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  #1  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:22 PM
lhrocker lhrocker is offline
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Default Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

Are there any intermediate drum kits that come with good sounding heads out of the box? The only 2 kits I've had were a Tama Star Classic and my current Yamaha Stage Custom. The Star Classic was purchased from a drummer/studio owner, so the heads were good, even though not my first choice. The Yamaha's though (about 6 months old), had the original heads on them and sounded really bad (even after tuning and still not my first choice in heads).

I like the sound of EC2's for the most part, but would use the stock heads if they sounded good. So, do most of the Intermediate kits come with decent heads on them?
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

I got a new Tama Superstar (hyperdrive) a few weeks ago. The stock, Tama-branded no-name heads weren't great, but they were better than I was expecting... I had been using them until this past weekend, and the kit was still decent sounding.

I'm still using the stock bass heads, with no extra muffling, and have no plans to change that head anytime soon.

If you had gotten the starclassics new, they should have come with tama-branded Evans heads (G2/G1 clear).
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

Usually, I've been able to make the U2 Remo heads (stock on the Yammies) sound great... but it might just be my tuning preference.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

I'm of the opinion that no intermediate kit comes with good heads, period. I tell students and future purchasers to just budget another $150 on top of what they'll spend on the kit for new heads too. If they don't have good cymbals, I tell them to budget more for those than the drums!

I used to play remo ambassadors top and bottom (still do, they're just emperors now) because they were cheaper and plentiful, and they're good heads to learn how to tune up a drum on too. They were cheaper because for some reason people want the more "bells & whistles" heads like Powerstrokes, or EC2's. Ambassadors can and do sound wonderful!
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

I didn't mind the heads the came with my Gretsch Catalina. However, I was going from a Pearl Soundcheck to that so maybe it was just the drums in general.... ;)
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

The Remo UT heads that come on the Mapex Meridian Birch are fine; they're essentially a clear Ambassador over a clear Diplomat or toms, PS3 front and back on bass. The only difference is the UT heads have crimped collars, not the glued collars found on USA Remo heads. Honestly, I like the crimped collars better.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:48 AM
BertTheDrummer BertTheDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

From what I remember reading somewhere (I think from Remo) is that Remo has 3 lines of import heads that are used frequently for OEM heads. UT, UK, and UX.

The UTs are supposed to be the same as their normal heads, using Dupont Mylar just made in China. As Winston said they are basically Ambassadors but Crimplock. The UK and UX heads however use a cheaper chinese plastic. Couldn't tell you what the difference between UK and UX were though. Basically they are all 1 ply 10 Mil (like Ambassadors).

So I guess if your looking to keep OEM heads I'd look out for Remo UTs, they usually end up on the Mid to Higher end kits.

Personally, I just plan on spending a little extra on at least some new batters.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

Hi man, look, I own a Meridian Birch like Winston_Wolf and yeah, the UT heads are Clear Ambassadors over Diplomats, and they're good quality. I changed them for Coated Emperors over Ambassadors for preference, but the stock ones work well (if you like the clear ambs over diplomats combo, of course).

However, I must say.. this question is something like: "Which car comes stock with the best oil?".. I mean, like drumheads, you're gonna change the oil eventually anyway, so it's really not enough reason to base your purchase decision.

I don't know if you're asking out of curiosity or if you actually want to buy an intermediate level kit with the best heads.. but for me, anyone should look at many factors before considering the stock heads (eg: if you like maple drums, you're not gonna buy birch because it has better stock heads on, right?).

Anyway, just my 2 cents. Cheers!
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:34 PM
lhrocker lhrocker is offline
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

My question was out of curiosity. I am a guitarist first, so would you consider the heads to be synonymous with the strings or pickups? I can buy an intermediate guitar and replace the strings for under $10 or 2% of the cost of a $500 guitar. I could also replace the pickups, but that is not always necessary.

On a drum kit that costs between $500 and $1000 new, replacing a set of heads would cost between $150 - $200, which becomes almost 15 - 20% above the shell/kit cost. Also, I can buy, lets say an 8 piece Pearl Forum for $350 (yes I have seen them at that ballpark), but to invest in new heads (probably), the great deal becomes an ok deal. Plus this is a recurring cost

Also, I would think the heads are more analogous to tires on the car rather than the oil, from a price versus whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diegobxr View Post
However, I must say.. this question is something like: "Which car comes stock with the best oil?".. I mean, like drumheads, you're gonna change the oil eventually anyway, so it's really not enough reason to base your purchase decision.

I don't know if you're asking out of curiosity or if you actually want to buy an intermediate level kit with the best heads.. but for me, anyone should look at many factors before considering the stock heads (eg: if you like maple drums, you're not gonna buy birch because it has better stock heads on, right?).

Anyway, just my 2 cents. Cheers!
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:23 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

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Originally Posted by lhrocker View Post
On a drum kit that costs between $500 and $1000 new, replacing a set of heads would cost between $150 - $200, which becomes almost 15 - 20% above the shell/kit cost.
Wait til you get into the comparative cost of sticks vs plectrums.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

Gretsch Catalina Clubs come with Coated Evans G1 (equivalent to a Remo Ambassadors) on the batters and a cheapo head on the resos (except for the bass which is just cheapo heads). Not bad heads, but I personally go for the G2s.
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2011, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

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Originally Posted by DSCRAPRE View Post
Gretsch Catalina Clubs come with Coated Evans G1 (equivalent to a Remo Ambassadors) on the batters and a cheapo head on the resos (except for the bass which is just cheapo heads). Not bad heads, but I personally go for the G2s.
Are these first quality Evans heads or the same heads that Gretsch uses on their Catalina Jazz sets which state something like Gretsch made by Evans? I've seen many heads on the Catalina Jazz kits with the coatings just flaking off. I asked this question of one of the Evans people on this forum and never received a response. I really believe it's in the same ball park as the Remo UK heads.

Dennis
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:30 AM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhrocker View Post
My question was out of curiosity. I am a guitarist first, so would you consider the heads to be synonymous with the strings or pickups? I can buy an intermediate guitar and replace the strings for under $10 or 2% of the cost of a $500 guitar. I could also replace the pickups, but that is not always necessary.

On a drum kit that costs between $500 and $1000 new, replacing a set of heads would cost between $150 - $200, which becomes almost 15 - 20% above the shell/kit cost. Also, I can buy, lets say an 8 piece Pearl Forum for $350 (yes I have seen them at that ballpark), but to invest in new heads (probably), the great deal becomes an ok deal. Plus this is a recurring cost

Also, I would think the heads are more analogous to tires on the car rather than the oil, from a price versus whole.
Given the influence that heads have on any given kit, I'd say that they're comparable to strings AND pickups. Changing strings alone makes a difference in sound on a guitar but not as much difference as changing from a single coil to a Duncan Invader. Drumheads are the same, they can change a kit's sound like day and night. ;)

Cheers!
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2011, 03:02 AM
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JesusMySavior JesusMySavior is offline
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhrocker View Post
My question was out of curiosity. I am a guitarist first, so would you consider the heads to be synonymous with the strings or pickups? I can buy an intermediate guitar and replace the strings for under $10 or 2% of the cost of a $500 guitar. I could also replace the pickups, but that is not always necessary.

On a drum kit that costs between $500 and $1000 new, replacing a set of heads would cost between $150 - $200, which becomes almost 15 - 20% above the shell/kit cost. Also, I can buy, lets say an 8 piece Pearl Forum for $350 (yes I have seen them at that ballpark), but to invest in new heads (probably), the great deal becomes an ok deal. Plus this is a recurring cost

Also, I would think the heads are more analogous to tires on the car rather than the oil, from a price versus whole.

I too picked up the guitar first. It's rare to find guitar players on this forum! I played guitar for roughly 6 years before I decided to take up drumming.

When I first got into drums, I sold one of my guitars and saved the money (along with the stash in my PayPal account)... I bought an intermediate YAMAHA YD kit for $375. After that I bought one set of Paiste 802 hi-hats for $65, and one 15" Thin Crash from Meinl, a company I hadn't even heard of before for a hundred bucks.

I never changed my heads until about two years later (halfway through this drumming escapade I fronted an alternative rock band for about a year). I later got serious about drumming when I decided to start prepping myself for the first album with real drums I have ever attempted. I bought a set of Aquarian Response 2 Drumheads, a Resonator reso bass drum head, as well as an Evans kick and snare head. It all set me back about $150.

I remember saying to myself over and over...this drumming stuff is an expensive hobby. And it is - I have spent probably about $10,000 on guitar stuff in the past 9 years, which is $1,111 per year. I have spent $4,200 on drumming in the past 3 years, which equals $1,400 per year.

Expect to spend just as much on drumming as guitar, if not more - depending on your style and your preferences.

If you gig often, you may have money coming in a lot but you will have to replace heads, sticks, and cymbals alot more often! And remember to stick with expensive cymbals - in this category you can't afford to skimp - ever!!
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2011, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: Which intermediate drum kits have the best stock heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Are these first quality Evans heads or the same heads that Gretsch uses on their Catalina Jazz sets which state something like Gretsch made by Evans?
I don't know. My Cats came with regular G1s identical to the ones in the stores. I don't know if anything has changed since then.
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