Remo Coated Ambassador X on Snare?

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Edit: I started this thread to gather impressions on the Coated Ambassador X's performance as a snare head. I've decided, though, to stick with the regular Coated Ambassador. Feel free, however, to continue to post your opinions of the Coated Ambassador X. Your reviews might be beneficial to other readers.
 
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Stroman

Platinum Member
I have tried it, and I have tried the reverse dot X version, too. I have to say I don't prefer them. They have a bit different overtone series that my ear didn't like. I wouldn't describe the head as warmer, based on the drums I tried it with (brass Pork Pie, an Acrolite, and a Pearl Sensitone aluminum.) Since you use wood snares, you may get different results. I hate to discourage experimentation!
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I have one off the drum right now. I noticed it just the other day. It looks like it still has some life left in it, I don't remember how it sounded though, or what drum it was on. I have a 6 1/2 × 14 wood Yamaha from 1988 that I'd like to tune lower, but I keep tuning it higher because I don't like it's sound. It has a reverse dot EC Evans head on it right now. Maybe I'll put that ambassador x on today and get back with you.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I hate to discourage experimentation!
Thanks, Stroman. Please do discourage experimentation if your review of the head suggests it won't produce the results I want. Removing a head, replacing it with a different model, and pinpointing the tuning range of the new head takes time and effort. Because the regular Coated Ambassador is so wonderfully versatile (low, medium, high, open, or muted), I'm obviously hesitant to depart from it.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I have one off the drum right now. I noticed it just the other day. It looks like it still has some life left in it, I don't remember how it sounded though, or what drum it was on. I have a 6 1/2 × 14 wood Yamaha from 1988 that I'd like to tune lower, but I keep tuning it higher because I don't like it's sound. It has a reverse dot EC Evans head on it right now. Maybe I'll put that ambassador x on today and get back with you.
Thanks, lefty2. I look forward to your impressions.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I used one on a Tama snare years ago and quite liked it but my ear wasn't as sophisticated back then as it is now. I'm not a fan of regular coated Ambassadors however - they sound brittle to me. I much prefer Remo CS coated batter heads, and by a wide margin.

Having said that, I'd choose an Ambassador X over a regular Ambassador, given the choice. It's not much of a gamble.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I used one on a Tama snare years ago and quite liked it but my ear wasn't as sophisticated back then as it is now. I'm not a fan of regular coated Ambassadors however - they sound brittle to me. I much prefer Remo CS coated batter heads, and by a wide margin.

Having said that, I'd choose an Ambassador X over a regular Ambassador, given the choice. It's not much of a gamble.
Thanks for your insight. I tried a CS on a snare quite a while back. It sounded fine, but something about the dot influenced the feel in a way I didn't like. I'm probably just so firmly grounded in the Coated Ambassador camp that any alternative seems odd on a snare.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I am using one now and also a X14. 95% of my snare heads have been ambasadors but sometimes I find a drum that needs something a little different. I've used CS heads a few times but I agree the feel is a bit stiff, I don't get that with the X or X14. I favor metal drums so at times a little focus is needed. My wood drums are mostly solids which can sound like metal drums too. You'd have to try one but for wood ply drums I doubt you'll notice a big difference,

YMMV
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
You'd have to try one but for wood ply drums I doubt you'll notice a big difference.
Thanks for your perspective. I'm leaning toward agreement with your above assessment -- that the difference will be negligible and probably not worth the trouble. The proposition has nothing to do with durability in my case, as I'm not a heavy hitter who wears through snare heads quickly. Staying true to classic Coated Ambassadors is probably the best option for me.
 
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ToneT

Well-known member
Thanks for your perspective. I'm leaning toward agreement with your above assessment -- that the difference will be negligible and probably not worth the trouble. The proposition has nothing to do with durability in my case, as I'm not a heavy hitter who wears through snare heads quickly. Staying true to classic Coated Ambassadors is probably the best option for me.
I've always placed a cut-out muffling ring from an old head on my lower pitched snares for overtone control and a thicker, darker timbre. Like you, I've stuck with good old ambassadors on all my snares, regardless of pitch.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I tried to make a video using a Zoom Q3 camera but my new laptop will not take the mov files for some reason. I was able to get the audio from the videos though. The drum is a 88 mod. Yam. PTC 6 1\2 X 14 and has Fat cat snare wires, cast aluminum hoops, sharp barring edge, and is birch mahogany birch (6 ply I think) shell. Each track is a different tuning with moon gel and wide open playing as well as snares turned off for a few notes. It could be my tuning but it only sounds good to me in the higher tuning ranges.
track 1 0050 is low tuning
track 2 0051 is med tuning
track 3 0052 is higher tuning
https://soundcloud.com/user-374214121%2Fsets%2Fmike-nichols
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've always placed a cut-out muffling ring from an old head on my lower pitched snares for overtone control and a thicker, darker timbre. Like you, I've stuck with good old ambassadors on all my snares, regardless of pitch.
That's my convention for lower snare tunings too. I place a Remo tone-control ring on my batter to quell the overtones, and I'm ready to go. My snare is usually tight with no muting at all, however. I go low only for select applications. I doubt I'll ever adapt to the feel or sound of a low snare. Cleanliness, crispness, and crack, along with effortless rebound, have always been my signature snare traits.

I've never found a snare head I've liked more than the Coated Ambassador. No matter what I've dabbled with, I've always retuned to the Ambassador in a matter of weeks. Leaving well enough alone makes the most sense.
 

wraub

Well-known member
I use that head on my 10" side snare- it seems to tame some overtones and add some warmth to that drum that previous heads lacked.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I tried to make a video using a Zoom Q3 camera but my new laptop will not take the mov files for some reason. I was able to get the audio from the videos though. The drum is a 88 mod. Yam. PTC 6 1\2 X 14 and has Fat cat snare wires, cast aluminum hoops, sharp barring edge, and is birch mahogany birch (6 ply I think) shell. Each track is a different tuning with moon gel and wide open playing as well as snares turned off for a few notes. It could be my tuning but it only sounds good to me in the higher tuning ranges.
track 1 0050 is low tuning
track 2 0051 is med tuning
track 3 0052 is higher tuning
https://soundcloud.com/user-374214121%2Fsets%2Fmike-nichols
". . .sharp barring edge, and is birch mahogany birch (6 ply I think) shell."

Incidentally, the snares I'm playing right now are both 14"x5.5" birch/African mahogany six-ply shells with 60-degree bearing edges. Your drum is deeper, but your demo is otherwise spot-on!

"It could be my tuning, but it only sounds good to me in the higher tuning ranges."

Ha! I can relate to that judgement. All snares sound better tuned high to me. That's just the vibe I've always gone for.

Thanks very much for the files. I think I'll just stay put with the traditional Coated Ambassador. It's never disappointed me. I'm pretty faithful to reliable resources.
 
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Phil A.

Junior Member
I played one on a friend's acrolite. I liked it, to me it played like an ambassador with a bit more focus and body. It also had a softer feel under the sticks.
 

Mendozart

Platinum Member
They are my go to snare drum batter on all my spun-fiberglass snares. (Blaemire/Jenkins-Martin) I don’t like the CS versions though. To me, they just add a little fatness to the regular Ambassador.
 
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