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  #1  
Old 12-07-2007, 08:29 AM
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anson89 anson89 is offline
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Default How long does your heads last you?

I'm just curious guys
I change my heads every 6 months or so, come to think of it .. it's a lot of $ !
Is it just me?
Only reason why I change it is because I have dents all over my heads.
I've dented an EC2, now an EC2 coated and now I'm thinking of trying Clear emperors on my drums.
Any opinions?
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2007, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Learn to play with proper technique. I haven't dented a head in four years, and my heads last a very long time.
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

hmmm proper technique?
maybe im just hitting too hard?
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2007, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

no dents, ever. Scuffs only. My pinstripes on my TAMAs are 12 years old... and sound great. My Yamahas are only 8 months old, and not eligible yet

Last edited by aydee; 12-07-2007 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

ive had a Remo Smooth White Emperor on my snare for 8 months now and is only just starting to wear down, still sounds fantastic i might add.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2007, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anson89 View Post
hmmm proper technique?
maybe im just hitting too hard?
Striking hard won't dent a head, but strking "through" the head will. Learn to let the stick bounce off the head, and you can hit the drums as hard as you like without denting them.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

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Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
Learn to play with proper technique. I haven't dented a head in four years, and my heads last a very long time.
I noticed my 12" tom G1 has a few small dents/dimples in it and I play with correct technique and I don't play that hard. I've been playing for 16 years and with the possible exception of when I was first starting, I don't remember ever denting a head before.
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2007, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

I think it might also depend on how tight you tune your head too, and maybe what sticks you use (the tip). But i dunno,cant say ive ever dinted one
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2007, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

The other thing besides technique that can lend itself to denting heads is the angle you have your drums tilted. If you have them angled down considerably you are striking the head at an odd angle with the tip of the stick. Ideally you want the tip of the stick to strike flat to the drum head not at an angle. I believe head tension can also play a little part in this but I really think your technique, not playing through the head, and angle your drums are set at play the biggest role.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

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Originally Posted by konaboy View Post
The other thing besides technique that can lend itself to denting heads is the angle you have your drums tilted. If you have them angled down considerably you are striking the head at an odd angle with the tip of the stick. Ideally you want the tip of the stick to strike flat to the drum head not at an angle. I believe head tension can also play a little part in this but I really think your technique, not playing through the head, and angle your drums are set at play the biggest role.
At the time when I first noticed it, my tom was fairly flat, so that rules out everything :) Bad head possibly?
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  #11  
Old 12-07-2007, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

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Originally Posted by fourstringdrums View Post
At the time when I first noticed it, my tom was fairly flat, so that rules out everything :) Bad head possibly?

Could be a bad head.

Just when I've noticed a head that is dented those two things come into play allot.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2007, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Oh yeah the original question, how often do I replace my heads. If your just practicing and not playing out I'd do them once a year maybe depending on how much you practice. Right now I play for my church and they have their own kit so mine is used solely for practice and I put new batters on once a year when they make there journey to a concert we do that I use my kit for.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2007, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

I change the heads when I can't get an even, good tone by tuning anymore. They usually last about 5 or 6 months. I figure that's a good amount of use.

I use Coated Ambassadors mainly, but sometimes Coated Emps if I feel like it.

Ambassadors last just about as long as an Emp for me, but I like the crisper, longer tone from the Ambassador.

Med. Coated Ludwig heads sound good too, but Ambassadors seem more sturdy.
I don't dent the heads, so I can get good use out of them.

On the snare, I use a Remo Coated Emp with a top dot, I love the sound I get with them, and they last for-e-ver.

One of my Black Beauties had the same head on for almost a full year (!)--and it was still sounding good when I changed it. Rolls and sticking still sounded "good" on it--regular backbeats sounded great. I figured I should change it, but I'm sure I could have waited a couple more months.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2007, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

I change batters about every 6 - 8 months and resos about every year.

I have had a set of EC1s on for about nine months now and they're about done.

Snare batters usually get changed more often.
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2007, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Right now I have been changing every 6 months.

Not because they need to, but I am trying out every type of head that might give me the sound I'll stick with it forever.

First I tried Ambassadors, and now Diplomats (so far my favorite), next on my list are Aquarian Modern Vintage heads.
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  #16  
Old 12-07-2007, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Rob doesn't change the heads on his drums. He just buys new drums about every 4 weeks.
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2007, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Denting a 2-ply head seems like a hard task. It's already been brought up, but make sure to watch out for inward angled toms and playing though the head. It's not necessary to hit hard for volume if you get a good wrist stroke. Watch some of the big band drummers and see how the got a LOT of volume but never had to play hard into the drum. Also, make sure not to muffle drums as typically this will cause you to overcompensate by playing harder and because the head is dampened this will do some damage. The Evans heads I had technically were in good shape after about a year but the tone had gone flat. The Aquarians I had lasted only about 2 months and the coating had come off and the heads had dented. I've got Fiberskyns now and they are holding up very well after several months. I'm hoping to change soon after these wear out for a different sound though.
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2007, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Ya I have to agree with wavelength too because when i first started I would just strike the head with no technique and just use a straight forward strike which resulted in denting the head, but now I have a way better technique and I just hit the head kinda of parallel to the tip of my stick and I never dent my head no matter how hard I strike it. I've tried denting the same exact head that I dented when I started, I meen I have tried like literally full power strike using my new technique and I can't dent my heads anymore so just find the right technique. Oh and I have only torn 1 head and that was my bass drum head, but it was a stock pearl and I play double bass and it did not have a patch on it and it broke after 6 months of playing so if you don't already buy patches for ur bass drums and for toms try 2 ply if you havnt already.
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  #19  
Old 12-08-2007, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

My emperors are barely holding out. I've had them for a year. They started losing tone after around the 8 month mark.

my evans snare lasted me about 5 months, but thats still on there since i'm not gigging or recording.

so in all they last me almost a year but I would like to be buying every 6-7 months.
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  #20  
Old 12-08-2007, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Rob doesn't change the heads on his drums. He just buys new drums about every 4 weeks.
Well of course. Buying new heads is expensive! :-D
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  #21  
Old 12-08-2007, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

I have Aquarian coated head all over and they last long, long, long... !!!
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  #22  
Old 12-08-2007, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Excessive angle is one reason. Another is the use of round-tipped sticks; all the energy is going through a smaller contact patch.

I read an interview with Omar Hakim's tech, who said because Hakim uses round-tipped sticks his heads are fully dented in minutes.

I don't have a problem with dents, but I replace my coated ambassador batters ever 6 months and resos after a year. Snare batter more often if necessary.
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  #23  
Old 12-09-2007, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Bought my Ludwigs in 1979,Still using the original heads all around :)
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  #24  
Old 12-09-2007, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

I have had my drums only a few years. Only changed the heads once, they still sound great. (even with dead sounding hydraulics).
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2007, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

maybe i'm crazy, but i've had my kit for a year, and swapped heads quite a few times -

it came with the original Sonor heads (basically clear ambassadors), and i played with those for about 2 months before swapping ALL the heads to coated ambassadors on top, and clears on bottom.

kept that setup for about 4 months, this was when i made most of my technique progress and correction, so they were thoroughly used when i finished...no dents or holes, just well-worn, with the typical Remo loss of coating in the center.

After that, i tried coated Emperors on the top (and kept the same reso heads as before). These, i had up until a month ago, The coating was just starting to wear thin on the higher toms, and the snare definitely needed a new head. I tune pretty tightly on the snare, and use nylon-tipped sticks, so the coating is starting to go within about 2 weeks of a head change.

so 2 weeks ago, i put all new heads on for the recording we just finished - coated ambassadors/clear reso on the 8" tom and snare. Coated emperors/clear ambassadors on everything else, with a Powerstroke III on the bass.

I LOVE the sound of my kit with new heads. I can notice a huge difference, even re-tuning and re-seating them after a month or so. I lug my kit to church and back every sunday (exhausting, yes), so i need it to sound top-notch, and i never know when i'll want to do a recording here at my house.

In the short of it i guess, if you've got the money, there's nothing wrong with changing heads every 2 months or so. I wouldn't want to go longer than 4, that's for sure.

I'm also curious about trying some Evans heads, i hear the coating lasts MUCH longer, but i'm worried about the tonal characteristics between Remo and Evans....i prefer a nice rounded, warm tone with attack that isn't overpowering, and the Evans heads i've heard (mostly G1 and G2) sound VERY crisp and lack a little tone.

any opinions on this?
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anson89 View Post
I'm just curious guys
I change my heads every 6 months or so, come to think of it .. it's a lot of $ !
Is it just me?
Only reason why I change it is because I have dents all over my heads.
I've dented an EC2, now an EC2 coated and now I'm thinking of trying Clear emperors on my drums.
Any opinions?
How often are you playing? When I play 6 nights a week, I hand to change over to emperors because the single ply heads were wearing out about every other week. this was on a set of Tama Granstar IIs. I use the Ambassadors on my DWs and it just depends on how much I play.


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  #27  
Old 12-10-2007, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

I'm curious as to how it seems that a LOT of peole complain abut the coating on Remo heads wearing off.

I've used either a Coated Ambassador, or Emp I'd say a good 99% of the time the last 15-20 years, and I can not recal any head that the coating wore, or came off.

I've had the occasional "dead" Emp. head (that gets taken back), and I have had the coating come off (only in a small spot) on the snare head I use if something happened to scrape across it. It's a clear film with coating on it, so I can see that hapening.

I've used all different types of sticks and this has never happened to me.

Just lucky for me I guess, but man, what's the deal?.
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  #28  
Old 12-10-2007, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

I rarely have to change heads. It's mostly by choice. I like the sound of worn heads for my jazz kit. The only time I'll swap em' is if I don't like the sound of a factory head or clear vs. coated. I keep a set of fiberskyns on hand and put those on ever once in a while. Usually I just go back and forth between the fibers and ambassadors.
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  #29  
Old 12-11-2007, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
I'm curious as to how it seems that a LOT of peole complain abut the coating on Remo heads wearing off.

I've used either a Coated Ambassador, or Emp I'd say a good 99% of the time the last 15-20 years, and I can not recal any head that the coating wore, or came off.

I've had the occasional "dead" Emp. head (that gets taken back), and I have had the coating come off (only in a small spot) on the snare head I use if something happened to scrape across it. It's a clear film with coating on it, so I can see that hapening.

I've used all different types of sticks and this has never happened to me.

Just lucky for me I guess, but man, what's the deal?.

For me it is the sound that matters and I am probably just sounding like an old fart here. There will never be anything that has the snap of a coated Ambassador on a snare drum whether the head looks perfect or not. It is a sign of affection when a drum is being used. It is the same with aguitat. If a guitar isn't used, the guitar players know that there is something wrong with that guitar.

Wear on a musical instrument means that someone gets enjoyent from playing it.

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  #30  
Old 12-11-2007, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: How long does your heads last you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skitch View Post
For me it is the sound that matters and I am probably just sounding like an old fart here. There will never be anything that has the snap of a coated Ambassador on a snare drum whether the head looks perfect or not. It is a sign of affection when a drum is being used. It is the same with aguitat. If a guitar isn't used, the guitar players know that there is something wrong with that guitar.

Wear on a musical instrument means that someone gets enjoyent from playing it.

Mike
Yeah, I agree....about the use part, not the old fart thing.... ;P
I guess when I said "wore" off, I meant, flaked off, or chipped off.
Even after a long time being on, my heads just get that smoothed out area in the center, and that light tan-ish color from th edirt on the sticks.

Yes, the snap is exactly why I use the Ambassador.
That head is cool because you can still get an articulate sound out a deeper sounding tuning.
Even though I use biggger drums (20X26, 13, 2-16's, & 18), I like a bit higher tuning on top, and the bottom heads are pretty tight sometimes. I like my 13 to be like a "Joe Morello" type sound.
They really sound huge, and project like crazy. I guess it's that "Jazz" tuning on rock drums....
I even use the Coated Amb. on the kick, and it sounds fantastic.
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