Remo Ambassadors as tom batters?

rmac86

Member
I was reading up on some artists I like to listen to and it appears Chris Sharrock (Robbie Williams, Oasis, Beady Eye etc.) uses Ambassadors for both his snare and tom batters. Many local drummers, including my first teacher had always told me that ambassadors are only ever to be used as a resonant head, or as a snare batter at a push. Is this wrong information if indeed other drummers are using an ambassador batter on toms? What could be the negative effects?

Then today I was in my local music shop and was advised by a fellow musician against putting ambassadors on tom batters, with the only reason given for doing so is that they are a single ply head and should only ever be used as a reso. I am seriously questioning now my decision to do this - any advice?

Oh, if it helps the kit these are going onto will be Pearl VBL Bop kit with an additional 16" floor tom and the styles being played are rock, funk and pop. Really after a nice fat tom sound. I suppose the alternative is just to stick to ambassador resos and use something like emperors as the batters, as this combo has always worked well for me in the past.


Thanks,

R.
 

newoldie

Silver Member
I play blues and rock and have Remo Ambassador batters on all 3 kits' mounted toms, which are either 10 x 8 or 12 x 8. I don't like to over-muffle the natural sound with a 2 ply on the small toms.

I use a 2 ply batter or slightly thicker batter than the Ambassador on my floor toms.
 

Ron_M

Senior Member
You've gotten some bad advice. Ambassadors are a 10 mil single-ply head, and are commonly used as batters, as are Evans G1 heads (equivalent). Maybe they're thinking of diplomat weight heads, which are 7 mil single-ply, and are rarely used as batters, but may be appropriate depending on the application. BTW, I've been using ambassadors, tops and bottoms, toms, bass, and snare for years.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Ambassadors or other brand equivalent are still my go-to batters for snare and toms, even after 40 years. I sometimes use and enjoy other heads, but the Ambassador is the gold standard for comparison.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Ambassadors have been on tom batters since the start. It's the perfect thickness for a plastic drumhead, 10 mil is, IMO. Equal parts attack and tone. Evans G1 has a shallower collar, which I prefer. Coated or clear, your choice. Clear has more attack, coated is a touch mellower.
 

porter

Platinum Member
You've gotten some bad advice. Ambassadors are a 10 mil single-ply head, and are commonly used as batters, as are Evans G1 heads (equivalent). Maybe they're thinking of diplomat weight heads, which are 7 mil single-ply, and are rarely used as batters, but may be appropriate depending on the application.
Agreed heartily. Dave Weckl has used Coated Ambassadors on all of his drums (including kick I believe) for years. Single ply 10-mils are great heads and, dare I say, the industry standard for snare batter heads.

However, if you're looking to tune low and get a thick sound, they might not be the best choice – but you can certainly try.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
rma86:

You did get the correct advice from your local drummers and your first teacher.

I'm sure they were not using Ambassador batter heads when they were playing death metal concerts at the big arenas.
Ambassador drum heads don't work well when pounded on with 2B drum sticks on fully mic'ed drum sets.
You would have to replace the heads after each concert.


.
 

double_G

Silver Member
You've gotten some bad advice. Ambassadors are a 10 mil single-ply head, and are commonly used as batters, as are Evans G1 heads (equivalent). Maybe they're thinking of diplomat weight heads, which are 7 mil single-ply, and are rarely used as batters, but may be appropriate depending on the application. BTW, I've been using ambassadors, tops and bottoms, toms, bass, and snare for years.
Ron is correct; this is bull crap advice. Simon Phillips has been running Clear 10 mil Ambassadors for a long LONG damn time & sounds fabulous. i have done the same for years. i even pounded on 7 mil coated Diplomats as batters w/ no issues. F that guy.

+ http://www.simon-phillips.com/equipment.php
 
M

MinnGuy

Guest
I had a student years ago who was trying to figure out which heads to use, and he did the same thing you did - he looked up which heads his favorite players used. (He was into rock and metal.) They were using coated ambassadors as batters, so he bought a set. They sounded great, until he started to dent them. He asked me what was going on - did these guys really use those heads? I told him that they did, because they were Remo endorsers, and because they were Remo endorsers, they got them practically for free so they could afford to replace them every show. He couldn't, so he switched to Emperors, and that worked out great.
Remo Ambassadors have been used by tens of thousands of drummers as batter heads for 50+ years, so anyone that says that they should never be used as batter heads is letting their personal preference get it the way of the facts. They may not be the best choice, depending on your style of music, but they have been proven to be a viable choice.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I use clear Ambassadors over stocks on my Ludwig kit. No issues whatsoever. Just a nice bright and punchy attack with lots of tone. I use Emperors over Generas on my Tama kit. Those drums are huge though. They need Emps or even Pinners.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I had a student years ago who was trying to figure out which heads to use, and he did the same thing you did - he looked up which heads his favorite players used. (He was into rock and metal.) They were using coated ambassadors as batters, so he bought a set. They sounded great, until he started to dent them. He asked me what was going on - did these guys really use those heads? I told him that they did, because they were Remo endorsers, and because they were Remo endorsers, they got them practically for free so they could afford to replace them every show. He couldn't, so he switched to Emperors, and that worked out great.
Remo Ambassadors have been used by tens of thousands of drummers as batter heads for 50+ years, so anyone that says that they should never be used as batter heads is letting their personal preference get it the way of the facts. They may not be the best choice, depending on your style of music, but they have been proven to be a viable choice.
As the teacher, couldn't you have taught him to play properly off the drum and not dent them?
 

hippy chip

Silver Member
Ambassadors are the first thing I put on any kit to get a base line for what the shells are going to sound like---I can usually get them to tune up and sound good, and decide from there if I need make a change on a tom or 2. If you are denting a 10 mil head you are hitting too hard (or playing death metal)
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Seen plenty of kids beat their drums like they were trying to hit a nail through a wall. No wonder some dents show up then, but I must admit I don't understand how anyone with anything even resembling propper technique could dent a head, regardless of head thickness or stick weight.

I expect people aren't using metal sticks on anything but their pads, but who knows.
 

Defender

Silver Member
I went out and bought a G1 for one of my snares because the sound needed to be opened up more. I hit hard (so hard that I've switched from hickory sticks to oak sticks because I was breaking the hickory so fast--a pair probably every 2 weeks of practicing). I've probably wacked on the G1 head for a good solid 10 sets and it's holding up wonderfully. So, yeah, as mentioned above, I don't see a reason why you would dent a G1 or an Ambassador head unless you were actually trying too.

Peace, Defender
 
M

MinnGuy

Guest
As the teacher, couldn't you have taught him to play properly off the drum and not dent them?
How do you know I didn't?
I don't know if you teach or not, but here's how it works :
In the time you're with the student you can show them how to play properly, but outside of lessons they're free to do what they want. Maybe he was really getting into the music and the adrenaline got the best of him. Or, maybe everything was too loud and he felt like he had to pound away just to hear himself. Then again, maybe he had his drums tuned really low, making them more susceptible to denting even with proper technique. But I suppose you're going to tell me it was my job as his teacher to show him how to tune his drums properly so they wouldn't dent . . .
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Yep, you can use Ambassadors as batters, lots of players do. Weckl, Jordan, even Virgil Donati. Back in the day, Ambassadors would probably be the only thing your local shop would have. It's a very cool sound.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
How do you know I didn't
I don't. I based my response on your words indicating that you told him to just buy heavier heads. He won't be the first or last person to buy them for that reason.

Regardless, my opinion is that if your student can't even play with enough control to not dent heads, then you should help with that; and just having him buy tougher heads is really not addressing a serious problem in his playing. Poor technique can cause horrible internal injuries and obviously cost them money in heads and equipment.

But I suppose you're going to tell me it was my job as his teacher to show him how to tune his drums properly so they wouldn't dent . . .
Not unless I was your student. In that case I would tell you that very thing, very confidently.

I've had several good teachers, and in almost all cases, some of the first things we review and/or fix is basic stroke technique and instrument maintenance. Two even had me bring one of my own drums in so they could tune it with me and I would have a reference point. To be very frank, having a properly tuned kit that sounds nice to play is often a big part of keeping new players interested and not frustrated.

I won't assume, but I hope people aren't paying you to neglect the most important aspects of playing the drums.
 

Bull

Gold Member
Contrary to popular belief,most Death Metal drummers would have better luck with Ambassadors than traditional Metal/Hard Rock/Hardcore drummers. At the speeds they are playing ,they really aren't hitting that hard.

I'm a big guy, playing with big sticks, in a loud band. I never break heads or dent them but I will dish out a 10 mil snare head quickly and render it un-tunable
 
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