Tuning 13x9 3-ply Ludwig

patrickwitherow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
300
Reaction score
19
Location
Coastal Georgia
If you were playing unmiced* would you still go with the reso-higher tuning?

*Did you ever do much small club/bar playing or did coming up and finding success first through the church have you playing inherently big rooms from the jump gig-wise?
This question might be for drichardbailey - but I play at my church (when not in pandemic mode) and that's about it for now.
 

patrickwitherow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
300
Reaction score
19
Location
Coastal Georgia
That's the best part! Hot water and Dawn bath - take the screws and inserts out, and throw the lug, screws, inserts,
and rods into the bath for a few hours. I like to use a non-abrasive sponge, an old tooth brush and sometimes a wire toothbrush (not on the chrome of the lugs) to clean these items. As for shells, depends on how dirty - generally a towel lightly damp with hot water. Rarely do I use any chemicals - maybe Windex.....
Should I include the hex screws/washers that hold the lug onto the shell?
 

ARGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
4,212
Reaction score
665
Location
Minnesota
Thank you! How did people get these drums sounding great back in the 60's before RIMS, etc?
They didn't really care about drum sound as much back then. A lot of drums didn't sound great, especially mounted toms. If you were playing a 4 piece, you could tune the rack tom so it didn't choke as bad as it did on the mount, or use a snare stand. (Some drummers did this because the rail mounts didn't always hold the drum in place very well, but it had the additional benefit of letting the drum resonate better.) You hear mostly higher tunings on toms from that era because low tunings didn't project very well and close miking wasn't in use yet, and low tunings didn't sound great on a lot of those drums.
 

D. B. Cooper

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
2,310
Reaction score
752
I pretty much live and die by coated 1ply on both sides of 3ply kits, if that helps at all. (reso always higher, and overall probably higher than you'd think)
Ever use Dips on the Reso?
There was a really good thread on Cymbalholic a couple of years ago where this was the topic. I remember learning a lot. Can't find it now. Some folks said they used diplomats as resos for a bigger sound. I've yet to do it.
Really considering going coated emps over coated dips once my Slingerland Restoration is done.
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,294
Reaction score
1,778
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
Patrick, it depends. Normally the springs are fine and I just wipe them with a towel. If the screws are fine (a dull gray) then no, unless corroded. You can use a needle nose plies to hold the shaft and a wire brush on the screw heads then flip them and clean the threads too. Usually the lugs and inserts are dirty only. Same for the rods....if rusty or corroded, I soak them. If not bad then wire brush and wipe them. I use a dab of WD40 on the tip of each screw and rod. Put a little in a cup and dip in the tip about 1/8" or less.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,172
Reaction score
787
Location
Germany
Ever use Dips on the Reso?
There was a really good thread on Cymbalholic a couple of years ago where this was the topic. I remember learning a lot. Can't find it now. Some folks said they used diplomats as resos for a bigger sound.
One might have been me, although "bigger" might not be my wording. On most drums coated over clear amby would probably create the biggest sound, but I like dips as resonant head, clear and more recently coated, on drums that have a lot of fundamental tone. If you can, make an a/b soundfile comparing both setups on your drum, on the mount that you use, at your tuning, to hear what you prefer. All these factors might influence the effect, I found it hard to predict.
 

drichardbailey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
115
Reaction score
245
Location
Oceanside CA
Ever use Dips on the Reso?
There was a really good thread on Cymbalholic a couple of years ago where this was the topic. I remember learning a lot. Can't find it now. Some folks said they used diplomats as resos for a bigger sound. I've yet to do it.
Really considering going coated emps over coated dips once my Slingerland Restoration is done.
I like heads the same weight. I think if you bop tune, diplomats can be really incredible, but they objectively don't have the ability to move air the same way as two 10mil heads. Thats kind of the diplomat thing, that the thinner head doesn't resonate as much.
 

patrickwitherow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
300
Reaction score
19
Location
Coastal Georgia
Ever use Dips on the Reso?
There was a really good thread on Cymbalholic a couple of years ago where this was the topic. I remember learning a lot. Can't find it now. Some folks said they used diplomats as resos for a bigger sound. I've yet to do it.
Really considering going coated emps over coated dips once my Slingerland Restoration is done.
My floor tom has a coated Diplomat on the reso. It sounds huge combined with the coated Emperor on top. I ordered a coated and clear Diplomat for the 13" to test out for the reso, as well as a coated and clear Ambassador. Should be interesting to hear the differences.
 

D. B. Cooper

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
2,310
Reaction score
752
My floor tom has a coated Diplomat on the reso. It sounds huge combined with the coated Emperor on top. I ordered a coated and clear Diplomat for the 13" to test out for the reso, as well as a coated and clear Ambassador. Should be interesting to hear the differences.
I'll be curious to hear your thoughts.
 

D. B. Cooper

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
2,310
Reaction score
752
I like heads the same weight. I think if you bop tune, diplomats can be really incredible, but they objectively don't have the ability to move air the same way as two 10mil heads. Thats kind of the diplomat thing, that the thinner head doesn't resonate as much.
Right on. I get it. Diplomats dry the tone out a bit, too right? I thought maybe there was some kind of magic in that dryness when used as a reso?
I'm going to try both!
 

drichardbailey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
115
Reaction score
245
Location
Oceanside CA
Right on. I get it. Diplomats dry the tone out a bit, too right? I thought maybe there was some kind of magic in that dryness when used as a reso?
I'm going to try both!

Totally. Yeah, especially if I was on a gig where I was going to be playing quiet, diplomats certainly sound great.
 

patrickwitherow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
300
Reaction score
19
Location
Coastal Georgia
Well, I put on the coated Ambassador batter and the clear Ambassador reso this evening. I will say, that I feel like I can now tune the drum up quite a bit more without it feeling choked. Honestly, I am awful at tuning 12 and 13 inch toms for some reason. I hear a sound in my head and I try to get to that tone, note, pitch, whatever it is. I want it to sound big and round and full, yet not too low...

I do like these in this video - any recommendation on how to achieve this sound he has going on for the 13"? I tuned up my reso head, but I'm not sure how tight is too tight for a reso head? Or too loose? Am I aiming for the tone I want to hear on the reso side? Thanks for helping!

 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,172
Reaction score
787
Location
Germany
Well, I put on the coated Ambassador batter and the clear Ambassador reso this evening. I will say, that I feel like I can now tune the drum up quite a bit more without it feeling choked. Honestly, I am awful at tuning 12 and 13 inch toms for some reason. I hear a sound in my head and I try to get to that tone, note, pitch, whatever it is. I want it to sound big and round and full, yet not too low...

I do like these in this video - any recommendation on how to achieve this sound he has going on for the 13"? I tuned up my reso head, but I'm not sure how tight is too tight for a reso head? Or too loose? Am I aiming for the tone I want to hear on the reso side? Thanks for helping!

Nice example! A bit compressed, which in this case lenghtens the decay. You have to keep in mind the decay will be a bit shorter in real life, and less "dense".
You can hear the fundamental tone that is the product of both heads, the air between them, the shell etc. (pitch is c# or db). You can also hear a bit of the batter head. From the relation between the two, I dedcut the reso is a bit higher than the batter.
I think you're on the right way with the Amby head combo and not tuning too low. Try getting an even pitch from both heads on the high/tight side, then loosen the batter slightly until you get a bigger tone. The difference between the heads shouldn't be too big, so if it still sounds too high, loosen the reso a bit as well. Every time you've loosened a head, press onto it to get it down right away. Otherwise it will only detune while you play it.
 

patrickwitherow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
300
Reaction score
19
Location
Coastal Georgia
Nice example! A bit compressed, which in this case lenghtens the decay. You have to keep in mind the decay will be a bit shorter in real life, and less "dense".
You can hear the fundamental tone that is the product of both heads, the air between them, the shell etc. (pitch is c# or db). You can also hear a bit of the batter head. From the relation between the two, I dedcut the reso is a bit higher than the batter.
I think you're on the right way with the Amby head combo and not tuning too low. Try getting an even pitch from both heads on the high/tight side, then loosen the batter slightly until you get a bigger tone. The difference between the heads shouldn't be too big, so if it still sounds too high, loosen the reso a bit as well. Every time you've loosened a head, press onto it to get it down right away. Otherwise it will only detune while you play it.
Thanks for your help. I will give this a shot. I think I'm close!
 

Houndog

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
2,177
Reaction score
1,332
Location
Oklahoma City
Random question - do you happen to know the size of the lug hex screws inside the shell? I'd like to get a tool to match the size so I can clean the hardware, etc. in the next few weeks.


Do you happen to know the lug hex screw size inside the Ludwig shells? I'd like to get a tool in this size so I can clean the hardware, etc soon.

View attachment 442143

You couldn't figure that out on your own ?
 

Davo

New Member
Joined
May 23, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Hello everyone! I've got my 60's Ludwig kit sounding great. The bass and floor tom were pretty easy to tune up and are wide open except for a felt strip on the reso bass head. I like the big, boomy, resonance sound. I'm having a little trouble on the 13" tom though. When I tune the top/bottom heads with the tom on my lap and tap with my finger it sounds nice and warm with a long note. When I put it on the rail mount arm and hit it with a drumstick it sounds like I have a layer of duct tape on both heads. I had the tom sounding great, and I wanted to experiment a little and now I can't find my way back. Right now I'm running what the drum came with: Coated Emperor batter and Coated Ambassador Vintage reso - both are 2-ply heads.

Could the reso head being 2-ply cause the drum to sound dead? Or is there a 'right' way to tune these 3-ply drums to get me in the right direction?
The floor tom also has a coated Emperor batter, but has a coated Diplomat reso head and it sounds big, nice and round.

Thanks for any help!

**Thanks everybody for the help! I was able to get the tone, sound and 'feel' I had in my head. A coated Ambassador batter a along with a coated Ambassador reso head seemed to brighten the drum up and give it some life back. At first I had a hard time getting it tuned up - it was either too high for what I like, or too low and flubby sounding. I'm not sure what happened, but after letting it sit overnight, it seemed to 'season' itself. It sounds great now! I'm also using a snare stand to mount the tom now as well (dw 6300 flush base) - so that may have helped as well. I will still use the rail mount at times, as I much prefer that to a snare stand. While I was at it, I replaced the kick batter head with a coated Emperor and added a felt strip to it. Still sounds big and boomy, but has something extra to it. Thanks again!**
Single ply on the reso side .
 

patrickwitherow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
300
Reaction score
19
Location
Coastal Georgia
Single ply on the reso side .
Thanks! I ended up getting a coated Ambassador over coated Ambassador on the 13". I tuned it up a bit and it has this nice tone to it. It sings now! I replaced the coated Diplomat reso on the 16" with a coated Ambassador and kept the coated Emperor for the batter. Sounds deep and rich.
 


Top