Drum Head Dents

pstone

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Location
az
I went ahead and tried a few experiments with some recently deceased 12" dented tom heads.

First, I put a lighter up to one of the dents from underneath. After a few seconds, the dent actually "Popped" back into flat.
This worked fine, but distorted the head slightly.

Second, I tensioned a head on an older drum shell THEN held a lighter underneath...Again, you could hear the POP of the dent going flat.
This did not distort the head at all.

Third, I left the head on an old shell and left it in the Arizona sun for about an hour...
Don't do this...It distorts the head AND the shell, but does nothing to fix the dents.

I haven't tried the hair dryer method yet 'cause the ex took all the hair dryers.

Anyone ever hear of the Iron Method?
 

Rhino

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
292
Reaction score
14
Location
Kansas City, MO
This has been very informative. I never thought about taking the dents out. I don't mind them being there most of the time. However, our band leader has a PDP kit that has white coated heads and there is a dent smack in the middle of the right mounted tom that for some reason is really irritating to look at, because it catches the corner of my eye and it draws me right to it. Especially if I'm playing the ride. If it were on a floor tom it wouldn't be so distracting but on the mounted tom it's always right there in front of you, but it's his kit and he can flatten it if he wants to.
 

Dave H.

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
5,291
Reaction score
48
Location
Ashmore IL.
Heck I have a "FEW DENTS", never worried about a few dents on a drum head. If they are bad enough replace it.
I might put a fixed dented head on the reso side I guess but I use coated heads on both ends of my drums & I think the heat would be hard on the coating.

Slawman :occasion5:
 

GeneZ

DFO Master
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
4,889
Reaction score
1,019
Location
Grew up in NY.. now, Georgia -NW of Atlanta
You might be removing the dents, but you are ruining the heads and making them prone to breakage. Heat makes the film brittle, which is why head manufacturers are very careful to restrict the heat required for thermoforming the collar in the collar area only.
The collar area (apparently) can be heated (to an extent) to form the head over the snare bed area.

I called Aquarian and was surprised that it was Roy Burns I spoke with. He did not scream and holler when I mentioned it involved heating the snare bed area. He just said that they never tested it to see if it made any difference in sound. He asked if I had done an A/B comparison. I told him I had not. He only said that I should, to see if its worth the effort. I made sure to tell him it was not to be used on any other part of the head... Then, I thanked him for doing such a great job with the products Aquarian makes. I felt honored to have spoken to him.


Gene
 

gwbasley

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
2,842
Reaction score
471
Location
Holiday, Florida
It sounds like you are referring to batter heads, in which case:
1. The dented heads look bad and will only tune to "certain" notes...not necessarily the ones that you prefer;
2. "Heating out" the dents will make them look better but they will still not tune properly;
3. New heads will look good and sound good.
What you could conclude is this: To look good and sound good I need to buy new heads and, as a plus, I can carry the old heads around as emergency spares. That is what I would do.
 

GeneZ

DFO Master
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
4,889
Reaction score
1,019
Location
Grew up in NY.. now, Georgia -NW of Atlanta
It sounds like you are referring to batter heads, in which case:
1. The dented heads look bad and will only tune to "certain" notes...not necessarily the ones that you prefer;
2. "Heating out" the dents will make them look better but they will still not tune properly;
3. New heads will look good and sound good.
What you could conclude is this: To look good and sound good I need to buy new heads and, as a plus, I can carry the old heads around as emergency spares. That is what I would do.

New heads to me are like new shoes. They need to be broken in a bit before they feel right. Same holds true for performance tires on a car. I like the heads better after a few weeks of playing on them. But, then again. It all depends on what sound you like to hear (and feel).
 

gwbasley

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
2,842
Reaction score
471
Location
Holiday, Florida
It sounds like you are referring to batter heads, in which case:
1. The dented heads look bad and will only tune to "certain" notes...not necessarily the ones that you prefer;
2. "Heating out" the dents will make them look better but they will still not tune properly;
3. New heads will look good and sound good.
What you could conclude is this: To look good and sound good I need to buy new heads and, as a plus, I can carry the old heads around as emergency spares. That is what I would do.

New heads to me are like new shoes. They need to be broken in a bit before they feel right. Same holds true for performance tires on a car. I like the heads better after a few weeks of playing on them. But, then again. It all depends on what sound you like to hear (and feel).
I agree, however, "broken in" is far different from dented or repaired. A new head that has been broken in still tensions evenly wheras dented, or worse in my opinion, repaired heads have "dead spots in them. Think of it this way, for each dent you place a piece of 1" X 1" duct tape on a new head in the same spot, and for a repair you do the same except with a 2" X 2" piece (because you have heated that area)...we both know the answer... the head will be far less responsive from the sound of a new head. So where does this lead? I say live with the dents and when you can afford to replace them, buy heavier guage heads. I've seen many drumsets with a "clean" snare head and dented toms. This tells me that the owner likes his snare tuned up, which is usually the case, but his toms tuned down. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with this except that he should be using something like Emperors on the toms which might be better suited to his tuning preferences while resisting denting.
 

GeneZ

DFO Master
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
4,889
Reaction score
1,019
Location
Grew up in NY.. now, Georgia -NW of Atlanta
I agree, however, "broken in" is far different from dented or repaired. A new head that has been broken in still tensions evenly wheras dented, or worse in my opinion, repaired heads have "dead spots in them. Think of it this way, for each dent you place a piece of 1" X 1" duct tape on a new head in the same spot, and for a repair you do the same except with a 2" X 2" piece (because you have heated that area)...we both know the answer... the head will be far less responsive from the sound of a new head. So where does this lead? I say live with the dents and when you can afford to replace them, buy heavier guage heads. I've seen many drumsets with a "clean" snare head and dented toms. This tells me that the owner likes his snare tuned up, which is usually the case, but his toms tuned down. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with this except that he should be using something like Emperors on the toms which might be better suited to his tuning preferences while resisting denting.
Sorry I wasn't clear. It was point three, I was responding to...


3. New heads will look good and sound good.
What you could conclude is this: To look good and sound good I need to buy new heads and, as a plus, I can carry the old heads around as emergency spares. That is what I would do.
I did not like the sound of new heads as much as the heads I had broken in. I always looked forward to the few weeks it took to really get them settled down.
 


Top