Remo Renaissance heads on a drum set

Cymbalrider

Pioneer Member
I made a similar question about a year ago and no one ever had any answers, so I though I would ask again. Has anyone tried Renaissance heads on toms or a bass drum (I know how they are on snares) or a drum kit? What does it sound like compared to other heads? I'm considering something different for my Gretsch kit (13,16,18,26) to get that vintage sound. I have coated g2s over coated g1s right now and the bass has a coated eq1 over coated g1. These heads work well, but I was hoping to get more of that round warm tone. I know Fiberskyns could work, but I'm interested in Renaissance heads' performance.
 

m1ck

Senior Member
I asked about these recently and got few responses. That tells me that not many people use them.

I had a Remo Renaissance on a doumbek, so I kinda know what they are, but that's very different. I was thinking it might make a good snare head because it was warm, sensitive and sweet sounding.

The few responses I got suggested that they are, in fact, sensitive.

I would love to hear/play a complete kit outfitted with them just to see how they perform.
 

Cymbalrider

Pioneer Member
I've seen them on tympani and concert bass drums as well as a few snares but not what they would do on tom toms or kick drums. I'm thinking it's a warm open sound, I'm just not sure if it's too open, being that the attack is covered up by the resonance or not.
 

dkerwood

Silver Member
I played in a jazz band with a cat who had the Renaissance heads on everything (I thought they were the Ren Ambassador, but they were translucent, so maybe Emperors). Very open sound, just like you would expect. Lots of sustain, which worked very well for jazz. We also did a Rhythm and Blues band with this guy, and it worked well for that.

He had a Fiberskyn on his kick, though, so I can't speak to the Ren heads on that.

If nothing else, buy one for a tom and see what you think.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I've tried them on several snares, a couple of 14" floor toms and a 10" tom. They sound great on a snare drum (reminded me of a coated diplomat) for a sensitive feel. They seem to have a little more "give", like you're playing on a trampoline versus a countertop at tight tensions.

I didn't like their sound so much on the toms. I thought it lacked focus. Plus, the feel wasn't "right". I prefer coated ambassadors, and even coated emperors, to the renaissance heads. Just my opinion, though.
 

Cymbalrider

Pioneer Member
I'm leaning more towards Fiberskyns because I am familiar with them, and they seem to emulate calf-skin and that old fashioned sound. Renaissance heads tend to just be a warm, sustained head, with a soft attack. I wonder why Remo markets them both as 'calf-like sound and feel'.
 

Clayton_C

Senior Member
I have been using a 14" Renaissance for my snare head... and I'll be honest, I HATE it. Just today, I took it to a gig, and for jazz, it looks great, but no matter what tuning I try to apply (and I assure you that I've tried many combinations, both ridiculous and perfectly within reason), there is still a very detached feeling within the drum, almost as if the snare is more like a timbale than a snare drum. I don't know what it is, but I can't get a good buzz out of the snare.

I'm sure it would sound great if you wanted a very, very, very authentic Gene Krupa-esque sound, with the sort of tacky-thwacky effect on all the drums... but for some reason (and maybe my head's just defective, I don't know) it just doesn't sound jazzy enough for me.
 

rjsteinbach

Senior Member
I have tried remaissance emps on my toms 12 and 16. From the size of your drums it seems you play rock, I do too. They had great tonality. Very round warm sound and a beautiful sustain. But I tend to be a hard hitter and they only kept a good sound for about 1 week and after 3 weeks I had split them all (including the snare head) I have only split 1 other head in my life and it was on a snare. you might want to go with the Ebony Suedes emps. They have a similar sound and last a bit longer... still to short for my taste but longer than the renaissance. Have you tried coated Emperors? that may be your best bet, much more vintage sounding than g2's imo
 

Dawson49

Member
I made a similar question about a year ago and no one ever had any answers, so I though I would ask again. Has anyone tried Renaissance heads on toms or a bass drum (I know how they are on snares) or a drum kit? What does it sound like compared to other heads? I'm considering something different for my Gretsch kit (13,16,18,26) to get that vintage sound. I have coated g2s over coated g1s right now and the bass has a coated eq1 over coated g1. These heads work well, but I was hoping to get more of that round warm tone. I know Fiberskyns could work, but I'm interested in Renaissance heads' performance.
My kit is a classic 4-pc.1958 Slingerland Radio King (Marine Pearl) which my parents bought me as a teenager, and I've (mostly) used coated Remo Ambassador batter heads for decades ... until recently. I decided to try the Renaissance batter heads all the way around (including my BD) and have been very pleased with their response, warmth and tonality — everything I was looking for. I play straight-ahead jazz primarily, but also enjoy Latin-tinged music, and these heads have not let me down thus far.

While I can't possibly know what makes you happy, I feel that these heads possess a very round, warm tone ... a vintage sound. For what it's worth, I never dug Fiberskyn heads.

Here's a shot of my beloved 50 year-old Slingerland kit in a friend's studio.

 

Dawson49

Member
Here's another photo of my 4-pc. Slingerland kit with the Remo Renaissance heads.



I'm pretty confident that my drum instructor, the late Alan Dawson, would approve of these heads, too.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I played in a jazz band with a cat who had the Renaissance heads on everything (I thought they were the Ren Ambassador, but they were translucent, so maybe Emperors).
The only way single ply (amb.) or double (emp.) would matter with translucence is that the Emperor would be less so, due to 2 layers of film... They should both be somewhat translucent though.

I have been using a 14" Renaissance for my snare head... and I'll be honest, I HATE it. Just today, I took it to a gig, and for jazz, it looks great, but no matter what tuning I try to apply (and I assure you that I've tried many combinations, both ridiculous and perfectly within reason), there is still a very detached feeling within the drum, almost as if the snare is more like a timbale than a snare drum. I don't know what it is, but I can't get a good buzz out of the snare.
You mean you're using it as a snare-side head? Does Remo make a Renaissance snare-side head? If you're using a batter head (even a Diplomat, which is still thicker than any snare-side head), there's your problem.

Cymbalrider, I know you weren't asking about Ren's as snare heads, but I feel like I should add that I've used both Amb. & Emp. weights for 13 & 14" snare batter heads for a few years now, and they sound identical to the coated Amb. & Emp's I was using before, except there's no coating that comes off and onto my hats & ride. Plus, there's enough texture that brushes sound just as good also. So, the Ren's get thumbs up from me! :D Has anyone compared them to the Suede heads? I've never tried those...
 

dkerwood

Silver Member
The only way single ply (amb.) or double (emp.) would matter with translucence is that the Emperor would be less so, due to 2 layers of film... They should both be somewhat translucent though.
It was probably the RA (Ambassador) heads then... I was just looking up pics for some visual confirmation and the RA heads looked more opaque than the RE heads. I stand corrected.
 

Cymbalrider

Pioneer Member
not that I was a huge fan of Fiberskyn heads either; they were very sensitive to climate change (too much like calf I guess :) Dawson, that's a beautiful Slingerland kit by the way. I'm still undecided, but I have a ways to go before those coated g2s wear out, so I have some time to decide. Of course, I think it's hard to make a Radio King set sound bad. I'm sure they would work just fine with my Gretsch Catalina Rock set. I play with a swing band, and I would love to get more of that Krupa-vibe. I have two sets (the other is a Mapex Pro M studio kit) and I want to make them sound as different as possible. I want the Mapex, with it's small drums to have that modern sound and the Gretsch to have a big warm vintage tone. Apparently, the world seems pretty divided over Reniassance heads too. They are easier to find to order than Fiberskyns (except for the 26" size) and seem like they would be a good deal more reliable without the bubbly peely effect. There's a snare at school here that has Renaissance heads top and bottom (although they probably need replaced--old heads) which sounds fine (it's a vintage Rogers maple) so I know how they work on snares, which is nice.
 

Clayton_C

Senior Member
You mean you're using it as a snare-side head? Does Remo make a Renaissance snare-side head? If you're using a batter head (even a Diplomat, which is still thicker than any snare-side head), there's your problem.
No, of course I'm not using it as a reso head! I suppose I'm just not a good fit for these heads, even though I consider myself an avid jazz purist. I just got an Evans Genera 1 dry on there and its a significant improvement.
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
I think the Ren heads are fantastic! I love the complexity and quality of the sound. They can make cheap drums sound fairly expensive with a savvy tuner.

Using them on the snare has been love/hate for me. It's a wonderful, thick tone with just a hint of ring (compared to a coated Ambassador), but twice the head broke during two separate performances. I think the textured scoring of the head makes it less durable and it might be related to the fact I had the snare tension cranked.

The Ren Diplomats make awesome resonant heads, too! My rock kit is a Tama Rockstar DX (1989) and I use coated Emps on the tops and Ren Dips on the bottoms. I had a sound engineer in disbelief that they weren't Artstar shells.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
No, of course I'm not using it as a reso head! I suppose I'm just not a good fit for these heads, even though I consider myself an avid jazz purist. I just got an Evans Genera 1 dry on there and its a significant improvement.
Heh- didn't mean to offend ya; I've seen a regular clear amb. used as a snare reso, not once, but twice, with the owners asking me why the snare sounded like a dud.
 

TheGroceryman

Silver Member
I dont know about anything else, but on a bass, the sound is horrendous, the worst bass sound i've ever heard. it was actually worse than a starter kits bass head with the stock head on. Just a really really bad sound. Very plasticy, no low end, it didnt really sound like a bass, not warm at all. needs extreme muffling to sound decent. when the bass head on our school's kit broke (SKII, sounded incredible), our teacher who knows little about drums bought this head, replacing it soon. the drum is an intermediate kit, dont know the exact name or company.
 
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