Amb on a bass drum?

wayne

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
1,976
Reaction score
690
Location
canada
In your opinion; will a single ply clear or coated Ambassador perform well as a batter on a bass drum for most types of music?
 

KCJazz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
441
Reaction score
348
Location
Overland Park
I'm getting good results on a 1980 Gretsch 14x22 with a rolled towel against a coated Ambassador batter head and a ported resonant head with muffling ring (no towel). I get a nice rounded sound. I read recently that a sound engineer or producer convinced Tony Williams of the value of a ported reso with a rolled towel taped against the batter.
 
Last edited:

stuart s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
324
Reaction score
350
Too many variables: size, shell size, wood type, sound preference..... to me to say

Get from a place you can try and return for free, Amazon is a good place for that
 

swarfrat

tympanus laqueus XV
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
7,258
Reaction score
2,433
I don't see why not. 1) It's been done a bunch. 2) IMO premuffled heads can reduce overtones but not really do much about shortening the note. You need a pillow/towel for that. I pretty much decided I'd bought my last premuffled bass drum head. 3) I ought to be the poster boy for 2 ply heads but I never warmed up to them. There's a wonky tone that just drives me nuts.
 

EVLdrummer

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
9
Of course ! Single-ply Ambassador weight ( 10 mil ) manufactured by Remo, along with other manufacturers such as Ludwig Weathermaster, Evans, Slingerland, etc. were standard issue on bass drums for about the last 60 years...and usually used with three inch felt strips to cut down on the "boom". My 1967 Ludwig Club Date set came from the factory with 5 mil coated "orchestra batter" & 3 mil resonant on the snare, 7.5 mil coated "tom-tom" on both rack & floor toms and 10 mil "bass drum", coated and smooth white...all weathermasters. When tuned properly, they can sound great for just about any musical situation.
 

JimmyM

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
919
Reaction score
900
Location
Sanford FL
I tried it for a couple weeks on my Ludwig 22 x 16 but went with a coated Emperor instead. I liked the Amb but didn’t love it. But I have heard others use it and it sounds great for them.
 

charlesm

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
1,800
Reaction score
852
Location
NY-metro
It will perform well provided you understand what you're going to get, which is a lot of openness, attack and resonance. Of course, those qualities can always be tamed and shaped with different types of muffling, which is the nice thing about single-ply...it's sort of an open palette.

Sometimes people make a change like that, though, and they're thrown off because it doesn't sound like an EMAD or PS or something.

If you want that old-school openness with a little more heft, Emperor is the deal.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
8,109
Reaction score
3,109
Location
SF Bay Area
I have a clear amb on my Gretsch 24 right now with no front head. Sounds great tuned really low.

When it's time to change it, I'm going back to PS3 which I like more.
 

Whitten

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
1,315
Reaction score
4,001
A coated ambassador head was industry standard on bass drums for decades.
The modern taste in bass drums has changed however, being more punchy, louder in the mix and with extended lower end - hence the development of heads like Emad.
So it depends what you are after. If you are gigging locally, playing a wide variety of music, an Ambassador head should be fine.
 

Seb77

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
4,166
Reaction score
2,934
Location
Germany
At the moment I am using the Simon Phillips batter combo of clear Amby and rolled-up towel. All the low end I would want, plus good response and a more complex attack to my ear, compared to a ring-muffled head.
Only other batter head I have a lot of experience with is the PS3, which uses exactly the same thickness of film. I think I prefer the Amby plus towel muffling because it can be adjusted. Half of the perimeter is completely free to vibrate, plus the bearing edge is in contact with the actual head, not the underlay.
 

BennyK

DFO Star
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
17,445
Reaction score
5,255
It all depends on the drum shell, its edges , overall tension, beater, and of course most importanly how it fits into the given musical application . The collars on bass drum heads are a little wider than regular ones to accomodate the thicker ,occasionally out of round , thicker hoops . Right now I'm running two coated ambs. on a 20" Milestone and am very happy with the results .
 

Tama CW

DFO Master
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
4,086
Location
SE Connecticut
Single ply - coated ambassador is mostly all I've used for 40+ years. My current 4 kits all have them - 18, 20, and 22 bass drums.
For muffling all I've ever used are a moleskin patch, felt muffle strip or Pratt, or a rolled up sock/hand towel between pedal towers and head. Nothing inside.
 

tradrad

Pro
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
630
Reaction score
225
Location
IN it, not OF it
A coated ambassador head was industry standard on bass drums for decades.
The modern taste in bass drums has changed however, being more punchy, louder in the mix and with extended lower end - hence the development of heads like Emad.
So it depends what you are after. If you are gigging locally, playing a wide variety of music, an Ambassador head should be fine.
amen...sometimes ole skool is good skool! LOTS of amazing iconic records made with an ambassador (and often NO front head!)
that said, we've all tried (and still try) a million routes to get to the finish line. the bummer these days is you can hear 'so n so' using whatever heads on youtube and think 'wow, THAT's a great bass drum sound' w/o taking into account the room, the mics, the compression (if that's ALL there is!), THE PLAYER, etc...it really is a matter of YOUR drum, YOUR use and space(s) you play in.
when in doubt i've taken to recording myself using different heads with my iphone and if it sounds good there chances are it's gonna sound good anywhere :p i've done a buncha records with that as my 'secret weapon' mic...
 

kallen49

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
503
Reaction score
452
Location
Ontario Canada
At a Dave Weckle clinic a few years ago, where he had a big kit courtesy of Yamaha, he also had a small Yamaha kit:

18" bass drum, ambassador on each side and Dave made a point of starting the clinic using this kit and talking about how great it sounded using only coated ambassadors.
 

Pat A Flafla

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
2,308
Reaction score
2,606
I know it comes installed with way more stuff attached to it, but I like the 1-ply superkick on my 18".
 


Top