Drum head pairing question for a Pearl fiberglass kit

harryconway

Platinum Member
I have a 70's Pearl fiberglass kit that I am in the process of putting new heads onto. I have a few random heads that haven't been played on that have been gifted to me by a kind soul. I am about to work on the 16" floor tom.
Are you playing in a band? Or just playing at home? And then ....... do you like a more open drum sound (with overtones and sustain), or do you like a more 80's thud sound ?????

If you're gigging, a more wide open sound will cut thru the mix better. You won't hear the overtones over the band. But if you're just at home, and trying to dial in that perfect sound ...... you really just gotta experiment.

I gigged a Vistalite kit for a few decades, and those are second cousin to fiberglass. I ran Pinstripe batter, and Ambassador (very similar to the G1) reso. Perfect balance (for me) of volume and sustain.

The EC Reso ...... it's a single ply ...... I'm not sure how much muffling is built into it. On my Slingerland kit, I'm running Pinstripe batter and CS Black Dot reso. I'm thinking the Evans EC is gonna sound a bit like the CS. A little overtone control, but not much. My Slingy's have plenty of slam.

Now ...... I've gotten used drums come to me, and they had Pinstripe batter AND reso. Not my thing. A little too much muffling;) But hey, it was working for the past owner.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Are you playing in a band? Or just playing at home? And then ....... do you like a more open drum sound (with overtones and sustain), or do you like a more 80's thud sound ?????

If you're gigging, a more wide open sound will cut thru the mix better. You won't hear the overtones over the band. But if you're just at home, and trying to dial in that perfect sound ...... you really just gotta experiment.

I gigged a Vistalite kit for a few decades, and those are second cousin to fiberglass. I ran Pinstripe batter, and Ambassador (very similar to the G1) reso. Perfect balance (for me) of volume and sustain.

The EC Reso ...... it's a single ply ...... I'm not sure how much muffling is built into it. On my Slingerland kit, I'm running Pinstripe batter and CS Black Dot reso. I'm thinking the Evans EC is gonna sound a bit like the CS. A little overtone control, but not much. My Slingy's have plenty of slam.

Now ...... I've gotten used drums come to me, and they had Pinstripe batter AND reso. Not my thing. A little too much muffling;) But hey, it was working for the past owner.
I'm in the beginning stages of a new band right now, but we're doing the system where we rent a couple hours at a place to rehearse every few weeks where there's already a semi decent kit there. It's great that I don't have to lug drums but the bad part is not getting to hear my drums in a playing situation with other instruments. On top of that, I live in an apartment so the only drums I can play here are my Alesis electric kit with headphones on. But the pandemic and lockdowns made me decide to take up the quest of learning how to tune my drums because my neighbors really can't complain THAT much about me tapping lightly around the lugs to get a reading for my Tunebot lol.
I personally like a more open sound. And yes.. definitely know what you mean about the overtones sounding actually appropriate in a band setting.
Yes .. that's what I ended up doing... putting the pinstripes as batters and going to have the C1 acting like an ambassador underneath. So far the pinstripe is on and just finger tightened with some reso head that the guy I bought them from put on.. some opaque white head that doesn't even identify itself brand-wise (lol) and I've hit it a few times and even THAT sounded good! So I have high hopes that the G1 is going to sound pretty good. And hell... I'll probably eventually try the Evans EC in the end too when I get the next free time.
Thanks for the response! And your drums options sound awesome there!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
the pandemic and lockdowns made me decide to take up the quest of learning how to tune my drums
Do you understand or recognize when two tones are in harmony with each other?

Please understand I'm not trying to be derogatory or condescending. This is the trick to tuning. If you cant hear it or know what it sounds like when the tones come together, you cant do it easily.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Do you understand or recognize when two tones are in harmony with each other?

Please understand I'm not trying to be derogatory or condescending. This is the trick to tuning. If you cant hear it or know what it sounds like when the tones come together, you cant do it easily.
I'm hoping that continued tuning with the help of a Tunebot will train me to recognize that better. I'm already better at recognizing when the tension needs to be altered to match other areas of the drum. So I'm definitely better at getting the head in tune with itself. Understanding how the batter and resonant head tones line up to be pleasant sounding.. not so much. Not yet at least.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Understanding how the batter and resonant head tones line up to be pleasant sounding.. not so much.
You get 3 options. The reso can be either:
1. Looser than the batter
2. Even with the batter
3. Tighter than the batter

If you get your batter to where you like it, that is your attack and note. The reso will give your drum its body. With the options above, the drum will either:
1. Be thuddy
2. Have a nice round even note
3. Be boingy

The tension of your batter affects this also. The lower its tension, the more thud/less boing you get. The higher its tension, the less thud/more boing you get.

All have their places depending on what you are playing.

Some people tune to notes so they can separate the heads by a note value. Others tune to the sound they hear in their heads.

There really is no one answer that gives you what you seek. Its lots of trial and error and listening.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I personally like a more open sound. And yes.. definitely know what you mean about the overtones sounding actually appropriate in a band setting.
Yes .. that's what I ended up doing... putting the pinstripes as batters and going to have the C1 acting like an ambassador underneath. So far the pinstripe is on and just finger tightened with some reso head that the guy I bought them from put on.. some opaque white head that doesn't even identify itself brand-wise (lol) and I've hit it a few times and even THAT sounded good! So I have high hopes that the G1 is going to sound pretty good. And hell... I'll probably eventually try the Evans EC in the end too when I get the next free time.
Thanks for the response! And your drums options sound awesome there!
Can't hardly go wrong with that combination. Pins over a single ply head ...... winning combo. Check out some YT video's of Pearl fiberglass or wood/fiberglass drums. There's a bunch out there. Give you an idea of what different heads sound like, on these drums.

Pinstripes came out in 1974 ..... so they are a period correct head for these drum. Also used, would be the Ambassador, Emperor, and CS. CS (Black Dot) heads came out in 1968. So very popular with the vintage hard rock scene. You'll find guys using coated and clear heads ...... those would be the most popular (or their Evans equivalent).

My Vistalites ..... sold them years ago. Invested in more drums;) There's always an ebb and a flow here, but the two kits I treasure the most are my 3 ply Luddies (26, 14, 16, 18) and my Gretsch Round Badge kit (20, 13, 16). I've currently got 9 kits in the herd. About 1/2 vintage and 1/2 modern. And there's no 1 head combo I use all the time...... though I prefer some combo's on certain kits.

Sounds like you're off to a good start.
 

ToneT

Drum Expert
I dont use or have a Tunebot. Since you stated that you have the help of one, perhaps this thread can be of some use:


It might not answer your question directly, but you might find tunings that suit your fancy inside.

Just curious, what is your tuning method? Two hours for one drum is way too long.
Are you having any trouble getting even tension on each drumhead?
How are your rims?
If I had your toms and basses I would be fine using a Pinstripe batter with a clear Remo Ambassador bottom.
I would tune the batter and reso to the same pitch; medium-low pitch.
I'm under the impression that your drums are versatile enough to achieve any sound you like with a variety of different heads.
Is there a certain sound you're searching for but not getting?
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Wrong forum. This is for discussion of Drums & Heads not General forum.
Hmm ok... for future reference... what belongs in the General Discussion forum? I'm rather new to coming on here to ask for advice or to give advice myself. I thought about what forum to put my question in and when I went here to this General Forum and scrolled over the past few weeks, it looked like this was the best forum for these type of questions and that they were primarily like the one I posted with my question.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
General discussion forum for all drum related topics that do NOT fit into other categories.

Drum Gear is for reviews and discussions of Drums - Pedals - Cymbals - Sticks - Heads - Electronic Drums

Moderators already moved your thread.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Are you having any trouble getting even tension on each drumhead?
How are your rims?
If I had your toms and basses I would be fine using a Pinstripe batter with a clear Remo Ambassador bottom.
I would tune the batter and reso to the same pitch; medium-low pitch.
I'm under the impression that your drums are versatile enough to achieve any sound you like with a variety of different heads.
Is there a certain sound you're searching for but not getting?
Hi. No.. didn't have any problems with getting even tension. Rims seemed fine too. I wiped them down as well as the bearing edges when I did this head replacement.
Actually..I realized right away when I put on the pinstripe and still had some no-name stock head on the reso before changing it out to the Evans G1, that it was going to sound great when I just began hitting it even before doing the tuning that I did. I think there is a multitude of tunings that would sound great actually.
I was initially thinking that the Remo clear Pinstripe was going to sound dead and thuddy from what I thought I had perceived before in the past and what I read online before from critical reviews. But that's not the case at all. The floor tom I put it on sustains it's tone a looong time. Maybe it's due to being a fiberglass shell.
 

ToneT

Drum Expert
Hi. No.. didn't have any problems with getting even tension. Rims seemed fine too. I wiped them down as well as the bearing edges when I did this head replacement.
Actually..I realized right away when I put on the pinstripe and still had some no-name stock head on the reso before changing it out to the Evans G1, that it was going to sound great when I just began hitting it even before doing the tuning that I did. I think there is a multitude of tunings that would sound great actually.
I was initially thinking that the Remo clear Pinstripe was going to sound dead and thuddy from what I thought I had perceived before in the past and what I read online before from critical reviews. But that's not the case at all. The floor tom I put it on sustains it's tone a looong time. Maybe it's due to being a fiberglass shell.
Pinstripe heads can and do sound quite powerful as compared to, say, an Evans Hydraulic. They do sound more thuddy at lower / loose tensions, but you know that already.
I read about other drummers using Remo Black Dot batter heads to help control the overtones of fiberglass drums.
Your edges are clean and your rims are okay.
New heads may take some time to conform to bearing edges.
Try not to make yourself crazy!
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Cool. One of big reasons to post in correct forum is for people doing searches.
Ah ok. Got it. I even had one responder tell me that they were following my post since they have the same type of kit and were looking for suggestions as well. So he might not have seen my post with where I put it. I'll get the hang of it.
I'm glad these forums exist. There's some aspects of my craft that I never delved into.. understanding hardware and tuning. I had basically known for a long time to have even tension all around the head and then I picked up on that the drum usually sounds better with the resonant head tensioned a bit tighter. But I didn't understand the science.. the physics.. of how the two heads work in conjunction with each other. And I haven't really been up on hardware or the different heads available. I pretty much always just slapped Remos on 'em.. usually just Ambassadors.
I decided during the pandemic and lockdown to truly learn this aspect of my craft. I have 4 acoustic kits and 10 snare drums that I've acquired over the years, and I've set myself out to discover the differing sounds I can get with various tunings and various heads on these drums and ultimately decipher which ones are the best so that I have them in my arsenal for whatever the music situation calls for. This forum and a few others is where I've been coming to get recommendations, starting points, and help pushing me through the learning curve in conjunction with purchasing a Tunebot and also a year subscription to the DrumTuner app I downloaded onto my phone which has even more suggestions.
Needless to say.. I've been pretty adamant at making my goal a reality! I can't believe I didn't do this a long time ago.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Pinstripe heads can and do sound quite powerful as compared to, say, an Evans Hydraulic. They do sound more thuddy at lower / loose tensions, but you know that already.
I read about other drummers using Remo Black Dot batter heads to help control the overtones of fiberglass drums.
Your edges are clean and your rims are okay.
New heads may take some time to conform to bearing edges.
Try not to make yourself crazy!
Hahaha... thank you for your ending statement there. I'll admit..I kinda HAVE gone into a slight obsession mode over this.. but I guess it's pretty common with us musicians lol. I guess I'm trying to make up for lost time in this aspect of my craft. But yes, I need to remember to step back and put balance back into the ole life 😉
 

ToneT

Drum Expert
Hahaha... thank you for your ending statement there. I'll admit..I kinda HAVE gone into a slight obsession mode over this.. but I guess it's pretty common with us musicians lol. I guess I'm trying to make up for lost time in this aspect of my craft. But yes, I need to remember to step back and put balance back into the ole life 😉
Oh yeah!
On some days I want to lower my snare side heads for a different sound.
But, I've done this so many times before, not liking it, and putting them back up to the pitch I really prefer.
Obsessive, Compulsive, that's me with the instrument sometimes.
I use and love my Tunebot too. All the pitches for each drum are written down in a little notebook.
I'm 62 now and, thankfully, the obsession modes are fewer.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Oh yeah!
On some days I want to lower my snare side heads for a different sound.
But, I've done this so many times before, not liking it, and putting them back up to the pitch I really prefer.
Obsessive, Compulsive, that's me with the instrument sometimes.
I use and love my Tunebot too. All the pitches for each drum are written down in a little notebook.
I'm 62 now and, thankfully, the obsession modes are fewer.
I have tried to experiment with lower snare drum tunings too. My initial idea was having a few of mine low tuned, some medium, and some tuned up high and then I could decide which snare to grab and bring when I go jam with the various situations I've been playing with. But I agree that when I've followed the various recommendations for batter and reso tension to accomplish a lower snare tuning, they didn't sound that great. And I'm guessing it's because I need to learn another skill... muffling techniques..because when the snare is tuned lower, I start hearing some strange overtones which are akin to having a nasty taste in your mouth after eating or drinking something. I am guessing I need to get some moongels during my next trip to the music store to get a decent snare sound at lower pitches.
I'm 52. I'm really glad that this site has a lot of older guys that have been playing awhile like myself but who also know a lot about tuning and heads to seek advice from. I understand why some folks on here keep saying to just experiment for myself, but I've been unsuccessful getting anywhere that way in the past (albeit I do have a tuning device now). My thought is that being given good suggestions at least accomplishes me having some nice sounding drums in the meantime for playing purposes while I'm doing my own mad scientist experiments with tunings of my own at home.
 
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