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#1
VintageDrummer

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Anybody tried or heard them?
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#2
chetatkinsdiet

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I'm tempted. I'd love to know as well
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#3
royal ace

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I have one 14". It came on a 1940 RK that I won on ebay. I've tried it on a few different snare drums and each time ended up replacing it with coated a Amb, Emp,, or Fiberskyn in preference.
I will say this: though it seems less affected by humidity changes than calf, it's not a substitute for real calfskin. My 1940 RK is currently sporting real calf.

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#4
AaronLatos

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Have yet to play them.

Heard them a few times... always sounded very nice in the audience, but that could just as easily be that the drummers playing them obviously tended to be cats with good touch and an ear for sound. One in particular that stood out was someone playing an early Ayotte woodhoop kit with Earthtones top and bottom. Talk about warm, full sounding drums!
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#5
Little Jimmy

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My first experience with natural skins was on a friends old Radio Kings that he put some used, very old calf heads on to try. I immediately noticed a difference in tone and feel and fell in love with it. I found some used Stern tanning heads to try on one of my kits and they were nice. I considered buying new from them recently for another kit but they were out of my budget. I had no interest in Earthtone when they were using goat skin for whatever reason but I've had greater interest since they started using calf skin. So I just ordered some last week and they arrived Friday. I ordered a 13 and 16 for my toms and would have ordered a 14 for the snare batter if they were in stock. This is my first experience with Earthtone calf heads and I must say I'm pleasantly surprised. The skin quality is great, very uniform in look and feel. These are on the Keller Vintage Mahogany shell kit I put together to mimic an early 60's Ludwig with rounded bearing edges. The feel and tone of these heads is drastically different than anything plastic I've tried. The closest would be Aquarian Vintage. I'm loving these heads and I don't play out so some occasional re-tuning isn't going to matter, I think it's going to be well worth the experience of natural calf skin.

Edited by Little Jimmy, 21 October 2012 - 07:25 AM.

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#6
jmpd_utoronto

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A close friend used them on single headed toms for a percussion setup, and was able to get a massive sound out of some fairly small drums. Having said that, he spent a lot of time tuning them before gigs. The sound is great (at least to my ears) but even with modern hoops, I don't know that the finicky nature is worth it to me for regular gigging (especially here in Toronto where the humidity is all over the place) when there are so many great synthetic choices on the market.
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#7
mc437

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I have no idea on earthtone calf heads, but the goat ones lasted about five minutes on my kit. Granted, I am not a jazz player, but I'm also not a heavy metal drummer. Those things broke like they were paper. I agree with royal ace: you want calf, get real, old calf heads. I have an old Radio King calf on a snare right now that sounds great and seems very durable--has held up to my playing no problem.
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#8
royal ace

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I have no idea on earthtone calf heads, but the goat ones lasted about five minutes on my kit. Granted, I am not a jazz player, but I'm also not a heavy metal drummer. Those things broke like they were paper. I agree with royal ace: you want calf, get real, old calf heads. I have an old Radio King calf on a snare right now that sounds great and seems very durable--has held up to my playing no problem.

My earlier post concerned goatskin. Like you, I have no experience of their calf heads, but I had heard they were currently offering calf as well.

As for old calf, if they're not dried out and the hoops aren't warped or coming undone, they should hold up as well as plastic. There is nothing that I have come across that offers what calf does; in regard to both feel and sound, calf is incomparable, though not necessarily better than alternatives.

Calf requires proper care and handling when the drum is not in use, and if it's important to you...frequent tuning readjustment in performance

I have a Gretsch "Prog jazz" 3 ply set with calf on both sides of all 3 drums. It doesn't leave home. However, for the 1/2 year or so that it's set up in my practice/sessions room, it's played daily.

Ron
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#9
Track

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A friend has a full set on an incredible sounding Brady kit. He reports that they take time to break in and open up. The tuning is a constant chase as you would expect as humidity shifts day to day. He didn't care for the snare side heads; too insensitive, but enjoys them as batters. Warm, rich, "boingy", with a great bounce.
Like everyone says, I'd enjoy trying one on a snare but have minimal interest in dealing with the constant tuning all around.
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#10
curotto

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Anybody tried or heard them?


I put a pair on a 1920s Gretsch American...they suck (IMHO)...they actually sound worse than original calf from that era...I put them on that drum because the drum is a 4x14 and the high collar of the Earthtone heads fit well on the shallow-depth shell, other that I would never use them, especially for modern day playing...again, this is only my opinion and not meant to be the end all statement re: these heads.

Mike Curotto
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#11
poetman

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I used to play my kit with Earthtone's on batter and reso sides, but in the summer in finicky Northeast apartments, I had to tune the kit too much. Since then, I play evans coated on the reso and earthtone on the batter. Every drummer who has ever heard my kit--a few big name pros included--always comments on amazing the drums sound, and how the calf is priceless! To me, playing on plastic heads is comical. No really rich tone will come from them. Earthtone heads are perfect in every aspect. The tune up right out of the box, or you can sand the inside down a bit if you want a thinner head. I can't recommend them highly enough!
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#12
madchops82

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Alright on toms if you can find fitting ones. I had one that didn't tune right. I'd go w/ another company if I was to do up a kit.
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#13
curotto

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I used to play my kit with Earthtone's on batter and reso sides, but in the summer in finicky Northeast apartments, I had to tune the kit too much. Since then, I play evans coated on the reso and earthtone on the batter. Every drummer who has ever heard my kit--a few big name pros included--always comments on amazing the drums sound, and how the calf is priceless! To me, playing on plastic heads is comical. No really rich tone will come from them. Earthtone heads are perfect in every aspect. The tune up right out of the box, or you can sand the inside down a bit if you want a thinner head. I can't recommend them highly enough!


Do you have any idea how may great drummers and drummers in general you are lumping together with your "To me, playing on plastic heads is comical." statement?

Mike Curotto
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#14
trixonian

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I have a set of drums with concert toms and I put Earthtone (goat) heads on them. I'm curious about their calf heads too, because I do like the sound. They do require a lot of tuning though.

Since good and bad are subjective, it's a matter of opinion what is "better," but I think we can agree plastic and skin are quite different.
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#15
Halldór L

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I use them, the calf version a lot and I really like them, especially on snare drums and bass drums. I made some soundfiles:




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#16
poetman

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I used to play my kit with Earthtone's on batter and reso sides, but in the summer in finicky Northeast apartments, I had to tune the kit too much. Since then, I play evans coated on the reso and earthtone on the batter. Every drummer who has ever heard my kit--a few big name pros included--always comments on amazing the drums sound, and how the calf is priceless! To me, playing on plastic heads is comical. No really rich tone will come from them. Earthtone heads are perfect in every aspect. The tune up right out of the box, or you can sand the inside down a bit if you want a thinner head. I can't recommend them highly enough!


Do you have any idea how may great drummers and drummers in general you are lumping together with your "To me, playing on plastic heads is comical." statement?

Mike Curotto



YES, I'm fully aware that pretty much EVERY modern GREAT drummer plays plastic heads. While one's playing can be outstanding, playing on plastic is indeed comical. If plastic heads have been around for a while, and it wasn't a conscious choice for guys. Old players were infinitely less maintenance than modern guys: you got it from the factory and played it to death. Modern marketing and the like, has helped foster all these new avenues for revenue. The truth is, calf heads just sound better than plastic ones. A lot of "great" drummer readily admit this too. What they play on the road, or what you see in an ad is not usually what the drummer prefers in the studio or to his own ears. In any case, it's not about "great drummers"; it's about great sound. When you wear out a Remo coated head, look at that clear piece of plastic underneath, and think about the sound properties it can and cannot communicate. Then look at a goat/calf head, and ask the same question. Calf/goat sounds MUCH better than plastic.
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#17
curotto

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I used to play my kit with Earthtone's on batter and reso sides, but in the summer in finicky Northeast apartments, I had to tune the kit too much. Since then, I play evans coated on the reso and earthtone on the batter. Every drummer who has ever heard my kit--a few big name pros included--always comments on amazing the drums sound, and how the calf is priceless! To me, playing on plastic heads is comical. No really rich tone will come from them. Earthtone heads are perfect in every aspect. The tune up right out of the box, or you can sand the inside down a bit if you want a thinner head. I can't recommend them highly enough!


Do you have any idea how may great drummers and drummers in general you are lumping together with your "To me, playing on plastic heads is comical." statement?

Mike Curotto



YES, I'm fully aware that pretty much EVERY modern GREAT drummer plays plastic heads. While one's playing can be outstanding, playing on plastic is indeed comical. If plastic heads have been around for a while, and it wasn't a conscious choice for guys. Old players were infinitely less maintenance than modern guys: you got it from the factory and played it to death. Modern marketing and the like, has helped foster all these new avenues for revenue. The truth is, calf heads just sound better than plastic ones. A lot of "great" drummer readily admit this too. What they play on the road, or what you see in an ad is not usually what the drummer prefers in the studio or to his own ears. In any case, it's not about "great drummers"; it's about great sound. When you wear out a Remo coated head, look at that clear piece of plastic underneath, and think about the sound properties it can and cannot communicate. Then look at a goat/calf head, and ask the same question. Calf/goat sounds MUCH better than plastic.


I totally disagree with your whole statement, especially "Calf/goat sounds MUCH better than plastic." There's really no use in discussing this any further as we simply disagree.

Mike Curotto
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#18
Ron_M

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YES, I'm fully aware that pretty much EVERY modern GREAT drummer plays plastic heads. While one's playing can be outstanding, playing on plastic is indeed comical. If plastic heads have been around for a while, and it wasn't a conscious choice for guys. Old players were infinitely less maintenance than modern guys: you got it from the factory and played it to death. Modern marketing and the like, has helped foster all these new avenues for revenue. The truth is, calf heads just sound better than plastic ones. A lot of "great" drummer readily admit this too. What they play on the road, or what you see in an ad is not usually what the drummer prefers in the studio or to his own ears. In any case, it's not about "great drummers"; it's about great sound. When you wear out a Remo coated head, look at that clear piece of plastic underneath, and think about the sound properties it can and cannot communicate. Then look at a goat/calf head, and ask the same question. Calf/goat sounds MUCH better than plastic.


I totally disagree with your whole statement, especially "Calf/goat sounds MUCH better than plastic." There's really no use in discussing this any further as we simply disagree.

Mike Curotto

Don't sweat it Mike. He's off the mark, and most who have had experience playing both calf and plastic would disagree with much of what he's said. It's just silly.
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#19
madchops82

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I used to play my kit with Earthtone's on batter and reso sides, but in the summer in finicky Northeast apartments, I had to tune the kit too much. Since then, I play evans coated on the reso and earthtone on the batter. Every drummer who has ever heard my kit--a few big name pros included--always comments on amazing the drums sound, and how the calf is priceless! To me, playing on plastic heads is comical. No really rich tone will come from them. Earthtone heads are perfect in every aspect. The tune up right out of the box, or you can sand the inside down a bit if you want a thinner head. I can't recommend them highly enough!


Do you have any idea how may great drummers and drummers in general you are lumping together with your "To me, playing on plastic heads is comical." statement?

Mike Curotto



YES, I'm fully aware that pretty much EVERY modern GREAT drummer plays plastic heads. While one's playing can be outstanding, playing on plastic is indeed comical. If plastic heads have been around for a while, and it wasn't a conscious choice for guys. Old players were infinitely less maintenance than modern guys: you got it from the factory and played it to death. Modern marketing and the like, has helped foster all these new avenues for revenue. The truth is, calf heads just sound better than plastic ones. A lot of "great" drummer readily admit this too. What they play on the road, or what you see in an ad is not usually what the drummer prefers in the studio or to his own ears. In any case, it's not about "great drummers"; it's about great sound. When you wear out a Remo coated head, look at that clear piece of plastic underneath, and think about the sound properties it can and cannot communicate. Then look at a goat/calf head, and ask the same question. Calf/goat sounds MUCH better than plastic.




It simply depends on what you're looking to do and what kind of sound you're looking to get. Calf sounds great but can be muddled and nasty....which can be good. Picture Dave Weckl playing calf?!


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#20
VintageDrummer

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I use them, the calf version a lot and I really like them, especially on snare drums and bass drums. I made some soundfiles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKe_vYz1H2k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfgS1yTMjxs



Was that top and bottom or top only?
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