Remo Pinstripes and Birch Drums

yammyfan

Senior Member
As recommended by a number of DW members, I decided to give Remo Pinstripes a try on my birch kit. In this case, I'm using Yamaha Birch Custom Absolutes.

They were right about that combination!

The Pinstripes provide plenty of attack and body with a lovely warmth. Sustain isn't as pronounced as with single ply heads (even coated) and overtones are reduced slightly without masking the character of the shells. The drums needed zero dampening with the Pinstripes though I did add one Moongel to the 16" FT to shorten its sustain a little more.

I'm sure that there are more than a few Jazz players who play Pinstripes but I would characterize them as ideal Rock/Country/Pop drum heads. They strike me (pun intended) as very durable.

I love the Pinstripe/birch combo. What's your take on them?
 

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dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Maybe it's my particular drums, but I picked up the matching 24/14R/18F for my sea blue face Birch Absolutes, and those two toms came with Pinstripes, and I hated them. Especially on the 18, it was too muffled and sounded and felt way more dead than a drum that expensive should sound and feel IMO. I've got Clear Emperors on all those toms now and they sound and feel much more open and responsive, and I don't have to use muffling on any of them.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Maybe it's my particular drums, but I picked up the matching 24/14R/18F for my sea blue face Birch Absolutes, and those two toms came with Pinstripes, and I hated them. Especially on the 18, it was too muffled and sounded and felt way more dead than a drum that expensive should sound and feel IMO. I've got Clear Emperors on all those toms now and they sound and feel much more open and responsive, and I don't have to use muffling on any of them.
Interesting take. I do tend to favour a boxier "classic rock" sound.

I tried clear G2's and coated Ambassadors on this kit before and the drums sang beautifully with them but it was almost too much. I might give coated Emperors a shot soon.

My practice room (pictured) might have something to do with that. It's only 10' x 10' and it doesn't do any of my kits justice. They all sound better in bigger rooms.

Do you still have your Absolutes?
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Pinstripes on my Recording Custom's & will be going on my Rock Tour Custom's soon as well. Just the perfect head for these drums :)
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Pinstripes on my Recording Custom's & will be going on my Rock Tour Custom's soon as well. Just the perfect head for these drums :)
I think you're one of the members who recommended Pinstripes - thanks! Remo Black Dots work well for you too, correct?
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
I think you're one of the members who recommended Pinstripes - thanks! Remo Black Dots work well for you too, correct?
Yes, Was me :) The Black Dot's are indeed great on the RTC's. Love the old skool look & sound of them :)
The kit originally came with Pinstripes from new as did the RC's. Yamaha certainly did their homework with them back then.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I'm normally not a fan of Pinstripes, but on Birch drums (that can sometimes lack warmth) I can see how they would be great.

My practice room (pictured) might have something to do with that. It's only 10' x 10' and it doesn't do any of my kits justice. They all sound better in bigger rooms.
You owe it to yourself to acoustically treat the room somewhat. Make some DIY acoustic panels or buy foam, and get a few bass traps in the corners. It works wonders!
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
It depends on what sound you like. Personally, pinstripes are my favorite heads but then I'm mostly a classic rock and country music type guy.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I'm normally not a fan of Pinstripes, but on Birch drums (that can sometimes lack warmth) I can see how they would be great.



You owe it to yourself to acoustically treat the room somewhat. Make some DIY acoustic panels or buy foam, and get a few bass traps in the corners. It works wonders!
The photos don't show it but I've done exactly that, thanks. I bought a bunch of foam tiles and placed them strategically throughout the room. There's very little echo in there now though it's not bone-dry sounding either.

I haven't done much for bass traps other than storing my gigging kit in cases in the corners of the room. I'm not unhappy with the bass response in there though the kit really could use more room to breathe.

I appreciate the tip!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The Yamaha Recording Customs came with Pinstripes from the factory, so that pairing of birch shell/head combo has been around for a long, long time. Some 40 plus years.​
I played Pins on my RC's for years, but later gravitated to coated Emperors or coated G2's batter,
but it's all a matter of personal taste.​
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I used to love pinstripes, then I went on a single ply bender. Haven't had any pinstripes in forever, and have been thinking about revisiting them.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Added the 8" rack tom to the kit. So much fun to play!

Probably going to try coated Emperors next. I'm spending a fortune trying out different heads but it's interesting to hear the differences between them. I've had better luck with Remo heads on this kit though the Evans G2 Clear were perfectly fine. The differences are not massive, honestly.
 

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tfgretsch

Junior Member
I have a yamaha stage custom 100% birch kit rack toms 8",12"'14" Floor tom 16" . I used to have pinstripes on top with clear ambassadors on bottom. they had a great sound for rock. then i heard the same type kit with Evans EC2 clear batters ,and i liked the sound. i switched my tom batters to EC2'S ,thet have good attack,but they have a warmer ,richer tone then the pinstripes,very happy with them.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
My kit is a Pearl Session Studio Select (Birch/Mahogany). On my toms and bass, I'm currently running Ebony Pinstripes, which emphasize low-end tones with short sustain. I love them. I play mostly country.

My snare is a Pearl Sensitone Aluminum (14 x 6.5). I use a Coated Ambassador on that.
 

iCe

Senior Member
Funny that this thread pops up, because I'm thinking of getting Pinstripes as well (for my Pearl Masters BCX kit, also birch).
Also looked at the thread C.M. Jones had posted on the ebony version.
I've read multiple posts in the past (here and on another forum) that birch drums and Pinstripes really like each other.
Think I'll go with the clear version so i don't over muffle the drums. For years I've wanted to try a Pinstripe on the bass drum as well, but i don't see a lot of drummers doing that or that i can find a review somewhere.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
For years I've wanted to try a Pinstripe on the bass drum as well, but i don't see a lot of drummers doing that or that i can find a review somewhere.
I love the Ebony Pinstripe I put on my bass drum recently. It makes a deep, dark thud, very heavy on the low end. I intend to stick with that sound indefinitely.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Pins used to get beat up here a lot. That may or may not be accurate, but that's my impressions.

It doesn't feel like that any more. It seems like the attitudes are shifting again.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Pins used to get beat up here a lot. That may or may not be accurate, but that's my impressions.

It doesn't feel like that any more. It seems like the attitudes are shifting again.
I agree. Pinstripes suffered from an irrational bias for a time. Some drummers deemed them unmusical, opting instead for more open sounds. The fact remains that musicality is a personal term. Pinstripes are very musical if you're searching for mid-to-low-range tones with controlled sustain. Drums don't need soprano voices to be musical.
 

iCe

Senior Member
Years back i also said 'i don't like Pinstripes and sound like crap', but in hindsight and with years of more experience it was just that the tuning of those kits were terrible. Most drumsets in practice spaces or at jamsessions always had Pinstripes on them due to how long they last. But the change was when i played a new kit at a practice space with new heads (Pinstripes) that sounded absolutely divine.

And in this vid they sound really nice! Obviously a great kit and great drummer, but compared to the other vids with other heads I like this sound the most.


I think I'm going to take the plunge at get Pinstripes for my 2 bass drums as well. Either that or clear Emperors. I've always loved the bass drum sound Mike Portnoy had on his Purple Monster, which had Pinstripes on them. Hoping to get near that sound, but i don't have illusions to sound the same because a) I'm not Mike Portnoy, b) i have a birch and not maple ki,t c) i use 22" bass drums and not 24" and d) again, I'm not Mike Portnoy
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Based on my own experiences with birch drums (with sharp bearing edges) they sure seem to benefit from a head that takes the edge off the attack. I usually used EC2's or Performance 2's, both of which behave very similarly to Pinstripes, and I really liked the sound.
 
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