Heads are like bass strings…I hate them, too!

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Ok, I don’t hate heads or bass strings, but I wish there examples of both that excel at everything. I’m doing coated Ambs on snare and toms and coated Emp on kick, and I love the sound of them most of the time, but then sometimes I think I should have gone smooth on toms and kick to get that more attacky sound. And then when I play a set with smooth heads, I wish they were coated unless I’m playing hard rock. And then I think how little it really matters at this stage of the game until my drums learn how to correct my deficiencies ;)

But I have a feeling that it is going to be like bass where I love round and flat wounds but can’t put both on the same bass, and any of those half flat half round strings are neither fish nor fowl, at least to me. So I guess I’ll just stick with what I have…at least I like them and they do work for most things.
 

jda

Well-known Member
who's your drum hero - one of them- Jim. Some famous name
( ya know not me ; )
Who's some drummer that inspires you etc
Whose sound you 'aspire' to etc..
 

jda

Well-known Member
Copy that person..
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
who's your drum hero - one of them- Jim. Some famous name
( ya know not me ; )
Who's some drummer that inspires you etc
Whose sound you 'aspire' to etc..
The usual favorites on here…Micky Dolenz, the original Chris Partridge, the tattoo guy with the Ludwig sig set…

Actually I like so many different drummers that do so many different ways of heading their drums…but for tones, Ian Paice has been consistently a perennial favorite. He has a sound that seems to work well with everything.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
Drum heads can be a trap trying different brands and their head offerings- years back I had a closet full of heads. Sometimes one tuning doesn’t fit every song.
 

jda

Well-known Member
The usual favorites on here…Micky Dolenz, the original Chris Partridge, the tattoo guy with the Ludwig sig set…
that's what I was afraid of..
 

jda

Well-known Member
Ian Paice has been consistently a perennial favorite. He has a sound that seems to work well with everything.
what era Ian. 1969-70? or 1975 76?
Zero in on the details and imitate
Every one imitates
as a starting point
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
The way I see it you have two options...try some different heads or try a slightly different tuning on the heads you have. Try a quarter turn in either direction top and bottom. If that doesn't work, just turn 'em back to where they were.

If you do go the new heads route I'll say I love Vintage Emperors and I've yet to hear anyone else say anything different. They're pleasantly meaty but still pretty lively.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
what era Ian. 1969-70? or 1975 76?
Zero in on the details and imitate
Every one imitates
as a starting point
I like the sound of everything he ever cut from Hush to the newest stuff. And it’s why I went Ambassador crazy. I see he uses a PS3 now but I don’t know if I want one.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Drum heads can be a trap trying different brands and their head offerings- years back I had a closet full of heads. Sometimes one tuning doesn’t fit every song.
True. I definitely went to avoid the closet full of heads. I imagine I’ll have a few extras before it’s over though.

The way I see it you have two options...try some different heads or try a slightly different tuning on the heads you have. Try a quarter turn in either direction top and bottom. If that doesn't work, just turn 'em back to where they were.

If you do go the new heads route I'll say I love Vintage Emperors and I've yet to hear anyone else say anything different. They're pleasantly meaty but still pretty lively.
I actually did that a couple weeks ago. I’m pretty well locked into a tuning that I like on these drums because of it. I just like all in one solutions whenever possible. That’s why I went with very safe choices. The only mistake I made was coated Amb on kick. But I don’t know if I got the best all in one solution. Sometimes I think I did, but then as I was cleaning the Diablos for sale, I thought hey, the clear 2 ply sound is pretty decent too.
 

jda

Well-known Member
I like the sound of everything he ever cut from Hush to the newest stuff. And it’s why I went Ambassador crazy. I see he uses a PS3 now but I don’t know if I want one.
commit
coated PS3 batter bass is a fantastic head- coated Amb front no ring- what I use- what Gretsch ships on their highest end sets.
PS3 is a coated ambassador- the fiddling with minor muffling (is) done for you. no muss no fuss.
Coated Amb Top and Bottom on rest of the toms
then concentrate on notes and note shaping

Emperor is a little too much- I've had a couple over the decades- little too damped/muffled- for my way
 
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JimmyM

Platinum Member
commit
coated PS3 batter bass is a fantastic head- coated Amb front no ring- what I use- what Gretsch ships on their highest end sets.
PS3 is a coated ambassador- the fiddling with minor muffling (is) done for you. no muss no fuss.
Coated Amb Top and Bottom on rest of the toms
then concentrate on notes and note shaping

Emperor is a little too much- I've had a couple over the decades- little too damped/muffled- for my way
So you think coated rather than clear?
 

James Hart

Member
Since the early 80s... ultra light stainless rounds... brands have changed but the specs stay the same. I've added some fancy nickel flats my fretless 6 and... oh wait, drum forum :cool:

I had zero preference, liked the look of the Evan Onyx stuff, liked what I heard on youtube... gave them a try. WORLDS better than the crap on my 15 year old starter set, actually makes the kit sound decent.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Since the early 80s... ultra light stainless rounds... brands have changed but the specs stay the same. I've added some fancy nickel flats my fretless 6 and... oh wait, drum forum :cool:

I had zero preference, liked the look of the Evan Onyx stuff, liked what I heard on youtube... gave them a try. WORLDS better than the crap on my 15 year old starter set, actually makes the kit sound decent.
Heh James…I thought you ditched them for Brooklyns.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
But I have a feeling that it is going to be like bass where I love round and flat wounds but can’t put both on the same bass ......
But you probably have more than one bass ..... and some set up flat, and some set up round;)

That's kinda why I have more than one kit. And different heads on different kits. Because we can like more that one thing simultaneously:LOL:
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
But you probably have more than one bass ..... and some set up flat, and some set up round;)

That's kinda why I have more than one kit. And different heads on different kits. Because we can like more that one thing simultaneously:LOL:
This! I know you don’t like spending money, but this is the best answer. Better to spend it on another nice, used kit, than to throw it away on a bunch of heads you end up not liking/using.

Way back in prehistoric times (70s-80s) I used Remo heads, cuz that was pretty much the go to choice. When, after a hiatus, I came back to drumming in 2006, I wanted to try Evans and Aquarian: coated, uncoated, 1ply, 2ply. Spent a ton of my bread on heads. I often liked the new choices, but a few years ago I ended up solidly back with Remo coated. Usually Ambassadors all around but sometimes Emps or Vintage Ambs or Emps. Actually, pretty much settled on coated Ambs now. That’s just it for me. But by that time I had accumulated a huge stack of heads in the garage. I ended up giving them all to I guy I met on Craigslist who builds low-cost kits and donates them to schools and kids that can’t afford drums.

But I still have a Gretsch kit with Evans, G2 coated over G1 clear, with Emad on the kick... the way it shipped. It sounds beyond amazing that way, so why monkey with it?

So yeah, cool yer jets. Keep putting money in the pot until you can drop it on another kit that’s a different brand/wood/layup/sizes, etc... something fundamentally different than the Ludwig. Maybe even just an older 3-ply Ludwig. Then put Evans or Aquarians on it, coated, uncoated, whatever. Done!

Oh, and by the way, the magic kick combo is PS3 batter, Ambassador reso. Tune it up a little higher and put a little pillow inside that just barely touches each head. Or go the felt strip route, that works equally well, especially for us Vintage Drummers.
 
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