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  #1  
Old 08-15-2011, 02:49 AM
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Default Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

I use "experts" in quotes because there are so many differing opinions. This is just from curiosity.

Does it make a difference for the Drum Dial if you use felt strips under the head of if the head is dented or dirty or otherwise not in perfect condition?
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

I am not sure because my heads are in good condition always but I think it would matter. The area in and around a dent will distribute tension differently. Plus if the needle goes down in a dent, it will actually think the head is much looser. So I would use an undented head, or at least make sure the needle is as far away as possible from a dent.

Regarding felt strips, are you talking about the kind you put inside the head to control ring? I do not think that would make any difference either way.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

Yes, If the muffle felts are underneath where the Dial is placed. I don't use my Dial on my bass drums. No need to!
Yes, if the rod on the bottom of the Dial falls into a dent.
Yes, If there are worn areas underneath the Dial such as worn coating it will not read correctly.
There is a learning curve to using a Drum Dial.
It takes time to master tuning with a dial.
You still have to use your ear and your feel of torque and fine tune by hand.
The Dial just helps to get you close.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
There is a learning curve to using a Drum Dial.
It takes time to master tuning with a dial.
You still have to use your ear and your feel of torque and fine tune by hand.
The Dial just helps to get you close.
Thank you for speaking the truth about the drum dial!!
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

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Thank you for speaking the truth about the drum dial!!
I own and use a Drum Dial. I only use it as a tool while tuning to get me close.
In have never been able to tune a drum well with just a Drum Dial.
I have been tuning drums since the early 70's.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

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I own and use a Drum Dial. I only use it as a tool while tuning to get me close.
In have never been able to tune a drum well with just a Drum Dial.
I have been tuning drums since the early 70's.
Exactly! I was kind of disappointed at first because it was advertised like the end all be all drum tuning solution. Actually, I put the dang thing in the box for about three years and experimented with tuning by ear instead. But now it's in use again haha. Almost every time I use the dial to get a drum "perfect" according to the gauge, my ears tell me that its wrong. So I tune by hand and it's sounds great! I find that the combo of the drum dial and fine tuning by hand helps me to get good, consistent tones.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

It seems to work best on snares. I can set the bottom head at about 80 and the top head at about 90 and go from there!
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

I got mine a long time ago too, and it's been sitting forever. Maybe it's one of those things we think would be cool to have?

I just used it to get a reading for someone, and that's the only action the thing has seen in ages (bottom snare side tension --it's 85 BTW haha!).

I don't think it's a very good idea to get hung up on the dial readings anyway.

Each head you buy is going to tension differently anyway, so if someone can use the dial to train their ear, and tension for how they actually hit the drum, and not a "number" they'll be better off (IMO).
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

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Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
I got mine a long time ago too, and it's been sitting forever. Maybe it's one of those things we think would be cool to have?

I just used it to get a reading for someone, and that's the only action the thing has seen in ages (bottom snare side tension --it's 85 BTW haha!).

I don't think it's a very good idea to get hung up on the dial readings anyway.

Each head you buy is going to tension differently anyway, so if someone can use the dial to train their ear, and tension for how they actually hit the drum, and not a "number" they'll be better off (IMO).
I agree. Relying completely on a drum dial is not the best thing. It's the combo of ears, feel, and a DD that works best for me. I find it to be a useful tool to help create and recreate drum sounds.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

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Originally Posted by The Scorpio View Post
I agree. Relying completely on a drum dial is not the best thing. It's the combo of ears, feel, and a DD that works best for me. I find it to be a useful tool to help create and recreate drum sounds.
Any thread about the Drum Dial - how to use it, list of setting, technical information - immediately becomes a discussion on its usefulness and the discussions always conclude with a statement like the one above.

Back to the original question: Your heads should be in the best possible shape for accurate readings. A dent will trick the device into reading the wrong head tension.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
Any thread about the Drum Dial - how to use it, list of setting, technical information - immediately becomes a discussion on its usefulness and the discussions always conclude with a statement like the one above.
Lol! But you had already answered the question perfectly!! What else did we have to talk about haha?
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  #12  
Old 08-17-2011, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

I have a beginner student who has had no set on which to practice. He finally acquired a set (no badge, wrap wavy). It was purchased from some collage age kid who really didn't take care of it. It has a great 13" snare with case (can't remember the brand, but it is a good one), decent but not great cymbals (ZBTs). All the tom batter heads were atrocious. Most were badly dented. One two ply head only had one ply. The BD resso was completely covered in black duct tape (to conceal a split or maybe just repair it). It sounded awful. I replaced all the bad heads with new or good used ones. I used felt strips to muffle the ring on the BD and the toms placing them between two adjacent tension rods (which is why the original question was posed). I used my drum dial, which didn't seem to be effected by the felt, to get the heads in tune with themselves and then ear tuned them to each other. Boy are my ears sore from trying to move those tension rods with them :-). The drums sound so good now that I would not be ashamed to gig with them (except for the appearance - sorry, I didn't take pics). The whole process took over two hours. The things we do for our students.

I have come to the conclusion that heads are much more important than shells at least for basic sound. In other words, bad shells with good heads trump good shells with bad heads.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Calling all Drum Dial "experts".

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I have come to the conclusion that heads are much more important than shells at least for basic sound. In other words, bad shells with good heads trump good shells with bad heads.
Kudos to you friend that is the truth!! That could be a thread in and of itself. In fact I'm pretty sure it already is haha.
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