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  #1  
Old 01-08-2012, 11:58 PM
sticks4drums
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Default Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Recently I purchased a Ludwig Black Beauty. This drum comes with a Ludwig coated medium head on it. In REMO speak, that would be a coated Diplomat. You guys can fill in the Evan's equivalent. Over the last couple of years since getting back into acoustic drums, I have been using heads, with overtone control built into them. Powerstroke X, coated PS3's. It gave me a very controlled sound but sacrificed some feel.

The Black Beaty is a 6.5 x 14, hammered snare. This snare was perfect right out of the box. If was extremely sensitive, and had a beautiful open tone to it. I started to think that maybe the head on the BB was a contributing factor to why this drum was so articulate. Last week, I picked up a coated Diplomat to put on my "Made In China" Mapex Phosphor bronze black beauty. This drum is 6.5 x 14 and also hammered. The drum now is just as sensitive as the new BB, and sings out beautifully like the BB, They both have slightly different tone, but are both nice and open, with a great sensitivity to them.

Someone on here a while back made the comment that you can always take a little ring out of an open head, but you can't make a deadened head sing out. This now makes perfect sense to me. Plus what you hear sitting right behind the snare, is very different than what you hear out front or on the recording.

I have now decided that thinner is better when it comes to snare drums. Let your snare drum run free. Take off those thick heads that will hold it back, and take away the sensitivity form your drumsticks.
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Then we agree on something :) :) :)
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

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Then we agree on something :) :) :)
We knew it had to happen sooner or latter. :)
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:26 AM
Metamega Metamega is offline
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Gonna have to agree. I tried a g2 coated on my mapex meridian maple 14x5.5. Never tried a coated g2 on a snare. Honest to god it killed any sound at all. All you could here was snares bouncing. Brutal. I put a coated g1 which is equivalent to a diplomat. I'd be curious to try a coated g1 with the reverse dot. It's just a extra ply stuck in the center. I think remo calls theirs the power center. I love the rig of snare drums. I know a lot of people try to get rid of it but it sounds so complimentary. The drum has to Be turned properly so the overtones sound good.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

I have 4 Ludwig metal snares and I have Emperors on all of them. Have done for years and the ever-so-slightly more focused sound is what does it for me. Still plenty of ring and still plenty of sensitivity.....at least plenty enough for my tatses.

Still Sticksy, we agree that the BB is one helluva drum......we do share some common ground at least!!

Metamega, a G1 is the equivalent to an Ambassador (10mil), not a Diplomat (7.5mil).
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

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Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
I have now decided that thinner is better when it comes to snare drums
Good on you Sticks, I've never had anything thicker than an Ambassador on snare drums, eventually a coated CS white dot for heavy rock. :)
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Now if we can just convert you to Aquarian...lol
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:16 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

That's right on Sticks.

I always believed that is why Mfg. put single ply coated heads on their snare drums. My custom Acoutin also came with single ply coated tried and tested Ambassador. You will hear the tone and full characteristic of the shell's potential. You can always muffle away or switch to 2ply but that is a one way street.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:16 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Its always a single ply head of some sort on the snare for me.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:27 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

what are the remo CS heads like? and are they just an ambassador with a thicker middle "dot"?
Always just gone for a coated ambassador thought that was the norm?
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

I like thin heads on snare, too. But I don't want to many overtones (though sometimes they're nice), so that's why I use Remo CS Dot on my snare. Best head out there!
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

You're going to hate me now... I have an Emperor-X on my Black Beauty :-)

I do agree though, thinner heads do sound better on snares. Unfortunately, due to my patented caveman technique (instructional video out soon), I find myself having to go for durability over the finer details of sound (at least for rehearsals and live use). I normally prefer the regular Emperor as a compromise, but I have had some good results with the Emp-X in the past and wanted to try it on the BB. Although not as sensitive (obviously), and lacking some of the finer details of thinner heads, it does still sound good; the Emp-X is anything but a bad head.

That said, the Emperor-X is definitely not a dead head. It does lack the finer qualities of a regular Emperor and Ambassador, but it definitely has a lot of ring to it, especially when tuned somewhat high. The ring is harder to control though, since the head is so thick (two 10-mil sheets of mylar with a power dot in the centre).
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2012, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

I agree with Sticks. For the last few years, I've always had Coated Ambassadors on my snare drums. I know that's pretty much the norm, but I've tried a few other heads, and I just don't like how dead the drum gets with thicker heads, or even just CS heads.

Sticks, have you tried single ply heads on your toms? I've always wondered how the Saturns sound with thinner heads.
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2012, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

couldn't agree more especially after this last NYE gig. this was for a funk / disco / motown gig...heavy backbeat stuff when it get's rolling. on a whim, i brought my 14 x 5.5 mahog / birch / mahog snare that goes w/ my custom Keller kit tuned for Jazz & Big Band. super sensitive, dry w/ a great crack. setup w/ a remo coated diplomat & s-hoops. never really mic'd this thing & was a tad bit worried about laying into it w/ heavier sticks. completely wrong ! this drum was a BEAST mic'd up... sensitive, fat & beautiful tone, loud & controlled crack...no muffling & the sound guy hardly touched the EQ. by the end of the night, the sound guy (also a drummer) was ready to buy the exact drum from the custom drum shop. working on sourcing the wood now...diplomats = win.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2012, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsusMagnus View Post
I agree with Sticks. For the last few years, I've always had Coated Ambassadors on my snare drums. I know that's pretty much the norm, but I've tried a few other heads, and I just don't like how dead the drum gets with thicker heads, or even just CS heads.

Sticks, have you tried single ply heads on your toms? I've always wondered how the Saturns sound with thinner heads.
I put coated Ambassador's on my new Ocher sparkle Saturn kit, as soon as I brought it home. I left the stock heads on the other burl limited edition kit, so I could have two of the same kits with different sounds. The Ambassadors, have a much nicer feel to them on the toms for playing, and would be great for a gentler style of music. They also sing out more. I still like the Emperors as my first choice on the Saturn's for what I play.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

I've always used a thin Diplomat on the snare side and a coated Ambassador with a RemO on the batter side. I just recently put an Evans HD Dry on it and it has never sounded better. I'm sold on the HD Dry for now. I'll keep the Diplomat on the snare side.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Disagree with the pack here. Thin heads sound thin to me, and dent waaaay too easily. Even coated Ambassadors sound thin to me on a 6.5 deep drum. I like them better on a 5" deep drum. I use the 6.5 deep snares and I prefer coated G2's for the batter. A thin head has a shorter duration note, whereas I go for the longest duration note I can get without having too thick of a drum head.

I do have one caveat though:

The new G2's and the new coated Emperors....what is the deal with the coating? I swear they both switched their coating formulas to something different. I don't like it at all, it just kills the snare sound. I end up steel wooling off a lot of the coating but TTTT, it still doesn't sound as good as the old formula. Does anyone else have these same findings?
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  #18  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

I use coated Ambassadors on all my snares except my 75 Rogers COB Dynasonic. That drum came with Diplomats and sounds best with those heads.

My Ludwig maple classic 5x14 snare....circa year 2000, sounded bad with the stock Ludwig heads. Bad in that the drum was just too darn sensitive. A switch to Ambassadors top and bottom fixed that drum right up!
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  #19  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

For me the best snare batter is the Evans EC Reverse Dot Snare Batter. I just love that sound. I have not used a single-ply batter head for a long time, on tom or snare. Peace and goodwill.
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  #20  
Old 01-10-2012, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

I don't agree. Depending on the sound you want, different heads just may sound appropriate. Also, you don't HAVE to use Diplomat-weight heads to get sensitivity out of a snare...it's a combination of batter head tuning, reso head tuning, and snare adjustment. Well, and having a good snare to begin with. I have a couple of snares that I keep equipped with coated 2-ply batter heads, and they are just as sensitive as any of my other snares. I don't put a coated Emperor on my 14x6.5 Supra because it makes it less sensitive for whatever reason (less sensitive than a coated Ambassador, anyways), and I can't tune it any differently, but the coated Emperor I just put on my 14x6.5 Black Beauty sounds fantastic at whisper-level dynamics. Could be minute differences in the heads, snare wires, bearing edges, etc. So many factors that if any one of them is slightly off, it might just compromise the sensitivity.

Also, it *is* possible to tune a nice drum with "pre-treated" heads to be sensitive, but it makes it so much harder.
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  #21  
Old 01-11-2012, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Amen. Even power dots will kill snares. The only 2 ply (and I think it's 2 ply) that I ever tried that I liked was the Evans HD Genera Dry.

Otherwise, open and bright is what I like...you can always throw moongels on for the softer or more poppy songs during your set...I'm on board with the Vintage A now.
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  #22  
Old 01-11-2012, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

I like the sound. But if I stick to single ply, things will get expensive real quick. I am a hard hitter. The coated CS with the dot I really like. Durable and sounds great. Like the Vintage Ambassador as well.
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  #23  
Old 01-11-2012, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

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Originally Posted by scarlit View Post
I like the sound. But if I stick to single ply, things will get expensive real quick. I am a hard hitter. The coated CS with the dot I really like. Durable and sounds great. Like the Vintage Ambassador as well.
The other day I thought about how some guys put dents in heads. My brother used to do it all the time, when I was growing up. This morning I decided to try and hit my snare as hard as I practically could with my 747 oak sticks. I did this about 10 times. No dents on a coated diplomat head. You got to be doing something wrong to dent a head as far as I am concerned. I'm 47, I rep 110 curls, and rep 210 bench. I am no wall flower. :)
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

I've never dented a head. I do have a coated Ambassador on the way for my Saturn snare, so we'll see.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Thin snare heads good, thick snare heads bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
I don't agree. Depending on the sound you want, different heads just may sound appropriate. Also, you don't HAVE to use Diplomat-weight heads to get sensitivity out of a snare...it's a combination of batter head tuning, reso head tuning, and snare adjustment. Well, and having a good snare to begin with. I have a couple of snares that I keep equipped with coated 2-ply batter heads, and they are just as sensitive as any of my other snares. I don't put a coated Emperor on my 14x6.5 Supra because it makes it less sensitive for whatever reason (less sensitive than a coated Ambassador, anyways), and I can't tune it any differently, but the coated Emperor I just put on my 14x6.5 Black Beauty sounds fantastic at whisper-level dynamics. Could be minute differences in the heads, snare wires, bearing edges, etc. So many factors that if any one of them is slightly off, it might just compromise the sensitivity.

Also, it *is* possible to tune a nice drum with "pre-treated" heads to be sensitive, but it makes it so much harder.
I think thicker heads are better for some drums. My snare is made of wood that will sink in water. I tried Diplomats and the drum just had uncontrollable ringiness.
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