is it ok to.....

robyn64

Member
put the old heads on the bottoms of the drums or should i get all new for top and bottom? does using the old ones on bottom make a difference in sound compaired to all new?
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Depends on how old they are, and what kind of shape they're in.

I've used old heads on the bottom. If they're really old, or don't sound good, save them for if you ever want to make mesh heads (for converting acoustic drums to electronic).
That's another topic though - ha ha.
 

ENRICO

Silver Member
I did that a long time ago, I was playing coated on top and bottom and the coating was gone in the center of the batter heads, so I put thme on the reso side. this was a good solution because i didn't have any money. but eventually you wiill have to replace both
 

The Black Page Dude

Senior Member
Yes reso heads (bottom) are just as important as batter heads (top) to your sound. But like alparrott pointed out if you have no money do what you need to do to keep practising. If you can afford it, change them both at the same time.
 

mikeyhanson

Silver Member
does using the old ones on bottom make a difference in sound compaired to all new?
Most likely yes. A thinner resonant head is going to help the drum keep its tone. A batter head on the resonant side will be less responsive to the hits than a resonant head on the resonant side will.
Resonant heads, for the most part, are thinner and are built that way so they get the tone out of the drum. The thicker the resonant head, the less responsive it's going to be. Using a batter head, especially an old one that's full of pock marks and has been beaten and stretched, is likely to produce less sustain.
Your best bet is to replace your resonant heads with resonant heads and your batters with batters. Of course there are exceptions to this, but that's usually if you're looking for a particular tone.
And while this is only an opinion, it's also not an absolute. You can do pretty much whatever you want, different results than what you're looking for will likely happen.
 

Grüv

Member
me and my guys were balls deep in practice one afternoon last year.. i punched through my snare. and in an act of just wanting to keep playing.

i took a resonator off one of my toms & used it as a temporary snare head .. yup - no shame haha

i was a desperate man.. in desperate times

that doesnt really have anything to do with ur question .. so to remain relevant ... the answer is no. ;)
 

robyn64

Member
If you have absolutely no money, sure. But if you are just being stingy, stop it.
lol ok i will.
its not that i don't have ANY money just need to do a lit'l at a time. kinda thot that replacing the batter heads would be more important and hate throwing away things i can still get some use of. lol
 

robyn64

Member
Most likely yes. A thinner resonant head is going to help the drum keep its tone. A batter head on the resonant side will be less responsive to the hits than a resonant head on the resonant side will.
Resonant heads, for the most part, are thinner and are built that way so they get the tone out of the drum. The thicker the resonant head, the less responsive it's going to be. Using a batter head, especially an old one that's full of pock marks and has been beaten and stretched, is likely to produce less sustain.
Your best bet is to replace your resonant heads with resonant heads and your batters with batters. Of course there are exceptions to this, but that's usually if you're looking for a particular tone.
And while this is only an opinion, it's also not an absolute. You can do pretty much whatever you want, different results than what you're looking for will likely happen.
thanks, this actually makes a lot of sence, didn't realize there was such a difference, to me a drum head was a drum head, and please don't beat me up for that :) no disrespect attended. i'm looking for a natural tone, i like to play the old country type music (that is what i am best at) nothing hard or real loud just want to be there keeping the beat. does this make any since?
 

robyn64

Member
Yes reso heads (bottom) are just as important as batter heads (top) to your sound. But like alparrott pointed out if you have no money do what you need to do to keep practising. If you can afford it, change them both at the same time.
thats just the thing, i could purchase both at same time but they all need to be replaced and that would really be cutting into other things important in life too. i know i know....what other important things are there in life other then producing music to your full potental, lol
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
If your resonant heads are in good shape, leave them be, and just replace your batter heads. I replace my resonant heads about once a year. Thing is, I use clear ambassadors top and bottom, so what I do is I take the old resonant heads and use them as batters, and then put new ambassadors on the resonant side. I do that once a year. The rest of the time I just replace the batter heads as required.

Using thinner heads for the resonant side of a drum is common, but keep in mind that you will lose a tiny bit of the lower frequencies when you do this. Sometimes this is what you want, for example, if you have a floor tom that rings on forever and gives the sound engineer trouble. But for the most pure sound/tone, and easiest tuning, I recommend using the same heads, top and bottom (unless you're using a double ply head on top, in which case I would recommend using a single ply on the bottom).

But, again, if money is tight, and you're not recording the drums, do whatever keeps you playing. They're just drums after all. What you play on them is more important than how they sound.
 

robyn64

Member
If your resonant heads are in good shape, leave them be, and just replace your batter heads. I replace my resonant heads about once a year. Thing is, I use clear ambassadors top and bottom, so what I do is I take the old resonant heads and use them as batters, and then put new ambassadors on the resonant side. I do that once a year. The rest of the time I just replace the batter heads as required.

Using thinner heads for the resonant side of a drum is common, but keep in mind that you will lose a tiny bit of the lower frequencies when you do this. Sometimes this is what you want, for example, if you have a floor tom that rings on forever and gives the sound engineer trouble. But for the most pure sound/tone, and easiest tuning, I recommend using the same heads, top and bottom (unless you're using a double ply head on top, in which case I would recommend using a single ply on the bottom).

But, again, if money is tight, and you're not recording the drums, do whatever keeps you playing. They're just drums after all. What you play on them is more important than how they sound.
my main problem is that my kit don't have any resonant heads on it at all except the snare, it's in good shape and has a good sound to me but my kick and toms have none and the batter heads on them will do but are old and have been on the drums for a long time so thot i'd replace them first. thanks for your advise it has helped me, i am learning from what you guys say and am gonna give all suggestions a try til i find what i like.
 

mikeyhanson

Silver Member
thanks, this actually makes a lot of sence, didn't realize there was such a difference, to me a drum head was a drum head, and please don't beat me up for that :) no disrespect attended. i'm looking for a natural tone, i like to play the old country type music (that is what i am best at) nothing hard or real loud just want to be there keeping the beat. does this make any since?
It absolutely makes sense! And you can certainly get your drums into a condition so that they sound really good for playing country music. And while you don't have resonant heads on your toms now, you'll definitely notice the difference once you put them on. They'll sound fuller and have more tone than they do currently.
If it were me and I was playing country music [low-mid intensity/power level, beat-keeping], I'd look for heads that would give me good tone at low volumes, which to me would mean a nice, standard [Ambassador-weight...or around 7.5mm] batter head, with a thin resonant head [Hazy 300/200 or Ambassador/Diplomat resonant head]. This way you'll get good tone out of the drums without much power effort.
The thicker you go on heads, the harder they'll have to be hit to produce the sweet™ tone. And since you'll want definition at low volume and intensity levels, you'll need a head that responds well to light hits.
There are exceptions to everything, so you'll likely hear many suggestions. For example, maybe going with a 2-ply batter head on your toms and putting resonant heads on will give you a rounder, mellower tone. Or using same weighted heads on both sides. There are many things you could try. Ultimately it'll be up to your ears [and to some extent, the ears of those you work with].

Once you get the sound you like, might I suggest buying a replacement set as well [of batter heads at least] at the same time. This way you'll have a backup in case one breaks, or if it just feels old and out of shape.
I like to think of heads the way most guitarists think of strings. They're a necessity, and it's always good to have a spare when you need it. Make a drum fund. Ten bucks here and there and you've got enough for a set.
The world is your oyster.
 

robyn64

Member
It absolutely makes sense! And you can certainly get your drums into a condition so that they sound really good for playing country music. And while you don't have resonant heads on your toms now, you'll definitely notice the difference once you put them on. They'll sound fuller and have more tone than they do currently.
If it were me and I was playing country music [low-mid intensity/power level, beat-keeping], I'd look for heads that would give me good tone at low volumes, which to me would mean a nice, standard [Ambassador-weight...or around 7.5mm] batter head, with a thin resonant head [Hazy 300/200 or Ambassador/Diplomat resonant head]. This way you'll get good tone out of the drums without much power effort.
The thicker you go on heads, the harder they'll have to be hit to produce the sweet™ tone. And since you'll want definition at low volume and intensity levels, you'll need a head that responds well to light hits.
There are exceptions to everything, so you'll likely hear many suggestions. For example, maybe going with a 2-ply batter head on your toms and putting resonant heads on will give you a rounder, mellower tone. Or using same weighted heads on both sides. There are many things you could try. Ultimately it'll be up to your ears [and to some extent, the ears of those you work with].

Once you get the sound you like, might I suggest buying a replacement set as well [of batter heads at least] at the same time. This way you'll have a backup in case one breaks, or if it just feels old and out of shape.
I like to think of heads the way most guitarists think of strings. They're a necessity, and it's always good to have a spare when you need it. Make a drum fund. Ten bucks here and there and you've got enough for a set.
The world is your oyster.
thanks for your help mike, appreciate it. i understand what you mean about guitar strings, i am more of a guitarists then a drummer, i'm really neither, i just love music and like to play around with it.
 
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