New Drum Set - Drum Head Recommendations

Core Creek

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Last year I sold off my Mapex Satuen kit kind of out of boredom, and I’ve been itching to replace it with something. I finally got a really good deal on a set of Legend drums from 1996.... all Keller Maple shells, 8, 10, 12, 14” floor, 16” floor, 22” and a matching 5.5”x13” snare.

I’ve been using a nice set of Rockstars (with Starcast mounts) and recently put on coated emperors and clear ambassadors on the reso side and really like it. I used to use Evans EC2 coated heads on my Mapex kit and thought they were fine for recording, but perhaps a little too muted. I’d rather have a few too many overtones and dampen them down with moongel if need be. With smaller toms I like a medium tuning and use the size of the drum to get a higher pitch. I’m a rocker, but do like my toms to “sing”. The old school pinstripes I used years ago were just too thuddy.

So what‘s new in the world of drum heads? I’m probably going to use the same heads as the Rockstar kit unless someone can convince me otherwise.

Here are a couple of pics. They need a really nice cleaning and the heads are all pretty shot, but otherwise they will be awesome when I’m done. Unfortunately the bass drum got dinged in transit... darn fedex!

BF9CD09B-A44F-47EF-A153-97BD719B0D31.jpeg

9F99F10E-95E1-474D-A36A-F092570E26B6.jpeg
 

Old Dog

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When I got my PDP M5s restored, I put Evans G2s on them. I was also used to thuddyness having started drumming in the 80s with a set of concert toms basically. The G2's, to my ear, sing nicely. These shells are very hard maple. I've heard a lot of people say they think G2s sound "plastic-y". Probably my lack of experience, but I don't hear that. I think they sound great.

Clears by the way.
 

JDA

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That's a nice/ drum set friend.

Heads I guess depend on what kind of music you're going to play on them and your style. I know what I'd put on them because I know how I want and do play.

really nice/looking/ drum set.
 

DanRH

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Agreed. Great kit! Clear Emp's would be my choice.
 

Core Creek

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When I got my PDP M5s restored, I put Evans G2s on them. I was also used to thuddyness having started drumming in the 80s with a set of concert toms basically. The G2's, to my ear, sing nicely. These shells are very hard maple. I've heard a lot of people say they think G2s sound "plastic-y". Probably my lack of experience, but I don't hear that. I think they sound great.

Clears by the way.
I‘ve used G2s before and didn’t mind them. But I prefer the Remo coating over the evans coating. I do love Evans emad bass heads. I might get an EMAD 2 coated for this kit. And I love Aquarian Regulator for bass reso heads.... has anyone used an Evans bass head that compares well to the regulator?

So is there anyone who used coated Emperors and Clear Ambassadors in the past but found something they like better?

I’m not going to have a chance to clean them up or get heads for several weeks.... when they’re all cleaned up and set up in my studio I’ll be sure to post more pics.
 

JDA

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What's on there now; top and bottom and bass drum etc all

front bass logo head what ever you do "don't cut it!:" it's as rare as hell
 

Core Creek

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Unfortunately none of the heads are in good shape. All the resos are the original Legend heads by Evans but it looks like someone hit all of them.... including the reso bass head... with a stick! All the top heads are pretty used as well, so I can’t really tell how fresh heads will sound. There also isn’t a batter snare head, and this is my first 13” snare, and the reso is beat up....
 

JDA

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yeah. preserve that bass logo head I know you will.
I mean put it somewhere (you don't have to use it..) just saying preserve it.
 

Core Creek

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Yeah, I’ll be saving anything with the Legend name on it......
 
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drumsforme

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Loved Legend Drums when they came out. I still have 3 Legend Snare Drums- 6.5x14 Phosphur Bronze, 4x14" Phosphur Bronze and a 5.5x14 Maple.
Wished I had purchased one of their kits- Hard to come by. Yours looks great !
 

Matched Gripper

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Last year I sold off my Mapex Satuen kit kind of out of boredom, and I’ve been itching to replace it with something. I finally got a really good deal on a set of Legend drums from 1996.... all Keller Maple shells, 8, 10, 12, 14” floor, 16” floor, 22” and a matching 5.5”x13” snare.

I’ve been using a nice set of Rockstars (with Starcast mounts) and recently put on coated emperors and clear ambassadors on the reso side and really like it. I used to use Evans EC2 coated heads on my Mapex kit and thought they were fine for recording, but perhaps a little too muted. I’d rather have a few too many overtones and dampen them down with moongel if need be. With smaller toms I like a medium tuning and use the size of the drum to get a higher pitch. I’m a rocker, but do like my toms to “sing”. The old school pinstripes I used years ago were just too thuddy.

So what‘s new in the world of drum heads? I’m probably going to use the same heads as the Rockstar kit unless someone can convince me otherwise.

Here are a couple of pics. They need a really nice cleaning and the heads are all pretty shot, but otherwise they will be awesome when I’m done. Unfortunately the bass drum got dinged in transit... darn fedex!

View attachment 478909
View attachment 478910
I'm a fan of Aquarian Studio X heads, coated or clear. The also come with power dots. And, they look cool! :cool:

 

Core Creek

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Loved Legend Drums when they came out. I still have 3 Legend Snare Drums- 6.5x14 Phosphur Bronze, 4x14" Phosphur Bronze and a 5.5x14 Maple.
Wished I had purchased one of their kits- Hard to come by. Yours looks great !
Yeah, I knew about the Legend drums from the ads in Modern drummer back in the 90’s. But I too have owned a couple of 4x14 bronze snares.... still have one.

Btw, guitar center has a set of Legend drums on their used gear site. It seems a tad overpriced to me, but they look like they’re in great shape....
 

Matched Gripper

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Interesting. I wonder if they make a 2 ply coated version.... or that might be overkill.
I would say a 2 ply defeats the purpose of the Studio X, which is a medium weight (10 mil) single ply head that takes out only the high frequency overtones with a very subtle painted-on muffle ring, and otherwise is pretty much wide open. If you look at the coated head in the link, that white stripe that shows through from the under side of the head is the painted-on muffle ring.
 
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Core Creek

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I would say a 2 ply defeats the purpose of the Studio X, which is a medium weight (10 mil) single ply head that takes out only the high frequency overtones with a very subtle painted-on muffle ring, and otherwise is pretty much wide open. If you look at the coated head in the link, that white stripe that shows through from the under side of the head is the painted-on muffle ring.
I tend to prefer two ply heads.... aren’t EC2’s 2 ply? Or is that like the Studio X... one ply with a dampening ring around the head? I’ll have to look into that...
 

drumsforme

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Yeah, I knew about the Legend drums from the ads in Modern drummer back in the 90’s. But I too have owned a couple of 4x14 bronze snares.... still have one.

Btw, guitar center has a set of Legend drums on their used gear site. It seems a tad overpriced to me, but they look like they’re in great shape....
Thanks- I'll take a look at that.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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If you haven’t tried Evans, the equivalent of your usual setup would be great on those - Coated G2 over Clear G1
Those drums just look like they should have Evans heads on them, they’re modern and ready to rock. Sometimes drums like one brand better, it’s worth at least a try. Evans heads are just a little bigger, and a little different- they seat better on some drums for sure. (Beautiful set btw, I’ve only ever seen snares, sets must be pretty rare.

My favorite “different” heads are:

the Coated G12 and the Ambassador X a 12 mil single ply (there’s also a G14) The G12 and Ambassador X are also amazing on snare drums! A discernible extra oomph but same great feel and tone as an Amb/G1

the Coated Vintage Ambassador - not quite an Emperor but beefier than an Ambassador (7mil+5mil iirc) Love them on toms.

Clear EC2’s are nice, I’m not crazy about the clear over clear sound but it’s a good sound. Black heads? They’d look nice. Evans Onyx are a great rock head, but they are on the thuddy side, maybe more than you (personally) might like.
 

cinemadrummer2001

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I used to have that exact set about 15 years ago. Same sizes and finish! Unfortunately I had to sell it during the 08’-09’ recession. The heads that sounded great to me on that set were Remo coated ambassador batters with clear ambassador bottoms on the toms and a clear PS3 on the bass drum batter. It gave a very live resonant sound that, like you said, could easily be muffled down should you want.
 

Core Creek

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Thanks for the input guys..... I’ll look into the coated vintage ambassadors...

Wow, same kit, same sizes..... I might have to try a coated ambassador over a clear ambassador.... the last time I tried that I recall it was a little too ringy For my tastes, but perhaps buying one head and giving it a shot is worth a try....
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Beautiful drums , great maple shells - real chameleons . Personally I would just get coated Ambassadors for the Toms batters over clear ambassadors for the resonant heads . Coated PS3 on the bass drum batter with a smooth white PS3 resonant side . Great tried and true heads .
 


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