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  #1  
Old 10-04-2010, 04:49 AM
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Mandala Mandala is offline
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Default Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

So a while ago I made a post asking for advice on heads for my kit, I ended up going with:
Evans Ec2 SST over Evans EC Resonant on my toms
Evans HD Dry over Evans Hazy 300 on my Snare
and Evans EMAD2 on my bass drum on my bass drum.
The sound just wasn't doing it for me. The Heads sounded too dead, the snare too dry, and the bass drum also too dead. I guess I'm just full of complaints, haha. I need help though, I don't know my way around heads whatsoever and before I drop more of the little money I have on heads, I'd like to see what the guys at DW might have to tell me. I've only been playing drums for little over two years and while I consider myself a pretty good drummer for the amount of time I've played, I'm a bad drummer in the sense that I'm not sure what kind of heads I should be buying to get the sound I want. I understand it's also about tuning but at the same time, it's a given that different heads lean towards different tones. With that said, the equipment I'm running is:
12x8 Rack tom and 16x16 Floor tom. Seeing as the kit is a vintage kit, I want to be able to show that off and get the true tone of my toms to come through. That's the reason I didn't like the EC2's. They sounded like a straight slap. To me, they had no characteristics of a drum, just a percussive noise. Not saying attack is bad thing, but that much is unnecessary for what I like to play.
My Snare is a 13x3 Pearl Brass Piccolo. I like a crack. I got a pop.
My Bass Drum is ridiculous, and I'm still at a loss on a way to tame this thing without killing it. 20x12.
I realize that this post sounds really whiny, and I hate that. I love the drums, and despite my dissatisfaction with the sound I had prior to me being ready for an upgrade, I played my kit every single day. It's not like the sound was awful, it was a fine sound for a certain style, just not the style I play.
I really appreciate any help anybody could offer me with this. I don't want to take anymore leaps of faith on heads. Thanks!

EDIT: I probably, should of included this, but the band I'm currently playing in is best described as Indie with some Acid-Punk and Grunge elements and I like to having matching heads for aesthetic reasons, save for the kick which I'm willing to mix it up with.
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Last edited by Mandala; 10-04-2010 at 05:03 AM. Reason: I'm a scatter brain.
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2010, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

I was reading on another thread that coated heads on the top and bottom might get me around where I want. From what I was saw there, I was thinking Coated Ambassador/Coated Diplomat?
I'm anything though, and as stated before, I really don't know too much about heads. I'd love some feedback :)
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2010, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

I'm no expert on the subject either but it seems to me that you're going to want those Ambassadors. Single ply heads really open up the sound of the drums. Also if aesthetics are important to you, Remo has a clear ply underneath their coating so when the coating starts to wear through it becomes obvious very quickly. If that's a problem you could also check out Evans G1 heads. They're equivalent heads but they have a smooth white ply so it doesn't show as much.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

All my opinion here: I think you should start with unmuffled single ply heads top and bottom. Coated or clear, your choice. They will give you the most lively sound. I don't like the dead dry sound either, I want crisp, alive, sensitive, ringing toms. Also forget the Diplomats, they just don't have the sustain like a 10 mil head. If single ply heads sound too lively for you, you can always go deader, but I think it's the best starting point. Also, before judging, have someone else play your drums and stand 15 feet away. Any ring that you hear behind the drums usually dissapates pretty quickly. That ring is your friend. It makes your drum sound alive at a distance. If you muffle, even a little, they sound like cardboard boxes to the audience (unmiced)

I've tried most heads out there and always come back to the single plys. Even the 12 mil single ply head (G plus) sounded too wonky to me. I've found that a 10 mil head gives just the right balance of crispness, sustain and tone, to my ear.


I do like a 2 ply coated on the snare like a G2 or Emperor, the single ply coated on the snare sounds a little thin to me, and for the kick, a single ply EMAD does it for me, w/ a ported reso and a little laundry inside.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandala View Post
Seeing as the kit is a vintage kit, I want to be able to show that off and get the true tone of my toms to come through.
I'd suggest either a one or two ply head for the batters. Remo Ambassador or Evans G1 will cover the single ply......or for a little more durability and ever so slightly less open sound, a Remo Emperor or Evans G2. I'd choose a single ply reso (Amb or G1) and for the kick I'd recommend a Remo PS3....more open sounding than the EMAD (I have no idea if Evans have an equivalent).

They'll give you the vintage sound you're after.
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Last edited by Pocket-full-of-gold; 10-04-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Hello,
I've got a set of '65 Slingerlands. I guess it depends what sound you are going for really. If you want the real Vintage sound of the drums I would go with heads that were in use at the time.

The Vintage drums can have some overtones that are fairly difficult if not impossible to tune out. If you don't mind that, you should think about Remo Coated Ambassadors on batter and resonant side of toms and bass drum. Buy felt strips to muffle the Bass Drum. You'll want to start with one on the batter head and one on the reso head. Add more if you feel you have to. If you have to use Evans, get coated G1's. They will be very lively sounding and if your sound guy isn't used to real drum sounds you may have some convincing to do. I'm not positive what to do with the snare. I don't have one of those, but my default heads for that genre would be a Remo coated emperor on top and a hazy ambassador on snare side. If you have to have Evans use G2 on top and 300 on snare side.

If you want a little dryer sound but still vintage sounding you could use Remo coated Emperors on the batter sides of toms, BD and snare and everything else the same. The 2 ply head takes just a few of the overtones out but they still sound vintage.

When you go to tune these you'll be surprised at how much the head settles after you play it a bit. You should put the heads on, play for a while (an hour or so?) and re-evaluate. I find that the drums are a lot easier to fine tune after the heads have been on the drum a while. It is a much more noticeable phenomenon on the vintage drums than it is on the modern drums, in my opinion.

Anyway have fun!

PS - if you like the sound of the Bonham kits, (not the drum sizes but the tone of the drums), go with the emperors. If you like Buddy Rich's sound from that time period, go with the Ambassadors.

Last edited by Average; 10-04-2010 at 02:32 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Thank you for all the help everyone!
Judging from the responses I got, I think I'm going to go with Remo Coated Ambassador/Remo Clear Ambassador on the toms, Remo PS3/Fiberskyn Reso on the Bass Drum, and Remo Coated Powerstroke 3/Remo Ambassador Snare Side on the Snare.
The Snare is kind of a blind guess on my part for my snare, but I heard it on a buddy's snare and I really liked it.
I was wondering though, what is the difference between a Ambassador/Emperor and a Vintage Ambassador/Vintage Emperor? If I bought these, what kind of sound would I be look at compared to if I bought the normal head?
Also, what about Aquarian heads? I hate ruling out options.
Again, thank you for all the help. I'm building up an internal memory bank of what heads give what sounds so I'll never have to ask again, but for now, I'm still learning haha.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

I know that you've already made your choice but I just wanted to chime in since this is the first time I've seen this thread since it was started. I definitely wouldn't recommend the heads that you started with for a vintage kit if you want to retain the identity of character of the drums. Here's my recommendation if you consider yourself to be skilled at tuning;

Evans Coated White G Plus batters/G1 clear resos on the toms (You may want to use some E-Rings if you're going for a more classic rock sound)
Evans Power Center Reverse Dot batter/Hazy 300 snare side for the snare
Evans EQ4 batter/EMAD resonant on the kick with an EQ pad or similar

Regardless, best of luck with your drums and post a recording if you can when you get the new heads on!
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvansSpecialist View Post
I know that you've already made your choice but I just wanted to chime in since this is the first time I've seen this thread since it was started. I definitely wouldn't recommend the heads that you started with for a vintage kit if you want to retain the identity of character of the drums. Here's my recommendation if you consider yourself to be skilled at tuning;

Evans Coated White G Plus batters/G1 clear resos on the toms (You may want to use some E-Rings if you're going for a more classic rock sound)
Evans Power Center Reverse Dot batter/Hazy 300 snare side for the snare
Evans EQ4 batter/EMAD resonant on the kick with an EQ pad or similar

Regardless, best of luck with your drums and post a recording if you can when you get the new heads on!
Nah........EQ rings, EMADS and EQ pillows? Stifling. There'd be no life left in the drum.

On a vintage kit.....open 'em up. :-)
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Nah........EQ rings, EMADS and EQ pillows? Stifling. There'd be no life left in the drum.

On a vintage kit.....open 'em up. :-)
Gotta agree. Evans EMADS are awesome for a modern sounding drum. I use the emad system on an 18 inch sonor BD and it amplifies and records well. But I wouldn't use the same thing on my Slingerland BD because I use that drum when I am looking for the vintage sound. Coated emperor on the batter side, coated ambassador on the resonant side. Felt strips for the win!
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:14 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Nah........EQ rings, EMADS and EQ pillows? Stifling. There'd be no life left in the drum.

On a vintage kit.....open 'em up. :-)
The EQ4 has a great natural sound actually that works well for a larger shallow kick (such as this Slingerland). The EMAD I suggested was the reso (not the batter- wasn't sure if you misunderstood) which is great for a wide variety of kick sounds. As far as the EQ pad, this would be a great option for controlling the batter head on the kick. You can adjust how much contact it has with the head (if any at all!). Having played this and many other setups on a lot of different drums, I can safely say that there is still plenty of life in the kick.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Thanks for all the added input everyone.
At the risk of looking flippy-floppy, I'm gonna say I have some thinking to do.
I've played Remo for a while and the reason I switched to Evans was for some variety. I had an initial bad experience, but it was obviously more so my choice of heads.
I could go back to what I'm classically comfortable with, or give another chance to Evans. Hmm.
If only it wasn't such a big deal to drop a few bucks.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandala View Post
Thanks I could go back to what I'm classically comfortable with, or give another chance to Evans. Hmm.
If only it wasn't such a big deal to drop a few bucks.
Easy to sort the toms, buy one 12" Remo Ambassador and one 12" Evans G1....try 'em both......roll with the sound you prefer. Then pick up a few more for the rest of your kit and leave the other as a spare.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Help me tame my vintage Slingerland!

Sounds like a good plan.
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