What is the deal with Timpani Head Measurements?

topgun2021

Gold Member
My university ordered new timpani heads for our tour this weekend. We ordered Remo heads with the sizes printed on the timpani covers (23, 26, 28, 32 or something).

We got our order today and the heads don't fit the respective drums.

What is up with that?
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Some timpani models require an extended collar head, which are in reality 2" larger than the stated size. If the ordered heads don't fit it must be that whichever style heads were ordered those timps actually required the other type.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Some timpani models require an extended collar head, which are in reality 2" larger than the stated size. If the ordered heads don't fit it must be that whichever style heads were ordered those timps actually required the other type.
The heads we ordered were to big, which is the opposite of what you suggested.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Don't you measure the hoops before ordering? Nothing tells the truth like the actual numbers, eh?
 

porter

Platinum Member
Don't you measure the hoops before ordering? Nothing tells the truth like the actual numbers, eh?
Yeah, this might have been a good idea...

I honestly did not know that timpani heads came in anything BUT the 2" oversized versions until now, though, so, mistake happen- maybe just email the dealer and get an exchange going.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yeah, this might have been a good idea...

I honestly did not know that timpani heads came in anything BUT the 2" oversized versions until now, though, so, mistake happen- maybe just email the dealer and get an exchange going.
Well, it coulda' been worse. They could've been hand-stretched calf-skin. A lovely tone but a major PITA.
 

Boomstand

Junior Member
Hi Topgun,

I have a 26" and 29" tympani, which is the actual diameter of the shell. Now which size head to order depends on what manufacturer you are ordering from. In my tymp sizes, if I order Ludwig heads I would order a 26 & 29, but if I order from remo I would have to order a 27" and 30". Ludwig heads take into account the extra 1 inch while remo's do not.

I use sticks and mallets on my tymps and regularly have to replace them due to stick dings that cause the dinged area of the head to kinda flap, causing an unwanted sound.

Boomstand
 

porter

Platinum Member
Hi Topgun,

I have a 26" and 29" tympani, which is the actual diameter of the shell. Now which size head to order depends on what manufacturer you are ordering from. In my tymp sizes, if I order Ludwig heads I would order a 26 & 29, but if I order from remo I would have to order a 27" and 30". Ludwig heads take into account the extra 1 inch while remo's do not.
If I'm not mistaken, it's generally a 2" difference between hoops and drum, leaving a 1" wide ring around the edge... correct? not 1"?
 

Boomstand

Junior Member
If I'm not mistaken, it's generally a 2" difference between hoops and drum, leaving a 1" wide ring around the edge... correct? not 1"?
Hi abapicaltaenia,

The 2 tymps I own are fiberglass Ludwig's. I have 2 pics of both my kits with the tymps posted on this site. One pic is under The Bonham set thread, the other is under show your Tama's. The stick dings I mentioned are visible if you look closely at the heads. Since tymp heads are much thinner they ding easily with sticks. So while a tymp head played with mallets can last years, I have to replace them much sooner. I have replaced many heads on my tymps because of this.

Presently on my 26" tymp have a "Ludwig Ensemble Reg. Tympani Clear 26"", I measured the diameter of the head and it is 27", not 28". The Ludwig Ensemble head even has 26" printed on it, but the measured head diameter is actually 27". I also have 2 spare new unused Remo tymp heads I purchased, when I ordered them I had to order a 27" and a 30". The 27" Remo is the exact same size as the 26" Ludwig and fits just fine. So I can clearly state the difference is 1 inch and not 2 inches.

I hope this helps Topgun get the correct heads so he/she can go on tour and have fun.

Boomstand
 

porter

Platinum Member
Hi abapicaltaenia,

The 2 tymps I own are fiberglass Ludwig's. I have 2 pics of both my kits with the tymps posted on this site. One pic is under The Bonham set thread, the other is under show your Tama's. The stick dings I mentioned are visible if you look closely at the heads. Since tymp heads are much thinner they ding easily with sticks. So while a tymp head played with mallets can last years, I have to replace them much sooner. I have replaced many heads on my tymps because of this.

Presently on my 26" tymp have a "Ludwig Ensemble Reg. Tympani Clear 26"", I measured the diameter of the head and it is 27", not 28". The Ludwig Ensemble head even has 26" printed on it, but the measured head diameter is actually 27". I also have 2 spare new unused Remo tymp heads I purchased, when I ordered them I had to order a 27" and a 30". The 27" Remo is the exact same size as the 26" Ludwig and fits just fine. So I can clearly state the difference is 1 inch and not 2 inches.

I hope this helps Topgun get the correct heads so he/she can go on tour and have fun.

Boomstand
Huh. Timpani are diverse.
 
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