Best drum heads for imitating classic jazz/hardbop sound?

Joffry

Active Member
Up to this point I've used coated Evans G2 for everything from funk to rock to jazz (I would obviously tune the heads for the particular gig).

I want to try a more classic bop sound with the all the drums tuned pretty high (stuff like Art Blakey on Moanin, Roy Haynes on We Three, etc.), and I'm wondering what heads I should pick.

I'm mainly stuck between Remo Ambassadors and Remo Fiberskyns.

Any jazz drummers have experience with those heads and/or have any suggestions for recreating that classic sound?
 

Stickandbrush

Active Member
Coated ambassadors.. as close as you will get short of calfskins.. which suck to keep in tune. Fiberskyn is my second choice but I would use the diplomat version of those.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Coated Ambassadors are a classic sound now, I don't how close they are to the sounds on those records. I prefer them. Remo Skyntones are pretty good. I hate Fiberskyns, I don't like the vintage style Aquarians.

I've had Renaissance Ambassadors on my Gretsch set for many years, and they sound great-- it's a great jazz sound, but again, I don't know how close it is to a 50s recorded sound.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Coated Remo Ambassadors, which was the only other choice back then next to calf. I don’t think Ambassadors go out of time though - they’re just the single-ply head of choice for decades now. In fact, a lot of pros still use Ambassadors to day and love them.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I can't recommend Aquarian's Modern Vintage heads highly enough. I've used every other faux calfskin type head on the market and the MV heads are versatile tuned up or down, have a little more tone than similar coated 1-ply heads and the coating lasts forever.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Remo Skyntone. The closest modern head to actual calfskin by far. They are diplomat weight but sound great and have a nice feel to them.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I like both for those purposes. I personally would do coated Amb batters, but while they aren’t exactly like real calf heads, the fake calf heads do sound quite good to me.
 

JonHWLondon

Member
Surprised no-one has mentioned Evans Calftone heads. I've got them as batters & resos on my jazz kit, definitely gets that old hard bop sound. I've heard some people having trouble with their longevity vs remo skyntones, but it's not been a problem for me
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Surprised no-one has mentioned Evans Calftone heads. I've got them as batters & resos on my jazz kit, definitely gets that old hard bop sound. I've heard some people having trouble with their longevity vs remo skyntones, but it's not been a problem for me
The drummer I work with uses Calftones, and they are good. His are pretty thrashed but they still have good tones.
 

jda

Silver Member
Up to this point I've used coated Evans G2 for everything from funk to rock to jazz (I would obviously tune the heads for the particular gig).

I want to try a more classic bop sound with the all the drums tuned pretty high (stuff like Art Blakey on Moanin, Roy Haynes on We Three, etc.), and I'm wondering what heads I should pick.

I'm mainly stuck between Remo Ambassadors and Remo Fiberskyns.

Any jazz drummers have experience with those heads and/or have any suggestions for recreating that classic sound?
Get the notes right. which heads, will follow.
/ So you gotta figure (if it wasn't calf) what was available at the time; probably likely some coated ambassador -with some muffling either a patch or a felt strip- on the batter-

I also think sometimes all the recordings taken as a whole the bass wasn't that tight - some Elvin with Ornette- yes- and a few others- yes - but overall- it's not that extreme +/-
It's more the notes regardless
so in 2022 can get away with a coated Ps3 and a coated Amb front)
If you want to go "full-marching-band" two ambassadors- no muffling (besides a loose towel) well that's an option (keep your eye of the rag/towel's movement..
Two coated Ambassadors no muffling "full on Marching Band" you're brave! and Good Luck! they too will wear-in and self-muffle eventually.... : D

I like/use coated Ps3 coated batter- Amb front - on an actual USA 14X18 BD and I'm happy (good/.
Two coated ambassadors - full marching band- no muffling scares the neighbors in all directions for miles.
but is a final frontier best kept for some later like never date but is a very difficult option.

Get the notes and the moves, the rest - all the rest- will follow/ fall into place.
 
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