Trying to get equal tension can be very difficult, especially with snap, crackle, and pop Remos. I always tune mine lug by lug, meaning I tap the head about a half inch off each lug and tune each lug to the other, sonically, rather than by worrying about how much tension is on each lug. Then I tune my batter to my resonant (I prefer the resonance of equal tensioned heads), by going around the drum in equal fractions of a turn while tapping in the middle with my finger, once I've completed my round.

It is my experience that what alot of drummers call "out of tune" or "sounds dead" is a choked head caused by poor tuning. Make sure all your lugs have equal tension, and make sure your batter and resonant are not more than a half turn from each other. Too much pitch variance between your batter and reso can make a drum sound horrible. I think alot of people will do this by tweaking their batter heads alot after an initial tuning, without adjusting their resos. Each drum shell has it's own preferences, too. If you still get a dead sound after doing everything above, tune both sides up a 1/4. If that sounds better, but not quite the resonance you want, tune up another 1/8 and keep doing it until you hit what you like. Most maple
shells have 3-4 "sweet spots" (where the tone causes the shell to vibrate harmoniously) in their tuning range, going from low to high, before they choke out completely. The only way to find them is to experiment.

Last edited by Strangelove; 03-19-2009 at 07:30 PM.
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  #11  
Old 03-19-2009, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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Originally Posted by ardvark666 View Post
How hard was tuning the G2's? The EC'2 s were supposed to be super easy but my 12" tom is still not great.
Anything Evans makes is easier to tune than Remos - G2s tune up very evenly, IMO. They keep an even tension much better. When I put Remos on for the first time, it sounds like a bowl of rice crispies, and even though I turn each lug the same, the tension ends up all over the place. Until you know how to deal with a Remo, I highly recommend sticking with Evans.

Another thing you might consider is matching the thickness of your batters and resos with the size of your drums. That 10" does not need a big thick hide on it, it is a small drum. I personally would not have an EC 2 on anything smaller than a 16". G2s work fine on the 12" and 14"s. So you might try a G1/G1 on the 10", G2/G1 on the 12", G2/G-Plus on the 14", and an EC-2/G-Plus on the 16". But remember, always go with Single Ply reso heads! Most of your projected sound that you do not hear while drumming comes from that bottom head. Double ply reso heads cannot sing out like singles can.
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  #12  
Old 03-19-2009, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

I have the 6 lug version of the catalina maple if that helps. I usually tune my resos a 3rd or 4th higher than my batter heads (but I didn't with the EC2's). I like the note it makes. but yeah i might try leaving the ec2's on my floor toms for now since I dont want them to crack like the little guys. I prefer a boomy floor tom sound(which I have) but the 10 and 12 just dont sound lively enough with the ec'2s. And there are def heads that are easier to tune than others. My buddy has a silver sparkle ludwig that he uses all single ply heads on (used to use pinnies) and they were a bit tricky and not as forgiving as a 2 ply head. Thats one of the reasons that I didn't go w a single ply batter. They tend to go out of tune a bit more after a good pounding. They certainly require a bit more attention than a fat 2 ply.
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Last edited by ardvark666; 03-20-2009 at 02:42 AM.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2009, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

I think you'll like the 2 plys on the mounteds. I just went from G-Pluses to G2s on mine, and am very pleased. With a G Plus, my 10" sounded too bongo-ish for my tastes. Plus I went to coateds this time. The acoustics in the room - well, it has ceramic tile floors, need I say more? My Paiste cymbals are just killing my ears in that room!
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2009, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

SO I have the G2 coated with the Genera res on my 12. It sounds killer. Really sharp attack with sweet overtones and a pronounced boom. So I digress, you all might think I'm nuts but I tuned the EC'2s so the resos were a 4th above and now I'm liking them too but I absolutely love the Genera reso on the 12. I also dig the G2 coated on the 12. I can't decide whether to get a new 12" EC2 (the other one is just plain ol defective) or get a 10 coated G2 and keep the EC2's on my floor toms. I def like the way my floors sound with the bottom heads tuned a 4th above. They are nice and boomy and I don't picture them sounding as good with the G2 coated (I don't want that crisp attack on em). But I guess I will play it for a while like this to decide on whether or not to switch to all coateds on the top 10 and 12. It looks like Frankendrum right now but who cares. Does anyone out there pay with coated 10 and 12 toms and clear floors? Am I alone in liking the way it sounds? I never had 2 floor toms before so it is really cool to be able to do heavy heavy triplets off of those. Sorry to ramble here. This kit is shaping up but there is a lot to decide on. Thanks for the help.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2009, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

I have Emperors on my floor toms which of course is Remo's G2 equivalent. I like them because they project a bit better than EC 2s and I tune them higher than most modern drummers to get excellent rebound. Of course, tuning them as high as I do, I have to slap enough Moon Gel on them to kill the annoying overtones. But my floor toms sound like rolling thunder on a fast triplet fill. My 16 will shake your ribcage. This is partially because of the equalization of the batter and reso, but also because I hit a sweet spot where the pitch vibrates the shell very well.
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  #16  
Old 03-20-2009, 04:15 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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I have Emperors on my floor toms which of course is Remo's G2 equivalent. I like them because they project a bit better than EC 2s and I tune them higher than most modern drummers to get excellent rebound. Of course, tuning them as high as I do, I have to slap enough Moon Gel on them to kill the annoying overtones. But my floor toms sound like rolling thunder on a fast triplet fill. My 16 will shake your ribcage. This is partially because of the equalization of the batter and reso, but also because I hit a sweet spot where the pitch vibrates the shell very well.
I heard that traditional handmade drum heads were darker and more complex sounding than mass-produced machine-made drum heads. :X

j/k

The nature of the Gretsch tonality is such that they don't have a super-bright edge to tame. They are more rounded than that. They don't seem hyper-fussy with drumheads. Anything from clear/coated 1 ply to clear coated 2-ply sound great. I don't feel they need pre-muffled heads. The moongel route allows for just a touch of control.
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  #17  
Old 03-20-2009, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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I heard that traditional handmade drum heads were darker and more complex sounding than mass-produced machine-made drum heads. :X

j/k

The nature of the Gretsch tonality is such that they don't have a super-bright edge to tame. They are more rounded than that. They don't seem hyper-fussy with drumheads. Anything from clear/coated 1 ply to clear coated 2-ply sound great. I don't feel they need pre-muffled heads. The moongel route allows for just a touch of control.
LOL - but you are aware of course that traditional reinforced 3 ply shells produce a more complex tone, nez pas? And us vintage drummers cannot appreciate anything but that dark complexity and we can act real bitchy when we hear something we don't like........

Back to reality, I honestly think this Catalina Maple set rivals any $1,500 set of Luddies I played in the 70s. The hardware remains to be seen, but the sound is right up there. But I do have my eye on some Renowns. I am surprised with Gretsch.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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LOL - but you are aware of course that traditional reinforced 3 ply shells produce a more complex tone, nez pas? And us vintage drummers cannot appreciate anything but that dark complexity and we can act real bitchy when we hear something we don't like........

Back to reality, I honestly think this Catalina Maple set rivals any $1,500 set of Luddies I played in the 70s. The hardware remains to be seen, but the sound is right up there. But I do have my eye on some Renowns. I am surprised with Gretsch.
After I retire this summer, and start my second career (whatever that is) I am going to look into a set of renown purewoods. I have not decided between rosewood, bubinga, walnut, cherry or African mahogany.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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After I retire this summer, and start my second career (whatever that is) I am going to look into a set of renown purewoods. I have not decided between rosewood, bubinga, walnut, cherry or African mahogany.
Those are the woods I would love to try. But I am waiting until I win a jackpot at the casino. If I play one of those sets now, it will be like that Paiste Signature this past weekend. Out comes the credit card.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:08 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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Those are the woods I would love to try. But I am waiting until I win a jackpot at the casino. If I play one of those sets now, it will be like that Paiste Signature this past weekend. Out comes the credit card.
I tried a couple of them. The cherry and rosewood have a beautiful finish, far more enticing than plain maple or birch.

I could have ended up with one of those beautiful sets, but I felt boxed in by the lack of add-on sizes or individual drums.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:28 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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I tried a couple of them. The cherry and rosewood have a beautiful finish, far more enticing than plain maple or birch.

I could have ended up with one of those beautiful sets, but I felt boxed in by the lack of add-on sizes or individual drums.
I would bet the Rosewood is awesome, toi. I would be interested to hear all of them to compare tone, but would be especially interested in the Rosewood. Acoustic Guitar players (The Martin D-28 crowd, especially) swear that Rosewood is the only wood capable of producing those dark, rich, complex tones. Toasty, almost like the finish of a 63 Chateaux Latour......
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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I would bet the Rosewood is awesome, toi. I would be interested to hear all of them to compare tone, but would be especially interested in the Rosewood. Acoustic Guitar players (The Martin D-28 crowd, especially) swear that Rosewood is the only wood capable of producing those dark, rich, complex tones. Toasty, almost like the finish of a 63 Chateaux Latour......
I think rosewood is my favorite of the group, cherry second.

This is a renown purewood rosewood snare.


Due to popular demand, Gretsch has released a series of Purewood Rosewood snare drums.


“Three new Rosewood snares have been added to Gretsch’s Full Range Snare lineup. Each 9-ply, 100% Rosewood snare drum features 30-degree bearing edges, die cast hoops, 10-lugs (20-lugs on 8 x 14) and 20-strand snares. Adjustable throw-off and Evans G1 batter side with Evans clear snare side heads included.”

These are serious snares, very high quality. So if you’re planning on buying one check out the prices first…

S-514-RW 5.5 x 14 Renown Purewood Rosewood Snare Drum $770
S-6514-RW 6.5 x 14 Renown Purewood Rosewood Snare Drum $845
S-8014-RW 8 x 14 Renown Purewood Rosewood Snare Drum $925

These might just be MSRP, but they are much less money than Ludwigs AVH rosewood snare.
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  #23  
Old 03-20-2009, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

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Originally Posted by trkdrmr View Post
I think rosewood is my favorite of the group, cherry second.

This is a renown purewood rosewood snare.


Due to popular demand, Gretsch has released a series of Purewood Rosewood snare drums.


“Three new Rosewood snares have been added to Gretsch’s Full Range Snare lineup. Each 9-ply, 100% Rosewood snare drum features 30-degree bearing edges, die cast hoops, 10-lugs (20-lugs on 8 x 14) and 20-strand snares. Adjustable throw-off and Evans G1 batter side with Evans clear snare side heads included.”

These are serious snares, very high quality. So if you’re planning on buying one check out the prices first…

S-514-RW 5.5 x 14 Renown Purewood Rosewood Snare Drum $770
S-6514-RW 6.5 x 14 Renown Purewood Rosewood Snare Drum $845
S-8014-RW 8 x 14 Renown Purewood Rosewood Snare Drum $925

These might just be MSRP, but they are much less money than Ludwigs AVH rosewood snare.
Well that is just beautiful. I am interested as to how they sound, and particularly any bass and toms they are making in Rosewood. As I recall, one reason a D-28 is so lionized by guitar players is because of the boomy resonance and projection that Rosewood produces. I wonder how that would translate into drums? I actually like my wood snare, versus the Supraphonic and Vistalite snares I played in the 1970's. They were just too sharp, loud and overbearing, IMO. I would just like to try some other woods besides Maple. Unfortunately, they carry nothing like this in Oklahoma City, and I'm sure I will have to go all the way to Dallas to even hear a set or a snare like that.

Last edited by Strangelove; 03-20-2009 at 09:13 PM.
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  #24  
Old 03-21-2009, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

I got G2's put on all of my toms today on my catalina, it sounds amazing go for it.
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  #25  
Old 03-23-2009, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: New Heads for Gretsch Catalina Maple

For all Catalina Maple owners - checkout the thread in the drum forum titled Tom Tuning. Start with post 69. I belive its on page 9 of that thread.
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