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  #1  
Old 05-19-2017, 06:24 PM
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Default Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I just scored on a almost new Japanese Yamaha Birch CA kit. 20" bass, 10,12,14 toms and I'm looking to add a 16".

Just wondering for those much more experienced than me what has worked well for you on your birch kits.

This kit is for recording and practice so won't leave the home studio. I want to record some stuff with old friends from old bands I used to be in right up to current stuff we are playing now. So that means early on some metal and punk to now a bit slower rock? or alternative.

Even though I played metal I never liked my kit to sound wet or dead. I like them with more groove (not sure if that makes sense). I'm trying to get an open warm sound where each drum is a musical note with decent attack and bounce. The lower/darker the sound the better. What I don't want is a ton of sustain. I understand tuning is the key but I really want to pick the best skins possible to get me close.

Also any recommendations on 20" birch batter head (this is my first 20).

Thanks for your input.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

For toms I always go with clear Evans G2's on top and G1's on the bottom. Bass drums get EQ3's and/or Emads. Snares get Genera on top a 300 on bottom. That is how I roll, no matter what the drum is. Peace and goodwill.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I also use G2 top and G1 bottom on my birch. In my case both sides are coated heads too, but that's a bit unusual.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I also use G2 top and G1 bottom on my birch. In my case both sides are coated heads too, but that's a bit unusual.
exact same thing for me (Remo equivalent: coated emperor / coated ambassador)
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewitt2 View Post
exact same thing for me (Remo equivalent: coated emperor / coated ambassador)
My coated g2/g1 combo on the birch kit actually got some praise from a studio engineer who is typically a big fan of using sample replacement/layers. (which I wasn't going to allow anyway).
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I have Coated G12's over clear Genera Resonants on my birch kit. I haven't swapped out the bass batter head, but it will likely be a clear or coated Emad.
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2017, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I'm also clear G2s over G1s on the birch kit I play at church. Sounds awesome.
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

On my birch set I also usually use the clear double ply Emperor/G2 over Ambassador/G1, but I'm digging the clear Ambassadors all around for now.

I get the most sustain of any heads with the clear Emperors over clear Ambassadors so you might want to go with coated Vintage Emperors on top for a more subdued sound.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Either clear single or double ply heads.

The aquarian supers are great for a lower tuning. If I'm tuning higher I prefer clear ambassadors for a bit more openess.
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2017, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I have the uv1s over g1 on my RC, thinking of trying g2s but man I dont know, the kit sounds great as is.

Try em all I guess !
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  #11  
Old 05-20-2017, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

What most people here have already said.. You can't go wrong with G2 top and G1 bottom. For you and your style of music I would go with a G2 or perhaps a G14 on snare batter. From there if you want to apply some mufffling you're free to..

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Old 05-20-2017, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Mostly the same as the previous recommendations. Since this is for recording, it's better to have more sustain than you need, and then muffle accordingly. Single or double ply of your brand preference over single, and then get yourself some gaffa.
As for the 20", I like a PS3, Ambassador, or an Emad 1. The EQ4 is nice too.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

On my birch kit I'm using clear Vintage Emperors on the 12,13, 14, and 16" toms. The 10" always gets a single ply; right now it's an Evans G 12.

Aquarian Super Kick is my go-to head for bass drums, though I've never played on a 20" drum before.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2017, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

On my birch kit I prefer clear G2's over clear G1's. They sing.
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2017, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Thanks for all the input.

My snare that I bought separately came with a and Evans G1 coated and a 3-4 mill clear snare side so I am going to try it out for a while (sounds pretty good to me).

Sounds like double ply on top is the way to go (except maybe on the 10"). Has anyone tried the heavier 12 mil or 14 mil single ply like ambassador X on top of a birch shell?

I was leaning towards ambassador for reso heads and a coated head on top because I heard a recording custom with this set up and it was amazing. I failed to look and see if the top heads were double ply or not. I would like to get that sound on my BCA's if possible.

For the couple of you that use the coated heads, why do you like them over the clears? Same question for the vintage remos?

Thanks again
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2017, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cerendrad View Post
T
Has anyone tried the heavier 12 mil or 14 mil single ply like ambassador X on top of a birch shell?
Not all birch drums have the same sound characteristics but on my Sonors the heavier single plys don't sound good to me. They sound hard and bright. Sonors are very bright drums anyway, so they don't seems to mix as well with hard heads.

I've heard those heads on Ludwig classic Maples and they sound great. Ludwigs have a nice boom with them.
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  #17  
Old 05-21-2017, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Cool thanks,

I also heard the heavier single ply head on a maple kit and thought it sounded good. The BCA seem pretty bright to me as well. With all the 2 ply over one advice here I think I'll go that way. Now just vintage, coated, or clear.
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  #18  
Old 05-21-2017, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cerendrad View Post

For the couple of you that use the coated heads, why do you like them over the clears? Same question for the vintage remos?

Thanks again
The Vintage Emperors just have a really warm, thick, but still clear tone that I love. I've used them on both my Ludwigs and my birch Mapex kit and really like how they sound.

Otherwise, I usually use coated heads, and I like the warmth coated heads give. On brighter drums they tend to smooth out any harshness you might get.
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  #19  
Old 05-21-2017, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Thanks, I've been listening to the vintage heads on youtube (kinda hard to tell) but they do sound good. Your description is what I am after. Do you think they come in somewhere between clear and coated or just different?
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  #20  
Old 05-21-2017, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I've been using clear Ambs over stock Ludwig resos on my Element Birch kit. It still needs a Moon gel on the floor tom & the mounted tom. Maybe coated Emps would sound a little better. Haven't tried them yet. O
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  #21  
Old 05-21-2017, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

If you have a Yamaha Birch kit, it doesn't matter what heads you put on it. It'll sound great. Ok all joke aside. I had a BCAN kit and the heads I liked best were Aquarian Super 2 batters over G1 or equivalent on the toms. They came with PS 3s on the kicks which I replaced with Aquarian SK1s.
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  #22  
Old 05-23-2017, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I've used both Yamaha's Stage Custom and Recording Customs over the years. Both birch and both with the same head combos. Aquarian Coated Force 10's on the tops and Classic Clear one ply on the bottoms.

With the kicks I'll use a Force II on the front, but for the batters I change it up. Clear Force I on the RC's and Clear Super Kick 10 on the Stage Customs.

The Stage Customs seem to like thicker heads, while the RC's can handle just about anything. I'm considering dropping the thickness on the RC's Toms and going from a Force 10 to a Response 2. It's basically the equivalent of an Emperor or G2.

Your drums are the Birch Customs correct? Those are the same shells at the RC's but without the interior finished and split lugs. I suggest going with a basic double ply on the tops: Response 2, Emperor, or G2 depending on brand preference.
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  #23  
Old 05-23-2017, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I was listening to a clear super kick 10 on a 22" bass and thought it sounded amazing, nice to see a second vote for the Aquarian. Hopefully it sounds as good on a 20".

Also interesting about the force 10s. I like the sound of Remo Vintage Emperors which are 7.5 x 2 plies which are a bit heavier than normal Emperors but not 2 x 10 mil like the 10s. I'll check them out too.

My Yamaha kit is birch and from what I read very similar to the recording customs (same Hokkaido Birch Shells). Especially in the year range mine was made 2003-2004 ish, as I don't think they made the recording customs those years. I have seen others with no finish on the inside but mine has a dark almost black lacquer on the inside. I love the RC sound so I'm hoping to get close to it with these. They were like new when I bought them, all wrapped up in blankets tucked away in hard cases.

Can I ask you, on your RCs do you prefer the coated double ply too?

Thanks for the input I really appreciate it.
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  #24  
Old 05-24-2017, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cerendrad View Post

Can I ask you, on your RCs do you prefer the coated double ply too?

Thanks for the input I really appreciate it.
Yes, I do prefer coated doubly ply heads. Not just for my RCs but for all my kits. I got away from using clear heads a long time ago. Just prefer coated for some reason.
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Old 05-24-2017, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
On my birch kit I prefer clear G2's over clear G1's. They sing.
That's what I use on my Genista kit. Clear Superkick I with a smooth white Powerstroke reso.
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  #26  
Old 05-24-2017, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Cool thanks . So many to choose from.
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  #27  
Old 07-17-2017, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I have a Yamaha birch kit, and found Remo pinstripes work well for all tom and bass drum batter heads.
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  #28  
Old 07-17-2017, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

The older Yamaha Birch kits would come with Pinstripes from the factory. My RC's still have they original Yamaha Pinstripes on them (2005 & unused) & sound amazing. Have tried the G1/G2 combo but it doesn't come close to the Pinstripes.
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  #29  
Old 07-18-2017, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I have a set of Japanese made RC's from the late 80's.
I too only use the kit for practice and recording. I would suggest a thick double ply coated head for the toms.

I've been using Aquarian Coated Force 10's on mine for the last few years. I cut a lot of records with it and always get compliments from producers and engineers on how they sound. I'm real happy with the tones, and they need almost no "studio magic" or processing on the back end of recording.

For the kick I use Aquarian clear Force 1's on the batter and Force 2's on the front. It's the same head, just Force 2's are black. These are equivalent to a Remo Powerstroke 3.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I just scored a Ludwig Classic Birch kit (it was an obscene deal). I had planned to go with my normal setup but a little modernized with coated 2 ply over clear heads (I normally use coated single ply over coated or clear singles).

The kit came with Black Dots that look pretty fresh and I have a gig on Friday so I'll probably try those out for fun. Get my Mickey Mouse on.
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  #31  
Old 01-20-2018, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I also got an incredible deal on a Ludwig Classic Birch kit. I got them about 10 years ago from a drum shop that had used them as a demo kit. I got them for $500. The Ludwig Classic Birch kits were extremely underrated. They only had a few finishes. Mine are a beautiful sea blue finish. 10, 12,14,20 and snare. They have such a great tone and are the easiest drums to tune that I've ever had.

I have a Ludwig Classic Maple kit in WMP wrap that is my main kit. It cost $2,350, and it sounds great and looks great. But it doesn't sound that much better than my classic birch kit. I don't know why the classic birch kit didn't sell better.
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  #32  
Old 01-22-2018, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I have a Stage Custom 10-12-16 and i went with Evans Ec2's on batters and G1's on resos

Sound is unreal and its what im sticking with from now on
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  #33  
Old 01-22-2018, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

+1 for the coated 2-ply over coated 1-ply. Works a treat
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  #34  
Old 01-26-2018, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I also use G2 top and G1 bottom on my birch. In my case both sides are coated heads too, but that's a bit unusual.
Like a bunch of others have already said:

Me to.

Though my 10in has a clear bottom.
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  #35  
Old 01-26-2018, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I ran coated Powerstroke 3 heads batter and clear Ambasador reso.
on my Yamaha RC's, and I really loved the sound.
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  #36  
Old 02-05-2018, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I have recently heard a few and I think I might try the vintage emperor clears over clear ambassadors. I was leaning towards coated but as far as I can tell these have the sound I'm looking for. I'll let you know how they sound.
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  #37  
Old 02-10-2018, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I have a cheap stage custom and use single ply w/ dot on the toms and PS3 on the kick.
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  #38  
Old 03-04-2018, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Birch Drumkit - What heads work best for you?

I have an Eames birch kit always ran clear amb on reso,I liked coated ambs on batter,really brought out an aggressive attack,clear ambs on batter were good also,and Remo Renniscance on batter side really warmed them up.
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