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Thread: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

  1. #1

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    Default Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    Hey guys, recently I've been thinking about replacing the stock heads on my drums with some new heads. I was looking at getting some coated G2 heads for my toms, and ran into an interesting question.

    I am under the impression that the heads on a tom should be tuned the same, and thus should be the same number of plies (because a different number of plies would mean one has to be tighter than the other, right?). The G2s are 2-ply, but I have no idea how many plies my stock heads have? Is it safe to assume that they are only 1-ply since they are stock heads, or is there some way to check how many plies they have?

    My second question regards the "seating" of the batter head on the snare. I was told that new heads should to be seated when tuned/tightened for the first time, with the exception of the batter head on the snare. Is this true?

    Lastly, what drum head do you guys recommend as the resonant head of the snare?

    thanks in advance!
    Last edited by gleipnir; 08-09-2010 at 09:14 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    I have coated G2's on my toms. They're absolutely fantastic-sounding heads IMO. Single ply resos would work best though, unless you want to deaden your toms. And Evans Hazy 300 and Remo Hazy Ambassador are pretty much the standard snare resos.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    So the batter/reso heads of toms don't need to match in number of plies?

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by gleipnir View Post
    So the batter/reso heads of toms don't need to match in number of plies?
    No they do not need to. Many people use the famous g2\g1 combo, or emperor over ambassador combo, which is a 2 ply head for the batter head, and a 1 ply head for the reso head. I would assume that unless otherwise noted, the stock heads are single ply. You can check this by looking at the head from all angles, and seeing if any light refracts off of the head. A 2 ply head will give the illusion that there is some sort of oil inside of the drumhead, while it is just light that is refracting. The only heads that do indeed have oil inside of them are evans hydrolics. Pardon my spelling, its pretty late.

    Seating is a topic that is heavily debated. Some people, such as bob gatzen, swear that a drum head needs to be seated. However, not all people believe this, and the drum tuning bible refutes the claim that drum heads need to be seated. In my opinion, playing a new head for a day or so, tuning it back up, and so on until the head stops de-tuning itself is the best way to seat a head. This way no unintentional damage is done.

    For snare reso, the 300 hazy is a great place to start.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    That's the coolest thing about drumming. You can say, what if? What if I do this to my drums, and you do it and sometimes you are really happy with the result. There's no real set formula for drums, and many combinations of things to try. Maybe this will help(keep in mind it's just my opinion):

    --------------------------------------

    1ply - open, more sustain
    2ply - focused, less sustain
    coated - lower pitched, "boom" sound
    clear- higher pitched, "thud" sound
    rings- damps sound, tunes up faster, lower tuning range
    no rings- no sound dampening, takes longer to tune, larger tuning range
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    The others covered everything pretty well, so i'm just gonna throw you a link to the drum tuning bible. It's chock full of info about tuning, different heads, woods, etc. Definitely worth checking out.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/index.html
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    One of these days, a head manufacturer will make a head that is perfect for every application and we will be able to answer these questions with a definitive "get the Ultra-Super Heads from Brand X"...

    Would be nice...

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled reality...

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by xsabers View Post
    One of these days, a head manufacturer will make a head that is perfect for every application and we will be able to answer these questions with a definitive "get the Ultra-Super Heads from Brand X"...

    Would be nice...

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled reality...
    LOL, yes...we are all patiently waiting for this day! But while we wait, the OP could try searching the forum for answers.
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  9. #9

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    Thanks for all the great replies, they've definitely helped!

    So if the batter and reso heads on a tom are of different number of plies, are they still supposed to be tuned to the same pitch in order to resonate and thus produce an optimal sound? My basic rudimentary knowledge of physics would say no?

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    That's the coolest thing about drumming. You can say, what if? What if I do this to my drums, and you do it and sometimes you are really happy with the result. There's no real set formula for drums, and many combinations of things to try. Maybe this will help(keep in mind it's just my opinion):

    --------------------------------------

    1ply - open, more sustain
    2ply - focused, less sustain
    coated - lower pitched, "boom" sound
    clear- higher pitched, "thud" sound
    rings- damps sound, tunes up faster, lower tuning range
    no rings- no sound dampening, takes longer to tune, larger tuning range

    Hey......theres that personal preference answer again......LOL

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  11. #11

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    how do you seat a head?
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  12. #12

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    Default Re: Few questions on drum heads and tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by SEAN8293 View Post
    how do you seat a head?
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ9Unab1OzU"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ9Unab1OzU[/ame]

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