Emperor Weight Head on a Vintage Drum? Need Help

Topsy Turvy

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I have a 1966 Ludwig Downbeat kit that I love....except for the fact that the toms are just slightly out of round. I have been using Remo Classic Ambassadors, which are made to fit vintage drums, and these heads work well on the kit. However, I am not getting enough low-end/boom out of my floor tom, regardless of how I tune it. As such, I'd like to use a coated Emperor on the drum, but Remo doesn't make a Classic series in an Emperor weight.

Edit - Anytime I have used regular Remo heads in the past, the drums have sounded a bit choked. This is why I originally switched over to the Classic series from Remo. The drums definitely sound better now, although I'm not getting enough low end/attack out of the 14".

Does anyone have any ideas?
 
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1988fxlr

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Most 60’s Ludwigs work fine with modern heads. Regular aquarians (which are tighter than regular remo or evans) fit fine on my 68 super classics. Have you had trouble with regular heads before or just checking out the situation before you try them? I think the classic fit heads are mostly for certain eras of gretsch and slingerland
 

JDA

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we don't have much to go on.
maybe you got to break it in.
 

1988fxlr

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Measure your bearing edge from each lug to the opposite one around the shell. Unless you get a measurement significantly above 16” at one of the points you should be good to go
 

Topsy Turvy

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Most 60’s Ludwigs work fine with modern heads. Regular aquarians (which are tighter than regular remo or evans) fit fine on my 68 super classics. Have you had trouble with regular heads before or just checking out the situation before you try them? I think the classic fit heads are mostly for certain eras of gretsch and slingerland

Yep, I have had issues with normal heads being a bit too tight.
 

Topsy Turvy

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we don't have much to go on.
maybe you got to break it in.

Apologies. When I have used normal Remo heads in the past, the heads have been tight and have not resonated freely, giving the drum a slightly choked sound.
 

Topsy Turvy

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Measure your bearing edge from each lug to the opposite one around the shell. Unless you get a measurement significantly above 16” at one of the points you should be good to go

I will go ahead and measure the drum, but as I mentioned above, when I have used normal Remo heads the fit has been tight enough to cause the drum to sound slightly choked, regardless of tuning.
 
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Topsy Turvy

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Measure your bearing edge from each lug to the opposite one around the shell. Unless you get a measurement significantly above 16” at one of the points you should be good to go

I will go ahead and measure the drum, but as I mentioned above, when I have used normal Remo heads, the fit has been tight enough to cause the drum to sound slightly choked, regardless of tuning.
 

1988fxlr

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Apologies. When I have used normal Remo heads in the past, the heads have been tight and have not resonated freely, giving the drum a slightly choked sound.
Aquarian still sells separate “dots” might be worth a try to add one underneath the classic fit remo and see if it gives you the bottom end you want

you could also try a rem”o” or aquarian studio ring type thing
 

drumtimejohn

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Evans heads have larger hoops. The Emperor equivalent is G2. Aquarian American Vintage are also larger. They come in thin and medium. I read someone special ordered a texture coated in the larger AV hoop.
 

bob e michael

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i had a 14x14 ludwig tom a while back , and i had trouble getting a low end out of it too ...
what i did was ... i put a snare side head on the bottom , and a vintage amb . on top
maybe give that a go ....
 

jptrickster

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Let’s see the bearing edges
That’s usually the culprit w the mid-60’s luds. They were churning these drums out the door at ludicrous speed with quite a low standard for edges
 

Topsy Turvy

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Evans heads have larger hoops. The Emperor equivalent is G2. Aquarian American Vintage are also larger. They come in thin and medium. I read someone special ordered a texture coated in the larger AV hoop.

Thanks, I’ll give them a look.
 

bob e michael

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maybe try these heads out .... i have them on my 1965 ludwig set
 

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JazzDrumGuy

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Remo makes the emperor in vintage. A tip I got years ago by a guy who only plays 14" FT's is put a coated Emperor on top to give it a little more thud. I would go that route and bend the shell to make it work. You'll never need to take the head off again.....
 

charlesm

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What's your iso situation? Is the drum a lot more resonant, with more lows, when you hold it by the rim?

It seems like the floor toms are often the sticklers with vintage 3-ply Luds.

The 16x16 I had a number of years back was the same situation. It was somewhat choked and restrained, lows not really there enough.

Went from coated Amb to Emp and that helped a lot.

What really made a difference, though, was using Gibraltar Floating Feet. The drum's resonance was being choked by the legs. The new iso feet freed it up quite a bit.

If you try that route, you may not even need to buy a new product. Try some sponge in the existing feet (provided you can remove if desired).

Not sure why, but those older 3-ply floor shells (Lud and Sling) seem a bit more prone to resonance choking in a way that doesn't seem to affect Gretsch and Rogers, for example, as much. It's possible that the "connections" at the ft brackets are a little more firm/stiff, and so the shells are less free to vibrate.
 


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