Topic: best heads to use?  (Read 2179 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

yes

  • Guest
best heads to use?
« on: July 09, 2006, 08:28 PM »
i just purchased a used pearl masters custom extra kit that needs to have new batter heads on the toms and snare. i will be playing live only---no studio. i play progressive rock with one band and variety dance music with my other band. i have been playing e-drums for the past 7 years so i am a little out of touch with the drum head market. my research leads me to think that i should put a coated remo ambassador on the snare and either clear or coated remo emperors on the toms for the best results with the type of music i will be playing. i would like some feedback from others on this forum.       thanks

TamaDrummer

  • Silver Member
  • Posts: 313
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2006, 09:10 PM »
What heads you use is completely subjective to the sound you want.  I've played Remo, Evans and recently Aqaurian heads, and all of those brands will have heads that may get the sound you are looking for.

When I was with my Progessive Rock band, I was using Evans Clear G2s on my toms and either a Coated G2 or ST Dry on the snare.  Lately I have been trying out Aquarian (so far just a Coated Studio-X on my snare), and I have to say I am much more than pleased with the results so far.

Maybe with a little better description of the sound you want we can offer better suggestions.  Do you want an open sound, a deeper thud, etc.?   
I'm also sure some of the other members can help a good bit more than I have.  Good luck!

JayB

  • Guest
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006, 12:06 AM »
Heads are a crazy thing....  For one, the Pearl kit you have will sound *nice* with any head tuned properly--that's the easy part!  Secondly, probabaly most importantly and definitely not as much fun (or is it....) is choosing the "right" head and thus the "right" sound.  Since you are playing live, I'd recommend a head that isn't overly muffled because it will make your set appear "dead" to the audience.  With having said that, in my progressive outfit I am using Evans coated G2s on my toms with coated G1s on the resonant side.  For snare(s) I use the tried and true Remo coated Ambassador with clear Ambassador snare sides.  For kick I use a Remo coated Powerstroke 3 with a coated Ambassador resonant.  Since this is live I use the double-ply coated heads on toms for durability, but not on snare because I need the control that a one-ply offers.  If you noticed, and were wondering why, I use a mixture of Evans and Remo heads because the types of gigs I play usually take place inside of bars or venues with TERRIBLE acoustics.  I've heard vintage Gretsch kits that absolutely SUNG in the studio sound the same as a Pearl Forum in a bar setting.  Take note of this if you're playing this type of venue.  You would be better off learning the "proper" ways to tune/mic your set to achieve the best sound to suit your situation.   

felix

  • Guest
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2006, 08:00 AM »
Too vague of a question... you will get a million different answers.

So on that note I'll tell you what Bob Gatzen says.

Start with 2 clear single ply heads- exactly the same on batter and reso side.  Those are your starting points.

Tune them to your taste- you may use "applicades" or other external dampers  (moon gel/tape) if you wish.

If you aren't denting heads and the resonance of a single ply isn't too much then you can stay there.

Go two ply if you prefer more attack and need the durability.  I like two ply heads in amplified settings also- so if you are miked you might get along better with the shorter decay of a two ply.

Go coated if you want less high end and prefer a warmer sound ( I think maple is plenty warm so I don't care for coated heads on maple JMO)

I personally like ambassador clears on bottom heads, and pinstripes on top as of late- I've definitely gone full circle and I've tried them all- at least twice.  On my studio kit I have aquarian classic clears over remo ambassador clears.

Ambassador snare skins are thin for my taste but I can make them work alright with the right wire set up.  I have had great luck with the aquarian TCPD head on snare- great head.

Welcome to the Drummer Cafe bro!

minddrummer

  • Guest
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2006, 01:52 PM »
My best (preferred head) yet is Aquarian texture coated ! I like the rich warm sound that is coming from them. I'll eventually try out Aquarian coated hi-frequency.

Mark Counts

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 2675
  • It is OK to be a little Nutz!!!
    • Mark T. Counts
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2006, 08:31 PM »
Too vague of a question... you will get a million different answers.

So on that note I'll tell you what Bob Gatzen says.

Start with 2 clear single ply heads- exactly the same on batter and reso side.  Those are your starting points.

Tune them to your taste- you may use "applicades" or other external dampers  (moon gel/tape) if you wish.

If you aren't denting heads and the resonance of a single ply isn't too much then you can stay there.

Go two ply if you prefer more attack and need the durability.  I like two ply heads in amplified settings also- so if you are miked you might get along better with the shorter decay of a two ply.

Go coated if you want less high end and prefer a warmer sound ( I think maple is plenty warm so I don't care for coated heads on maple JMO)

I personally like ambassador clears on bottom heads, and pinstripes on top as of late- I've definitely gone full circle and I've tried them all- at least twice.  On my studio kit I have aquarian classic clears over remo ambassador clears.

Ambassador snare skins are thin for my taste but I can make them work alright with the right wire set up.  I have had great luck with the aquarian TCPD head on snare- great head.

Welcome to the Drummer Cafe bro!

I have to agree with this.  I have tried Aquarian PII's twice now and I feel that they are OK with a good set of mics on them or for recording but I miss the G2 heads that came with them. I really believe it is about the sound that you are looking for?
                                                Nutty

Todd Knapp

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 834
    • Todd Knapp Drums & Percussion
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2006, 12:27 AM »
I think the key to Felix' advice is that he's been around the block with heads. That's the only way to know what you like - you have to experiment. But, not every head combination will be right for every setting, and there are so many possibilities it can be expensive. A starting point might be to check out the head choices of the drummers you admire and/or play the style of music that you play. But remember, you're trying to develop your OWN sound, so bear that in mind when making your choices.

Chip Donaho

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 3647
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2006, 09:03 AM »
I've tried tons of different heads, on different drums, for different settings. Bottom line, the best head to use is the one on your shoulders with ears on it.     ;D    Then go from there......    ;)

felix

  • Guest
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2006, 09:25 AM »
Chip, what are you running on your dw's now?

Do they have focus rings in the shell?

My Delites have a similar shell design and I'm thinking of putting a beefier head on than the classic clear but I still want good tone when I play rimshots.

I was thinking Remo P3, Studio X clear or maybe just stick with the classic clears.

Chip Donaho

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 3647
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2006, 10:14 AM »
Chip, what are you running on your dw's now?

Do they have focus rings in the shell?

I switched the toms to Aquarian "Response 2" on top, with "Classic Clear" for the reso side. I also swaped the the bass head to "Superkick 1" and "Regulator " combo.... For the woofer I'm going to swap the kick side to  "Force 1" and give that a shot. The woofer sounded terrible when I took the pillow out. But the main bass I done away with the pillow.
That set sounds awesome with those heads. Of course I'm still using the maple Craviotto in place of the Edge snare. Not that anything is wrong with that snare, but the Crav. fits the music I play better.
There are NO focus rings in my DW's or my Mapex sets. Just vibration, in a good way....   8) 
It's a great combo that works for just about everything.....    I'm so happy with the sound I'm going to swap my "Performance 2" heads for "Response 2" on both my Mapex sets. The "Classic Clear " reso heads made all 3 sets sound so much better. All those head changes was well worth the dough spent.  ;) 
Last night I played another guys set of Pearl "Masters" drums....I played 5 songs and got down for the next jammer to get up. That's a nice set, but he needs to ditch those Pinstripes and the stupid sound rings. (He used both.) Why do people buy high end drums and use sounds rings in a live setting?   :P  If he made that same head swap those drums would sound way better out front. I'm lucky enough to hear my changes, so out front is what I go for. The "Response 2" does a great job. For someone who doesn't want a lot of ring but good tone, I would use those heads with just a small piece of moon jel....  ;)   Keep in mind I rarely ever play gigs with a soundman. I would rather have good heads. I don't find a need to mic things as much with those drums and that head combo. Just the kick most of the time for small bars. I played an outdoor gig with only a bass and snare mic. Everything else picked up through the rest of the band mics. Sounded great....   8)

felix

  • Guest
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2006, 02:00 PM »
I'm kind of afraid to try a 2ply head on a kit with focus rings.

pohsoonteng

  • Guest
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2006, 04:05 PM »
Remo Fiberskyn 3 Ambassador with clear Remo Ambassador as resonant heads...  They sound really good... I think better then pinstrips. Especially the snare...

DWdrmr

  • Guest
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2006, 11:44 AM »
Hi Chip
I'm getting close to changing out heads and I'm listening to you about the Aquarians.
I'm using Evans EC2s and the original reso's (Ambassador weight) combo. I'm pretty pleased with this set up altho I'm always looking for something better,so my question is...
Have you had a set of the Evans on your kit before? What other heads have you tried and are the Aquarians the best thing you've heard on your DWs?
I went through the stock heads, tried a set of clear Emperors, and then the EC2s. So, I'm kinda...what could I try next?
I'm having the same experience with this set as you are as to mic'ing. Just alittle kick in the PA for bars and the one outside gig I have done, was snare and kick with the rest picked up by the bands mic's. Toms are big and "round" sounding. Pretty impressive.
I've been using the Edge snare, but the last bar gig it was almost too "loud" for the place (it was a pretty large bar) and I had to lighten up on my stroke as to not step on the rest of the music mix. I've got two Craviottos...a Black Cherry and a Natural Maple 14x5.5...might have to give them a shot.

Mark Counts

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 2675
  • It is OK to be a little Nutz!!!
    • Mark T. Counts
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2006, 07:39 PM »
Remo Fiberskyn 3 Ambassador with clear Remo Ambassador as resonant heads...  They sound really good... I think better then pinstrips. Especially the snare...

Hi pohsoonteng,
Do you really like them on your toms?  I love them on my snare but was advised not to use them on toms.  I heard they sound too papery?
                                      Nutty

Chip Donaho

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 3647
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2006, 08:28 PM »
Hi Chip
I've got two Craviottos...a Black Cherry and a Natural Maple 14x5.5...might have to give them a shot.
I've got both those snares and love them. My maple Craviotto is my "go to" snare. The Edge snare is a very nice drum, but I have better control in small bars with the maple Crav....The Edge snare I would use in certain situations. It's a very loud drum, but definately has it's own sound. That's one heavy snare, like lifting weights. I'd use it more if I found the need for a louder snare. That's a drum on steroids.   ;D
I've been using "Performance 2" heads for a while on my Mapex sets. But I sure do like the "Response 2" on the DW set. Improved the sound 100% IMO. I've never tried Evans heads, no clue about them. I still use Remo Ambassador on snares. But on toms and bass I switched to Aquarian and have never looked back.

Mark Counts

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 2675
  • It is OK to be a little Nutz!!!
    • Mark T. Counts
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2006, 10:33 PM »
I switched the toms to Aquarian "Response 2" on top, with "Classic Clear" for the reso side. I also swaped the the bass head to "Superkick 1" and "Regulator " combo.... For the woofer I'm going to swap the kick side to  "Force 1" and give that a shot. The woofer sounded terrible when I took the pillow out. But the main bass I done away with the pillow.
That set sounds awesome with those heads. Of course I'm still using the maple Craviotto in place of the Edge snare. Not that anything is wrong with that snare, but the Crav. fits the music I play better.
There are NO focus rings in my DW's or my Mapex sets. Just vibration, in a good way....   8) 
It's a great combo that works for just about everything.....    I'm so happy with the sound I'm going to swap my "Performance 2" heads for "Response 2" on both my Mapex sets. The "Classic Clear " reso heads made all 3 sets sound so much better. All those head changes was well worth the dough spent.  ;) 
Last night I played another guys set of Pearl "Masters" drums....I played 5 songs and got down for the next jammer to get up. That's a nice set, but he needs to ditch those Pinstripes and the stupid sound rings. (He used both.) Why do people buy high end drums and use sounds rings in a live setting?   :P  If he made that same head swap those drums would sound way better out front. I'm lucky enough to hear my changes, so out front is what I go for. The "Response 2" does a great job. For someone who doesn't want a lot of ring but good tone, I would use those heads with just a small piece of moon jel....  ;)   Keep in mind I rarely ever play gigs with a soundman. I would rather have good heads. I don't find a need to mic things as much with those drums and that head combo. Just the kick most of the time for small bars. I played an outdoor gig with only a bass and snare mic. Everything else picked up through the rest of the band mics. Sounded great....   8)

Hi Chip,
Thank dude, I have been waiting for your opinion of the woofer. Tell me about the
Responce ll's? I like Aquarian heads but I have been playing Pll's and they are dead in my opinion.  I have been thinking about going back to the Evans G2's that my kit came with but it is all open right now. Maybe I can stick to Aquarian? I am open to trying different stuff with heads right now.
I need more thunder but not alot more volume.  These Star Classic's with maple shells are
loud enough. Good quality sound.  I have a friend that I have known 30+ years, but he is into
more Blue Grass/Country/Southern Rock than I am and say's that, "in 38 years of playing music,
he has never seen a set that sounds or looks like mine and it is loud".  The loud part blows me
away because I am using Pll's, lite sticks,and I am not a real hard hitter.
Just the maple, I guess?
                                          Nutty

Chip Donaho

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 3647
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2006, 10:54 PM »
Hi Chip,
Thank dude, I have been waiting for your opinion of the woofer.
                                          Nutty

The woofer is a strange beast. I had to put the pillow back. It just lacked punch without it. For some reason the main kick sounded better by itself. When I put the pillow back then it worked good as a matched set. Maybe when I swap to the "Force 1" I can try it without the pillow again. Even Roy Burns didn't know what to do with that thing. So far my plan is to try the different head and keep the stock front on it. I don't know? Time will tell, I'll find the right combo and get back to Roy. He was very interested since he's never tried a woofer. I would have thought he tried just about everything.    :-\

David Crigger

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 583
    • www.davidcrigger.com
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2006, 11:48 PM »


Chip - I assume when you say "I put the pillow back" - you mean into the woofer into the main drum.

It makes sense that as a combo they would work better with a drier main drum paired with the open woofer.  I think that is sort of the point - to be able to create two seperate sounds - the dry punchy sound and the big boomy sound - that can be seperately mic'ed and combined as desired.  A big open main drum already has the punch and boom already smooshed together.

David

pohsoonteng

  • Guest
Re: best heads to use?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2006, 03:58 AM »
Hi pohsoonteng,
Do you really like them on your toms?  I love them on my snare but was advised not to use them on toms.  I heard they sound too papery?
                                      Nutty

Yeah, i do like them on the toms. They're a little hard to tune though. I actually had to do it like the way you would to get even tension out of timpani heads. I'm not really sure if it's my mini GTS mounts or it's the heads themselves, but tuning them can be a chore. But once you get it, they sound pretty round and resonant.

 

Drummer Cafe on Twitter Drummer Cafe on Facebook Drummer Cafe on YouTube Drummer Cafe on Pinterest Drummer Cafe on Instagram