Single-ply coated vs. double-ply clear on batters question...

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Just a quick question really...

Can you tune your drums lower with double ply heads as opposed to single ply heads, or is it about the same? Or does it just depend on the drum itself?

Thanks!
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
In my experience, no, the two-ply heads don't really tune lower. Now, I have to admit that I've never done a direct side-by-side controlled experiment. I'm just going by impressions on my own drums.

I've heard some say they tune lower because more mass blah-blah-blah, but I don't think it's that simple. Mass is only one part of the equation. For example, larger bars on a marimba have more mass but are lower pitched, because the physical dimensions changed. Heavier cymbals of the same diameter and type tend to be higher pitched. The stiffness of the membrane or vibrating structure matters.

So, TL/DR: no, I don't think so.
 
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cbphoto

Diamond Member
I recently tried a coated G2 on my 14" tom and at low tunings the head buzzed. That never happened with the coated G14 on that drum at that tuning (with TuneBot).

My verdict: No, 2-ply heads do not tune lower than single-ply heads.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I too, say no. You might get a "perceived" vibe, that the drum's tuned lower ..... with the 2 ply ...... because your getting more fundamental and less overtone.
 

caddywumpus

Archnemesis of Larryace
I would like to hear from somebody who has a Drum Dial and a digital tuner on this. I’m going to be on the lookout for a Drum Dial, now, because I’m really curious about this.

From my experience, the drums tune down about the same, but at that low tension, I can get a lower pitch from the 2-ply head. I just assumed that it was from the two plies slowing down the vibration speed of each other, and the vibration speed is what creates pitch.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I have two different 2-ply heads for my floor toms, one is a 7+7-mil head, and the other is a 10+10-mil head. The thicker head tunes to a lower note much more easily than the other. I think it's because the additional thickness allows the head to sound less flappy with less tension, whereas thinner heads take a little more tension to pass that point. I'd imagine the same phenomenon happens between 1-ply and 2-ply heads too, though it might not be that obvious.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I think that when you start getting down in to floppy loose tensions, a Pinstripe can make a usable sound lower than a single ply can. It gets thuddier where the single ply will say, "bwaoww."
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I feel like you have to have a 2 ply head at a certain tension over the bearing edge to get the plys to work with each other

in 40 years of playing, I have never used anything other than a Remo Ambassador Coated on my snare batter head. I have really had no desire to try anything else, but I have used single and 2 ply heads on toms of and on, and it is always easier to get single ply heads to resonate like I want at lower tunings than 2 ply
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
I feel like you have to have a 2 ply head at a certain tension over the bearing edge to get the plys to work with each other
This.

Even a single ply with a control ring, if the tension is not enough the control ring will vibrate against the head and buzz.

The thinner the membrane, the less it needs to excite it. Therefore, it should be able to be activated at a lower tension than a two ply head.

I also find that I have to put more tension on a two ply to get it to the same range as a one ply.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
would like to hear from somebody who has a Drum Dial and a digital tuner on this.
I ditched my drum dial ’cuz it gave me imprecise readings with 2-ply heads at low tension. It could’ve been user error, though, ‘cuz I’m impatient with gadgets (I’m surrounded by them).
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
no amount of drum dial helped me get rid of the "buzz"/ dead sound at looser tunings of 2 ply heads...

at school, I have them on a set of concert toms, one of the drum sets ,and all of our marching quads have 2 ply's (Evans EC2S's)<--- they sound great cranked up to the tuning I use, and feel great too....super bouncy and soft in the right way

and at one point years ago, I tried 2 ply's on our bass drums, and just could not get the lowest one to sound good. Now, I use 1 ply, but a thicker mil mylar version on my 28", and 2 ply's on the other smaller ones that get tuned higher b/c the 2 ply heads give a good attack, bit also have a mellow decay
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
and at one point years ago, I tried 2 ply's on our bass drums, and just could not get the lowest one to sound good. Now, I use 1 ply, but a thicker mil mylar version on my 28", and 2 ply's on the other smaller ones that get tuned higher b/c the 2 ply heads give a good attack, bit also have a mellow decay

Off topic, but silver dots. Best marching bass drum sound I ever heard. 😊
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Off topic, but silver dots. Best marching bass drum sound I ever heard. 😊

definitely the classic 70's/ 80's sound or sure...a little too "flappy" for current fast split bass parts though
 

roncadillac

Member
I don't find that I can tune 2ply heads lower as much as I can tune 2ply heads to my preferred higher tension without them sounding as 'boingy' or timbale-like as a single ply head.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
I would like to hear from somebody who has a Drum Dial and a digital tuner on this. I’m going to be on the lookout for a Drum Dial, now, because I’m really curious about this.

From my experience, the drums tune down about the same, but at that low tension, I can get a lower pitch from the 2-ply head. I just assumed that it was from the two plies slowing down the vibration speed of each other, and the vibration speed is what creates pitch.
FWIW, I do know that to tune a concert tom to an A2 for instance, it takes more tension on the drum dial for the 2 ply head than the single ply head.

In other words, to hit an A2 with a single ply head it may take x amount of tension, the double ply head will be x + 7 or so on the drum dial. I don't know if that helps or not.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
I agree I think we perceive single ply as brighter and double ply warmer-even if same pitch. I hear people say double ply has more attack and less overtones-but I don't know if that is really always true-depends on drum and tuning between two heads. 2 ply logically seem more durable. Have you tried Remo CS black dots-they have a nice attack but also warm-woody sound I like if looking for something warmer in sound. I put them on my Pearl Decades-replacing Vintage Ambassadors and I was digging the sound before my complaining neighbor forced me to store it-grrrrrrrrrrrrr.
 
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yammyfan

Senior Member
I've had good luck tuning coated single ply heads lower (than clear double ply heads) and then using muffling to reduce overtones and enhance the fundamental pitch of the drum.

Kind of a best of both worlds approach.
 
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