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  #1  
Old 11-24-2011, 01:03 AM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

I use Clear Remo Pinstripes (yes, clear) and don't try to persuade me into me into using anything else. I can only explain how much I tighten it through drum dial settings. I tighten the batter side to 92 and the snare side to 83. I use all rim shots and of coarse, I use sticks and not brushes.

I get this rather magical sound with these settings but this sound fades away after about a month. What can I do to make the drumhead last longer in able to keep this sound?
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Originally Posted by JLoveDrums94 View Post
What can I do to make the drumhead last longer in able to keep this sound?
Re-tune it more regularly than once a month?
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Experiment with heads that belong on a snare???? Try going with a dotted clear?? Maybe a clear Emperior tuned tighter than the pinstripe???
Your asking advises as if theres more people that use that application, there probably isn't.
Are you using 2.3 rims were maybe trying a die cast on the batter with a heavier head might give you your sound?? Sounds are all experimental, go to your local music store and see what they may have in used heads that interest you and try out different applications, thats how its done. Doc
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Heat it up using a hair dryer and polish it with a mixture of beeswax and toothpaste.



Jokes, how often are you playing? I wouldn't expect a snare head to keep it's 'fresh' sound any longer than a few weeks if you're playing often. Some people prefer the slightly worn in sound anyway.
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:18 AM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Re-tune it more regularly than once a month?
By "re-tune it" do you mean take off the drum head and then put it back on? Or do you just mean to tune it up after an amount of use?
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:23 AM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Originally Posted by kettles View Post
Heat it up using a hair dryer and polish it with a mixture of beeswax and toothpaste.



Jokes, how often are you playing? I wouldn't expect a snare head to keep it's 'fresh' sound any longer than a few weeks if you're playing often. Some people prefer the slightly worn in sound anyway.
I play for about 2 hours almost everyday.
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Originally Posted by JLoveDrums94 View Post
By "re-tune it" do you mean take off the drum head and then put it back on? Or do you just mean to tune it up after an amount of use?
Just tweak it so that the head stays in tune. You don't have to take the head off. You can always detune the head back to finger tight and tune it up again if you find tuning from scratch easier too.

I check my drums every time I play them. If I don't like what I hear, I re-tune. There is no strict time frame...... just when it doesn't sound like I think it should. It can be once or twice a session.....or once every couple of weeks.
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:58 AM
Mitchthedrummer Mitchthedrummer is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Maybe get a head for a snare? Or just suck it up and get a new head every month. Or learn how to tune. Without a DrumDial and re-tune it every time you finish playing.
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

I'm afraid you're pretty much stuck with what you have. You take the "option" of another type of drum head "off the table". And your choice of batter head is rather "unorthodox". Not that either of those things is bad, but it is what it is. Very restrictive. If you're happy with the sound you're getting, cool. More power to ya. If you're getting a "magical sound" outta the deal ... well .... OK then. But "magic" usually comes with a price.
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Have you tried making a simple recording of a new head and comparing it to the sound of the month old head? Might let you retune to the pitch you want. Fundamentally, you're not tuning the drum by ear, but you know when it is out of tune by ear. So you need to find a way to get back to your desired tuning.

Unless the head really is shot after a month, in which case, not much else you can do.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Your "magical sound" actually starts fading ever so slowly with every hit or rim shot you do after you're done tuning your snare drum. You just don't notice it because it's so gradual. Just tweak the tuning of your snare everyday or so to keep it at it's sweet spot. Unless you're damaging the heads with brute force and tree trunk diameter sticks, periodic tuning is all you need.

You'll probably find that it might be just one or two tension rods that are coming loose, so tweaking should just take a minute or two. Use a stick and just tap around the circumference of the head about an inch in from each tension rod. It should be evident which rods are creeping out.

Dennis
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Your "magical sound" actually starts fading ever so slowly with every hit or rim shot you do after you're done tuning your snare drum. You just don't notice it because it's so gradual. Just tweak the tuning of your snare everyday or so to keep it at it's sweet spot. Unless you're damaging the heads with brute force and tree trunk diameter sticks, periodic tuning is all you need.

You'll probably find that it might be just one or two tension rods that are coming loose, so tweaking should just take a minute or two. Use a stick and just tap around the circumference of the head about an inch in from each tension rod. It should be evident which rods are creeping out.

Dennis
I agree....and with constant rim shots I'd venture to guess it's the lugs nearest to where he is hitting the rim.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

I had the same problem with Remo heads going dead in about 3-4 weeks, after switching to Aquarian I can get several months now before they start to go dead.

Last edited by tard; 11-24-2011 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

agree with soupy. you're tuning by tension (elasticity of the head material), not by ear. you are stretching to the same constant tension (92 on your dial) but over time that becomes a different pitch, due to the changing elasticity of your pinstripe head with time, especially being used 2 hours a day.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

I'm forever retightening the wire adjustment on the side for my pop and every other month or so I might tweak the tuning rods. I use one of those REMO tattoo skyns. Sound pretty awesome at first but it warps easily (damn thing). But it's all good because I got it for free haha.
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

The mylar film used in any drumhead is flexible and somewhat elastic, and it will wear out over time. I don't mean it will break, necessarily, but it will change in sound. That is why drum heads are changeable to begin with, IMO.

Keeping it tuned each time you play will help, but no head will last forever, especially if you really like that "new" sound. (I do!)

Really, your choices are to pony up for a new head, or live with the sound. Honestly, unless you are recording or gigging, I would just live with the less-than-new sound until your budget allows a new head. What matters most is your playing, and you can still practice daily no matter what the sound...
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

You never said what you have been doing in the past after a month of play. Have you been changing the heads, retuning, what?? New heads every month will get expensive. At 17 I'm assuming your funds are limited. Also being young trying to tell you to change is also difficult but you are getting a bad result from your current head and you just may need to buckle down and start using a snare head.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

thats an incredibly high tuning there... i'd really suggest loosening your reso to about 75, too tight on a thin skin can choke your snare out.


also to answer how it'll last longer, don't play it as much.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:39 PM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Ok, so I agree with the idea of putting up with drumheads after a month until my budget is able to afford buying "one per month" (which is unlikely to ever happen.) But If I recall correctly, you guys said that some things about the drum itself can effect how long the drumhead lasts. I use one of those standard "wooden" snare drums that came with the drum kit. The drum kit is a 5 piece squier drum kit (fyi.) Does that mean that I should think about replacing the snare drum?
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Yes. Buy a new snare and put a more regular snare head on it. Magical.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Originally Posted by JLoveDrums94 View Post
Does that mean that I should think about replacing the snare drum?
I honestly reckon you're addressing every issue here but the culprit. How often do you tune the thing?
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:05 AM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

@Pocket-full-of-gold: I tune it between every 3 days and every week.

@kettles: and what's your idea of a "more regular snare head?"
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Yes. Buy a new snare and put a more regular snare head on it. Magical.

That fixed my problem. I had an old Pearl Target (5-ply Basswood, outer ply Philippine Mahogany, 6 lugs) and it sounded TERRIBLE. Bought a Powerbeat Steel Snare (Still really a cheap entry level snare, but it's 8-lug and it works!), borrowed some DC hoops from a mate, Evans Genera HD on top and 500 Reso on bottom, Puresound Equalizer wires and tuned it nice and low.

I get a snappy, low snare sound with hardly overtones and a very dull, low ring (Which I like). Throwing money at it made the problem go away!


But back on subject; I came to realise that really all I needed to do was replace the crappy snare head that came with the Powerbeat with an actual snare batter and it sounds great and continues to sound great.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

My turn!

With what you're using and how much you play on it, and I'm assuming you're slamming pretty good, that sounds about right for the head life. When I was gigging alot, I was changing my coated ambassador on my snare about once a week. Just budget for it. You make money with your playing right? Then put away an extra $20 a month to buy a new head. If you're gigging alot I'm surprised you don't already have spare with you all the time.

Even if you're not gigging all the time, setting aside an additional $20 a month really means doing without two Starbucks stops and two lunches at McDonalds for the month ;)
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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@Pocket-full-of-gold: I tune it between every 3 days and every week.
You sure about that?

Doesn't fit with this at all.

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Originally Posted by JLoveDrums94 View Post
I get this rather magical sound with these settings but this sound fades away after about a month. What can I do to make the drumhead last longer in able to keep this sound?
If you were tuning regularly, then you'd easily be able to maintain this "magical sound." It wouldn't "fade away" as you'd be keeping it as a constant. If the drum sounds "magical" when it is first tuned and that sounds "fades away" after a month then it's not being tuned often enough.....simple. It's not the drum mate....how can it be? If it sounds good at first, then it can sound good always with a bit of regular tweaking. I reckon it's the lack of tuning. Sure heads go dead eventually, but even when gigging regularly I could get more than a month out of a snare head.

You can buy a new snare if you want....lord knows I've got a few myself. But if you don't learn to tune it properly and regularly, then it won't matter if you spend 5 grand on a new one......It'll still eventually sound like pox. Too often I think the general consensus of "you need to buy a new drum" or "you need to swap out your heads every other week" is just a bridge too far.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:39 AM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

@Bo Eder: I wish I made money off my performances but I don't. And so either spending $200+ at one time or $20 per month, puts me in a kinda tough position. I'm still just living off my parents.

@Pocket-full-of-gold: So is the problem being that it's being tuned too often or not often enough? How often do you think it should be tuned?
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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@Bo Eder: I wish I made money off my performances but I don't. And so either spending $200+ at one time or $20 per month, puts me in a kinda tough position. I'm still just living off my parents.
Well, you know what they say - if you want a different outcome, then you must do something different. Good luck!
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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@Pocket-full-of-gold: So is the problem being that it's being tuned too often or not often enough? How often do you think it should be tuned?
There's no hard and fast, mate. Just when it needs it. But in your OP you said that it's magical when first tuned but after a month it isn't. My experience is telling me it's a tuning issue and not the drum. If it was the drum, then it would never sound good.

All heads need replacing eventually, they are not made to last forever. But in my experience you can get more than a month out of a well played snare head. I know some guys change way more regularly and that is their choice if they can afford to. But as I've always liked my heads "played in" a bit and won't change them until I absolutely have to (when they no longer tune up correctly), I know I've got more than a months wear out of them.....which included 1 or 2 rehearsals and sometimes up to 4 gigs a week with the same snare batter.

Check the tension each time you play, especially if you're a hard hitter. If it doesn't sound or feel right, then tweak it so that it does. That will ensure you maintain that magical tone consistently. When it can no longer be tweaked to sound magical, then it's time for new one.

Not trying to talk you out of a new drum......just trying to save you some money. ;-)
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

I don't think I've changed my head since I got the snare a year ago.

I play and practice regularly but I keep ensuring it's tuned before I play each time and give it a quick wipe over at the end of the set.

Also check the snare tension, some snare catches don't hold them tight for long and loosen off, readjust that if needed and just run your key around the batter.

Also, if the lugs aren't holding the tuning you're putting into it well enough then get some gell/grease/lug grip and just put a little on next time you change your head.

Another thing, you haven't said about what you do with the res head. Are you going through so many batters because you're constantly tuning it too tight until the point where it chokes and dies? If you stretch the batter but not touch the res then that could explain some of the problems you're having.

Learn to tune properly, learn what that drum is comfortable with sounding like, if it's not to your liking you can't force it to assume a different sound to the one it was designed for. And you're paying the price in hyperstretched, over tuned, short term heads.

Get down to your local drum shop. Get them to show you how to tune properly, and also try out the different snares down there. You never know, you might find one you like better than your current one, and it'll give you a goal to save up towards.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:52 PM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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I don't think I've changed my head since I got the snare a year ago.

I play and practice regularly but I keep ensuring it's tuned before I play each time and give it a quick wipe over at the end of the set.

Also check the snare tension, some snare catches don't hold them tight for long and loosen off, readjust that if needed and just run your key around the batter.

Also, if the lugs aren't holding the tuning you're putting into it well enough then get some gell/grease/lug grip and just put a little on next time you change your head.

Another thing, you haven't said about what you do with the res head. Are you going through so many batters because you're constantly tuning it too tight until the point where it chokes and dies? If you stretch the batter but not touch the res then that could explain some of the problems you're having.

Learn to tune properly, learn what that drum is comfortable with sounding like, if it's not to your liking you can't force it to assume a different sound to the one it was designed for. And you're paying the price in hyperstretched, over tuned, short term heads.

Get down to your local drum shop. Get them to show you how to tune properly, and also try out the different snares down there. You never know, you might find one you like better than your current one, and it'll give you a goal to save up towards.
That's exactly what's going on. I almost never have problems with the snare side head, so I don't touch it.
Now, I very much agree with you and everyone else that says I should learn how to tune by ear, because it seems like that's what 99% of my issues revolve around.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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That's exactly what's going on. I almost never have problems with the snare side head, so I don't touch it.
Now, I very much agree with you and everyone else that says I should learn how to tune by ear, because it seems like that's what 99% of my issues revolve around.
Your resonant, or snare head, can also influence the sound of your drum. That too should be checked periodically for the proper tension at each lug. Although I tweak my snares batter head every time I sit behind the kit, I probably check the reso head every two or three days. Since the snares resonating head is just about 3 mm thick, they have a great tendency for stretching and this of course worsens depending on how tight they are tuned.

Dennis
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Everyone is assuming much here. We are assuming that this 17 year old knows how to evenly tension a drumhead. (No offense intended, but at 17 I didn't understand the finer details of anything) If the head was put on all caddywumpus and stuff (sorry Caddy!) then maybe he is shortening the life of the head. All I'm saying is that it's a possibility. Also, after a month, is the head pitted? That kills sound too. It seems like we are assuming that the heads aren't pitted. Are they? After a month?
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  #33  
Old 11-26-2011, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

The first thing that I noticed after reading the first post is that it is mentioned that the batter is set at 92 on the Drum Dial.
I am a long time user of the DD and I never go above 90 on a snare batter.
I usually wind up around 87/88 after tuning by ear and checking with the DD.
Resos top out at around 82 but I usually come in at around 80 after tuning.
I am a tight tuner when it comes to snare drums and I have found that 88 batter and 80 reso seem to be the best DD settings for a tight tune.

It may be simply a matter of just a bit to much torque on the heads.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

Bob, since Pins are a 2 ply head, they naturally take more tension according to the DD to make the same note as a single ply head. That said, 92 is a little tight even for a 2 ply head, but not overly IMO. Bob do you use a coated 2 ply on your snare? I do and I think I tune somewhere near 85 on the DD for the 2 play coated snare batter.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Bob, since Pins are a 2 ply head, they naturally take more tension according to the DD to make the same note as a single ply head. That said, 92 is a little tight even for a 2 ply head, but not overly IMO. Bob do you use a coated 2 ply on your snare? I do and I think I tune somewhere near 85 on the DD for the 2 play coated snare batter.
That is what I was trying to say Larry. I forgot to mention that I use single ply batters.
92 is high for a two ply head from my experience.
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  #36  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:26 PM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Also, after a month, is the head pitted? That kills sound too. It seems like we are assuming that the heads aren't pitted. Are they? After a month?
What do you mean by "pitted?"
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  #37  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:27 PM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

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Originally Posted by JLoveDrums94 View Post
What do you mean by "pitted?"
Dents that just won't come out.
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  #38  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:46 PM
JLoveDrums94 JLoveDrums94 is offline
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Default Re: snare batter heads don't last long, how can I make them last longer?

There are dents but I only notice them after I take the drumhead off. They're not severe dents, in fact they're hardly noticable.
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