Question on DW cymbal felts

GCRoberts

Well-known member
I'm a first year drummer on my first drum kit (DW Performance), so I'll be asking dumb questions for a few more years! :cool: I understand that you shouldn't over tighten the cymbal wing nuts. The DW felts seem to be so sturdy that there's a fine line between loose and snug. Just seems like you can't snug the wing nut at all and still allow the cymbals to be loose, the wing nut has to be so loose that you swear it is going to spin round by itself when you're playing from the vibrations. Are DW felts unusually stiff?
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
It's been a while since I played DW, but I do remember the new felts being very firm. Plus they had (have?) a plastic cover on the top one. They will relax with time, but never compress like cheaper felts. Which is a good thing - at least I think so.

I seem to remember being able to adjust the height/position of the cymbal seat on DW arms? Using a drum key to loosen a small bolt, and slide the cymbal seat up/down a bit. Maybe just the ones I had?
 

GCRoberts

Well-known member
It's been a while since I played DW, but I do remember the new felts being very firm. Plus they had (have?) a plastic cover on the top one. They will relax with time, but never compress like cheaper felts. Which is a good thing - at least I think so.

I seem to remember being able to adjust the height/position of the cymbal seat on DW arms? Using a drum key to loosen a small bolt, and slide the cymbal seat up/down a bit. Maybe just the ones I had?
Some of the DW felts have a plastic cover....some don't. I think they sell both versions. Yes, you can adjust the base using a drum key, and I've done that. But it seems to always come down to the pads being a little too firm in my opinion. But as a newbie, I always like to get the opinions of people who aren't newbies! :cool:
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm a first year drummer on my first drum kit (DW Performance), so I'll be asking dumb questions for a few more years! :cool: I understand that you shouldn't over tighten the cymbal wing nuts.

Industrial felts come in a variety of different forms, though I guess you could categorize different drum felts as being high, medium, and low density for the sake of simplicity. Nobody here is going to be able to tell the difference between F-2 and F-3 for the purpose of hanging cymbals.

My 2¢

Temporarily remove your wingnuts and top felts, leaving only your bottom felt and sleeve. This is what your cymbals feel like in their unencumbered state, and is the desired feel for a great many genre. Play in this wingnut-less configuration for a while... A week, a month, etc. Once you're accustomed to it, put the top felt and wingnuts back on and feel/listen for the differences.

Don't sweat the density, as all felt will eventually be low-density given enough time and wear. Felts are cheap. Spend $20 on a variety and test them if you're curious. My Gibraltars are somewhere near F7/F11 and I've never had reason to change them.

FWIW, I yanked my nuts off a few years back and really haven't encountered a need for them since.. I think I put them on for one recording a year back. I'm going to go out on a limb and make the assertion that about half the drummers here go wingnut-less/commando the majority of the time. Perhaps a poll would clarify.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
Generally, too tight is when the cymbal doesn't move when you touch it with your hand.
What I do is drop the cymbal seat pretty much all the way down and then put the top felt on, and close the gap if needed. None of my cymbals are "tight" and are able to move freely. They aren't as free as they would be without a felt, but they aren't "tight" by any means.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
As KamaK inferred, I think, some people use no wing nuts at all. Maybe out gigging, some still not, but in home or studio, take them off.
 

madjack956

Well-known member
It's been a while since I played DW, but I do remember the new felts being very firm. Plus they had (have?) a plastic cover on the top one. They will relax with time, but never compress like cheaper felts. Which is a good thing - at least I think so.

I seem to remember being able to adjust the height/position of the cymbal seat on DW arms? Using a drum key to loosen a small bolt, and slide the cymbal seat up/down a bit. Maybe just the ones I had?
If you adjust the seat down far enough you will be able to tighten the wing nut until it stops and still have ample room for your cymbal to move. All of mine are adjusted this way on my Performance series.
 
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Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
I'm going to go out on a limb and make the assertion that about half the drummers here go wingnut-less/commando the majority of the time.

There’s always something free about going commando... :LOL:

I for one use the PinchClips & they give me the best of both worlds. Just tight enough for cymbal control, loose enough for the cymbal to swing freely.
I have a small pencil bag-type container full of felts & use a variety of sizes to achieve what I need. As long as the cymbals can move, I’m not concerned about cracks.
The only one I clamp tight is my China & thats on a spring mount.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I don't use wingnuts on my cymbals. I change cymbals sometimes and the wingnuts get in the way. Besides I don't need them. My cymbals never come off the stands.
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
I don't think I've used wingnuts for over ten years. Nothing wrong with using them of course but just don't crank down on the cymbal. If it can swing freely, you're fine.
 
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