Can You Talk Me Out of Remo Coated Ambassador Heads?

JazzDrumGuy

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I'd beef up the sound with coated Emperor's on top and either a coated Ambassador on bottom or clears.

Depends on the sound you want, whether you want higher, mid or low tone, and the type of music.
 

mlucas123

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What other heads are there? I'm still using a set of coated Ambassadors purchased in 2006.
 

Murat

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For me personally, Ambassadors (clear or coated) are the true tests for the sound of any drum. If your shells are good, they accentuate it. If the shells are bad, they accentuate that too. You may have great shells and choose to control it a bit and go with Emperors or something similar and that is perfectly fine too. But for me personally, I would like to hear every single drum set with Ambassadors first to see what they are made of and take it from there...or stay there.
 

mgdrummer

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Like Roch and Murat have already said, a coated ambassador is my "validity test" for almost any drum (toms and snares anyway). If I can't get a drum to sound good with a coated ambassador chances are I'm not going to keep it.

Lately I've been using coated ambassadors on my smaller toms (8"-13") and coated emperors on my floor toms (16" & 18"). I'd never tried it before, but I really like what I'm getting out of the thiner/thicker pairing. The small toms have snap & bark with the ambassadors (they become a little muddy with emperors) and the larger toms are more focused and the attack sounds close to what I'm getting out of the ambassadors on the smaller drums (they are a little unruly and boomy with ambassadors).
 

dcrigger

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Thanks. It sounds like Aquarian is a no-brainer.
Nope - not if you prefer the sound of the Ambassador over the Texture Coated. As they do sound different - similar, yes - but different none the less.

I fell into using TC's for awhile - then on some occasion, just decided, "you know, I should give Amb's another go... resulting in the creation - "What in the world was I thinking"... and that was the end of that.

:)
 

lcondo123

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If you're stuck on coated singly-ply heads, do Evans UV1 heads. They're incredible. Coating is indestructible and they last way longer than Ambs.
 

bongomania

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I tried Aquarian TCs on my snares for a year. Yes the sound is mellower, the coating is thicker and lasts longer. But they lack the attack and pop of coated ambassadors. So I am back to the Remos.
Just for snares, I prefer Ludwig weather masters, for that attack and pop, and they last a long time. I usually only put Aquarians on my toms and bass.
 

m_anderson

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Coated Amb's all around work for me.
Same here. With my old Slingerland kit it was REMO coated Ambassador all around with coated Emperors on BD. I didn't start playing around with different heads until I bought the TAMA kit in 2006, but I could easily go back to all REMO coated heads. Great sound.
 

studrum

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Thanks all.

Here's my tally of the votes so far:

5 votes straight up for Remo Coated Ambassadors.

7 votes for Remo Coated Ambassadors with the qualification that other heads are worth considering.

12 votes for 7 other heads. whether as superior to Remo Coated Ambassadors or worth considering as alternatives. Unfortunately, there's not much consensus on the alternatives. In the top spot are 4 votes for the Vintage Coated Emperors, though no other head gets more than 2 votes.

This is as many votes for Remo Coated Ambassadors as it is for all other heads combined. Especially interesting to me is that two versions of Evans heads get only 3 votes combined. Since I think of Evans as an equal competitor with Remo rather than a fringe company, the fact that Remo overwhelms Evans tells me that y'all really do prefer Remo, at least for these kinds of heads.

So by the rules of democracy, Remo Coated Ambassadors win without a runoff, though the strong finish for Vintage Coated Emperors cause me to think I should listen to a few more youtube videos featuring them.

But I have one more question. Two people mentioned that Aquarian Texture Coated heads last longer that the Remos. Since I'm nothing if not a cheapskate, if the Aquarian TC's are roughly equivalent to the Remo Ambassadors (and the Aquarian TC's received two votes) but are more durable, that's a strong argument for choosing Aquarian. Thoughts?
I stand with the Texture Coated crowd, Aquarians' attempt at an Ambassador. I don't know how long ago you stopped playing, but your beloved Ambassadors had their coating formulation changed in the mid-90's. They feel pretty much the same to play, but the coating flies off of them in record time. If you play a lot of brushes, particularly jazz-style, with sweeps, prepare for a sad ($$$) experience.
 

Johnny D

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Count me in for Coated Ambassadors all around, Clear Ambassadors on the bottoms, except for the bass drum. Coated P3. But if that doesn’t convince you, Charlie Watts recently switched back to Coated Ambassadors after using C.S. Black Dots for 44 years ;)
 

Mongrel

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There is a difference...Much good stuff said above about it-too much to quote and respond to.

My experience is that Evans and Aquarian coatings last longer because they are thicker-noticeably thicker. But it comes at a price-response, clarity, attack, and resonance. There are less overtones but it feels almost like you are hitting a two ply head. If you like the '72 Bruford snare pop you aren't getting it out of those heads imo.

The Evans coated G1 I have on my Acrolite right now almost sounds pre-muffled compared to the Ambassador I just changed out. It is working great for what I am doing, but the Ambassador with a couple of Moongels could easily fill the same role.

Also, regarding brushes, the Evans coating sounds obnoxious while the Ambassador coating sounds smooth if that makes any sense? Fine for a loud gig I guess, but I find myself have to change brush technique to mellow the sweeps out or it sounds like someone shaking a can of rocks....lol. It may mellow out over time I will have to see.

Pretty cheap to buy one of each and see what you think.
 

Ron_M

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I'll echo what Mongrel said about the coatings. I never cared for Evans G1, although the Evans J1 etched is more lively. I threw some Aquarian TCs on about a year ago, and have been pretty happy with them, but they're softer in feel & sound, compared to ambassadors. About a month ago, I reheaded with ambasadors, and was happy to have the extra overtones back.

As far as durability, I've never had issues with Remo's coating, but acknowledge many others have. I am most definitely in the 'low volume player' camp. Also, no problems with seating or tuning Remos, but my shells are undersized, so that's a factor.
 

Old Drummer

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Although there are now even more divergent opinions about heads, it appears that there's a consensus that coated Ambassadors are the benchmark against which other heads are measured (even the benchmark for assessing a drum's sound). Some drummers stick with the coated Ambassadors for some or all drums while others prefer different heads--but even those who prefer different heads have usually tried the coated Ambassadors before deciding against them.

It seems to follow that all drums deserve coated Ambassadors initially, even if some or all of the heads are later swapped out for different ones.

I'm hesitant to go this route because I'm suspecting that I might want different heads for my snare and floor tom (the two heads that most need to be replaced) while the coated Ambassadors seem best for my rack toms. However, it doesn't sound like there's a more direct or cost-effective way to make the decision. It seems almost obligatory to start with the Ambassadors and then make changes if desired based on experience with them.

Since a set of 4 Ambassadors (I'm not looking at resos or bass drum heads yet) shouldn't cost more than $50 and I've surely wasted more than $50 worth of time, it's probably time to slap some Ambassadors on my drums and find out for myself.

Thanks.
 

shiek_yerbouti

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If you have a 14" tom there is no harm in trying the Coated Ambassadors on that drum. You can always use those heads on a snare drum if you're not happy with them on the tom.

 

halldorl

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Another vote for Ambassadors (and Ambassador X). I’ve tried hard to like similar heads from other manufacturers without luck except Ludwig heavy coated for snares.
Aquarian TC’s sound brittle to my ears and go flat pretty fast. The Jack DeJohnette head sounds amazing but also goes flat real fast. Evans G1 are just dead sounding compared to Ambs. UV1’s I tried on a Tama Star Walnut kit, similar to mine and they sounded really awful; muted and lifeless. The 8” tom had an Ambassador head and it really stood out; way more life, snap and projection.
 

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