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  #1  
Old 08-03-2010, 06:18 AM
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The Bassist The Bassist is offline
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Default Replacing heads soon, need an opinion

First off, I apologize in advance if this has been asked before, which I'm sure it has, but when I went to search I didn't know what to search for to get results I needed.

So I've had the same batter heads on my drum kit for probably close to a year, and the resos... well they haven't changed since I bought the kit and the kit's seller had it in his basement since the early 1990s, so those are impossible to tune at this point. I've learned to cope for a while, but I have some shows coming up that I want to sound really good. Issue is, a trip to buy replacements is roughly $110 which I'd rather not spend if I don't have to.
So the question is, does anyone have any YouTube or audio clips that showcase toms with resos and clips without resos? I'd like to hear the difference as well as knowing any drawbacks/benefits as I'm considering only buying batter heads, save the snare, to cut the costs down a bit.
I'm not a very experienced tuner, and I'm worried if I do decide to invest in both heads, I'll screw something up, stretch a head out unevenly, or whatever else could happen when attempting to balance the heads and have to replace them.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to answer this question.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2010, 06:54 AM
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Winston_Wolf Winston_Wolf is offline
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Default Re: Replacing heads soon, need an opinion

The best advice I have is to go get a Coke, pull up You Tube, type in "Bob Gatzen drum tuning" and spend an hour or so hearing some simple, easy to use, and the most effective drum tuning advice I've ever seen.

I've been playing drums for over 20 years now, and I wish I could have had this kind of advice back when I was starting out, because it would have saved me from a lot of years of using the "whack and fiddle" approach to drum tuning.

The best way to get better at drum tuning is by doing, but if you're armed with some good techniques to try it'll make the whole process so much easier.

As for the drumheads themselves, if cost is an issue I'd suggest keeping the old resonant heads over taking them off entirely, unless they're totally thrashed. If they're old but still in good shape they might not sound as pleasant or clear as new heads, but they'd still sound better than no bottom heads at all.

If you do end up getting new heads for top and bottom, I wouldn't get anything too fancy (or expensive) anyway. A simple one-ply Ambassador or G-1 makes a great bottom head, and as drumheads go aren't too expensive.

Another option might be to try Attack heads, at least on the bottom. I'm not too knowledgeable about them, but they are pretty easy on the wallet.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:21 PM
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The Bassist The Bassist is offline
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Default Re: Replacing heads soon, need an opinion

Thanks so much for an answer! I've actually watched those videos before the last time I replaced my heads, but my resos were hopeless even still, so the videos only helped me so much. I really don't think it would be a good idea to use the same resos anymore... they just sound awful at this point... it's impossible to get any resonance from any of my desired pitches consistent throughout the kit and with resonance, the dissonant undertones are very prominent in the sound produced, although it's possible that people in the crowd at a show won't be able to hear any undertones...
Anyways, I'll look up those drum heads you've mentioned and see if they're to my liking. I'm still in high school, and haven't bothered with getting a job, so I only have so much money that I've saved up over time and once it's gone, it's hard to get back. As long as I can get at least a half-decent tone, the ability to tune to a desired pitch, and durability (can't afford to replace drum heads as often as I do for guitar strings :P) I'll be happy.
And I do realize the best way to learn is by doing, and If I could have it my way, I'd practice a lot, but you can't tune an old drum head the same as if you were to tune a new one.
But is have something on the bottom really better than nothing? Is it possible to get a good sound from just one?
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2010, 05:30 PM
TFITTING942
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Default Re: Replacing heads soon, need an opinion

Tip for simple tuning of the reso heads is tighten the crap out of them. Then tune the batter side. Dont remove them all togeather, your dums will look incomplete with the lugs and no rim or head on them and taking off the lugs is also noticeable. Concert toms back in the 70's were made without holes for bottom hardware and that was ok but you really had to like the cardboard box sound they mostly had. Again, just tighten, evenly, the resos. unless they are punctured, they should be fine.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:18 PM
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konaboy konaboy is offline
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Default Re: Replacing heads soon, need an opinion

So how beat up are your batter heads? I'd almost be of the mind to replace the reso's so you can get some tone out of them instead of the batters since the batters are newer, o.k. a year old isn't new but compared to 10-15 years old that you say the reso's are.

I'd get one reso and put it on the tom you use the most and see how effective that is to the tone of the drum, (ambassador or G1 would be my pick). That way you can decide before buying all the heads. I think you might notice more of a difference replacing those than the batters if you can only afford one set.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:11 AM
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The Bassist The Bassist is offline
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Default Re: Replacing heads soon, need an opinion

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Originally Posted by konaboy View Post
So how beat up are your batter heads? I'd almost be of the mind to replace the reso's so you can get some tone out of them instead of the batters since the batters are newer, o.k. a year old isn't new but compared to 10-15 years old that you say the reso's are.

I'd get one reso and put it on the tom you use the most and see how effective that is to the tone of the drum, (ambassador or G1 would be my pick). That way you can decide before buying all the heads. I think you might notice more of a difference replacing those than the batters if you can only afford one set.
Thanks! This is actually pretty good advice, I forgot about the dampers I have under the batter heads to begin with, so the overall sound of each tom is probably mostly as a result of the reso heads, I think I may actually try this!
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2010, 01:23 PM
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konaboy konaboy is offline
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Default Re: Replacing heads soon, need an opinion

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Originally Posted by The Bassist View Post
Thanks! This is actually pretty good advice, I forgot about the dampers I have under the batter heads to begin with, so the overall sound of each tom is probably mostly as a result of the reso heads, I think I may actually try this!
Let us know what you find out.
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