Batter Bass Heads-how often do you change 'em?

dtk

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Not that I play that much...but right now I gig with one kit (when there's no backline)...I have a SK2 on it that I think I bought used. The clear is no longer clear...I've been thinking of getting a new Reso via Drumart (I have a friend who's a great photographer)...and got to thinking maybe I should do the batter too.

And it just occurred to me I bought a low level Yamaha for cheap...that has a new SK on it...so I'm going to swap them...but I am curious what you guys/gals do.

Thanks in advance.
dtk
 

mgdrummer

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I change all my batter heads (kick included) at least once a year on whatever kit is getting used the most. I personally don’t like the sound of impact pads or any reinforcement patches on my kicks so I have to pay attention and replace them sooner if I’m starting to see dents/excessive beater wear to the head.
 

Josh Vibert

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I think it really depends more how you play and what sound you like. Most music is going to call for a dead bass drum anyway, so as long as there's not a hole in the head, who cares. I like a bit of tone in the bass drum. I also play beater off the head. I also don't play that hard. I also use either a felt or Vater bomb beater. So, my PS3's last me awhile (10 years). But, if I was gigging every week with a plastic or wood beater and burying the beater, I'd probably need to change the kick head every 6 months or so.
 

TPC

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I replace the bass drum head when it breaks. (i.e. almost never)

I don't happen to like hearing the "tone" or "note" of the bass drum, so a new head is as much a detriment as a benefit.
 

thin shell

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I replace any head if it has started stretching and starts sounding flat. I don't have the same problem with bass drum heads.since you don't hit them with sticks. I periodically check the point of beater impact for any stretching or other wear that would indicate a failure is imminent. With what heads cost, especially bass drum heads, I only replace them when they absolutely need it. If they still sound good and aren't damaged there is really no reason to replace them
 
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CaptainCrunch

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I never change bass heads, tom resos, or bass guitar strings, and all for same reason - too much liveliness isn’t what I want to hear. Rather than try and tune or muffle that “boinginess” away, just leave them on forever.

Honestly, I don’t really change tom heads, either. I’ve played a set of Fiberskyns to death, and that’s about it. I’ve lost more drum heads to cigarette burns than I’ve used up.
 

pwc1141

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On all the 8-9 kits I have ever had, the only time I changed a bass drum head was switching a ported reso head for a non-ported head. Neither the batter or reso bass drum heads were ever changed beyond that......and no plans to change the current one. The current ones came with my relatively new kit and should outlast me .....
 

mebeatee

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Very rarely if at all unless there is serious wear....even then after rotating the head. The beater contact spots on any of my bd's...18/20/22 is not dead enter.....have always used the old Ludwig felt beater balls for the most part, and square felt ones. I've worn out a few big bomber's long before the head starts to go.
Having said that I have a BD head with a fair sized indent where the beater loves to be buried...a nice worn in thud...
The only time(s) a BD head absolutely needed replacing was when a round acrylic, or round or square wooden beater was used....pad or no pad.
bt
 

thin shell

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I read an article in MD many years ago where they were saying that you needed to replace all of your heads every year or two. Even the resos. Their reasoning was that the mylar dries out and becomes less flexible.

I thought the "advice" was BS then and still do. It seemed like propaganda from a drum head manufacturer to sell more heads. I looked at MD in a different light after that article and started to question any "advice" they gave.
 

Tama CW

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I have original bass drum heads on some of my drums going back into the 1950's......and even one in the early 1930's. I play them that way. Why change them? They work well and probably sound better than the new ones today. To protect the beat spot from any additional wear I'll put on a very thin piece of mylar to protect from further damage (like a cutout from a clear diplomat/abassador head or even snare reso). Original reso heads are the bomb, I would never change one of those unless it was ripped. My 1984 Cherry Wine Tama's are 35 "years young" on their bass drum heads.
 

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thin shell

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I did have a SuperKickII that split on me a long time ago. I carefully removed the felt and cardboard muffling ring and glued it to an Evans two ply head that came on my early Starclassics. It works great and is still in use 15 or more years later.
 

CherryClassic

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Bass drum heads last me a long time. I'm not a hard hitter and like a some tone. For me on any drum, when it gets to the point of not being able to tune, then it's time to change the head.

I'm setting up a small kit for small stages from my older kit. The 14" tom heads has a written date of 2014 and the 10" is 2018. I was thinking I'll need new heads for them but when I sat down started playing to get things lined up; WoW, they both have a nice tone as does my little 18" bass. So, going to fly with those for a while.

UNABLE TO TUNE: Replace it!

sherm
 
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CherryClassic

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Bass drum heads last me a long time. I'm not a hard hitter and like a some tone. For me on any drum, when it gets to the point of not being able to tune, then it's time to change the head.

I'm setting up a small kit for small stages from my older kit. The 14" tom heads has a written date of 2014 and the 10" is 2018. I was thinking I'll need new heads for them but when I sat down started playing to get things lined up; WoW, they both have a nice tone as does my little 18" bass. So, going to fly with those for a while.

UNABLE TO TUNE: Replace it!

sherm
OOOOK! I take it all back. They sounded good yesterday but when I tried to tweak then a little this morning, everything fell apart. There was no way I could tune those drums, they just would not tune, all the stretchy was gone. So, I just got back from the drum shop with REMO Coated Ambassador batter and Clear Ambassadors on the reso side. The good old stand buys.

Bet they'll really sound good now.

sherm
 

NYFrank

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Never. Unless I am looking for something different. But, for my ears, BD batters don't age out. Not in my world.
 

Tmcfour

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As soon as I break one! 1 will last 2 or 3 years for me usually. It helps that I use the falam patches that come with the ps3s and then switch it out for a new one when I wear through it.
 

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