Favorite head combos for maple shell?


Senior Member
I just got a new to me Ludwig Classic Maple 12/14/16 toms and it came with coated Emperors on top and clear Diplomats on bottom. I want to keep the Emperors but I’m thinking about switching the reso heads to a coated Ambassador to warm up the sound a bit. I’m not sure the diplomats are filling out the sound in my short time working with them and tuning.

Anyone have other combinations they like to fill out the sound on maple toms?


Junior Member
Coated Amb will definitely accomplish what you want. I have the Aquarian equivalent of coated Emp/Amb on my CM rack tom, warmed it up compared to the clear Amb reso it previously had.


Silver Member
Maple - To me, Always Coated Emperor over Clear Ambassador :)


I dunno, Diplomats have ALWAYS been my fav reso heads. Maybe try some coated ones? That alone should warm the sound a bit, IMO.

Good luck! (y)


Platinum Member
I use clear G2's over clear G1's on all my toms. Peace and goodwill.


Platinum Member
Coated Emperor over clear Ambassador.

Coated PS3 over clear Ambassador.

Coated Ambassador over coated Ambassador.

Stefan Brodsky

Senior Member
I've had good luck with the Remo Vintage Coated Emperors over clear Ambassadors. Have a set of Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute Nouveaus, which I bought new in '10.


Senior Member
I tried the coated Emperors over the coated Ambassadors and I thought they had a wonderful full bodied tone and resonance to them but ultimately a bit deeper than I wanted since I want something that will work in a higher jazz tuning as well. I flipped the coated Ambassadors to the top and put the clear Diplomats back on the bottom. These sound good as well but completely on the opposite end of the brightness spectrum. This seems like it will work for me for the time being but the old standard clear ambassadors may make an appearance on the reso side to round out the sound a bit. I'm curious to also try the coated Vintage Ambassador at some point on at least the floor toms to see how they sound.