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  #1  
Old 01-06-2012, 09:04 AM
Nealio1987 Nealio1987 is offline
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Default Drum Dial

Morning All

Best wishes for 2012 , just a quick question about drum dials , do they really help keep an evenly tuned drum ? and are they easy to use , I would apreciate any expierience anyone has with them

Kindest Regards

NEALIOS
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Please do a search. You will find several lengthy threads where the dial is discussed until its needle spins off of its post :)
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2012, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

They are easy to use on an individual lug. Trying to get every lug to read the same is where you will likely have issues. They have a learning curve. The thing that may save you time with the learning curve...I found that each lug has a relationship with the lug directly across from it. So don't go around the perimeter. After the drumhead is brought up to a "below tuned tension" evenly, pick a lug, tune it, then go to the opposite lug and tune it. Then I go to the lug next to the first lug you did and tune that. Then go to the lug directly across from that.... and repeat until you hit every lug. That's the best chance you have (that I've found) of getting all the lugs to read the same. If the shell has has a low spot, you likely won't get exact readings and will have to ear tune anyway.

I will say that the DD furthered my understanding of the multiple tensions across different planes that a drum head is subjected to, and for those insights I do recommend them. But I don't use it anymore. My ear and the built in "torque wrench" in my fingers are developed enough to not need the DD. But I do recommend spending a lot of time with one to further your understanding about what's going on regarding the spread of tensions on a drum head.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I agree with larryace,

I had lots of questions when I was new to tuning and needed a sure-fire method. First of all, it measures the tension of the head, not the tone or pitch. Once you get your head a little tight (say about 1.5 - 2 full turns past wrinkle), each turn needs to be very little or else it will throw off the other lugs.

I trust also my finger's torque wrench and ears now. Not a bad tool to start with - only ballpark though. Whenever I'd gotten the numbers perfect for each lug, they would still be off. You must finish with your ears. I now use a piano or keyboard to tune a new head. I check with my ears each day to keep them in tune. About every other week I'll bring them over to the piano to keep them honest.

Sold the DD on Craigslist a month after I got it.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I got one for Christmas and I love it. It just gives you the reassurance that you are at least in the ball park, and it gets you there quickly. Then you just have to fine tune by ear. I got the digital one that is much easier to read the exact number you are at.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Quote:
Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
I got one for Christmas and I love it. It just gives you the reassurance that you are at least in the ball park, and it gets you there quickly. Then you just have to fine tune by ear. I got the digital one that is much easier to read the exact number you are at.
how much did you pay for it? i haven't seen them before, not sure if i should get one or not
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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Originally Posted by toddy View Post
how much did you pay for it? i haven't seen them before, not sure if i should get one or not
Mine was a Christmas present. 130.00 Canadian at Long & Mcquade.
The dial one is 81.50.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I have the Tama version. I don't rely on it but it makes changing heads quick...provided you are putting the same heads on the same drums.

It's good for spot checking your tension...but you still need an ear and a drum key to get the job done.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

it sounds useful for just getting heads put on quickly, though saying that i have a big T bar with a tension rod fitting on it so i can change heads fairly rapidly
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I like mine. Saves time, especially since I know the ranges that I like on my toms and snare. Its always good to check yourself, there are times when I'm tuning and something just seems off, its nice to be able to throw it on the head and see if its just me loosing my mind or whatever. Helpful tool for beginners and pros alike.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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Originally Posted by scarlit View Post
there are times when I'm tuning and something just seems off, its nice to be able to throw it on the head and see if its just me loosing my mind or whatever.
What he said!
-------------------
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

hmm yeah it certainly sounds useful
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2012, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I had one about three years ago for an entire week, then I took it back to the store.

Dennis
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2012, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
I had one about three years ago for an entire week, then I took it back to the store.

Dennis
Couldn't figure it out? :P
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2012, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Please guys, lets not have a brawl over something as trivial as the Drum Dial.
The first thread about the drum Dial that I know of goes back to 2006.
The argument is always the same.

The Dial is what it is!
It is a tool that can be used to tension drumheads.
The results of the Dial's use vary with the person who uses it.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 01-07-2012 at 01:19 AM.
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2012, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Please guys, lets not have a brawl over something as trivial as the Drum Dial.
The first thread about the drum Dial that I know of goes back to 2006.
The argument is always the same.

The Dial is what it is!
It is a tool that can be used to tension drumheads.
The results of the Dial's use vary with the person who uses it.
I'm just funnin with him. Looking at his stuff, he probably knows how to tune without one. I am just an amateur at this tuning thing after being on a Roland for the last 20 years. I find them quite handy.
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2012, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I will say that the DD furthered my understanding of the multiple tensions across different planes that a drum head is subjected to, and for those insights I do recommend them. But I don't use it anymore. My ear and the built in "torque wrench" in my fingers are developed enough to not need the DD. But I do recommend spending a lot of time with one to further your understanding about what's going on regarding the spread of tensions on a drum head.
This^^^ Thumbs way up, Larry!

-Kyle
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  #18  
Old 01-07-2012, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Personally I think they are more trouble than their worth.The rates are not reliable from one head to the next. Even tho it says the tension is the same at each lug they will still be a different pitch and need to be tuned by ear. Plus its actually faster to finger tighten all the lugs then turn each lug the same amount with your key till the desired pitch is reached then fine tune by ear like you would need to anyway. I have one in my bag, used it twice and it took longer to tune the drum and found the lugs were closer in pitch by using even steps than using the dial.
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  #19  
Old 01-07-2012, 06:08 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
Couldn't figure it out? :P
Not the case. If I could have found the electrical cord to plug it in, everything would have been OK. :)

Dennis
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  #20  
Old 01-07-2012, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

The drum dial is kind of useless unless the drum is perfectly round and bearing edges perfectly flat! Most drum shells are not perfect.
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  #21  
Old 01-07-2012, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I agree with what Larry said earlier about how the dial teaches one about subtle observations in drum tuning.
I think that every drummer should experiment with one for a spell.
I enjoy fooling around with my DD
I agree that the DD doesn't save any time while tuning.
I agree that the ear should always over rule the Dial.
Feeling of tension should always over rule the Dial reading too.
Use your senses of hearing and touch while tuning.
Use the Dial to get an idea of where you are with the tuning.
Just like when you are driving a car. You sense that you are going 120 KPH.
You look at the speedometer to confirm that you are going that fast.
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  #22  
Old 01-07-2012, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I was at my local drum shop and asked the owner to pull a Mapex Brass Cat off the shelf.
He said, "let me tune it first". Then he takes out this really small manual torque wrench and goes around 10 lugs in about 3 minutes. I commented and said, "cool - you use that thing!" And he says "yeah, people travel miles for me just to tune their drums".

He did tap at each lug. He would have to since this thing measures lug - torque.
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  #23  
Old 01-07-2012, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Use the Dial to get an idea of where you are with the tuning.
Just like when you are driving a car. You sense that you are going 120 KPH.
You look at the speedometer to confirm that you are going that fast.
True but when I change tires (same size) on my car and drive 120kph it still shows 120kph but when the drum dial shows 80 at the tome I want and I change heads (same brand and make), 80 on the new head may not be the same tone. I just find them unreliable and a waste of time and money, to many inconsistencies between heads, same as a torque key, too many inconsistencies between the tension screws and lugs for them to be acurate, although a torque key can be handy between songs to quickly tighten up a lug that has loosened from rim shots, it still wont be perfect but its closer than it was...lol
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  #24  
Old 01-07-2012, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Quote:
Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
Couldn't figure it out? :P
No, they're just a toy to some of us. If you know your gear, & you know how to tune, you have no use for one. I know there's many that use them, and some of those know how to tune, but they bring nothing to the party for me. They'd just slow me down. I use different tunings & heads for different situation/rooms/etc, so am I expected to remember every setting? They're not even very accurate. If you use one, you need to fine tune anyhow, so what's the point.

I'm just off to fit an ashtray to my motorbike :)
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  #25  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:25 PM
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No, they're just a toy to some of us. If you know your gear, & you know how to tune, you have no use for one. I know there's many that use them, and some of those know how to tune, but they bring nothing to the party for me. They'd just slow me down. I use different tunings & heads for different situation/rooms/etc, so am I expected to remember every setting? They're not even very accurate. If you use one, you need to fine tune anyhow, so what's the point.

I'm just off to fit an ashtray to my motorbike :)
Sorry KIS, I forgot how amazing you are. It is an honor to share the same site with you. :)

Last edited by sticks4drums; 01-07-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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  #26  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woySeSNBL3o
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  #27  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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What the heck was that! :)
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  #28  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
What the heck was that! :)
It's better than this,
http://youtu.be/8jgGK4NJ8Hk
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  #29  
Old 01-07-2012, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
It's better than this,
http://youtu.be/8jgGK4NJ8Hk
A good analogy for the Drumdial. About as accurate as one at any rate.....I'm sure some of those rounds got him "close" to the target. All he has to do now is fine tune by ear and hit that bullseye!! :-)
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  #30  
Old 01-07-2012, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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I'm just off to fit an ashtray to my motorbike :)
What type of wind shield do you use? ;-))
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  #31  
Old 01-08-2012, 03:12 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

If you absolutely have to have a tuning device and you got some cash burning a hole in your pocket, then this is the one to get. Its basically the same type of unit they use for tuning pianos but its made for drum. I have seen one in person and its the only thing I have seen that actually does it faster and as good or better than by ear. It can tune to the note of the shell or any other pitch you tell it. It tunes each tension rod and even tells you which one and which way to turn it. Its $250 but after wasting $80 on a drum dial and $30 on a rhythmtech memo key and another $30 on an evans torque key another $90 would have got it...lol
https://www.resotune.com/
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  #32  
Old 01-24-2012, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

HI,
This is a new compact drum tuner, which get the tone\pitch at each lugs and at the middle of the head, also it can gets hertz or difference value between each lugs to match them equal, basically it get what you heard from your ears, similar to a guitar tuner but now for drums, unlike what we got before like tama tension watch\drum dial which was never the notes\tone but only the head surface tension.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiFO-...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt1EKjrMZzM

Last edited by chris_; 01-24-2012 at 09:48 PM.
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  #33  
Old 01-24-2012, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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Originally Posted by chris_ View Post
HI,
This is a new compact drum tuner, which get the tone\pitch at each lugs and at the middle of the head, also it can gets hertz or difference value between each lugs to match them equal, basically it get what you heard from your ears, similar to a guitar tuner but now for drums, unlike what we got before like tama tension watch\drum dial which was never the notes\tone but only the head surface tension.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiFO-...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt1EKjrMZzM
Snake oil also on this post.

Dennis

Last edited by audiotech; 01-25-2012 at 12:17 AM.
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  #34  
Old 01-25-2012, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

The endless enigma of drum tuning.

I believe that the tuner in the video is scientifically sound and it does work.
My ears could hear everything that the tuner heard when a drum was detuned at different lugs. Could yours? If you could hear the differences between the lugs then you can tune a drum by ear.

If you learn how to tune by ear you will not need an electronic tuner like the one in the video.
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  #35  
Old 01-25-2012, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
The endless enigma of drum tuning.

I believe that the tuner in the video is scientifically sound and it does work.
My ears could hear everything that the tuner heard when a drum was detuned at different lugs. Could yours? If you could hear the differences between the lugs then you can tune a drum by ear.

If you learn how to tune by ear you will not need an electronic tuner like the one in the video.
I couldnt agree more, all tuners, keys, drum dials etc are going do is make it that much longer before you learn to do it your self by ear, but if you absolutely have to buy something make sure that it actually works, try it at the store first, if I had tried them before buying I would not have a drum dial and 2 different memo keys collecting dust in my gear bag. And just for the record I had already learned to tune quite well and just bought them to try to speed up the process, but guess what, they didnt, it actually took me longer than doing it by ear.
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  #36  
Old 01-25-2012, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I got one for Christmas and I instantly loved it because it's a reassuring second opinion.

You have to use them with a pinch of salt though, just because all the lugs read the same doesn't mean they'll sound exactly the same, just use it as a good guide and fine tune by ear.

And stick to the usual tuning practices like opposite lug tuning and Gatzen's "detune the higher pitched lug instead of tightening the lower pitched lug" and you'll be laughing.
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  #37  
Old 01-25-2012, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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Originally Posted by Goreliscious View Post
I got one for Christmas and I instantly loved it because it's a reassuring second opinion.

You have to use them with a pinch of salt though, just because all the lugs read the same doesn't mean they'll sound exactly the same, just use it as a good guide and fine tune by ear.

And stick to the usual tuning practices like opposite lug tuning and Gatzen's "detune the higher pitched lug instead of tightening the lower pitched lug" and you'll be laughing.
If you finger tighten all the lugs then turn them all the same amount with a key you will have all your lugs closer in pitch than if you make them all the same reading on a drum dial. Trust me, I have a drum dial and have tried it several times and I can get them closer this way with less fine tuning needed by ear than if I use the drum dial and make them all the same reading. It takes me twice as long to fine tune as they are much further apart. Plus it takes me 3 or 4 times longer to bring them up to pitch with the dial than it does to do equal steps with a key. Also if you like your toms tuned so one head is tighter than the other its much easier and faster to tune the remaining lugs up to the highest pitch lug on one head and tune the remaining lugs down to the lowest pitch lug on the other head.

Last edited by tard; 01-30-2012 at 03:34 AM.
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  #38  
Old 01-28-2012, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Yeah some people dig em, some people don't, I like them. I especially like mine because I live in a flat block so I can't make much noise, (well I could, but I'm a considerate neighbour), and tuning drums quietly can be torturous!
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

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Originally Posted by Goreliscious View Post
Yeah some people dig em, some people don't, I like them. I especially like mine because I live in a flat block so I can't make much noise, (well I could, but I'm a considerate neighbour), and tuning drums quietly can be torturous!
Even turns from finger tight will get you closer than a drum dial will and wont make any noise either.
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  #40  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

Like i said before, a second opinion. I tune them up normally then just use it for a second opinion.
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