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  #1  
Old 11-16-2011, 08:43 PM
Spike_ Spike_ is offline
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Default Masters Custom MCX heads

Hello. I just purchased a six piece Masters Custom Quilted Bubinga Sunburst fade drum kit and I love it, but hate the way the 14" and 16" toms sound. I love the 10" and 12" toms and the bass drum sounds great.

I am looking for some advice on head replacement. I really like the way Danny Carey's drums sound in the songs Aenema and Lateralus, even though it kind of sounds like there may be different heads on each of the songs. Going more for the Aenema sound. I kind of want that deadening sound but not completely dead. Can anyone give me any suggestions? I really don't want them to ring but don't want to go with an Onyx or anything completely dead like that. Also, not a fan of moon gels but the rings are alright.

Any suggestions will be appreciated and the heads that are on there are the stock remos that it came with.
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2011, 10:00 PM
Spike_ Spike_ is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

Also, they are the 6 ply Maple shells.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:15 PM
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zambizzi zambizzi is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

I had one of these kits and they're great! The only thing I didn't like was the shell thickness, but I thought they still sounded great.

I ended up only really liking single-ply, clear heads for MCX shells. I threw clear Ambassadors on each side and they sang like canaries.

Any coated and/or two-ply heads that I tried just didn't tune up as well for me. The floor toms are particularly tricky, since they can't be tuned as low as thinner shells would allow.

I ended up using the stock heads on the kick and it had a great thump to it, if tuned a little higher than you would on a thinner shell.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:23 PM
Doctor Dirt
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

Are the stock heads Ambassadors??? I'll guess so if you want less sound on the larger cans just go slightly heavier, try an emperior. If clear ambers. are ok on the small cans the emperiors will tone the bigger ones down slightly but still give plenty of low end so theres no need to tune loose.
Personally I'd go with single ply heads all around and tune each shell to its self and let the sound begin. Let them sing out and throw the gells and rings and scotch tape away, their drums send a loud message!!! Maboosa Mabossa Montubasimba!!!!! HA! Doc
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:16 AM
Spike_ Spike_ is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

The stock heads are ambassadors. Like I said, the 10" and 12" sound just fine and actually the 16" isn't too bad, just a little ringy. The 14" is the worst sounding one out of them all. It's the ringy-ness that I am trying to get rid of. I thought about getting the Onyx heads cause I think that is ultimately what I am going for. Just thinking that because they are six play shells it's gonna affect them more than I want.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:50 AM
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zambizzi zambizzi is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike_ View Post
The stock heads are ambassadors. Like I said, the 10" and 12" sound just fine and actually the 16" isn't too bad, just a little ringy. The 14" is the worst sounding one out of them all. It's the ringy-ness that I am trying to get rid of. I thought about getting the Onyx heads cause I think that is ultimately what I am going for. Just thinking that because they are six play shells it's gonna affect them more than I want.
I would suggest just spending more time with them, trying to find the sweet spot while tuning them. Mine weren't "ringy" at all, but it took a while to find where they liked to be tuned.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:38 AM
Pimento Pimento is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

Try Evans power centre or EC2 heads, they should work well for you, though i have no experience with those drums. You might need a ring on the bigger toms still.

Keep in mind when theyre recording songs (especially Tool) they have a huge variety of drums/heads plus muffling and studio technique to get the desired sound, dont forget tweaking the sound during editing as well.

I used to go for the "drummer X" sound, but once i left that behind i really made my drums sing by just experimenting with head/tuning combos.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:24 PM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

Keep stock ambassadors for smaller toms and try emperor clear batters for your floor toms
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:03 PM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

Clear ambassadorX would also be great for your larger toms
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:41 PM
Doctor Dirt
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

Next to a 10" tom the easiest drum to tune is a 14x14!!! Sorry but thats a fact, I think your refering to "ringing" as overtone? Your looking for a quicker "decay" to happen!!! Your not tuning it correctly, try tuning the drum to its self. Have someone hold the drum up by barely holding it by the rims (not on the shell) and knock on the shell with your knuckle (middle of the shell) and tune the reso head to that tone exactly!!!! Then do the same for the batter, put the drum on the floor and bend down and knock on it and redue the process. Exactly!!
To many drummers tune their first tom then tune the rest of the drums off of the first drum thats NOT how to do it. Each drum has its own sound and tuning the drums to the shells actual tone is how to do it.
Ringing is the sound that a metal snare can produce when its not tuned correctly, a drum won't decay timely when its not in tune. If the drum IS in tune and the decay time is to long for you then I guess you use the gell junk but I think you should be dedicated to getting the drums tuned correctly and then play them and give your ears a chance to adjust to the set.
Drums are supposed produce sound that resonant!!! Its what drums do, some decay in perfect harmony and the ones that do that are the top of the line shells. Retune!! Doc
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

There is a difference between resonance and overtones. The better the quality of the shell and the better you tune it the more resonance you will get and the less odd harmonic overtones it will have. My kit is high end maple shells and I can tune them very close to themselves and they sound extremely good but I had a guy tune my kit with a resotune at a gig one time and it allowed him to tune it sonically perfect to each shell, they sounded incredible, rich warm tone and literally resonated forever with no odd harmonic overtones. I even had to put moon jell on my 10' to get it down to a 2 second decay. Like Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel said about his LP's sustain "You could go for a bite and come back and you'd still be hearing that one...." lol,

Last edited by tard; 11-18-2011 at 12:23 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2011, 06:16 PM
Spike_ Spike_ is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

Ringing...Overtones...Same thing. I am definitely looking for a "quicker" decay. Don't get me wrong, I love the drums and when we are playing together in a band, I think they all sound great. I haven't tried to record them or even "really mic" them for that matter. I just hate the way they sound when I am playing by myself. I recently had bought a drum dial to tune the lugs exact and it seems to help a little. I suppose I will have to really play around with the tuning to get the exact sound I am looking for. Thank you for the tips Doctor Dirt.

I had an old Pearl Export kit that I bought around 1995 and after many different heads, I ended up putting Studio X heads on them and I thought they sounded great for the music we were playing at the time. I guess I am trying to get that same sound out of my new drums.

I see a lot of drummers with basically the same kit as me using EC2 and they sound great at a live show but by themselves, I think they sound terrible. Amazing how it works that way. I will try the Emperors or Ambassador X's and see what I can get out of the big toms. Anyways, thanks for all the advice.
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2011, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

I use the aquarian studio x myself and find they give just the right amount of resonance but still remove the odd harmonic overtones. BTW a drum dial can get you close but to get exact you need to tap test and tune, plus a drum dial can lie to you and actually make things worse, I never use mine anymore I can tune closer and faster by using even steps then tap and tune to get them even.
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  #14  
Old 11-21-2011, 08:35 PM
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Shedboyxx Shedboyxx is offline
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Default Re: Masters Custom MCX heads

It looks like we are primarily talking batters here and I would first advise you to plan on replacing both sides.

+1 to playing with tuning.

Also - why not try the same Studio-X heads you used before for batters? My church's drum set is a Yamaha Stage Custom. Since I put coated Studio-X batters and clear Evans G1 resos on the toms, it is the best it's sounded.

Although kudos for making a differentiation between' live' and 'alone' sounds, keep in mind that one approach doesn't necessarily work in all scenarios. I have a Yamaha MCAN set that I keep mostly at home. The room I play in is somewhat dead. It's a 6 piece set( 10,12,14,16,22) and the 14" and 12" are the toms I like the sound of least - in that room. However when I've taken them out for gigs, The 12" and 14" sound absolutely beautiful. I still have to adjust tuning but the drums really sing with just a bit more reflective sound.

The environment you play in can change. Be ready for a difference in sound when that changes. The controlled, pre-dampened heads might sound like cardboard if not close miked when you take them out.

HTH

JIm
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