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Thread: Inconsistent Drum Dial

  1. #1

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    Bought one of these last week & thought I would have a play this evening. Keep getting inconsistent results. Place it near the lug & it will read say, 80. Remove it & place it again at the same lug & it will read differently??????? It is an analogue display one. Also when going around the drum from lug to lug it will occasionally say that a completely slack lug will be higher than one I have already dialled in.

    hmmmmmmmmmmmm

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevaruka View Post
    Bought one of these last week & thought I would have a play this evening. Keep getting inconsistent results. Place it near the lug & it will read say, 80. Remove it & place it again at the same lug & it will read differently??????? It is an analogue display one. Also when going around the drum from lug to lug it will occasionally say that a completely slack lug will be higher than one I have already dialled in.

    hmmmmmmmmmmmm
    I had the same problem with mine. Turned out the tip (that rests on the drumhead) can unscrew. If it becomes loose you will get constantly changing readings on the same lug. Make sure the tip is screwed down tight and try again - hopefully this will solve the problem.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by crispycritters View Post
    I had the same problem with mine. Turned out the tip (that rests on the drumhead) can unscrew. If it becomes loose you will get constantly changing readings on the same lug. Make sure the tip is screwed down tight and try again - hopefully this will solve the problem.
    Excellent advice, Thank you. It is brand new & just fitted it to the drum straight out of the box.

  4. #4

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    Sometimes if i'm in a hurry, honestly i'll just put it in the middle of the head and tune up evenly in a star pattern until I get the number I want. Big kit and all, would take me hours otherwise heh.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevaruka View Post
    Excellent advice, Thank you. It is brand new & just fitted it to the drum straight out of the box.
    So did it work? I sold mine years ago because of this but I did not check the tip for looseness because mine was also brand new out of the box. Just figured it was gimmicky
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  6. #6

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    same here with erratic readings. It was a friends dial and he let me use it but the thing drove me crazy seemed like i could never get the same number twice.
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  7. #7

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    Throw it away and use ears!

    all the best...

  8. #8

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    If you use a drumdial here's a few essential tips -

    Calibrate it before use as shown in the instructions.

    After checking a lug, lift the drumdial OFF the head before adjusting the lug.

    Don't slide the dial around the head to the next lug - lift it off and place it by the next lug to be checked/adjusted.

    If you have a lug at the tension you desire - tightening other lugs WILL raise the tension around the entire head (which can increase the reading of the lugs you were happy with). It is easier to leave the lug at a slightly lower reading and check again after you have tightened others - this way you should not have to back off the tension of any lugs.

    If you do have to loosen any lugs, back off about half a turn more than you need to then retighten to the desired tension.

    Make sure that the tip hasn't worked loose!

    These things will never replace your ears but they can certainly speed things up. I keep a notepad in a pocket in my stickbag with notations of my preferred drumdial readings for all heads. Tuning my drums takes minutes - generally I adjust to the desired reading, tap the head close to each lug, listen and adjust if necessary. Generally I do not need to fine tune.
    Last edited by crispycritters; 09-05-2015 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Spolling misteak

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDK View Post
    So did it work? I sold mine years ago because of this but I did not check the tip for looseness because mine was also brand new out of the box. Just figured it was gimmicky
    Checked the tip & it was as solid as a rock. Hmmmmmm

  10. #10

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    Decided to tune my snare this morning with my ears (Always been good with snares ) Placed the drum dial on after to check & all lugs were nearly spot on. (This was with a brand new Mastercast hoop)
    Last edited by Kevaruka; 09-06-2015 at 11:23 AM.

  11. #11

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    I agree you first have to calibrate it. I have the Tama TTW metric version and I had to calibrate it on a hard surface ( I used a mirror) and never had any problems with it. I only use mine when I am in a hurry as I have written down all my tensions for future. Your ears are still the best.
    Last edited by Pearl MCX Man; 09-05-2015 at 12:16 PM.

  12. #12

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    Think I may know where I was going wrong?? I was using the dial with a slack (Finger tight) head & tightening from there with the dial. Readings were all over the place. When I did my snare, I tuned it by ear then put the dial on. It was consistent then.
    Is this correct?
    Last edited by Kevaruka; 09-05-2015 at 02:26 PM.

  13. #13

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    Correct. In order to get some readings you need some tension on the head. I always go at least one turn over the finger tight before using my dial then from there you go up or down depending on what tone you want. Experimenting is the only way to learn with the dial. Good luck and have fun.

  14. #14

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    Tuning by ear is by far the best. If you don't have a good ear for tuning there are a few apps out that you can use to tune to frequencies since tuning sure all lugs are at the same tension doesn't guarantee that you'll end up with a well tuned drum. I usually tune by ear unless I'm going to be recording and want to make sure my drums sound the best I can get them. Then I'll use an app called iDrum Tune on my iPhone and never fail to get great sounding tracks.

  15. #15

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    Don't get hung up with the numbers on the drum dial. Use it to just get it close. Always pick it up and set it back down a couple times on the head as you're moving it. Drum dials should only be used for rough tuning. Always use your ears like the others have said.

  16. #16

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    I have always tuned by ear & have only just purchased the dial out of curiosity. "If" I can get it to work as I think it should then objective achieved.

  17. #17

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    The best way to find out if it works for you is tune your drums to your specification then put the dial on the head and register all the numbers going around the head. Then detune the drum and using the dial only bring it up to those numbers. X cross pattern and lifting the dial not dragging it across the head.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    The best way to find out if it works for you is tune your drums to your specification then put the dial on the head and register all the numbers going around the head. Then detune the drum and using the dial only bring it up to those numbers. X cross pattern and lifting the dial not dragging it across the head.
    Thank you

  19. #19

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    You are welcome man.

  20. #20

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    I had some pretty wacky readings in the past. But after watching their YouTube videos I learned to check my bearing edges ( which turned out to be the problem).

  21. #21

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    I had troubles with mine and just tossed it in a drawer. I just tune by ear.
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  22. #22

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    I only use mine to get close. I found that by setting it against the hoop, on the head, I could get consistent readings all around the drum at the lug point.
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  23. #23

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    That is the way to use it. Some say to center the gauge on the drumhead and adjust from there. I don't believe that works, you have to go around the head near the hoop to properly set the tension evenly. I put my TTW about an inch from the hoop and lift the gauge as I go around and then check it in a X pattern. Great tool to have for a fast tune before a gig etc. Calibration is also an important part of these dials without that you will never get a good reading.

  24. #24

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    Directions call for positioning your dial consistently 1" from the hoop all around and not taking readings while adjusting tension rods, but after. You can measure the tension of a rod while cranking it up, just to get a ball-park measurement, but lift the dial and put it back down to get a truer measurement.
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  25. #25

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    That does not make sense not to take reading while adjusting! that is the whole thing is to look at your dial while tightening the head so you can see it going up or down. I think the best is to experiment with it till you are satisfied to how this dial works.
    Like I mentioned before mine is a TTW which is the metric version of the DDial so my measurements would be more or less.
    Last edited by Pearl MCX Man; 09-07-2015 at 09:55 AM.

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