Doumbek heads?

Cymbalrider

Pioneer Member
It's about time I get around to doing this: I've got this cool brass doumbek (12") and it just has some stock clear plastic head on it. Now I'm thinking it would sound amazing with a real fancy head on it (like most drums) but I'm not really sure what would work well. I was wondering about something like a Remo Renaissance or Evans J1? Any suggestions?
 

m1ck

Senior Member
Not too many doumbek players here, obviously...

I have a spun copper Alexandria-style doumbek, make by Turkish Cymbal Co. in Instanbul. It's a gorgeous, loud, sweet, full sounding drum. Way better than the comparable aluminum units from Egypt, imo. The stock head, as far as I could tell, was a Remo Renaissance. The sound and feel was exactly right. I loved it. If you can find one to fit your drum, try it. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

That head eventually lost its bounce, and I replaced it with the thinner white plastic replacement head that came with the drum. It works, but is nowhere near as good.

I tried to order a Remo Fiberskyn replacement from Mid East Manufacturing, but after a couple of months it never arrived. I kept bugging them about it and eventually they just refunded my money without an explanation. I still have the thin white plastic head on it, and now it too needs to be replaced. I just haven't gotten around to it.

They do make goat skin heads with aluminum rims that sound great - for the right kind of drum. They feel very different from synthetic heads and a have a very warm, natural sound. I also have a ceramic doumbek with a goat skin head that sounds awesome when tuned high. Natural skins are finicky about humidity and temperature, though. If it's glued on and it gets loose, you have to warm it by a fire or use a hair-dryer to tighten it up.

Mylar heads are much brighter and more sensitive to input. As always, it depends on the sound you want.

Can you post a picture of your drum? I might be able to offer more concise input if I see exactly what you're playing.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Most doumbeks I've seen don't accept drum set heads as replacement heads. You'll have to find out, through the manufacturer, where to get the heads that will fit. If you can get a calf skin head and a plastic head, you'll have variety...

For the record, I play both an Alexandria (aluminum) doumbek and an Istanbul (copper) darbuka. I use plastic heads on both of them and couldn't be happier.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Most doumbeks I've seen don't accept drum set heads as replacement heads. You'll have to find out, through the manufacturer, where to get the heads that will fit. If you can get a calf skin head and a plastic head, you'll have variety...

For the record, I play both an Alexandria (aluminum) doumbek and an Istanbul (copper) darbuka. I use plastic heads on both of them and couldn't be happier.
I also play one of the heavy Alexandria aluminum doumbeks. They come with extremely thin heads for lots of snap and articulation and the heavy shell give the projection. As far as the stamped brass doumbeks, those have thin, light shells. I would recommend keeping the stock head but it couldn't hurt to try a Western trap drum head.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I also play one of the heavy Alexandria aluminum doumbeks.
These things are virtually indestructible! In my band, we've dropped this thing so many times (the other members, of course), and it's never lost its shape or sound. Hardly even got scratched! Ceramic ones and my copper one, on the other hand...
 

Cymbalrider

Pioneer Member
My doumbek looks pretty much like this, but it's brass and takes 12" heads.
I was just wondering if Renaissance or Fiberskyns might be better, as well as diplomat vs. ambassador weight.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
My doumbek looks pretty much like this, but it's brass and takes 12" heads.
That's the exception, not the norm. I've never seen a doumbek like that one. It takes drum set heads, you say? I want one!

I don't know what heads would be best on that beauty. I would probably start with a renaissance head, myself.
 
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