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  #1  
Old 11-27-2009, 12:31 PM
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Default Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

The clear stock heads aren't ideal. What head do you think would be best for 10" and 12" RT toms?
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2009, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Right now I'm using coated Ambassadors on mine, tuned JAW or slightly higher, and out in the crowd they almost sound like "real" toms.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2009, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Thanks Al.

Had to look up JAW tuning because I hadn't heard the term before. Ok, Just Above Wrinkle. I'll take that on board.

Last edited by Pollyanna; 11-27-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

I recently put a clear emperor on my 14" Traveler tom. It made only a slight difference in the sound for the better over the stock head.
I have a 12" clear ambassador that Im going to try on the other tom today. I'll let you know how it worked out.
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Hi
I'm using Evan Hydraulic Heads..tom's sound OK. Denis
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2009, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

I put the clear Ambie on the 12" tom. Slightly more sustain. A bit less punch. More latin sounding than the 2 ply. Not bad sounding. Six of one, half a dozen of the other trade of between 1 and 2 ply.
I bet that the Aquarian Coated Studio-X heads that I just put on my Tama kit would work well. I don't want to take them off or the Tama right now to find out.
The next time that I replace the Tama kits heads, I'll try the Tama take off heads in the RT.
I wish that I had thought to try it before I put them on the Tama! I couldn't wait to hear my Tama kit that I just bought with the new heads.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

I had one YEARS ago. I tried single-ply, double-ply, and pinstripes, and to me, the pinstripes made the toms sound the most like real toms. Back then, I wasn't into coated heads, but I speculate that they would sound good and warm up the sound a bit...
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2009, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
I had one YEARS ago. I tried single-ply, double-ply, and pinstripes, and to me, the pinstripes made the toms sound the most like real toms. Back then, I wasn't into coated heads, but I speculate that they would sound good and warm up the sound a bit...
Polly uses brushes a lot so I think that coated single ply with a bit of built in muffling would be the way to go for her. I love the jungle sound of my RT. I have a lot of fun with it. It works well with my conga players drums. Im glade that I have it.
Give one of these heads a shot Polly. Aquarian Studio-X coated. http://www.aquariandrumheads.com/pro...splay.asp?id=6
They are listed in a comparison chart on Aquarian's site as being all by themselves to other manufacturers. They have a warm sound and a long sustain. Im liking them on my Tama.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 11-27-2009 at 07:35 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2009, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

It's looking like a matter of taste and application.

Would I be right in figuring from what's being said that the situation is similar to that of regular toms - hydraulics for rock and coated single ply for jazz?
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2009, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

I used to use Evans Hydraulic heads on my concert toms for rock. They packed a powerful punch. No overtones and sustain at all! They are similar to the stock Pearl heads. I can't see you liking them on the RT. Plus for the brushes, you will want something in between like the Studio-X's.
If you twist my arm, I'll put one on my RT tomorrow and send you a sample. Thats just because you're a girl! I wouldn't do this for anyone else!!!!
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 11-27-2009 at 09:04 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2009, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I used to use Evans Hydraulic heads on my concert toms for rock. They packed a powerful punch. No overtones and sustain at all! They are similar to the stock Pearl heads. I can't see you liking them on the RT. Plus for the brushes, you will want something in between like the Studio-X's.
If you twist my arm, I'll put one on my RT tomorrow and send you a sample. Thats just because you're a girl! I wouldn't do this for anyone else!!!!
Haha, you don't have to put yourself out for me, Bob! I use sticks in about half the set and the percentage of sticks songs seems to be increasing - we'll be playing death metal soon at this rate. Next I'll be asking about the best way to set up quadruple pedals with triggers on a 16" kick drum :)

Um ... yeah ... anyway, I'm still hoping for a more organic sound which would mean a thin, coated head. The RT's unusual sound is a riddle so it's good to know how others' experiments worked out. Have you tried a coated Ambassador on it like Al did?
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

I never tried a coated Amb. Tomorrow, I'll put the Studio-X on the 12" tom and I'll post a sound sample. Just for you!!! With many exclamation marks!!!
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2009, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I never tried a coated Amb. Tomorrow, I'll put the Studio-X on the 12" tom and I'll post a sound sample. Just for you!!! With many exclamation marks!!!
Bob, you're blood's worth bottling!!!!! (there's five bangs - count 'em and weep)

You heard my RT tom with the stock head in Little Wing. To refesh your memory given that it's buried somewhere in the Playing Consolidation Thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LK2XaUWH4Y

I'm hoping for a more sensitive sound than that.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2009, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Here is the sound test. It sounds pretty good. The Studio-X is the best head that I have put on the RT so far by a long shot!
I recorded this with a Samson usb mic placed about 3 feet away. If you own a usb mic you could record yours the same way to compare.
Not nearly as thunkie as the clear Amb and the Stock 2 ply.
Im going to put them on my RT when I find some cash in an old coat pocket!
Attached Files
File Type: mov Aquarian Studio-x 12" RT tesr.mov (1.29 MB, 478 views)
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 11-28-2009 at 05:51 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2009, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

You are a legend, Bob!!!!! - deserving of five exclamation marks.

The recording is a nice resource, not just for me but anyone Googling and looking to solve the RT Riddle.

The Studio-X sounds less open - a bit like a pinstripe - than the sound I'm after. It would be good for rock. I'll be tuning mine down deeper than that too because it's the only deepish voice I have apart from the kick.
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  #16  
Old 11-29-2009, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Im glad that it helped Polly, I'll record a sample of these heads on my Tama Stagestar Bop kit tomorrow and I'll post it. I'm impressed with these heads on the Tama also. I was looking for a warm sounding Bop kit, and I got it! Aquarian makes some great stuff! You will discover that the Studio-X heads don't like to be loose. The muffle ring hampers loose tuning. Thats why they are good for a dry Jazz, high pitched sound.
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

How did you go with the heads, Bob?

Do you (or anyone else) have a recommendation for a head with a 16" RT kick drum? How do I get closest to a "proper" kick sound with it? An Evans G2 tuned JAW?
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  #18  
Old 12-02-2009, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Can't be of too much help there, Polly... I ended up throwing a standard 22" kick under the RT toms, because where I'm at right now there aren't too many bass drumheads that size (or any size, for that matter).

Since it's a really small, thin kick, I would go with as little muffling as possible, so yeah, a clear G2 with a impact sticker, and if you needed it, maybe a washcloth or bar towel in the very bottom just touching the batter head. Try this: Tune the batter about 3/4 turn to a full turn above JAW and the front head maybe 1/2 turn...? This way that little thing will get some boom in it, as opposed to the cardboard sound that would result from doing normal bass drum things to it.
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  #19  
Old 12-03-2009, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

That sounds like good advice, Al.

Wy tuned my vintage snare drum tonight and suddenly it sounds like a worldbeating thing. I feel kind of guilty. I've had it since 1995 and all this time I never gave the por thing a chance to sing the way it should.

No doubt this kick, though a lower quality drum, can sound a lot better. BTW it's the RT Gig Kit which is different to the usual RT kick. This one is 16" diameter x 14" deep.

I've been experimenting and trying to tune both heads just tighter than the the point where the flapping sound comes in. At the moment I have it completely open and was thinking the same thing - that some light dampening on the batter might be best and to get the lower tone from the reso.

So the fittings on your larger kick are compatible with the RT tom fittings or did you have to customise?
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  #20  
Old 12-03-2009, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

It's a Pearl as well, one of those Forum Joey Jordison kicks left over from another kit that passed through here. It has the obligatory Pearl double 7/8" mount on it, so I put the RT toms on it. The original RT set's bass drum had been ravaged by a pack of killer weasels, or so it looked from the holes through both front and back. (Very small church in an isolated town in Central Asia, not too many Guitar Centers around...)
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  #21  
Old 12-04-2009, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
How did you go with the heads, Bob?
I bought those Aquarian Studio-X heads for my Tama Stagestar kit, which happens to have the same tom dimensions as the american version of the RT. I was looking for a warm jazz sound for the Tama kit with it's 18 inch bass drum. I will wait until they wear a bit on the Tama kit, and I'll hand the worn Studio-X's down to the RT when the time comes to change heads again on the Stagestar. Can you find a Tama Stagestar in Oz? If so, I recommend that you try one! It is a great, inexpensive, small bass drum kit. I bought mine used for $200 american. the Stagestar's are hard to find in the states because kids beat that crap out of them as beginner kits and Jazzers buy the good ones up as soon as they come to the used market because they make perfect beater kits for them. I looked for a good Stagestar for about a year before I found one locally.
I plan to do a full studio mic up of the Stagester in a few weeks. I'll post sound clips then.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 12-04-2009 at 12:53 AM.
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  #22  
Old 12-04-2009, 02:35 AM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Bummer about killer weasels, Al, but valuable info re: the fittings. Thanks! I might be taking the kick to a guy in Wy Yung's shop who's apparently a very good tuner. He said 16" kicks are hard to tune right because they want to be toms. If he can't make it sing I may have to look for something bigger.

And that leads me to the other issue, Bob. I have lots of drumming wants and limited space. I really can't accommodate an extra Statestar especially since I plan to get a e-kit so I can practice at home instead of being perennially rusty and frustrated at not being able to play the things I used to be able to do.

If I accede to all my drumming wants I'll have drums in bed with me! I mean, I like drums a lot but I don't want to deal with all the jealous aggro and sulking when I get home just because I tried out other drums at Billy Hyde's or Drum City ...
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Bummer about killer weasels, Al, but valuable info re: the fittings. Thanks! I might be taking the kick to a guy in Wy Yung's shop who's apparently a very good tuner. He said 16" kicks are hard to tune right because they want to be toms. If he can't make it sing I may have to look for something bigger.

And that leads me to the other issue, Bob. I have lots of drumming wants and limited space. I really can't accommodate an extra Statestar especially since I plan to get a e-kit so I can practice at home instead of being perennially rusty and frustrated at not being able to play the things I used to be able to do.

If I accede to all my drumming wants I'll have drums in bed with me! I mean, I like drums a lot but I don't want to deal with all the jealous aggro and sulking when I get home just because I tried out other drums at Billy Hyde's or Drum City ...
The electro kit is probably the best answer for you at the moment. I frequently wake up on the floor next to my kits, So sleeping with my drums is not new to me! LOL.
I'm sure that the talented Wy Yung can get a bit more from your 16" bass. I myself would move to an 18" bass. The 18" I think is the minimum size that a good bass drum can be.
Everything else wants to be a tom. I would try an Aquarian performance II on the 16" bass batter. http://www.aquariandrumheads.com/pro...splay.asp?id=3 Or perhaps a Remo PowerStroke 3.
I would go with a single ply on the reso with a 3" porthole and a felt strip behind the head. A mic with low volume in the PA would also be great. I put just a bit of bass on the PA at gigs almost all of the time.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 12-05-2009 at 10:41 PM.
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  #24  
Old 12-11-2009, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Yeah, I think you're right, Bob. Do you think your wife would put the rolling pin away if you slept more with her than with the kit? Can't be good for a woman's ego to be considered less desirable than an inanimate object (but at least your kit isn't inflatable :)

The guy at the shop said that 16" kicks want to be toms too. You know, I don't see Aquatian heads in Sydney, just Remos and Evans.

You know, I can't remember how I cut a porthole in the reso of my old kit's kick drum. The Pearl stock reso has a very clean-looking 6" hole in the centre and I don't want to change it unless I can get another head to look as good.

I've never experimented much with heads in the past (and should have done!). Can different heads produce deeper tones? Would a thicker head work better with JAW tuning?
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post

I've never experimented much with heads in the past (and should have done!). Can different heads produce deeper tones? Would a thicker head work better with JAW tuning?
A thicker head will probably muffle the drum somewhat, but you might try a coated Emperor or G2 on it to avoid the excessive muting that, say, an EC2 might provide. Stay with thinner resos up front. I'm not personally a fan of port holes in resos, and I would probably hold out as long as I could with a 16" BD to coax as much tone out of that thing as I could. I have a 16" floor tom with no bottom head, and it's all attack, no tone... a kind of thut as you hit it.
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  #26  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Best heads for Rhythm Traveler toms

Thanks Al. I guess it depends. If I can only get a middling rather than deep tone out of it then I might as well reduce the tone and go for a dull thud. I see the logic in not porting the reso, though. I think I'll need to take my drum to expert tuners and then once they've optimised it, record the sound so I know what I'm going for.
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