Are pre-muffled heads harder to tune to you?


After fooling around with pinstripes and controlled sounds, I picked up a coated emperor to put over a coated ambassador for my 12" tom. At first, I was worried that it'd be harder to tune, but to my surprise it ended up being easier to tune than the pinstripes and controlled sounds. I'm able to tune both heads up in about a minute and get a good sound, and I can tell instantly when they go out of tune by the wacky overtones. I have to spend a bit more time on the emperor though.

This summer I'll be picking up another coated 12" ambassador to throw over the coated ambassador on my tom. I've come to the conclusion that pre-muffled anything just isn't my cup of tea, as it throws off my intonation and makes tuning harder (the irony!). In addition, I find that any extra plies also throws it off, by evidence of my struggles with emperors (ambassadors over ambassadors are completely fine though). I may even go coated ambassadors all around the kit one day, who knows?

I also experienced this with my church's PDP set. They had on some old Evans EC2's and I replaced them with Remo Pinstripes, and it's been a pain to correctly tune them. From behind the kit, they sound punchy but the moment you go out front = wet cardboard.

Of course, this is all different strokes for different folks. My tuning may be too high for some and sound boingy, YMMV


Platinum Member
I find that the thinner the head in general, the easier it is to tune. It makes sense to me, because it's easier to hear the tones.