Double-ply heads for jazz : thoughts ?

krautfox

Member
Hey everyone,

I've been playing around with different jazz tunings using different head and hardware combinations. So far, I've tried coated 10 mm single-ply on batter with clear 10 mm single-ply on the reso, coated signle-ply on both, calfskin imitation on top, coated/clear on bottom, and die-cast hoops vs single/double/triple flanged hoops for the hardware.

I then fell into a long Ralph Peterson YouTube video rabbit hole and saw that he's been using Evans coated Onyx heads for years and I always thought that his drums sounded simply amazing. Onyx are usually marketed for heard hitting heavy metal drummers, but he seems to make them work perfectly for jazz.

I know heads like the fiberskins or the calftones are double-ply (and do sound amazing for jazz), but there's always a durability/flaking issue with them. So what about simple coated double-ply heads like the emperors/G2s/Super 2s etc. Thoughts ?

From what I hear, they seem to reduce overtones to give a mix of attack/tone/roundness/"thudiness". It seems to imulate well the jazz drum sound from the 50s/60s

Any of you jazz cats out there use these heads :)?

Cheers !
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Honestly, I think you can get a "jazz sound" out of a lot of different heads depending on tuning and touch.

I agree that 2-ply heads lend themselves to the rounder, tubbier sound and I think when paired with more modern-sounding drums it's a little easier dial back that direct-ness found in newer drums.

I don't play much jazz anymore (back when I did I usually used Fiberskyns) but I've since fallen in love with Aquarian Modern Vintage for everything I play because the coating is super durable and the choice of one ply 7 or 10-mil and two ply 7+7 or 10+10-mil gives a lot of options for dialing in the exact sound and feel you want from each drum.
 
There's also the Remo Vintage A which has 2 thin plies.
I also liked the Evans UV1 which has a very robust coating.
BTW: I don't think that Fiberskyns have 2 plies. There's also the Skyntone but I haven't owned one, so I can't say if they flake less.
 

krautfox

Member
Honestly, I think you can get a "jazz sound" out of a lot of different heads depending on tuning and touch.

I agree that 2-ply heads lend themselves to the rounder, tubbier sound and I think when paired with more modern-sounding drums it's a little easier dial back that direct-ness found in newer drums.

I don't play much jazz anymore (back when I did I usually used Fiberskyns) but I've since fallen in love with Aquarian Modern Vintage for everything I play because the coating is super durable and the choice of one ply 7 or 10-mil and two ply 7+7 or 10+10-mil gives a lot of options for dialing in the exact sound and feel you want from each drum.
I've always enjoyed the sound of a classic coated single-ply head for jazz, but double-ply really seem rounder and thuddier, which to my ears seem to be the sound of the olden days.

I already thought about getting the Modern Vintage (love Aquarian drumheads !), but I'm having a really hard time getting them in my drum shop here in France. Hopefully that'll change, cause I don't like buying my gear online. Gotta support your local shop !

Cheers for your input
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I use coated emperors for basically everything. When I crank them up, they get jazzy but there’s still some low-end warmth, and so long as I can get what I need for whatever situation with those (or Evans G2’s for that matter), I’ll keep using them. I think any heads will do with proper tuning. I just avoid the obvious and not tune like I’m playing for the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac if I’m playing jazz, and vice-versa.
 
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