drum dial guys?

need help with the toms. i have older Pearl Exports(poplar shells). i have clear emporers over clear anbassadors. sizes are (depth x dia) 8"x10",10"x12",16"x16",16"x18". looking for a good rock sound, deep and resonate. HELP!


"Uncle Larry"
Lots of different combos, depends on what you like. I like resos at 83, batters at 75 for the racks, just a little lower on the batters for the floors, I like the resos at 83 all around. You can tune lower on the batter if it suits you but I like the resos tight. Other people will tell you batters and resos the same (not bad IMO, but I prefer tighter resos) or resos lower that the batters (sounds tubby and boingy to me) Experiment! We're talking racks here, the kick is different.


Gold Member
You're going to get everybody else's settings, geared to their drums and their heads and their style of play. DD settings are not automatically transferrable.

The best thing you can do no matter what method of tuning you use is to find out where each drum sounds best. It's simple but it takes a little time.

For toms, start with finger tight on both batter and reso. Bring the tension up gradually, no more than 1/4 turn at a time, keeping both heads at the same pitch and keeping lug-to-lug tuning decent. (Keep batter and reso at the same pitch for now even if you want to have them different later.)

After every increase, stop and strike the batter in the middle and see how it sounds. You'll start with flappy, then you'll get real tone, eventually you'll start to choke the drum.

Somewhere along the way the drum will really sing, have the most sustain and sound loudest. That's where the drum should be tuned. Go back to that sound and apply the drum dial and note the readings. Take an average if you need to, drums aren't perfect and neither is the DD.

Now you can fool with raising the reso relative to the batter if you want.

Unless you do this you won't know where your drums sound best with the heads you're using, and you'll end up chasing your tail.