Does anyone use Black Dots?

MikeM

Platinum Member
I was thinking of getting new heads for my kit because I'm way over due. I've been using coated two-ply (G2 or Emps) over clear single ply (G1 or Ambs) for as long as I can remember.

I saw a pic recently of Steve Smith's kit with clear CS Remo's and was also watching this Tony Williams vid and thought they sounded great, esp on the floors (but I don't crank my toms quite that high). It's been a hundred years since I've played a kit with those heads and not likely I'm going to find another one anytime soon.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
 
A

audiotech

Guest
The last time I played black dots was over twenty years ago. I loaned my dad my kit for a while so that he could gig with a couple of his friends. When I got the drums back they had Remo Black Dot batter heads on the toms. I really can't remember how they sounded, but he sure was a fan of them. I probably still have those heads in boxes somewhere.

Dennis
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
They sound great for punchy, attacky heads, especially when tuned up. That's why most Rototoms came standard with them back in the day.

Tony used to use them as resos, so did some other guys, never did try that.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
I put some clear Black Dots on my toms recently and am quite happy with them. I've been tuning mine on the low side. I haven't really tried them tuned up tighter since I'm more into a lower sound at this time (though in the past I was more into medium to tight tension). I think they're great heads and I don't really know why they seem to have lost a lot of popularity. It seems they're really great on the snare too (coated or clear) if you crank them up.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
I put some clear Black Dots on my toms recently and am quite happy with them. I've been tuning mine on the low side. I haven't really tried them tuned up tighter since I'm more into a lower sound at this time (though in the past I was more into medium to tight tension). I think they're great heads and I don't really know why they seem to have lost a lot of popularity. It seems they're really great on the snare too (coated or clear) if you crank them up.
What are you using for reso heads?
 

Drums&Beer

Senior Member
I tried some a while back on the toms of my old 70's Gretsch kit. They were decent but the tones were not quite as warm as I like. I would describe CS clears as punchy & round and obviously "controlled." One positive thing I will say is that getting clear double stroke rolls across the toms with them is really easy.

Here's Steve Smith using them on his Sq2's recorded with a Zoom Q3, go to 1:10 of the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9hi4NXJZps
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Just thinking about the way a drum head vibrates, it would seem like the tight/small movement at the edges give short wavelengths (high freqs), and the larger movements towards the center given you wider wavelengths (low freqs). So if this is correct, then a CS dot would dampen the lower freqs and give you a higher pitch, while dampening rings (o-rings, or evans EC heads) would dampen the highs giving you a lower pitch. Is this about right?

Kinda like how a guitar's bridge pickup givens you a higher/crisper tone and the neck pickup gives a warmer tone?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I haven't used them since the 70s.
They did have a good sound.
I just moved away from them.
Its coated single ply or clear double ply for me now.

The Dot heads do sound best when they are on the tight side.
 

rjvsmb

Senior Member
I was thinking of getting new heads for my kit because I'm way over due. I've been using coated two-ply (G2 or Emps) over clear single ply (G1 or Ambs) for as long as I can remember.

I saw a pic recently of Steve Smith's kit with clear CS Remo's and was also watching this Tony Williams vid and thought they sounded great, esp on the floors (but I don't crank my toms quite that high). It's been a hundred years since I've played a kit with those heads and not likely I'm going to find another one anytime soon.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Hey Mike,

Check this out. Steve Smith is currently using the Black Dots for his work with the Raga Bop Trio. I believe he's using on batter and resonant sides.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9hi4NXJZps
Go to 1:08 of the clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHn4vzY4qZc
You can see the Black Dots for bottom heads in this clip.

Cheers,
Robert
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Just got some new dot heads myself. I've used them off and on for years.

Clear Black dots are cool, especially on top and bottom. Work great on snares.
My fave dot head on the snare is the Coated Emperor with Top Dot (yes, it's a real head, and NOT and EmpX).

I like the Smooth White Black Dots better though. These also come in (White film with) White or Clear dots like the clear film versions.
The White film warms the tone up a bit.
 

specgrade

Senior Member
I use black dots on my toms and black resonates. The dot controls overtones and I can get a great deep sound out of my 12,13 and 16 toms. If you like to tune tight and high they sing really well. They are really durable also.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
Like others it's been a while since I used the clear Remo CS heads on toms. I'm currently using the Coated CS Underside Dots on (2) different metal snare drums, bronze and brass respectively. I'm really enjoying them on those snares.

My only memory of using them is many moons ago when I was in high school (Bonham was still alive if that helps for reference). I remember thinking the sound was OK but didn't care for the feel of playing right on the dot. Felt a bit sluggish. These were topside dots and my opinion may be different today if I played those heads with all dots being underside and maybe coated versions I might like them.

Jim
 

redwaller77

Junior Member
I have played a friend's kit who had black dots on the bass drum and toms like the 80's. I have also used a reverse dot on the snare and find it is the best snare head I have ever played. Overall, black dots on toms sound like slightly muffled ambassadors and are durable in the middle. Personally, they are not that bad but I would go with emperors because they are deeper and even more durable and still resonate. A black dot on a Bass Drum is okay for jazz but does not give much control for rock... you need to muffle it anyway... plus you may need to take the front head off for it to sound good...
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Thanks for the replys and vids. Steve Smith's kind of a nutjob, isn't he? (I mean that in the best possible way!) I don't think I like them so much on his kit. Seems like the black dots are most impressive when cranking the heads on larger drums. For lower tunings or smaller drums, I still prefer either single or double ply with nothing but a coating, if even that.

I'll probably stick to my coated 2-ply over clear single-ply combo (or maybe I'll go nuts with coated ambs on the resos :).
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
An even cooler look is the smooth white heads with the black dots! I remember vividly the 1977-78 Slingerland catalog with all the drumsets outfitted with the dots. I miss those days. Maybe I'll go with the white black dots top and bottom on my kit next. I'll have to find a smooth white PS3 for my bass drum and add the dot later, though.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I use clear CS (black dot) heads for tom batters, clear Amabassadors on the bottoms. On the snare batter I use a coated black dot. I like single ply heads, but I dent 'em up too quickly, so I like black dot heads because they are more durable. I was using Evans G2 heads on the toms but switched two years ago. Peace and goodwill.
 
Top