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  #1  
Old 10-16-2011, 10:53 PM
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Default Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

I've been in experimentation mode lately with the purchase of a new snare drum, new heads, new wires, die cast hoops etc. I don't know if Remo and Evans started putting more coating on their drumheads, but lately when I put a new (coated only) head on, of either brand, it sounds choked off, or too thick, or something. Even my wife noticed when I changed a head. She told me my snare sounded different, and not better different either. I didn't tell her I changed heads, and since I can hear it too, I know it's not just me.

I like the sound of a head when the coating starts to wear off in the middle. But usually, by the time that happens, it's time to change the head. So, with that preference in mind, and the fact that the coatings seem to be put on thicker lately, I've decided to...

STEEL WOOL OFF A LOT OF THE COATING.

Blasphemy I know. All in the name of better tone. Here's what I found. It makes more overtones, which is why I did it. I will definitely continue to do it because it makes the for a livelier snare. Also, a noteworthy ob...compared to Evans, Remo coating is MUCH harder to remove. What I do is I go over the whole head, and take off maybe 1/2 of the coating. And in the middle, I remove a dime sized portion, all the way to clear. That gives me a real good snare response on ghosts I found. With the Remo, I had to push really hard on the steel wool to get it down to clear, and rub it numerous times before the coating yielded. On the Evans G2, within 4 hard strokes I started seeing clear. Both new heads sounded considerably better to my ear after steel wooling most of the coating off. If you like a dry sounding head, don't do it. Also I did it on a 2 ply head. I don't know if it benefits a single ply coated head as much, but I am guessing it would liven it up too.

Anybody else think the coatings lately are thicker than usual? Anybody else abrade the coatings off new heads?
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2011, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

Larry, You make me feel sane.
Thank's for being you!
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2011, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

If your trying to liven up a 2 ply head why not go to a singly ply? Personally I use single ply heads as I find all 2 ply to be to muffled.
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2011, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

Single plys, (only on the snare) sound thin to me. The broken in, (with some clear showing in the middle) coated 2 ply head sounds just right to me, again only on the snare. Taking off some of the coating makes a new head sound nice and broken in right from day 1.

Hey Bob no problem. Glad to be the clown. That would be the clown with the lively, righteous snare tone lol.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2011, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

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Originally Posted by tard View Post
If your trying to liven up a 2 ply head why not go to a singly ply? Personally I use single ply heads as I find all 2 ply to be to muffled.
I'd agree with this, but as Larry gets a great snare sound, who am I to argue?

Playing with a lot of snares this weekend, I found that my favourite snare head is still G1 coated. During setup, I was swapping heads & tunings on a number of drum constructions, from high tensioned crack to low & fat. I found the G2 coated, Power centre reverse dot, & genera generally sucked tone & life from most drums. On many, surprisingly, the G1 coated gave the fattest sound. I guess it depends a lot on the shell & hoop construction. Sometimes, a less resonant shell benefits from some extra head mass to give sustain, & hence, in the case of the snare, body.
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2011, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

Every time I put a 10 mil head on my snare, and whack it, there's immediately something missing to me. Sorry Andy. I agree with you on toms. But on snares, 10 mil sounds/feels too thin when I play it. I don't feel like that with a 2 ply. It give the snare more low end in the backbeat or something. But I like single ply heads on my toms. Whatever. Not trying to change minds here, I just know what I like. I am very attuned to how thick a head sounds, the attack, and have preferences.

I am surprised that different drums like different combinations. If I like die cast hoops, why then don't they sound good on all snares? For instance, in 2005 I got a 1979, 14 x 6.5 Ludwig SS Supra. It came with a 1.6 mm stamped hoop. The drum was just OK to my ear. I bought it because it's a classic and I knew it was a good deal for 100.00. Then, for the first time, the other day, I put a die cast hoop on just the batter and wow what a difference, yea. It really turned that drum around to be one of my favorites now. But a die cast on my bronze Sensitone? It killed it! It sucked the sustain right out of it. WTH? Both metal beaded snares? I don't get it.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Every time I put a 10 mil head on my snare, and whack it, there's immediately something missing to me. Sorry Andy. I agree with you on toms. But on snares, 10 mil sounds/feels too thin when I play it. I don't feel like that with a 2 ply. It give the snare more low end in the backbeat or something. But I like single ply heads on my toms. Whatever. Not trying to change minds here, I just know what I like. I am very attuned to how thick a head sounds, the attack, and have preferences.

I am surprised that different drums like different combinations. If I like die cast hoops, why then don't they sound good on all snares? For instance, in 2005 I got a 1979, 14 x 6.5 Ludwig SS Supra. It came with a 1.6 mm stamped hoop. The drum was just OK to my ear. I bought it because it's a classic and I knew it was a good deal for 100.00. Then, for the first time, the other day, I put a die cast hoop on just the batter and wow what a difference, yea. It really turned that drum around to be one of my favorites now. But a die cast on my bronze Sensitone? It killed it! It sucked the sustain right out of it. WTH? Both metal beaded snares? I don't get it.
Certainly not trying to change your mind Larry. As in my earlier post, you get a great snare sound, on some live recordings, an exceptional snare sound, so hats off to your ears!

I do understand the head & shell resonance relationship, but the full explanation is way too boring to wade through. Suffice to say that, in very basic terms, it's primarily a mass relationship. Heavier shelled snares tend to favour lighter heads, & lighter shelled drums tend to favour heavier heads, but not in every case. Different shell materials & constructions interface with, & influence heads differently. Each material has it's sonic sweet spot, the frequency band where the material is at it's most resonant, or at it's most reflective (non resonant). The interaction between the materials dictates whether the construction resonates as a whole, & that, in turn, dictates whether a drum is open or dampened.

As in most drums, although the science is understood, only experimentation confirms the theories, and that's the fun bit.
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2011, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

Not to insult your intelligence here Larry but are you seating that snare head before you tune it up?

Come to think of it I think a snare head sounds better after it has been broken in a little. Most of my drums hate double ply heads though..
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2011, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

Interesting that Larry's 'aging' the heads to get a sound.

I've mentioned on other threads that I've been sanding (light grit) my new heads if I want to play brushes right away.

The Aquarian Satin Texture coated heads have the longest life of all the big three when it comes to brushes as well as stick wear for me. It also is the roughest to play out of the box. So if I use that head, I always plan on sanding the head, the outer edge especially as well as playing the head with brushes to break in the feel of the head. Aquarians also don't usually rise to their potential until a few days go by (or any head for that matter) so this is a standard practice for me.

I don't however sand out a middle hole on the snare batter. If that's what gets the sound you want then go for it. The reason it probably wouldn't be a good practice for me is that once that hole is there it usually means the grit is worn down to where I have to work hard for horizontal brush sounds.

There is a sweet spot for me when the head is still somewhat new, the coating and sound is broken in and it tunes up great. After I start seeing the middle spot (usually on a Remo head first), I figure it's time to get a new head. If I'm financially OK, I order another head and start over.

But that's just me. :)

Jim
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2011, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

I could post something I see as funny, but many probably would not. So to not offend, I'll keep my fingers quiet.

You know I want to say it, don't you.

Dennis
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  #11  
Old 10-19-2011, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

I love that Idea Larry!!! My Coated Emperor is already at that sweet spot so I'm gonna leave it alone lol.

Can't wait to try it on my next head!!

-Kyle
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2011, 02:55 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
I could post something I see as funny, but many probably would not. So to not offend, I'll keep my fingers quiet.

You know I want to say it, don't you.

Dennis
I would love it if you would offend me Dennis. Please, let me have it.
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  #13  
Old 10-19-2011, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

you should use try the remo smooth white heads. they are coated but much smoother than regular coated heads.
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  #14  
Old 10-19-2011, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: Accelerated "aging" of drumheads

Have you tried an Evans etched head. Just a thought.
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