Diplomat vs Ambassador bottom

AtlantaDrumGuy

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How much of a difference is there in using a diplomat bottom head vs an ambassador? I’ve always used ambassadors. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a diplomat.
 

Mcjnic

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There is a marked difference.
Unfortunately, there are mixed opinions on the results.
Basically, there are two warring factions ... they behave much like the cleaning of a vintage cymbal discussion.
One reso head group says that it increases sustain.
The other says it reduces sustain.
Both usually agree that the Ambassador has a lower fundamental pitch.
I try to abstain from the discussion and just do my own thing. I understand the physics behind it and have my own opinion. I run the Ambassador type head as a reso for the results I am seeking.
 
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Seb77

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I guess you get different results with different tuning, and with different playing volumes, maybe even different hoops/shells/edges.

In the above video, I only hear a slight difference: more fundamental and longer decay of that fundamental with the 10mil., and more midrange (batter head overtones) with the 7mil reso. (I wish they had done another video comparing the two thicknesses with clear heads.)

Based on this video I tried, and now like, coated amby over coated dip for high bop tuning, lower volume, on Gretsch New Classic (dc hoops). Other drums, other tunings, different styles, I might go back to clear Ambys. I have done clear Dips before, which sounded a bit bright; coated AMby is a classic I actually still have to try.
 

jaymandude

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for me it's the same as batter heads.

Clear dip - bright and thin
Coated dip - a little warmer but still pretty thin, not as full sounding
Clear Amb - Clear sound and even, maybe more " modern"
Coated Amb- A little warmer, a touch less top end, approaching " vintage"
Fiberskyn Dips - Warmer still, reduced sustain and top end.

As I get older ( I just turned 58) I find that I gravitate to a much mellower, less agressive sound in general. Mostly coated ambys on bottom, and the Fiberskyns on a Yamaha Live Custom Oak. But I've also been playing more laid back music. If I were in a Genesis tribute band I'm sure I'd do clear Ambys..
 

Tmcfour

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It depends on what and how you play. I did a lot of research looking into what thickness of bottom head would work for me. Add to that coated vs clear. They all do something to effect the sound.
 
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BennyK

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According to Keltner, the diplomat reso gives a drum more " growl ". I love words and this one is perfect .
 

shuffle

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I found Dips worked best for me when i use a 2 ply batter,Emps and Pins.
 
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BennyK

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I should say, I’m talking about snares of course...not toms.

Different discussion altogether .

A Diplomat weight on the snare side will certainly increase wire sensitivity and articulation , but on some drums the overall result can be thin and papery .

Ludwig X Tra thin is the exception . I always get the best of both worlds with that head .
 

Tornado

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I found drums harder to tune with
I should say, I’m talking about snares of course...not toms.

I just bought a mint condition used Pearl Sensitone Elite black nickel over brass snare drum for a song. I'd played one before, so I knew how great they sound. I got it in, and despite a set of 30 strand Puresounds, it had almost no snare sound. I turned it over and inspected it, and the person who owned it before me put a freaking Evans G1 on the bottom. No wonder he wanted to get rid of this drum! Anyway, that kind of demonstrates how the thickness of the bottom head affects snare articulation. It sounded pretty awesome without the snares engaged though.
 

Seb77

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Different discussion altogether .

A Diplomat weight on the snare side will certainly increase wire sensitivity and articulation , but on some drums the overall result can be thin and papery .

Ludwig X Tra thin is the exception . I always get the best of both worlds with that head .
That Ludwig is standard 3mil, like an Ambassador snare side. The nomenclature comes from Ludwig looking at all their heads and comparing them, so a snareside is "xtra-thin" by default, and a 10mil batter is "heavy".

Agree that Dip snare side sounds papery. However, Gadd uses them, and I don't think of his snare sound as papery.
 

SteveB

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We all have our own take on this. It's pretty hard to tension a Diplomat loosely, so if you bring it up to where it sings it will definitely raise the tonality of the tom some and it does allow the batter to be brought up more without choking. There was a time there when I was running clear Ambassadors up top and clear Diplomats on the bottom, even on the larger drums. I switched back to Ambassadors on both sides to warm the drums up some. I've stuck with that combo ever since figuring you can always muffle a drum down if needed. I hate thick heads on anything. If you're into low end I think its easier to bottom the drum out with regular ol' Ambassadors because of the single ply stretching over the edge...easier to manage. With either combo the snap of the stick hitting the head is about the same...to my ears.
 

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