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  #1  
Old 07-10-2011, 11:43 AM
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Default Made a big mistake. Advice please

One year ago or so I needed some new heads for my drums, so I got these ones, based purely on looks:
http://remo.com/portal/products/6/51...mbassador.html

All I can say is that was and still is biggest drumming mistake. Buying heads without trying them first and only on looks. I put them on my DW and they sucked the life out of the kit. I can only imagine these heads are for metal drummers (correct me if I am wrong) as the sound is so deep and dark. If anyone uses these please let me know what sort of music they are suited for. Also, they are tuned properly. I have personally tuned them and had other drummers tune them but still nothing.

Anyway, down to my point. Could someone recommend me some heads for my DW collectors series. It's a rock kit so I guess the sizes are 12", 14" and 16". I know buying heads is fairly simple but I would like some opinions on what sounds best. I will be playing all different types of music, mainly light rock, jazz etc.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Are you sure these are a mistake? Ebony Ambassadors are the same weight as white coated Ambassadors, which is what DW basically mounts on their drums from the factory (their clear heads with the white coated ring on the heads are ambassadors with the additional 'muffle' ring on the edge). I can't imagine that ebony ambassadors would kill those drums. Spend more time tuning them?
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

I'm into plain old ambassadors at the moment.

Thing is to my mind it wasn't a mistake you made, just a learning experience. You have to try loads of heads to get a feel for how they sound, and eventually you'll settle on something - then probably try something else again. I've gone through all sorts of heads in my time, from all different brands: Remo Ambassadors, Pinstripes, Emporers, Powerstroke, Evans G1, G2, Aquarian Satin Finish.... I don't think there's any shortcut to "finding your sound" - the unfortunate thing is it does cost money!

At the moment I'm experimenting with bass drum heads - nobody can tell me what I'm going to like best - if you read the forums 1 person will say they love a PS3 and dislike EMAD, others say the opposite.

In the end, you just have to try it IMO...

EDIT: And as Bo said, you must experiment with tuning, a lot! It takes a lot of practise. I've recently discovered the Bob Gatzen videos on youtube and they've helped, especially with my recent adventures with getting a good bass drum sound.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

As ever, thanks for the help guys. I am pretty sure they are tuned correctly. I took a tom to my teacher to let him tune it. I will admit it sounds better but it's not what I am after. I want a brighter sound from my drum kit. I guess it is an experience that I have to learn from and I need to experiment with heads to see what are best for me.

So I guess my question would be: what heads are best for a brighter, lighter sound?

thanks guys.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2011, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Well, usually the ambassador is the brighter sound. If you want brighter than that, I would suggest going to the diplomat weight. It'll be thinner and won't last as long, but you will get a brighter articulated sound.
If you were getting the sound you liked from the stock heads that came with the kit, perhaps you should get those again. In fact, when I got my first DW kit, I did notice it sounded different when I went to the coated ambassadors, then when I went back to the DW clear with white ring it got the 'sound fresh out of the box' sound. I figured DW knows what it's doing, so I stuck with those heads up until I sold both DW kits years later.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Just put clear ambassadors on top and bottom. They are bright as all.

Or do what Bo said and use the DW heads.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2011, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Cheers guys. I'll go back to the original DW ones. I think i saw them online somewhere. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

I have a 10 inch tom that I wanted to brighten up.
I tried an Evans Gerera Clear Resonant head on the bottom and wow!
I'm using an Evans G1 coated on top.

The Genera Clear Reso is advertised as a bright head. I thought that it was just hype.
The Gen Clear reso is much like an Ambassador in construction.
It really made a big difference in the tone of the drum.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Evans-Ge...44-i1140156.gc

I have played the Remo Amb Ebony. I found them to be bright with a slight warmth just as they are advertised to be.
They are a nice sounding head.
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2011, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Thanks for your thoughts. Maybe its the resonant head I should change. I have some spare change so I will try a few different things and see what happens.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Buy one new reso for your 12 inch tom and give it a try.
It will only cost you about $12.
If you like it then buy more for the other drums.
I'm not using the Genera Reso for my floor tom because I want it to be darker.

I also like the Aquarian Classic Clear for the bottom of my toms.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2011, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

I really come finally to the conclusion now, that the Collectors are only Rock kits and the Toms should be tuned low to have their special DW-Sound - just as low, as the wrinkles are on the way to go - and good miking is a must.

the 10 and 12 and 14 makes no troubles - but especially the 16' is very difficult - if you don't like the very deep plastic-paper sound - you're lost.

Just have the chance to play also a DW Jazz Kit: so nice, tunable also in high ranges - what a beautiful drumset compared....lol

Bernhard
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

I like bright toms with maximum attack. After starting with clear 10 mil 1 ply heads top and bottom, I decided to try and improve my tom sound. After trying nearly every head out there, I went full circle. Clear 10 mil, 1 ply heads top and bottom are the head of choice on my DW's. I couldn't improve on that tone. I use Evans but Ambassadors sound just as good. As much as I like Bo, I can't agree with his Diplomat recommendation. I tried a set of them. Stayed on for 1 gig, then I tossed them. They are only 7 mil, they dent easy and don't sustain as long as a 10 mil head.

There are a million heads, with all manner of muffling rings and whatnot, but for my money, the original 1 ply 10 mil head has the most sonically pleasing frequencies for toms. (I prefer a 2 ply coated on the snare) If you can't get a good tone from that head, it's because of tuning. Don't think you can tune the overtones out. They are a big part of a great tom sound. They are your ally.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2011, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Thanks for all the advice guys. Its all really helpful. The overwhelming feeling i get is that a better sound comes with experience. Bernhard, I'm starting to lean towards thinking its my collectors kit as its a rock kit, pure and simple. not a jazz kit. Maybe that would suit my playing style more.

I'll try and tune these ebony's a bit more, ill stick some normal Ambassadors on there and see if I prefer it. If not, I guess it's the kit and tome sizes.
Thanks again for your input everyone, its gave me a different view of my kit all together.
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2011, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I like bright toms with maximum attack. After starting with clear 10 mil 1 ply heads top and bottom, I decided to try and improve my tom sound. After trying nearly every head out there, I went full circle. Clear 10 mil, 1 ply heads top and bottom are the head of choice on my DW's. I couldn't improve on that tone. I use Evans but Ambassadors sound just as good. As much as I like Bo, I can't agree with his Diplomat recommendation. I tried a set of them. Stayed on for 1 gig, then I tossed them. They are only 7 mil, they dent easy and don't sustain as long as a 10 mil head.

There are a million heads, with all manner of muffling rings and whatnot, but for my money, the original 1 ply 10 mil head has the most sonically pleasing frequencies for toms. (I prefer a 2 ply coated on the snare) If you can't get a good tone from that head, it's because of tuning. Don't think you can tune the overtones out. They are a big part of a great tom sound. They are your ally.

I only recommend the Diplomats because our OP wanted brighter. I figure if you're not gettin' it with the Ambassadors, there's only one other choice to try. I'm not understanding why you're not getting it with the Ambassadors to begin with. I keep getting this feeling if I went over to your house and put your ambassadors on and tuned it up, I'd get 'em nice and bright..... ;)
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Ambassadors too dark? For rock? Most jazz drummers with very high pitched toms use ambassadors, and most rock drummers use emperors, which are even deeper.
You may want to try clear ambassadors, they'll give you a brighter sound than ebony or coated.
I wouldn't go all the way to diplomats, few drummers use them for batter heads. If you do though, get the coated, the clear ones will last you a few months maybe.
Maybe the DW heads are what you're looking for, however they are just a clear 10mil head with muffle rings. So you'll pretty much be getting a clear ambassador with less sustain.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Those heads should sound pretty good.

Anyways, if you want a brighter sound, I have been messing around with Clear Remo Diplomat drumheads on my Toms Batter Side (yes, the THIN 7.5mm heads) and they sound Fantastic. The attack sound more defined, and it just has an "Airy-er" sound to it.

I would highly recommend these Diplomat heads.

(Even though ALOT of drummers will say not to use these thin 7.5mm heads as batters)
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

I have used coated Dips as batters many times and I have had no problem with them denting.
They sounded great!

They only dent if you hit them real hard with heavy sticks.
If you play moderately with medium sized sticks they last a long time.
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2011, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Ok so I have put some clear heads on my kit now, not double ply. I think because the ebony ones were pinstripedit wasn't producing the sound I wanted.
It's clear to see that everyone has strong opinions on their heads so I guess I need to try different set UPS and discover what's right for me. Anyway, these heads I have now - just basic remo clear heads, not pinstriped - sound a lot lot better. I have tuned them well (I believe) and it makes my kit sound a lot better but not perfect.
I'm starting to think its the kit that might not be giving me the right sound. Maybe ill get a brighter sound with a DW Jazz series kit in the future. Anyway, thanks for all your help, these new heads have made my kit sound a lot better.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

conza111,

As always I'm sure we are just talking just about toms but I wanted to make clear that's what I'm addressing.

Resonants have been brought up but I believe they may be quite important to getting to where you want to be.

I admit that I can be very batter focused as are many others. Having good new resonants can be key to getting the tom sound you want. I'd try changing one of your resonant heads to a clear single ply (Aquarian Classic Clear, Evans G1 clear, Remo Ambassador clear) and see what kind of difference it makes.

For the record: What kind of resonant heads do you have now and how old are they?
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by conza111 View Post
Ok so I have put some clear heads on my kit now, not double ply. I think because the ebony ones were pinstripedit wasn't producing the sound I wanted.
It's clear to see that everyone has strong opinions on their heads so I guess I need to try different set UPS and discover what's right for me. Anyway, these heads I have now - just basic remo clear heads, not pinstriped - sound a lot lot better. I have tuned them well (I believe) and it makes my kit sound a lot better but not perfect.
I'm starting to think its the kit that might not be giving me the right sound. Maybe ill get a brighter sound with a DW Jazz series kit in the future. Anyway, thanks for all your help, these new heads have made my kit sound a lot better.
Pinstriped? You said they were ambassadors not pinstripes!
THAT makes sense, the pinstripes (especially the ebony) deliver a very low and fat sound.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

I would definitely agree with checking out the Evans G1 clear batter and an Evans Genera Resonant or even Resonant Glass based on what you described.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

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Originally Posted by daredrummer View Post
Pinstriped? You said they were ambassadors not pinstripes!
THAT makes sense, the pinstripes (especially the ebony) deliver a very low and fat sound.
Totally agree! The link you provided wasn't a pinstripe head.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Sorry yeah, i copied the old link in and had the pinstriped one minimized for some reason. I think that's the last time I mess around with pinstriped heads.
I guess now everyone can see why I said it sucked the life out of my drums now.
Sorry for wasting everyones time with the wrong link, but everyones input has been helpful.

Has anybody tried ebony pinstripes before and did they like them?
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

lol No probs here, I've tried them but like you didn't like them. Too dead for me.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Thats the word I was looking for: "dead". its like hitting a barn door. It was an expensive mistake as well, I think three of them cost me 55. I have now fallen back in love with my drum kit after changing the heads. I am sure they will be thanking me for putting some life back in them.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

lol They may be thanking you but keep an open eye when you sleep,they might slap you silly for making them suffer! LOL!
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by conza111 View Post
Sorry yeah, i copied the old link in and had the pinstriped one minimized for some reason. I think that's the last time I mess around with pinstriped heads.
I guess now everyone can see why I said it sucked the life out of my drums now.
Sorry for wasting everyones time with the wrong link, but everyones input has been helpful.

Has anybody tried ebony pinstripes before and did they like them?
The clear and coated pinstripes aren't too bad, they're actually pretty nice if tuned right, however the Evans Hydraulic and the Remo Ebony Pinstripe are the two heads infamously known as sounding, like you said, dead.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Haven't used the ebony ones myself, but on one of my kits I use clear Pinstripe batters with clear Ambassador resos. They are less bright than my other kit with clear Ambassadors on both sides. I wouldn't say they sound "dead" as they're on some fairly large drums. Plus I do play rock music mostly. I haven't experimented too much with that set, but I'm very happy with the way those drums sound.

Every drum is different, everyone's tastes are different, and every drum will require a different head to get the sound you want.
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  #29  
Old 07-12-2011, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Made a big mistake. Advice please

Thanks guys. I can't see a reason for anyone to use Ebony pinstripes. I am steering away from pinstripes all together now. Back to basics, and they are cheaper too!
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