A pleasure hearing from you, Steady!I have one of these which I treasure. For the first few months I was actually underwhelmed, and even disappointed. I tried all kinds of tunings and batter heads, yet I couldn't get this drum to sing. Sounded choked all the time. Then I finally replaced the stock reso head and the skies opened and a rainbow appeared. This turned into one of the most extraordinary drums I've ever heard. Totally understand your choice. If it weren't so heavy, it might be my workhouse choice.
May I ask what reso head you settled on?
As for all that you relayed, I'm behind you 100%! It really is an extraordinary drum all the way around, and as for it's weight, heavy is right, it could easily serve as an anchor!
Really great chatting with you, Sir!