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  #1  
Old 09-30-2011, 05:51 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Snare Heads

I need to get heads for a Ludwig Element Birch 14x5 snare right away. This kit is used in a small church. The room seats 150-200, has a 10 foot acoustic ceiling and is fully carpeted, so the acoustics are decent, with not much ring in the room. We mic everything, and apply only enough gain on the snare to balance it in the mix, because its ambient sound fills the room as it is. The problem is, as you know, stock heads on kits like these are coated saran wrap, and make the drums sound like garbage cans. :-) Which heads would you recommend for this particular snare, top and bottom, in this type of a setup? Because of this snare's 14x5 shallow depth, it would be nice if we could get heads that produce a slightly deeper, fatter tone, if possible.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

A lot of it depends on what type of music you're playing. If it's a more "gospel" type group where you're playing loud, you can use just about anything. If it's a more typical "contemporary" worship group, you want to be careful about volume and overtones. With that in mind, I'd recommend (depending on your brand of choice):

Evans: Genera or HD Dry

Remo: Powerstroke 3 or 4

Aquarian: Studio X

You could also try a regular 2 ply coated head and put some moongel on it or gaff tape if that's your preference. For this type of music, I'd stay away from single ply heads other than the ones I have listed that already have built in muffling.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

evans HD dry all the way
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

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Originally Posted by drummindan8484 View Post
A lot of it depends on what type of music you're playing. If it's a more "gospel" type group where you're playing loud, you can use just about anything. If it's a more typical "contemporary" worship group, you want to be careful about volume and overtones. With that in mind, I'd recommend (depending on your brand of choice):

Evans: Genera or HD Dry

Remo: Powerstroke 3 or 4

Aquarian: Studio X

You could also try a regular 2 ply coated head and put some moongel on it or gaff tape if that's your preference. For this type of music, I'd stay away from single ply heads other than the ones I have listed that already have built in muffling.
All good recommendations above in my book. I've also had good luck with the Aquarian Jack Dejohnette head on metal snares. It's got a good combination of warmth and cut. Haven't heard any other head like it. I also haven't tried it on anything but metal snares but they did improve quite a bit sound wise. BTW: These have been church drums. I also like the Aquarian Modern Vintage Medium for a warmer sound. Either of the above could be tempered by moon gel or gaffer tape in small amounts.

IMO, any good snare side head should improve on the stock (ugh) snare side but my fav for durability I say Aquarian Classic Clear snare side. DO replace it as well as any stock heads in the vicinity. :)

Jim
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:33 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Thanks for the responses.

We're playing stuff like Lincoln Brewster, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, and the like.

Instead of pre-muffled (in case they end up too muffled), what do you think of the 2-ply coated Emperor, with moongels at the ready?
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

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Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
Thanks for the responses.

We're playing stuff like Lincoln Brewster, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, and the like.

Instead of pre-muffled (in case they end up too muffled), what do you think of the 2-ply coated Emperor, with moongels at the ready?
I was using an Emperor on my main snare and didn't love it. To get the tone I needed I was having to tension the drum up quite a bit which created more overtones at the edge than a single ply head. Even with moongel it just wasn't what I wanted. For me, its a Remo CS or a Evans PC reverse dot.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

If you want a fat sound get an Evans coated G2 tom head for the batter. You will be surprised at how well it will sound.
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  #8  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:15 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

I just compared the Evans G2 specs with the Emperor. They appear to be exactly the same in that they both are coated with two 7 mil plies, yet Grutersdad and Doug Masters offer two very different opinions on these seemingly very similar two heads. Which begs the question, what kind of snares do/did you both have these on? For example, I am looking to fit a Ludwig Element Birch snare, 14x5.

FWIW, my Mapex Saturn toms, which are Walnut/Maple, came with clear Emperors and they sound great. Unfortunately, the snare did not come with an Emperor so I don't know what a snare sounds like with one. It came with a coated Ambassador on that kit's snare, and it is snappy and LOUD. Too loud for what I need at the church. Hence, my post. :-)
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Last edited by MrLeadFoot; 10-01-2011 at 10:06 AM.
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2011, 04:58 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

While I initially decided to go with a two-ply head, as suggested by Guntersdad and someone else, while I was on the phone placing the order, at the last minute I chickened out because when micing a snare, I always end up having to use a tone ring, and I was afraid that if in the end I had to use one even with a two-ply, that might take too much away on this snare, so I went with an Evans Genera, since it has a built-in tone ring. I do have a 14x14 Mapex floor tom that came with a two-ply Emperor, so if the Genera doesn't work out, I'll take try that Emperor on the Ludwig snare to try to get an idea of what a two-ply sounds like on a snare, albeit the Emperor I have is clear. I probably should've done that first, but I was desperate to get something on that Ludwig kit, cause those stock heads are unbelievably horrible, and I was already itching to get the tom heads swapped, and the quandry on the snare was holding up the ordering of the tom heads. I can't believe Ludwig would intentionally try to make that kit sound terrible. I would think manufacturers would want even their lowest lines to sound as good as possible. I mean, I know it's cost that gets them to put crappy heads on, but sheesh, even a low end set can sound good with good heads on it. Hmmm, now that I think about it, they probably want the low end sets to sound crappy so people step up to a better kit!
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:44 PM
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Bonzo_CR Bonzo_CR is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Head selection is a bit of a personal thing (hence differing opinions about the same head, I guess!).

I have a few different snares and wanted to find out more about tuning and head selection, so a few months ago as a one-off experiment I bought a range of heads and tried them all out on different snares.

I usually like a single-ply head (coated ambassador or coated G1) for a wooden drum - for me the double-ply heads just dry a wood shell drum out too much. I like a bit of that woody bark to come through.

Meanwhile Emperors (or G2) are great for metal drums and round out the sound a bit, without taking too much of the ring off.

The surprise for me was trying a Remo Powerstroke 3 (on a metal drum). It dried out the sound even more than the Emperor, even though the PS3 is a single-ply head with a built-in ring (i.e. less head material than the Emp, but it sounded drier). Maybe it would have the same effect on a wood drum too.

If the HD Dry is the one with the damping holes, then I tried one of those and it is nice, but veeerry dry (for my taste)... it could be like a drier PS3. I am sure it will give you a drier tone, but interested to see if it will be fatter (maybe the birch shell and tuning will give you the fatness anyway). Let us know how you get on!
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2011, 05:26 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Thanks for chipping in. I've always played steel snares, and suddenly I find myself, playing on two different wood snares. Suprisingly, my Mapex Saturn wood snare kicks the crap out of my Tama steel snare. I would venture to guess it would outshine many a steel snare. :-)

Anyway, the head to the Ludwig snare arrives tomorrow. FWIW, it is NOT one of the Dry versions, it is the straight Genera. I need it a little dry because of the situation, see original post, but I don't want to choke it. I'm dubious about getting much fatness, given this drum is only 5" deep, but I have noticed that tone rings always deepen pitch. I have no experience with an inner tone ring, so this will be interesting. I'll be sure to post up what I find.
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2011, 10:53 PM
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Lunar Satellite Brian Lunar Satellite Brian is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

I would go with Aquarian Studio-X coated with power dot, sounds like the sound(see what I did there?) you are looking for and should last a while.
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2011, 01:58 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Too late. I went with the Evens Genera. I just got back from installing it at the church. I STILL had to use a moon gel to get rid of that annoying resonance that makes the snares rattle like they're loose after the intial strike. All these years, and no matter what I do, I can't get rid of that on any snare. I actually like that resonance and hollow ring. If I could just get that rattle to go away, I'd be in hog heaven.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
I STILL had to use a moon gel to get rid of that annoying resonance that makes the snares rattle like they're loose after the intial strike. All these years, and no matter what I do, I can't get rid of that on any snare.
I had the same problem till I started using the texture coated Aquarian studio-x. The power dot version is good to but I like to add a studio ring when I need a dry snare sound and I find with the dot material and the studio ring its a bit too much.
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2011, 06:11 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

And that's why I decided to NOT use something with a dot, like that Aquarian and Remo's CS series. Good news is that I was able to play yesterday without the moongel! Bad news is that even with the Genera, the snare is still so cutting, that it was taken out of the mix altogether. The church just needs to pony up and get a shield.
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