Best Heads For Jazz/ Blues

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I want a very musical old-school classic jazz (or blues) sound. No hard rock acid punk hair band stuff.

I'm buying a new kit that offers shells with these capabilities. I need to know what are the best heads for toms and kick to milk that classic sound from the shells.
 

poppies

Senior Member
Old school jazz/blues is typically well served with coated ambassadors top and bottom, that's definitely the standard. If you want to sacrifice projection to go even warmer, you could go with calf simulcrums like Skyntones or my new favorites ASPR LC heads from Japan.
 

scorch whammin

Gold Member
I personally like the Aquarian vintage series heads, nice mellow round tone and Aquarian's coating is one of the more durable coatings in the market.
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Aquarian Modern Vintage would be my choice. They sound great tuned up or down, have a great warm tone, and bulletproof coating.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Go single ply. Evans G1, Aquarian Texture Coated (or Modern Vintage) or Remo Ambassadors.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
You seem to have a lot of specifics in what you are looking for to attain a specific sound (with your various threads on US maple drums and all), but you seem to have no idea how to achieve it. That makes me question whether or not you do actually know what sound you are looking for. While I do appreciate the information that has come about through your threads, it sounds like you need to get your hands on some drums and tinker. I don't normally chime in often, but I think you just really need to go play some kits. You may end up with a vintage kit, a MIC kit, or the coveted Saturns.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
\
Vintage Emperors over Vintage Ambassadors.
I'm not discounting your recommendation because I've used that exact combo (coated), to great affect. Not only did it sound great out front, but it sounded great recorded. Two plies aren't open? Really? Some drums really chime to life when they have 2 ply up and down. This was through the board and out front. It really seems as though the op doesn't know what he is looking for.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Thanks for the "advice".

I've played lots of kits in last 10 years and over my lifetime. I'm 60 years old not a teenager.

When you're my age or older you remember a sound and can hear it on recordings. But when I was a teenager and in my 20's I didn't pay any attention to bearing edges, shell material, or coated/uncoated/how many plys. Me and everyone else that was just a casual non-pro just played whatever we had. Heck my Ludwig metal snare I got in 1967 I never changed the head for 10 years but I gigged all over San Fernando Valley with it. And my tiger-stripe sparkle orange and black kit from somewhere in Asia I got for $15 used from an ad in Valley News and Green Sheet? Same heads the whole time I had it until I traded it for a Peugeot UO8 to ride around UCLA campus.

Now I'm older, have more money than chops, and can obsess over little details. Please allow me the pleasure of asking these questions on this forum and getting feedback. It's fun, not a science test :)



You seem to have a lot of specifics in what you are looking for to attain a specific sound (with your various threads on US maple drums and all), but you seem to have no idea how to achieve it. That makes me question whether or not you do actually know what sound you are looking for. While I do appreciate the information that has come about through your threads, it sounds like you need to get your hands on some drums and tinker. I don't normally chime in often, but I think you just really need to go play some kits. You may end up with a vintage kit, a MIC kit, or the coveted Saturns.
 
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indedrum

Senior Member
As many have recommended, you want single ply, coated heads. I recommend coated top and bottom. I like Aquarian Modern Vintage Medium or Texture coated, batter and reso.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Rattlin Bones, take a look at Remo’s Fiberskyn heads. They came out in the early 80’s and they were to have the playing feel and sound of calfskin heads. I played them at that time and had a nice open warm natural sound and very easy to tune. Today I just use the Fiberskyn Powerstroke-3 Ambassador for my batter on my snares. They come in Thin 5mil, Diplomat 7.5mil, Ambassador 10mil and in Powerstroke-3 Diplomat and Ambassador.

Today RB, I mostly play straight Blues and some Blues\Rock. Five or six times a year I will play out with a six piece jazz group. RB, Fiberskyns in Powerstroke Ambassador batter sides and regular Fibs in Ambassador for the resonant side. IMO this might be what you are looking for.



Would not recommend using Moon-Gel pads on these. They will leak into the Fiberskyn surface and it will start to separate from the head after a period of time.
 
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Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I had a chance to play these kind a bit last year. I didn't like the feel how my sticks bounced. Especially non-dom left hand. Made it feel even weaker lol.

Hi Rattlin Bones, take a look at Remo’s Fiberskyn heads. They came out in the early 80’s and they were to have the playing feel and sound of calfskin heads. I played them at that time and had a nice open warm natural sound and very easy to tune. Today I just use the Fiberskyn Powerstroke-3 Ambassador for my batter on my snares. They come in Thin 5mil, Diplomat 7.5mil, Ambassador 10mil and in Powerstroke-3 Diplomat and Ambassador.

Today RB, I mostly play straight Blues and some Blues\Rock. Five or six times a year I will play out with a six piece jazz group. RB, Fiberskyns in Powerstroke Ambassador batter sides and regular Fibs in Ambassador for the resonant side. IMO this might be what you are looking for.



Would not recommend using Moon-Gel pads on these. They will leak into the Fiberskyn surface and it will start to separate from the head after a period of time.
 

Stixnergard2

Senior Member
Any single ply costed head works fine. I have gone to Aquarian Texture coated on all my kits except on my Gretsch USA kit because they don't fit. The Gretsch kit wears Evans coated G1 360's. The Aquarian coating lasts forever and they provide a slightly darker sound.
 

BigHoleSwiss

Junior Member
One more vote for single ply coated. Also, Evans is coming out with a new calf skin inspired head that might be interesting to try -Calftone I believe. Supposed to be different than the Remo Fiberskyn.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
+1 For Aquarian Modern Vintage Coated single ply OR Aquarian Jack DeJohnette single ply heads are my favorites for jazz. Remo Coated Ambassadors single ply would be my third choice.
 
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