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Old 04-12-2011, 10:13 PM
HMNY HMNY is offline
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Default Torque Style Drum keys

I have noticed a number of these on the market, Ryhthm Tech, Evans, Drum dial to name a few. Are these a good idea, or just another gimmick, I've just started to play again, and these seem to be a useful way of getting heads to a uniform tension.....
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:45 PM
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wsabol wsabol is offline
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Default Re: Torque Style Drum keys

Tuning heads based on tension rod torque is not the best way to tune unless you have a brand new drum. Friction, tension rod wear, lug wear, and other factors can alter the torque on the tension rod during tuning, therefore torque measurements will not coorelate to head tension. Industiral wrenches often have a torque meter to measure torque during tightening so the operater doesn't over tighten the screw and strip the threads. We don't tighten our tension rods near that tight, so I think those torque keys are a waste of time/money.
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Last edited by wsabol; 04-12-2011 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:54 AM
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Deathmetalconga Deathmetalconga is offline
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Default Re: Torque Style Drum keys

I have an Evans mini torque key that I take to gigs. As wsabol points out, these measure the amount of resistance each tuning bolt feels, which can vary quite a bit. They're good for general and approximate tuning but not terribly effective. Don't spend a lot of money on one.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Torque Style Drum keys

As has been said, the torque varies from tension rod to tension rod. Not worth relying on one - perhaps useful to and extent if you can pick one up fairly cheaply, but I personally don't use one or have much need for one. It's a better idea to learn how to use your ears and practice tuning the drums than relying on a torque key.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:58 AM
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Frank Frank is offline
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Default Re: Torque Style Drum keys

I think they are a very useful tool - used correctly. No - these aren't your only means for tuning. But I tell ya - when you're on a gig, and you Have to change a head, and turning in front of people is Not an option, a torque key is an Essential tool in the toolbox. It will silently give you a Reasonable tuning, and it will do it a whole lot better than someone guessing Without it.
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