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  #1  
Old 07-08-2014, 05:43 AM
dzarren dzarren is offline
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Default best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

I just bought a new kit today, and it is a ddrum diablo. And yes i know everyone here has bad things to say about the kit. It was really cheap, and the guy sold it with a HHX stage ride, which is already worth more that i paid for the kit, and now i got a new 7 piece kit!

The heads were trash so i put on some old ambassadors i had, ( i only have the 10, 16 snare and bass set up at the moment.) and they sounded actually not too bad.

I threw on some moon gels and it seemed the sound significantly improved, although usually i dont approve of external muffling of any sorts.

What head would mimic this sound? Why not just use moongels? Because i hate them, they leave nasty residue everywhere and they piss me off, and they fly around and are just nasty, and it also really picks at my need for symmetry. Theres just this strange blue turd on the side of the drum.

At first i was thinking PERFORMANCE 2 by aquarian, but im not really into the zero tone 70's sound, and my other consideration was the ebony pinstripe, but those are very expensive compared to the aqwuarians.

Another option was the STUDIO X by aquarian, which is the 1 ply version of performance 2 i think..


Do you guys know of any alternatives? Id like aquARIAN if possible as they are generally the cheapest.

Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

Understand that a head is a symmetrical design, and gel is used to interrupt that symmetry. A head with any kind of 'effect' has it all the way around - an inner ring, holes, whatever. I don't know of a head that sounds quite like one with gel, or tape, or anything else that's applied on one part of the head.

If you like the sound, use the gel! Sorry if it leaves marks, so do sticks on heads & cymbals. Marks on drums and cymbals are a cost of doing business (drumming.)

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Last edited by bermuda; 07-08-2014 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Spellin
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

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Originally Posted by dzarren View Post

I threw on some moon gels and it seemed the sound significantly improved, although usually i dont approve of external muffling of any sorts.

!
I think you should play and listen to your kit for awhile with the Ambassadors, try different tunings etc before you blame any tones you don't like on heads.

You know... get to know your girl before buying her some new jewellery right? lol

Once you get to know your drums a bit, then maybe modify the head choices.

But if you want to ignore the above statements because its new and you so desire to control its sound immediately, try the Evans EC2 heads.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

How about trying some black dots?
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:58 AM
dzarren dzarren is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

I feel like black dots might be even a bit too open for these drums, they demand muffling of sorts.

Ambassadors dont seem to be working too good. The guy i bought it from had an evans hydraulic on the 12 inch tom and it sounded alright actually, but the sustain was a bit lacking.

Anyone have any expericne with either the performance 2 or the studio X?

And also i only have a single moon gel, i dont have enough for the whole kit! And i dont think ill find myself buying any!

ill definetrly be experimenting ewith tuning with these old (as in more than 15 years old) ambassadors with muffling rings cut out of old heads, but im thikning the pre muffled aquarians might do the trick, but of course im not sure!


the drums seem very very ringy with ambassadors on them, even the 16 which is strange/
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

I use sound rings with 1-ply heads. That always sounds good to me. Maybe try sound rings perhaps?
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:15 AM
newoldie newoldie is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

Remo pinstripe coated batter, clear Ambassador reso.
This combo will dampen the ring on the floor tom, like having a sound ring built in- but the 2 heads allow a full sound, not choked.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2014, 08:47 AM
dzarren dzarren is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

Yeah ive been cutting sound rings out of old heads, the tone is great but i get this crappy buzzing sound that ive always hated from the external rings.

I thought about the pinstripes, but i just always thought it just robbed tone until there was literally none left to rob. They are also kinda expensive, but thats alright maybe, i didnt pay too much for the kit anyway.

So no votes for the aquarians? I honestly thought they were the best bet for the sound i was describing! i guess not!
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2014, 10:54 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

Try the Aquarian mate. It's abundantly clear this thread is little more than seeking validation for your first choice anyway, why not just bite the bullet and get it done?
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  #10  
Old 07-08-2014, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

try some ec2's/pinstripes.
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  #11  
Old 07-08-2014, 06:17 PM
dzarren dzarren is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

Well now, I'm just trying to find people who've tried the performance series! Hehe, I mean I've seen quite a few people mention the heads when talking about other topics, and I've seen a few in the "show your kits" section, so I just though I could draw some experience! Well, I guess no ones really used them with cheap kits like mine! Just trying to get a little advice before I spent literally more than half what I paid for the kit just one heads, no?

Is the ec2 really analogous to the pinstripe? It seems to have so much less muffling, only a slotted ring compared to a full ring of adhesion.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

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Originally Posted by dzarren View Post
Is the ec2 really analogous to the pinstripe? It seems to have so much less muffling, only a slotted ring compared to a full ring of adhesion.
The original EC2 with the foil ring was very Pinstripe-y, I loved those heads!! Then, Evans changed them to a less hearty ring, and they're essentially slightly damped G2s now. I doubt you'll find any older EC2s out there at this point. :(

But I need to reiterate, you won't find a head that sounds like a gel has been used on it. The gel (or tape or padding) has an effect that the head can't duplicate, and that's based on how they're manufactured: the same all the way around. Even heads that have rings built-in don't sound like a plain version of that head with a ring placed on top.

Heads make a lot of sounds, but damping is another aspect to their existing sound, and you have to do what you have to do in order to alter the sound - add gel, or tape, or a pad or a ring.

I don't think I'd want a head that sounds too far one way or the other, then I'd be stuck with that sound. I need options and flexibility.

Bermuda
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  #13  
Old 07-08-2014, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

I've used Pinstripes, EC2's and Performances II's, and they are all very much (slight) variations of the exact same sound. Despite how the three companies describe them in words they're all constructed essentially the same, with two 7-mil plies and some form of muffling on the edge.
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  #14  
Old 07-08-2014, 08:32 PM
AudioWonderland AudioWonderland is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

Never ceases to amaze me how popular it is to muffle drums at all let alone so heavily.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:08 PM
dzarren dzarren is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

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Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Never ceases to amaze me how popular it is to muffle drums at all let alone so heavily.
Trust me, if you find other posts by me on this forum and others, i never muffle anything, I reply only on tuning, which i think im actually not too bad at. I think it is a mortal sin to put anything in the bass drum.

But when youre dealing with atrocious bearing edges and shells that might not be round, many overtones are produced that simply cannot be tuned out. The imperfections in the shell far exceed any ability i have to reciprocate this.

The moon gel made the kit sound better only because it eliminated some high pitched squeals i was getting from the 10 year old 300 dollar kit that had been in a garage since ever.

Im usually an ambassador top and bottom sorta guy, but it just seemed impossible, at least with my skill set, to be able to get any sort of pure tone from the drums, the harmonics were just much too prevalent.

muffling gives me the easy way out in trying to expose the fundamental! :)

Maybe im just lazy, but one whole day messing with an ambassador and a single drum is enough for me to say, maybe ill go for some muffled heads

The reason i ask for muffled heads, is actually because like i said, i HATE external muffling, or internal, in the case of the bass drum. I just cant stand it, its so ugly, but im willing to take it one step towards the dark side, and get some muffled heads, but you can believe that nothing other than heads over go in or on my drums.

Sorry im getting all defensive, i just want to get across that i also do not like to muffle, i prefer to spend hours and hours tuning. but when and overtone so high pitched that it makes your cringe is louder than the fundamental, even with hours of tuning, it might be time for me to let down my walls slightly in this regard.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

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Originally Posted by dzarren View Post
Well now, I'm just trying to find people who've tried the performance series!
I tried clear Performance II's on my rack and floor toms and did not like them one bit. I could not get a decent tone out of them in any kind of tuning. It was like hitting cardboard. I went back to my usual choice of clear Emperor over clear Ambassador. I don't ever get unwanted amount of overtones from this combo - never needed any dampening in any situation including recording.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:54 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

It always surprises ME that people don't understand why you WOULD muffle a drum.

as a pretty extreme metal drummer i play double kick 220-240 bpm 16th notes for long runs. Have you ever heard that on an unmuffled drum? that would sound TERRIBLE........ you want a punchy sound with next to no resonance after the fact.

I like my toms to sing... but with no moon gel, or at least a dual ply head ( I LOVE EC2'S) doing 16th note fills at those speeds sound like garbage too... you need some distinction between notes.

now when I'm playing blues, jazz, rock. ETC i would prefer my toms to sing, my kick to boom. but this is why I own a few kits, and spend far too much on heads.

there's a reason they even MAKE hydrolic heads, moon gel, bass drum pillows. drum triggers, dampening rings, and every other product on the market.. even if YOU don't use it.

edit...
. I would rather tune a drum properly than throw a whole pad of moon gel on it. I will usually tune to where things sound good, then put 1/4 or a piece even on my tom just to tone it back a bit.... usualy detuning one lug a slight bit will help achieve the same effect for me, but depending on the venue I play. sometimes its nice to just take the moon gel off
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HisC...=youtube_gdata

Coated response 2's on there. I use the studio x as well but only on snares (haven tried them on toms yet)
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

I've played on a church drum set with Studio X's for a few years now. They sound great and last a really long time. They are single ply with the underside muffling strip toward the edge - but not as part of the edge.

If you are bound and determined to do a pre-dampened head, IMHO these are some of the best. I like the EC2's as well.

I'm in Bermuda's camp. I play in so many different rooms and situations that I have to be able to change on the fly. Therefore, on snares and toms, I try to use single and two ply heads with no built in dampening. But I bring cut up gels (they aren't the Moon Gel brand) in my stick bag. Sometimes I use a few. Sometimes I take them all off. The bass drum is different but I still try to not go overboard with dampening. I have a Remo PS3 on my Gretsch and an Evans EQ3 on my Yamaha.I've used Aquarian SKII's and Evans EMAD's on both of them but didn't like the pre-dampened sound hence my current choices.

I recommended and installed the Studio X heads on the church set (8 year old Stage Custom) because I knew that it wasn't going anywhere and that others who had dampening factored in their desired sound would be playing it. In addiition, Aquarian's are some of the most robust, long lasting heads I've used with Evans coming in a close second.

I think the OP now has enough ammo to make a choice. To him I say, pick one, pull the trigger and see how it goes. Heads are consumables and you can change your mind after using them. Much easier than buying new drums of different wood types.

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  #20  
Old 07-09-2014, 09:26 PM
dzarren dzarren is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

I think ill be going with the performance 2s on the floor toms and a studio X on the 10"tom, i keep hearing people say that the performance 2 choke out the smaller drums significantly.\

im just worried the tonal quality will be obviously different and the drums may not sound well together,
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

If you leave your drums by a window where your tom will get some sun, eventually your one moongel will turn into a lovely sticky pile of clear purple snot. You can then scrape some off and allocate the dollops among your other toms as symetrically as gravity will allow.

Seriously, moongels are photodegradable.

And I've heard some good recordings of those aquarian studio and performance heads. Pinstripes and such are more common so people are more likely to recommend those. I say try the aquarians if you think they'll work and tell us how it goes. The thinner head on the smaller tom is a good idea too...same company, same mylar and muffling, should work out tone-matching-wise.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

I have used Aquarian Studio X and Performance II's in the past. I agree with some previous posters that the Performance II heads work well on floor toms, and I wasn't much of a fan of these heads on rack toms either. They take a beating though, that's for sure!

I just wasn't happy with the Studio X heads at all.

I am a big fan of the Aquarian coated Super 2's on my toms. Both of them as a matter of fact :)

I do use studio rings though. I have found that the "store bought" rings are heavier, and don't buzz like the ones I used to make out of old heads.
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  #23  
Old 07-15-2014, 07:31 PM
dzarren dzarren is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

After hearing more and more about the performance 2s, i went ahead and ordered a full set of Studio x, over Texture coated resonants.

One of the earlier posters was wise, being suggestive of me trying out some different tunings and mufflings with singly ply and deciding from there.

I threw on really old single ply heads on the drums and messed around, although i wasnt able to do anything other than keep the stock resos.

I got the kit to sound actually pretty decent by putting 2 moongels on the 16 inch, a thin dampening ring on the 15 inch, and an even thinner dampening ring on the 10 inch.
I could sense a little bit of unwanted harmonics coming from the poor quality bottom heads, so i decided i would go coated on the bottom, to further dampen some overtones, without actually going for a full on muffling system.


Im assuming the Studio X is kind of like a PS3 but maybe not quite as damped, as the ring does not sit over the bearing edge, and also is thinner i think.

I am so far, liking the sound of a single ply with some notable dampening on the top head, and i think i would like a very slight bit of dampening on the bottom head.


I have tried the combination of coated emperors over coated ambassadors on a sonor 503 basswood kit, and i liked the warmness of the coated resonant head, it wasnt too damped for me. so hopefully the texture coated under the single ply damped will be sweet.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:43 AM
metallitroy metallitroy is offline
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Default Re: best heads to mimic effects of moongel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzarren View Post
Yeah ive been cutting sound rings out of old heads, the tone is great but i get this crappy buzzing sound that ive always hated from the external rings.

I thought about the pinstripes, but i just always thought it just robbed tone until there was literally none left to rob. They are also kinda expensive, but thats alright maybe, i didnt pay too much for the kit anyway.

So no votes for the aquarians? I honestly thought they were the best bet for the sound i was describing! i guess not!
I definitely recommend the Aquarians, but even with them, i find the sound rings are a big help. Maybe try buying some sound rings, as opposed t cutting them. The manufactured ones are what I use, (on Aquarians), and I get no buzz at all. thhe Remo rings are heavier than the Evans version. It's just a matter of how much muffling you want.
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