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  #1  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:39 AM
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grannydrums grannydrums is offline
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Default coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

My new drum kit arrived and although it looked pretty I was gutted at the sound. so take several days(not all day) fiddling around with the tuning( not something I am expert at) and noticed several things that bemused me.

could not get the 16" tom to sound good at all, but then noticed the head(aquarian) had some ripples and there were dead spots on it. so put the head on from my old kit, and it sounded so much better> so the question is-- are there bad heads out there. Also I found it easier to get a meaty sound out--even though my old head is worn--is that because it is a coated head rather than clear. there is also a washer issue, but I think that is better in a seperate thread.

I normally dont think about heads, just take the whole kit up to the drum centre a few times ayear and they replace what is necessary. But my teacher was amazed that i had coated bottoms-- is this so very unusual--should I think about getting coated bottoms for my new kit which I just do not feel I can tune low enough.

because i did not buy this kit from my drum shop I cannot get them to skin it up without charging me an extra fee, so am trying to work it out myself
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2009, 05:32 AM
TheArchitect
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Default Re: coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

Yes there are bad heads. My 16" mapex had a bad batter head. Coated heads are a bit warmer and a tiny bit less open than clear. If you want dark and deep drums coating can help
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2009, 05:38 AM
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konaboy konaboy is offline
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Default Re: coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannydrums View Post
My new drum kit arrived and although it looked pretty I was gutted at the sound. so take several days(not all day) fiddling around with the tuning( not something I am expert at) and noticed several things that bemused me.

could not get the 16" tom to sound good at all, but then noticed the head(aquarian) had some ripples and there were dead spots on it. so put the head on from my old kit, and it sounded so much better> so the question is-- are there bad heads out there. Also I found it easier to get a meaty sound out--even though my old head is worn--is that because it is a coated head rather than clear. there is also a washer issue, but I think that is better in a seperate thread.

I normally dont think about heads, just take the whole kit up to the drum centre a few times ayear and they replace what is necessary. But my teacher was amazed that i had coated bottoms-- is this so very unusual--should I think about getting coated bottoms for my new kit which I just do not feel I can tune low enough.

because i did not buy this kit from my drum shop I cannot get them to skin it up without charging me an extra fee, so am trying to work it out myself

There really shouldn't be anything on your kit besides heads that would need replacing. Why are you taking it to a drum shop a couple times a year? Replacing heads is one aspect of this art you need to know how to do yourself.

As for a possible bad head, yes anything is possible. Did you check to make sure there was even tension on the lugs, that the head was seated properly and you had an even tone on the head by each lug?
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

It was definately easier to pop up the road with the kit and get it all tuned up and head replaced if necessery than do it myself, and the chat was nice.

yes I had even taken it off and started again. It just seemed iimpossible to get all the tensions right.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:14 PM
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konaboy konaboy is offline
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Default Re: coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

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Originally Posted by grannydrums View Post
It was definately easier to pop up the road with the kit and get it all tuned up and head replaced if necessery than do it myself, and the chat was nice.

yes I had even taken it off and started again. It just seemed iimpossible to get all the tensions right.

To me it's easier just to sit down and tune then it is load everything into the car ;-)

So what kind of kit did you get? In your washer thread you said you had a DW, which series DW did you have? You said they were 10 years old, have you owned them the whole time?
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Last edited by konaboy; 11-27-2009 at 03:59 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2009, 03:52 PM
TheArchitect
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Default Re: coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

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Originally Posted by grannydrums View Post
It was definately easier to pop up the road with the kit and get it all tuned up and head replaced if necessery than do it myself, and the chat was nice.

yes I had even taken it off and started again. It just seemed iimpossible to get all the tensions right.
Yeah but drums won;t hold a tuning for more than a few days at most if being played. I agree with the others this is a skill you should develop
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:03 PM
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grannydrums grannydrums is offline
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Default Re: coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

I have a DW collectors series that my husband ordered new direct from america 11 years ago. Each drum has a note inside apparantly you are supposed to tune to that note....mmm.

its a lovely big warm sound, but we have transport problems. I also have a yamaha hip gig which solves the transport problems but only has two toms--buying a third tom for it would defeat the object of a pack away kit.

So I have now got a jalepeno punkster kit. 20x20,16x13,12x6,10x6 and 13x5snare. All packs away inside the bass drum in a wheeled hard case. Put the coated top and bottom heads on yesterday, they tuned up almost immeadiately with the drum dial. Put the slug kick pad on the bass and i am realy quite pleased with the overall sound. think i could probably tweak it a bit more, but I need to get some practice in rather than spend another afternoon playing around.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:04 PM
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grannydrums grannydrums is offline
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Default Re: coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

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Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
Yeah but drums won;t hold a tuning for more than a few days at most if being played. I agree with the others this is a skill you should develop
perhaps its is the way i play them, they dont seem to go out of tune and i practice nearly every day--must come of being a carefull little old lady
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2009, 08:51 AM
cpcarter cpcarter is offline
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Default Re: coated or clear--and can you have a bad new head

It is possible to get a bad head but there are many other aspects to the tuning of your drums that can cause problems. You should read up on all the techniques and develop your own. It long winded but here are a few of my methods that might help:

If you seem to have a problem head, possibly the head or drum could be out of round. Try turning the head on the drum edge without the rim, If it binds at any point keep turning past that to a point where it moves freely and mark it somehow or just note where the logo is and keep it there. Try the same with the rim and make sure it isn't binding.

Now finger tighten all the rods evenly and check to see that the head and rim stay centered over the drum. Steel rims, as opposed to cast, can easily be out of round. If so you will see a different gap as you look along the rim. Try to equalize that gap as you begin to tighten the rods evenly, opposite sides, around the drum. Only 1/4 turn at first as you check the gap then go to 1/2 turn evenly all around. Press with your thumb on the edge of the head and pull up with your fingers under the rim to help seat as you tighten, On a new head keep going well past the normal pitch and keep seating the head. You will hear snaps, crackles and pops as the head stretches in the hoop and shapes to the bearing edge. Let it sit at high tension for an hour or so. Now begin to check pitch at each rod. Lay a soft mallet or lightly touch your finger at the center of the head while you tap about an inch from the edge at each rod. Listen to the pitch overtones carefully and get them as close to unison as possible. That is where you will eliminate those unpleasant beat notes that ruin the nice round fundamental your drum should produce. Now loosen the rods 1/2 turn each and listen to the pitch drop. Keep going until you find the drums natural resonant frequency and you're happy with pitch relative to your entire kit. Now carefully go back and equalize the pitch at each rod, seating the head again with your thumb on the head and fingers under the rim until the pitch is equal all around. Use the mallet to hit softly around the head then in the center. You should hear one pleasant note.

Tuning is a fundamental of the instrument, any instrument. With drums especially it is what makes them yours and gives them your unique sound. Take the time and get to know what it takes to get them to sound good.
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