Calf and Slunk heads

brokenstick

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I have a '37 WFL 8x12 and a '38 L&L 9X13 both with tacked on bottom heads with steel rims on top probably the heads are all original. The heads are pretty thick. I bought from Re " someone " a calf skin batter and a snare side slunk for my '40 WFL snare. The batter head was very thin. I babied it, got into a whole temperature control trip and the dumb thing broke anyway. Does anyone make a playable calf skin head or is all just high-priced sit on the shelf collector froo=froo ?
 

Redfern

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I have a '37 WFL 8x12 and a '38 L&L 9X13 both with tacked on bottom heads with steel rims on top probably the heads are all original. The heads are pretty thick. I bought from Re " someone " a calf skin batter and a snare side slunk for my '40 WFL snare. The batter head was very thin. I babied it, got into a whole temperature control trip and the dumb thing broke anyway. Does anyone make a playable calf skin head or is all just high-priced sit on the shelf collector froo=froo ?
Not exactly sure what you’re trying to say here, but yes, there are a few guys that make playable calf or goat skin heads. I’ve got three snares that have calf or goat on them and I play them all the time.

Bovid Percussion is one that I’ve personally dealt with and is great.

I believe Mattoon will tuck heads for you as well. Professional Drum Shop in Cali. does it as well. Stern Tanning is another. I’m sure there are others out there.
 
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multijd

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Old dry heads, especially thin ones, will break. But natural skin heads are actually very resilient. Since they are mostly used by jazz, classical, acoustic musicians there is less likelihood that the natural skin drums will be played with excessive force. I’m not sure how they would hold up on a touring metal band if the drummer even wanted to use them. But in average acoustic environments there is no real problem with breakage on new and well maintained heads. I’ve used new and old calf, kangaroo and goatskin for about three years. The trick is to get them into the range that you want for your tuning and then adjust them after playing so that you have room to tune before the next gig. It is best to get to the gig early enough to let the drums adjust to the humidity of the room. About 1/2 hour to an hour is good. Let the drums adjust before tuning. Then at the end of the gig tune them back to where they were when you arrived. In other words you have to allow for tuning without losing the collar. If it is humid you want to be able to tension up. If it is dry you want to tension down. So after playing you have to compensate and adjust for the next gig.

Why bother? They sound great. Mylar CANNOT sound like natural skin. Calftone, skyntone, fiberskyn!! No way. Not the same by a long shot. Also the feel is incredible. They give. All I can say is you can’t know until you try. They probably aren’t for everyone but that’s fine. They help define a unique sound.

I’ve posted links on the forum to a bunch of live performances, pandemic lockdown demos and other head demos.
 

Madmarian

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hi, i love the calf heads from Litik, www.litik.biz - in europe they can be bought here: www.custom-drums.de dunno for US source, but i often ship stuff to Nashville and Canada, so if there is interest, I can make them available there too*. I know that the japanese drummers are digging them. I recommend the thin version unless you are a heavy hitter, then the medium thick ones already are pretty much unbreakable.

The heads are prefitted for drum set, and when treated right last forever. With this in mind, the price is a steal (appr. 60 USD for a 14")

*) I am making the silent sticks, and ship these to our retailers in USA and CA, so it would be no big issue to also ship some heads as well, so shipping would not break the bank....
 
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Formula 602

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I have a '37 WFL 8x12 and a '38 L&L 9X13 both with tacked on bottom heads with steel rims on top probably the heads are all original. The heads are pretty thick. I bought from Re " someone " a calf skin batter and a snare side slunk for my '40 WFL snare. The batter head was very thin. I babied it, got into a whole temperature control trip and the dumb thing broke anyway. Does anyone make a playable calf skin head or is all just high-priced sit on the shelf collector froo=froo ?
the bottoms are actually PIG skin!
 

KCJazz

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Not exactly sure what you’re trying to say here, but yes, there are a few guys that make playable calf or goat skin heads. I’ve got three snares that have calf or goat on them and I play them all the time.

Bovid Percussion is one that I’ve personally dealt with and is great.

I believe Mattoon will tuck heads for you as well. Professional Drum Shop in Cali. does it as well. Stern Tanning is another. I’m sure there are others out there.
Hi Redfern!
I use heads from Earthtone and Stern Tanning on some toms, but never had luck with them on snares. If you please, what brand heads (and their thicknesses) work for you on snares? What snares do you have them on? Also, do you have slunk heads on the snare side?
 

Redfern

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Hi Redfern!
I use heads from Earthtone and Stern Tanning on some toms, but never had luck with them on snares. If you please, what brand heads (and their thicknesses) work for you on snares? What snares do you have them on? Also, do you have slunk heads on the snare side?
I have Bovid heads on one brass snare: Medium-thin goat batter and thin goat snare side. I’ve had nothing but good luck with them. Solid.

I also have an early 50’s Slingerland snare with the original heads that are still going strong. Medium batter with a super thin snare side head. I’ve played it at least 20 hours with no issues tuned pretty high.

Just put an Earthtone batter head on a 40’s Leedy. Sounds good. Likely just as durable. Time will tell.

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Redfern

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Hi Redfern!
I use heads from Earthtone and Stern Tanning on some toms, but never had luck with them on snares. If you please, what brand heads (and their thicknesses) work for you on snares? What snares do you have them on? Also, do you have slunk heads on the snare side?
What’s been the issue on the snare with either of those heads?
 

KCJazz

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What’s been the issue on the snare with either of those heads?
Somehow the sound is just not what I have in mind. Someone reviewing Earthtones advocated using them on toms, but not snare. He felt like you couldn't get what has become a modern snare sound, but that's not what we particularly want. Also, except for a '70 Jazz Fest, I've just tried them on modern drums. I think I'll check into Bovid.

Thanks for the info. That is so cool that you have the Slingy heads!
 
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multijd

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Answer me this: Why does a company named Bovid use a goat on their logo? They need to change one or the other. :)
 

multijd

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Somehow the sound is just not what I have in mind. Someone reviewing Earthtones advocated using them on toms, but not snare. He felt like you couldn't get what has become a modern snare sound, but that's not what we particularly want. Also, except for a '70 Jazz Fest, I've just tried them on modern drums. I think I'll check into Bovid.

Thanks for the info. That is so cool that you have the Slingy heads!
That’s possibly true that you can’t get a “modern snare sound”. But what you can get is a unique sound that is characteristic of natural skin. That being said, Earthtones are a poor example of the characteristic sound. The skins are not very high quality and the hoops and tucking method are inferior. Traditional heads are tucked around a flesh hoop. Earthtones are pressed into the hoop in a manner similar to Mylar. If you want to try a “real” natural skin head try a Bovid or Stern Tanning (professional drum shop in LA carries them) Or a Kentville Kangaroo (these are available in the US at selected shops). Don’t feel like you have to go heavy on the skins. You can use a medium and it will be a durable skin with a great sound.
 

KCJazz

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I stand corrected!
 


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