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  #1  
Old 01-30-2013, 05:24 AM
augysteen augysteen is offline
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Default is it the head or the shell?

I'm sure the ultimate answer is probably both. but for those of us with a tighter budget I'm askin those of you with some knowledge to share some knowledge...please.

how much of the drums sound is head and how much is the shell and does the wood really matter? again this all mite be obvious... but I'd like a lesson.

i got a taye rock pro set. birch and basswood. I'd like to get it sounding jazzy. I've read some forums where dudes recommend a 1 ply coated head for that sound. and before i go out and spend the doh i wanted to know if it would work with any type of shell?

my snare on this set came with an aquarian velocity z-100 coating head and in my opinion it ain't soundin very jazzy. its kinda thick actually. ghost notes don't really sound to good.

well i hope lots of you pros go to town here on heads and shells with your opinions
thx
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:51 PM
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Zickos Zickos is offline
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Default Re: is it the head or the shell?

It is both. You can make almost any drum sound decent with good heads but to get down to the finer points it is the shell. The shell composition, inside coating (or not), hardware, rims all make a difference. Having said that, in the short run it is heads. That is, IMHO.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: is it the head or the shell?

Tuning also plays a very large role
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:05 PM
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gconyers gconyers is offline
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Default Re: is it the head or the shell?

Short answer- heads are the most important. Tuning is also paramount to get the sound you want. As long as your shells are in round and bearing edges are good, experimenting with both should get you pretty close to the sound you want.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:24 PM
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Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
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Default Re: is it the head or the shell?

Yes, heads and tuning are responsible for the sound, and the drummer of course.

You can get almost any kit sounding as you wish by choosing the right head combo and appropriate tuning.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:27 PM
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Shedboyxx Shedboyxx is offline
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Default Re: is it the head or the shell?

augysteen

What's 'jazzy' to you? Can you name a drummer's sound you are trying to target?

The typical jazz 'bop' sized shell kit has 5 x 14 snare, 8 x 12 tom, 14 x 14 floor tom, and 14 x 18 bass drum. These sizes have been successfully used for traditional 50's through 60's bop/bebop style jazz - regardless of the type of shell material. *The heads are usually thin to medium 1-ply heads tuned tightly but not choked. Drummers like Art Blakey, (early) Elvin Jones, (early) Tony Williams, Jimmy Cobb, (early) Roy Haynes used these when setting the genre in late 50's/60's. Drum makers back then used whatever material worked in most cases. many had poplar, some had maple or gumwood, some had mahogany, etc. All of these woods under the hands of master jazz players were fine.

*In the earlier days, drummers used calfskin. When plastic heads came out some switched and some stayed with calfskin.

Now that's a pretty specific sound character but it doesn't mean you can't get a jazz sound with a different configuration. In his later years (1970's), Tony Williams played a 6 piece kit with clear CS Dot heads, and rock size drums even using them for a reunion of an important 60's era style group modeled after a classic Miles Davis lineup.

Steve Gadd played all kinds of jazz keeping his characteristic low tom pitches, dampened bass drum and low, dampened snare drum sound.

So it depends on what you are going for. IMO, your initial statement is true that both matter but also as Terrence R. said, tuning will matter.

You also have to factor in your approach to playing jazz. You might need to work on your touch and technique with cymbal work which some would argue is way more important in most styles of traditional jazz than your general drum sound. If you have Zildjian Z cymbals you may have a bigger challenge than wrong heads or drum sizes.

I'd start with one single ply batter head for your snare along with a new, snare side, resonant head (DON'T blow off getting good resonant heads). Aquarian has a great single ply coated head. Evans G1's or Remo Ambassador will work too. All three brands have good snare side heads. Try that and see if it makes a difference.

Jim
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:25 AM
mandrew mandrew is offline
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Default Re: is it the head or the shell?

For a jazzy sound, think about Evans Strata 1000. It has a skin sound, and very good with brushes too. It is a single ply.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: is it the head or the shell?

Also, Aquarian modern Vintage heads really work well with almost any drum. They're a nod to calfskin heads, & tune up high nicely without getting too bright.
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