Possibly an obvious question about tension rods.

AdamI

Well-known member
I've been having issues with the tension rods backing out of my snare when I play rimshots and was looking at the solutions available on the market and came to this conclusion.... why can't I just use a nut?

If I put a nut on the tension rod between the hoop and the lug, tune the drum and tighten the nut down to the lug, won't that hold it in place fairly well?? Maybe add a rubber washer if necessary but looking at all the products available this seems like the most obvious, cheapest and easiest solution, no?
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
How do you tune a drum, then tension a nut below the tuning rod top? The nut is totally going to get in the way, tighten before you want it to.
Just bite the bullet and buy a couple of lug-lock type devices, like 'tunerfish'
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Like @Chris Whitten stated, once they are locked you cant tune without undoing them. That's twice the work. Now you also need a wrench as well as a drum key.

As well as lug locks, you can use some teflon tape, or leather washers too. Basically anything to add friction to slow rotation.
 

AdamI

Well-known member
Like @Chris Whitten stated, once they are locked you cant tune without undoing them. That's twice the work. Now you also need a wrench as well as a drum key.

As well as lug locks, you can use some teflon tape, or leather washers too. Basically anything to add friction to slow rotation.
I guess in theory, if you have the drum tuned how you want it it's going to stay there indefinitely.... set it, let the head stretch, adjust it, set it again and then forget it.

I wouldn't need to retune nearly as often so it wouldn't be a huge issue to loosen a nut to do that once in a while. And a wrench isn't going to be a whole lot of extra gear to have if that means my lugs are going to stay put. It would be worth it for me and potentially be a set and forget option for a drum that is constantly detuning.... it lasts a song or two before it starts to wander.

I get that it's not ideal for everyone in every situation but for someone who is looking at locks that will keep the lugs where I put them long term does it potentially make sense? A lot of the products I've looked at seem overpriced and convoluted in comparison to a regular old nut.
 

AdamI

Well-known member
How do you tune a drum, then tension a nut below the tuning rod top? The nut is totally going to get in the way, tighten before you want it to.
Just bite the bullet and buy a couple of lug-lock type devices, like 'tunerfish'
I thought I could tune it, hold it in position with the key and tighten the nut down.

I don't mind spending the extra money, I was just looking at solutions that are a bit more solid than the usual lug locks/tunerfish types and came across what are essentially overpriced nuts or collars that you screw up against the threads of the tension rod which seemed convoluted.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
guess in theory, if you have the drum tuned how you want it it's going to stay there indefinitely.... set it, let the head stretch, adjust it, set it again and then forget it.
Drum tunings change with weather also. Just because you tune it on a tuesday and lock it in does not mean it will still have the same tuning on wednesday. Remember, humidity effects wood, and all things expand and contract some with temperature changes.

Another thing to consider is the stick hitting the head. It stretches over time. That also changes the tuning.
 

AdamI

Well-known member
Drum tunings change with weather also. Just because you tune it on a tuesday and lock it in does not mean it will still have the same tuning on wednesday. Remember, humidity effects wood, and all things expand and contract some with temperature changes.

Another thing to consider is the stick hitting the head. It stretches over time. That also changes the tuning.
I feel like you guys are telling me to get better at tuning and I reeeally don't like that answer :D
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I feel like you guys are telling me to get better at tuning and I reeeally don't like than answer :D
There are plenty of devices available to help you. Lots of folks really like the TuneBot.
 

J-W

Well-known member
I've been having issues with the tension rods backing out of my snare when I play rimshots and was looking at the solutions available on the market and came to this conclusion.... why can't I just use a nut?

If I put a nut on the tension rod between the hoop and the lug, tune the drum and tighten the nut down to the lug, won't that hold it in place fairly well??

Yes, it absolutely will work despite what others have said. Ludwig makes what is essentially a lock nut that goes between the lug and hoop. The advantage of these is that they can be tightened easier by hand than a hex nut, but it doesn't really take much tension to hold the tuning.

1624976617866.png

These came on my Coliseum snare and they work wonderfully. The only hang-up (if you could even call it that) is that the tension rods stay on the hoop during a head swap. The advantage is that you won't lose or drop tension rods OR locking devices during a head change.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Yes, it absolutely will work despite what others have said. Ludwig makes what is essentially a lock nut that goes between the lug and hoop. The advantage of these is that they can be tightened easier by hand than a hex nut, but it doesn't really take much tension to hold the tuning.

View attachment 105838

These came on my Coliseum snare and they work wonderfully. The only hang-up (if you could even call it that) is that the tension rods stay on the hoop during a head swap. The advantage is that you won't lose or drop tension rods OR locking devices during a head change.
Hadent seen these before. Being that the flange on hoops arent always flat, do you lock them to the hoop or the lug? Much better than hex nuts, no tool required.
 

J-W

Well-known member
Hadent seen these before. Being that the flange on hoops arent always flat, do you lock them to the hoop or the lug? Much better than hex nuts, no tool required.

You tighten them against the lug insert, just like the picture shows.
I'm a heavy rimshot player, so detuned lugs at or near the impact can be a problem, but these keep things tight for me.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Lock nuts work well, and I have them on all of the drums on my kit. Sure, there are better alternatives, as others have pointed out, but they are pricier.

If you do go the lock nut route, make sure you buy ones with a nylon insert, as they will hold better and reduce metal-on-metal contact.

Another option though, is a drum torque wrench; it won't stop your drums from de-tuning, but tuning them back to where you want them is quick and easy.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Yes, it absolutely will work despite what others have said. Ludwig makes what is essentially a lock nut that goes between the lug and hoop. The advantage of these is that they can be tightened easier by hand than a hex nut, but it doesn't really take much tension to hold the tuning.

View attachment 105838

These came on my Coliseum snare and they work wonderfully. The only hang-up (if you could even call it that) is that the tension rods stay on the hoop during a head swap. The advantage is that you won't lose or drop tension rods OR locking devices during a head change.
Those look exactly like the Pearl TL 20/10 lug nuts I use on my main snare. They work very well, but I quickly learned that they work best when tightened to a thick nylon washer between the nut and the lug. That way you can crank them down a bit tighter as the nylon washer compresses.
 
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J-W

Well-known member
Those look exactly like the Pearl TL 20/10 lug nuts I use on my main snare. They work very well, but I quickly learned that they work best when tightened to a thick nylon washer between the nut and the lug. That way you can crack them down a bit tighter as the nylon washer compresses.

I think Ahead makes the exact same thing too.
The nylon washer makes sense, but I haven't had any issues going without. That said, I've only used them on snares and not toms. I'd imagine having less tension on the lugs on toms might make the nylon washer more of a necessity.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I think Ahead makes the exact same thing too.
The nylon washer makes sense, but I haven't had any issues going without. That said, I've only used them on snares and not toms. I'd imagine having less tension on the lugs on toms might make the nylon washer more of a necessity.
Actually, mine didn't really work at all until I added the nylon washers. And I only use them on my main snare, which I play at a medium to medium-tight tension. For my toms, I use Tuner Fish lug locks, but only on the few tension rods that tend to loosen regularly.
 

J-W

Well-known member
Actually, mine didn't really work at all until I added the nylon washers. And I only use them on my main snare, which I play at a medium to medium-tight tension. For my toms, I use Tuner Fish lug locks, but only on the few tension rods that tend to loosen regularly.

They work fine for me, but once I have them finger tight against the lug insert, I take the key and give the rod a slight bit of a tighten. It doesn't actually turn, but it's enough to stretch the threads adequately to keep tension.
 
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