The Coated Ambassador 'problem'

major_panic

Senior Member
So, we've all been hearing about the problems that the CAs have been having with their coating; namely, with it flaking off very quickly. Many of us dismissed it, whilst others were adamant.

Well, it happened to me. I'd never used Remos until I came back from a holiday from the States with an Acrolite, which practically demanded a CA, and since then I've loved the sound. I didn't think the flaking problem would happen down here in Melbourne, but sure enough, two weeks ago I went out and bought a new 12" CA for my Musashi (which sounds amazing, by the way) and slapped it on, tuned it up and went nuts.

I first noticed it flaking IMMEDIATELY when I started cross-sticking. Now, I play trad grip, and I prefer a beefy cross-stick, so I tend to place the tip on the head and cross-stick with the body of the stick. Where the tip contacted the head, the coating came off immediately. This was with a standard Vater 5A Los Angeles model with an oval tip.

After 6 hours of playing, here's what it looks like.




Note the marks where I've cross-sticked.

As you can see for yourself, the head looks like it's only 6 hours old. However, somewhat disappointingly, it has flaked a ridiculous amount. I've also taken a photo of the receipt to show it was only bought a couple weeks ago:



Importantly, however, it still sounds like a Coated Ambassador, with 'that' sound. I am, however, a little worried that this sound will disappear soon and I'll have to get a new head. You might ask, why make this thread if I'm still happy with the sound? Just to show everyone that it does happen. Hopefully the Remo guys will fix this soon...

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle!


EDIT: To contrast, here's a photo of the now five month old CA on my Acrolite. Don't mind the spot of blood on it.

 
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The same flaking issue happened on my Evans G1 Coated drum-head but after 6 months under playing. I rather use The Smooth White Ambassador drum-head which gives that bright tone, long sustain sound quality same as The Coated Ambassador but it does not flake off.
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
never had an Evans flake. But will gladly admit I dig the Ambassador X over any coated single ply I've tried.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I've posted this elsewhere but the same thing happened with my CAs and CAXs. Even the replacements Remo sent me exhibited the same flaking. I will tell you they had great customer service and the replacement heads were on my kit within a week. I'm sure if I contacted them again about this issue they would probably send me another set of replacements. They sound fine with sticks after they flake, but lay a brush on them and you will experience my frustration. I use Jeff Hamilton brushes live and they don't have much give in the bristles. I had never had an issue with CA. I've been using them on at least 2 of my kits for the past 12 years. Other kits have Evans and I have never had an issue with those. But about 3 months ago 2 CA flaked on me. Mostly playing brushes and cross stick on an acoustic jazz gig. Both were on snares as I used 3 snares instead of toms that evening. The other snare had an Evans HD Dry. I contacted Remo and they sent me a CA and a CAX. I slapped the CA on my snare and the CAX on my floor. I liked the sound of the CAX on the floor after I tuned it up so I picked one up for my rack tom. After the gig that night, a medium volume rock/dance gig, all of the heads flaked. I have gone back to Evans and occasionally Aquarian when I can find them. Sorry Remo.
 
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A

audiotech

Guest
Those are some unusual elongated stick marks, as if the sticks were dragged across the head with every stroke. I've had premature coating wear on my Ambassador heads, but only after several days to a week of use. I'm now only using Remo coated heads on one of my kits. Evans, although I just received a couple of "dead" Genera G2 batter heads, are installed on most of my kits.

Dennis
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I've seen this on other drums, but it's not happened to me on a CA ever.

A small amount of flaking happened on one Coated Emperor Top Dot I have (a head model I've used going on 10 years), but I attributed that to the coating going on a clear plastic/vinyl dot.

I've even gotten a new set for one kit, and couple extra heads for other kits, and none had any problems. I heard people had more problems because of a change in the coating, so I kinda wondered if I would too. So far, everything is cool with them.

Hope you guy's have better luck in the future, or are happy with what you change the head model to.
 

major_panic

Senior Member
The same flaking issue happened on my Evans G1 Coated drum-head but after 6 months under playing. I rather use The Smooth White Ambassador drum-head which gives that bright tone, long sustain sound quality same as The Coated Ambassador but it does not flake off.
The problem for most guys is that they can't play brushes on a smooth head - which is exactly why I play coated.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Yea this happened to me with CA (USA) that came with my Ahead BoB snare. This is after 1-2 hours of normal use (the CAs and G1s on my other snares have lasted months/years, the coated G2s on those toms are over 6mon old). In these extreme cases it is definitely the coating... I could tell something was wrong when I was tuning the drum up, it started flaking then, and those were redikuloosly-soft-tuning taps. The coating on this head seemed thicker, coarser, and sparser than the usual coating.
 

Attachments

Bull

Gold Member
Last week, I put a Powerstroke X on one of my snares. It looked exactly like the O.P.'s head within an hour. I have a new Emperor X and a coated Emperor that started chipping within a couple of of days.I am on my third set of Vintage Emperors for my toms and haven't had an issue at all.
 

JimmyTheMonkey

Senior Member
Last week, I put a Powerstroke X on one of my snares. It looked exactly like the O.P.'s head within an hour. I have a new Emperor X and a coated Emperor that started chipping within a couple of of days.I am on my third set of Vintage Emperors for my toms and haven't had an issue at all.
I had exact same issues on the new Remo heads I bought last month. Glad to see that this isn't "normal" wear. But, I'm not about to spend $100+ on new heads.
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
I may be completely nuts, but remo used to make their coated emperors with an opaque-ish white film. 7.0 mil not 7.5 mil and they sounded wonderful and the coating lasted pretty well. Then, they switched to making coated emps with a clear film and the coating came off alot faster, plus the head didn't sound quite as good (to me). I loved coated emperors and coated CS dots, but every time I used them (within the last few years) the coating came off after one 3 hour gig. They look like crap with the clear film because it shows up alot more. I tried an Evans G2 instead and the coating never came off. The sound was pretty much the same, so I use them on my snare batter. I use coated vintage emps on my toms sometimes and the coating seems to last longer and they have the white-ish film. I wonder if it has anything to do with the film? Although, a coated ambassador is kind of that same film and the coating is coming off of them too, so I don't know. But yeah, the coating is an issue with Remo heads for sure.
 

ENRICO

Silver Member
I've played remos, then evans and finally rmv, that are cheaper and their coating last much longer. I highly recomend them. or you can go for textured heads lie remo suede.
 

JesusMySavior

Silver Member
The Vintage A on my snare has not chipped or flaked yet, and I play pretty hard rolls. I've had it on since last summer, so about a year. I practice an hour a week (wish I could do more but I have truck drivin' neighbors downstairs....ahhhhhh yeah) and play out with it maybe the same amount per week.

So give or take 100 hours of playing. Still going strong and sounds great. I think the only difference over a new one would be more crispness.

I find this CA issue to be very intriguing...
 

Doug Masters

Silver Member
Ever tried the original 12mil single-ply: G Plus?
I know this wasn't directed at me but I'll answer. I tried the Gplus coated a few months ago. Didn't like them at all. Especially the 10". Was very difficult to tune and sounded very thin. The 12 and 16 were a little better but still rather thin sounding at various tensions. I've been playing over 20 years and the drums were Yamaha Maple Custom Absolutes so this isn't a rookie thing. I like the G2 clear over G1 combo as well as the Remo equivalent but for some reason the Gplus and I just didn't get along. However, kudos to the Evans HD for the snare, not the HD dry but just the regular HD. Perfect amount of control and fatness for the music I play. Shoulda just got $40 worth of HD heads I guess eh? Trial and Error :)
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
You can get the white filmed coated head. It's the JP model.
Same model number with "-JP" at the end.
Hey Karl, I think we went through this before. The model you're referring to is 7.5 mil film. The emps from the past I was referring to with the white film were 7.0 mil film. As far as I know, you can't get a coated emperor with the whiteish film with 2 plies of 7.0 mil film. The coated vintage emp (white film) and coated smooth whites are both 7.5 mil. The standard coated emp is 7.0, but it is a clear film, not the white film I liked before.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
ALL of the Remo heads I've bought lately are flaking way too easily. I've gone through THREE snare batters in the last month, because the flaking is bad enough to change the sound of the head. I'm frustrated enough to ditch Remo altogether. Never had this happen with any other brand...even Ludwig's coating doesn't flake...and they make relatively low-quality heads.

Two coated Ambassadors and one coated AmbX in one month. Inexcusable! I don't like Evans at all, but I'll probably give Aquarian a serious look now.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Hey Karl, I think we went through this before. The model you're referring to is 7.5 mil film. The emps from the past I was referring to with the white film were 7.0 mil film. As far as I know, you can't get a coated emperor with the whiteish film with 2 plies of 7.0 mil film. The coated vintage emp (white film) and coated smooth whites are both 7.5 mil. The standard coated emp is 7.0, but it is a clear film, not the white film I liked before.
Ah... well that sucks then.
I used to play those Coated Emps until I got tired of tapping on dead 16" heads....
Went to CA's instead (it was 20 years ago!? Holy crap!!) and love them.

The White filmed Emps did sound better. Crisper, like an Ambasador, but just a little lower pitch.

Zam, check out Attacks Bozzio heads, and the Jeff Ocheltree head. Traditional Mylar, with a sturdy coating.
 
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