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  #1  
Old 08-20-2011, 02:21 AM
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Chaos_Inferno Chaos_Inferno is offline
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Default Dreaming of time for gigging next summer...

Knowing full well I'll almost definitely be on a mechanical engineering co-op next summer, if there's a way I'm going to want to reconnect with some old friends it's going to be in the hopes of throwing a jazz trio or some other little band together to play a few gigs out here and there for fun. I haven't done this in quite a long time (well, at least considering how long I've been playing) but I feel much more confident about playing something at least relatively simple music or covers or something with people I grew up playing with in jazz and high school and potentially an old teacher as well.

I haven't changed heads on my Sonor Force 3007s since about November of 2009, which is the issue. It's amazing how these heads have held up in all honesty, I've got Coated Ambassadors over G Pluses on the toms, a Coated CS over an Ambassador Snare Side on the snare (currently my Tama Melody Master, but I could use the stock snare for gigging especially if it were jazz), and a Coated PS3 on the batter of the bass drum with a stock unported muffled reso head. Right now... I could probably get away with the sound for most styles because I tune medium high, generally either both heads on the same pitch or with the reso higher depending on the drum. Quite obviously, with the age of these heads they need some replacement though.

Before I throw out my thoughts, I'll put out my sizes in diameter x depth:

Toms:
8x7
10x8
12x9
14x14

Bass Drum:
20x17.5

Snare Drum::
14x5.5 or 14x5 depending on which I decide to use, not significantly different either way.

My thoughts for the toms... because I think it'd be the perfect compromise between control, tuning versatility and durability in case I did play something on the louder side would be to put Ambassador X's top and bottom. I've always been curious as to what coated heads would sound like on top and bottom of these bad boys, and I think I'd like the thicker feel of the Ambassador X's while still keeping the single ply feel and sound. I've used 2-ply heads before and some aspects about the feel of them led me to prefer them, but not quite as much the sound. I think the Ambassador X's would be a very happy medium.

As for the snare, I believe someone here has talked about a no-collar Ambassador (maybe not Ambassador, correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it was Karl Crafton) snare side head that would allow a bit more versatile of the tuning range without interfering with the snare sound, and if I REALLY needed to crank it up high I would. I think I'd either try an extra Ambassador X for the batter I'd get from buying the head packs (save a bit of money and get a couple free heads thrown in doesn't sound too bad even if they're not my favorite) or to just throw on a good old Coated Emperor on it. I played an old Acrolite with an Emperor on it at someone's grad party this summer where they just had a really informal jam session and I loved how high the sound could go on it, and the durability of the 2-ply head is something I think I'd prefer with a snare because when things get loud I switch to all rimshots, and my Melody Master has die-cast hoops on it as well. That, and snares always seem to react the opposite of how I'd think they would sound with woods: maple sounds brighter and higher than birch does, and Emperors have a bit more of a pop than even an Ambassador would. So I think I'll play off of this because I enjoy those birghter sounds and try the Ambassador X as well as the Emperor.

For the bass drum... I feel sort of adventurous, and while I enjoy the sound of my bass drum with the premuffled heads tuned a bit on the higher side, I do have some old sweatbands tied around my Cobra batters to try and reduce the attack, and might go completely unmuffled with Coated Emperors. If I really want to lay into it and bury the beater, it'd probably cut down on a lot of the resonance I'd get (and I don't have a particularly large bass drum anyways), or I can feather it and get a LOT of really soft boom from it in a jazz setting. I think it'd force me to change my footwork as well to keep it under control and make it sound the way I want. Plus, I do know that as a polar opposite to the way I generally like my snare drum to feel, tuned usually pretty high for lots of rebound, I like a really low rebound feel from the bass drum so I think the 2-ply heads will help that, in addition to the tuning. And the only head I've ever broken in my life was a bass drum without a patch in my real early days of drumming, so I think 2-ply is a good choice overall.

It sort of sounds like I have my mind made up... but with the fusion sizes and such that I have, I'd still like to hear this community's opinion on if I have an idea that just sounds a LITTLE bit too crazy or that maybe my ideas of how all of this will work are wrong, and I'd rather not drop a lot of money on heads that I might end up disliking. It seems extremely doubtful, and I know most problems can be solved by figuring out the tuning...

Thanks in advance, guys. (:
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:12 PM
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Shedboyxx Shedboyxx is offline
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Default Re: Dreaming of time for gigging next summer...

IMO, your general choice in heads is good. You've obviously thought it through so I don't think there will be any big surprises.

My only question might be how much do you think you will be doing brushwork on the snare as well as more traditional jazz like big band, bop or post bop material (Art Blakey? Tony Williams? Elvin Jones? Buddy?). If you see yourself going that direction, I'd go regular Ambassador on snare and possibly on toms. When you start getting into the traditional stuff, the masters used more of the drum head surface for different sounds. Not so much in more contemporary music like pop, roots, rock, latin, funk, etc.

If you have the possibility of playing more medium to loud volume material then the head choices are right on. Even with some jazz playing they'll still be good. You might miss some sensitivity on the quieter side but you probably enjoy a more focussed sound for harder playing with the newer choices

Jim
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:18 PM
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Shedboyxx Shedboyxx is offline
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Default Re: Dreaming ... summer...addendum

Forgot something :)

I recently put Vintage Ambassadors on my Yamaha MCAN toms(10,12, 14, 16). I like the sound very much except for my 10 is a bit less open then I want.

I'm thinking that whatever I put on the MCAN toms next time, the 10" will have a single ply head. You lose a bit of tone whenever other instruments start playing so the smaller toms can sound a bit "bongo-ish". Not what I like.

Just a concept to keep in mind since you have 8 and 10 inch drums.

Jim
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:25 PM
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Chaos_Inferno Chaos_Inferno is offline
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Default Re: Dreaming of time for gigging next summer...

Well, I've been under the impression for a while that the Ambassador X's would actually be a bit more open because of their thicker construction but I'm not entirely sure about that. If I were doing brushwork it'd probably only be for a song or two and it'd probably be in a small enough group where it would be more dependent on my playing brushes well (which I'd be much more concerned about than my head choices lol) than anything else.

I might pick up an Ambassador anyways just in case...
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