[Opinions Wanted] Head selection for '70 Slingerlands

KoopaS

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I've recently acquired a 3-piece shell pack of '70 Slingerlands (22x14, 12x7, 16x16).

The original owner outfitted the drums with coated Ambassadors (both batter and reso). The toms have an unpleasant sticky/attacky sound that I can't seem to correct with tuning. I guess I want to hear more of the depth of drum and less of the plastic of the head, if that makes sense.

Any suggestions for head selection to open up the drum and get more tone/less attack? Thanks!
 

CaptainCrunch

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I've got Coated Emp top/Clear Amb bottom on my 13"-16"-18"-22", but to be honest the 18" sounds like butt - probably a bad head, though. The rest of the kit sounds great, nice and Slingerland-ey. If I did have to try something different, I'd probably give Aquarian Modern Vintages a shot.
 

Tomb

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I switched to Aquarian texture coated on my 12" & 16" Slingerland toms a few years ago and
they sound much better than they did with the remo heads
 

1966bmx

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I really like the coated Ambassadors on my drums but one of my sets has Remo Fiberskin heads and they may be what you are looking for as they seem to be the plastic version of a calf head . Less attack for sure ..
 

carter

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I had a 70's Slingerland kit (13/16/18/26) for several years and my favorite heads on the toms were Coated Vintage Ambassadors on top, Clear Ambassadors on the reso.
 

Rich K.

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I like emperors or pinstripes on top, clear single ply heads on the bottoms. Fat, deep sounds.
 

Mcjnic

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It would depend on the 70s shell build.
For a 3 ply - I like Aquarian clear Super2 over Classic Clear
For a 5 ply - I like Remo coated Emp over clear Amb
 

Funkeecowboy

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Tomb said:
I switched to Aquarian texture coated on my 12" & 16" Slingerland toms a few years ago and
they sound much better than they did with the remo heads
Me too. Texture coated on both sides when I want a really vintage vibe and coated top/ classic clear bottoms when I want a little more open sound.
 

JDA

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Koopa Sawyer said:
I've recently acquired a 3-piece shell pack of '70 Slingerlands (22x14, 12x7, 16x16).

The original owner outfitted the drums with coated Ambassadors (both batter and reso). The toms have an unpleasant sticky/attacky sound that I can't seem to correct with tuning. I guess I want to hear more of the depth of drum and less of the plastic of the head, if that makes sense.

Any suggestions for head selection to open up the drum and get more tone/less attack? Thanks!
sums up my experience with Slingerlands

and part why some of them; they're a bargain! in used circles. Some- I couldn't get any depth-tone from. On the one particular set I had to play- for a month of gigs- I didn't own them, I thought it was that the bearing edge was too wide (?) choking the head/drum ; something Definite Barkers. That set was.

I can even still hear it in a little bit in Buddy Rich's small tom early70s you tubes. it's just a short blip dud
 

KoopaS

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Thanks, guys. I'm reading that most of you are using clear resos. That will be my first head-swap. If that doesn't work, I'll definitely look into the Modern Vintage series.
 

Mcjnic

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I've had lots of Slingerland kits ... 60s and 70s mostly. I've never had an issue finding the right heads to get them to sing out. Just incredible drums. Mind you, not all heads work on all Slingerland kits. You definitely have to experiment. The coolest thing about Slingerland drums ... no hump in the plies. Not to be taken as 'Slingerland is better'. It references the lack of yet another variable to deal with. These old drums are fun enough to skin without having to deal with some deformity in the shell. My favorite Slingerland buidout is the late 70s 3 ply shells. Fantastic shells with nice sharp edges. Just beautiful drums. So, good luck on your experimentation. You're doing what most of us Slingerland lovers have done many times. The hunt can be annoying, but the results are such a joy.
 

idrum4fun

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I've used Remo and Evans for decades and have had excellent results with both. However, in terms of how the head actually seats on vintage 60's and 70's Slingerland, my vote is for Evans with the Level 360 collar. I first thought this was just a marketing gimmick, but, they fit all my vintage Slingerland kits perfectly! Remo heads wobble back/forth when set on the bearing edge and I always have to pay attention to be sure I level the head properly when tensioning. Level 360 heads fit perfectly flush with the bearing edge and don't wobble! I'm currently doing a complete detailing of my newly acquired 1968 Slingerland Buddy Rich kit and am installing G1 coated on the batter side of all toms. The Level 360 collar is simply the best for these drums. Just my 2 cents!

Mark
 

Gary

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I didn't read anyone else's posts but check your edges. I'd bet big cash no other head sell's more than Ambassadors and it's not because they suck. They never sound bad to me and I've experimented over the years but here I am, I bought my first ambassador in 78 and my last one a week ago.
 

Gcort49

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Danny Seraphine/Chicago used a 70's Slingerland set...had calf heads on all drums....listen to the early Chicago albums, his drumming is so melodic. He attributes it to the calf-skins.

Today, he uses Aquarian Vintage Modern II heads for his jazz and, CTA (California Transit Authority)
 

idrum4fun

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Gary said:
I didn't read anyone else's posts but check your edges. I'd bet big cash no other head sell's more than Ambassadors and it's not because they suck. They never sound bad to me and I've experimented over the years but here I am, I bought my first ambassador in 78 and my last one a week ago.
Remo sells more because that's what most of us have used for decades. Doesn't mean it's the best head available. With all due respect to Remo, they haven't changed their collar design to fit bearing edges properly. That isn't to say that these heads don't sound good. They do! However, I have dozens of drums (9 complete kits and about 40 snare drums) that Remo heads just don't fit properly at the bearing edge. I always end up with a "bubble" at the edge, which requires more tension to eliminate this issue. Can I make Remo heads sound good on my drums? Definitely! But, I still find Evans Level 360 heads to seat better and tune faster. I believe that Aquarian heads have a similar collar that also promotes easier tuning.

I have a 1994 Slingerland/HSS Artist Classic kit that I'm refurbishing. The shells are not undersized at all, causing definite seating problems with Remo heads. Evans Level 360 heads fit perfectly on these shells and sound great!

What all this really comes down to is that certain drums require specific heads. Something that we all learn when working with drums for decades! Bottom line is to use what works for you!

-Mark
 


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