Thick vs thin - single vs double ply

halldorl

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I’ve had a 20” Tama Starclassic Gong drum for over a year now and used it quite a bit. It came shipped with an 22” Evans EQ4 head which wasn’t to my liking so I changed to a clear Remo Emperor head. The drum sounded nice but I kinda expected more “thunder” i.e. punch and projection. Just a few days later Simon Phillips borrowed my kit for a session here in Iceland and brought along with him a 21” Remo Timpani T1 head which is 0.7mil, same thickness as a Remo Diplomat. He mounted it sans the hoop, instead used the clips on the flesh hoop itself and mounts the head that way. With that head the drum not only opened up but you get a lot more of everything; punch, attack and to my surprise a LOT more low end. Ok, from years of playing I know if I need projection and power, single ply heads are they way to go but this huge difference was pretty amazing. The only drawback is they don’t last very long played with regular drumsticks. I also tried an Ambassador which delivers more sound than the Emperor but that 0.7mil Timpani head is the shiznit. The T1 head comes in Hazy white or clear. I like the clear version more and have stocked up.

This is just an observation I thought might be interesting.


ADDD1FB7-0ED8-45D0-9013-28FA9DBC6AEA.jpeg


Simon’s set up using my Starclassic Maple kit:

D5F1ECB9-9C8A-4A01-A263-5A3BF132A029.jpeg
 

Tommy D

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I would think to get the proper ring out of the head, something like a single ply would be the best idea. As for thick vs thin heads, I dont know. I suppose an ambassador weight would be the lightest I would use, just to give it a bit more durability, but I would probably be more comfortable with an Ambassador X to have just a little more thickless but not have the extra damping of the 2 ply emperor head.

BTW, thats cool that Simon Phillips played your kit. Did you get a call from your Tama rep saying, "Simon is going to be in your area but we don't have a kit big enough for him. Can you bring yours out to the gig?"
 

halldorl

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BTW, thats cool that Simon Phillips played your kit. Did you get a call from your Tama rep saying, "Simon is going to be in your area but we don't have a kit big enough for him. Can you bring yours out to the gig?"
Actually yes. But Simon new from a former visit I had a kit ALMOST big enough for him. We had to borrow an extra 24" bass bass drum.
 

ThomasL

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Cool! Do you have a closeup of how the claws attach to the hoop of the head?

Edit: Does Simon endorse a particular brand of paint, or would, say, a can of fermented shark work for the bass drum? ;-)
 

TGStan

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Great anecdote, thanks for sharing.

I remember reading that Jonathan Mover used a diplomat on his gong drum and it had to be “replaced after every show.”

Plenty of photos of Tim Alexander using the T1 head on his gong drum.

And of course, all the MD Peart kit diagrams note that he used an ambassador on his.

I have the DW gong drum with an emperor (my preferred tom head) and I like it, though I have wondered about going thinner.
 

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