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  #1  
Old 11-03-2010, 03:37 PM
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Chromium Chromium is offline
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Default Snare Heads

I know there's other posts in this forum, but they are often answered in technical terms I don't really understand yet and I just get more confused.

Can someone explain (in simple terms please - I'm a beginner) what a 'hydraulic' head is? I was looking at Evans black hydraulic head for either my wooden snare drum (crappy performance percussion) which just has stock heads on at the moment or my deeper metal snare (which currently has a dragon mesh head). Before buying it I wondered if...

a) it would improve the sound of either drum?
b) whether I would need to change the reso head at the same time (and to what)?
c) whether it would make much of a difference with such crappy drums and perhaps it's not worth bothering with?

I want to really get the 'feel' of a real snare whenever I can. I want it to sound (and feel) good, as I'm far more focused on the rudimentals rather than my kit at this beginner stage. Especially as I'm planning to concentrate on the Morello and Chapin books to study.

Whilst I practice with my electronic kit and my mesh-head snare (I can rarely practice on the acoustic kit unfortunately), but neither of those is a REAL snare and do not feel the same.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

I believe the hydraulic heads have a dampening oil in them, they sound like hitting a cardboard box, imo.

For a snare batter, I go with a coated ambassador single ply style head for a better snare feel.
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  #3  
Old 11-03-2010, 04:55 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

The Evans Hydraulic heads are 2-ply (two layers of film) with a thin layer of oil between. These definitely offer a unique and recognizeable sound that I find works best on larger toms. I know people who like the sound on snare drum but I'm more partial to coated heads on the snare.

Any Evans head will certainly be an improvement over lower end stock drumheads. First off, what kind of sound are you looking for? What attracted you to the Hydraulic heads?

As far as which drum to work with, how are the bearing edges (the contact edges on top and bottom of the drum) on your wooden snare? Is there any pitting or blemishing? Are both of the drums and hardware "in round?" Try taking both drums and placing them on a flat surface (ie: a marble countertop) and seeing if they sit flat or rock back and forth. Try this with the rims off as well (this will check the shell vs. the rims). You'll have the most potential for a great drum sound if the drum is in good condition.

Putting new heads, no matter how the the quality, on drum in poor condition, can only go so far (and can be a real pain to tune up!).
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvansSpecialist View Post
what kind of sound are you looking for? What attracted you to the Hydraulic heads?
Thanks for your help, really appreciated.

I'm mainly thinking of the maple snare drum, which does seem to be in fairly good condition (much better than the metal one), the edges look as new, as I don't think the heads have ever been off it and it's been hardly used. Wouldn't I have to take off all the fittings to be able to roll it as suggested?

It's not too bad now, but as a newcomer I want to learn a lot in a short time and would like to experiment with different sound and feedback from the surface.

To answer the questions, I'm looking for a sharp snappy sound with little or no sustain. I certainly don't want a 'boing' or 'boomy' sound. I think I would prefer it to be more like a cracking whip but with a short 'shimmer' from the snares (I hope that makes sense). I saw the heads when I was looking at what heads one of my suppliers had on eBay, and really was more curious than anything.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:57 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromium View Post
Wouldn't I have to take off all the fittings to be able to roll it as suggested?
You're imagining the drum on its side. I'm talking about just removing the rims (as if you're replacing the heads) and setting it on a truly flat surface.

Based on the description of the sound you're looking for, I would recommend the Evans Genera HD snare head with Puresound Brass Custom Pro snare wires. This combination should help you obtain the sound you're looking for. Obviously, the drum itself and certainly your tuning will be the final deciding factor. Give it a shot and let us know what you think!
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2010, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Ordered the head, but they don't seem to stock the Brass Custom Pro's in the UK, so might have to look for an alternative. I'm wondering whether Puresound Equalisers would be good?
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:39 PM
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diegobxr diegobxr is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Hi there Chromium.

For the sound you're looking for, I would reccomend a 2-ply coated head with some inner muffling, such as the Evans Genera HD or Genera HD Dry. If you like Remo heads, I think their equivalent is the Powerstroke 3 and 4, or the "Controlled Sound" head, but I'm not sure.

I owned the HD Dry and now I replaced it with a regular HD. The difference between them is that the HD Dry has little holes on the head (vents) that actually "dry" the sound and kill almost every possible overtone.

What you need to know is that basically you have 2 types of heads:

- Single-ply (1-ply)
- Double-ply (2-ply)

A single ply head is made of 1 ply of mylar and is thinner and lighter than a 2-ply. It resonates more freely and gives an open sound. 1-ply heads have a fairly wide tuning range and are very responsive to light touching of the sticks. However, they can be tricky to tune (especially on low-end kits) as they tend to ring a lot, and they are less durable than 2-ply heads.

On the other hand you have double-ply heads. These are made of two plys of mylar. They're heavier than single-ply's, therefore they resonate less and have a deeper, fatter sound. They don't ring as much, they last longer and they're easier to tune. However, they are less responsive to light touching and their tuning range is narrower (they "choke" on higher tunings).

This are the basics. Then you have clear or coated heads (coateds are warmer, clears are brighter), hydraulic heads (with oil, excessive dampening), "EQ'd" or muffled heads (to ease tuning and kill overtones), and many more.

--

For the resonant side of the snare you don't have many choices: Hazy 200, 300 or 500. Evans, Remo or whatever. They're very very thin heads that are only good for that purpose, snare resonants.

Well, I hope that helps. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 11-03-2010, 09:51 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
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Default Re: Snare Heads

Equalizers start to go in the opposite direction; less snare response, a bit drier and the brass alternatives. That's not to say that you can't get the sound that you want or at least close with some time spent to experimenting and adjusting the snares.
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