What is it about remo coated ambassadors that..

lrod1707

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if a drum doesn’t sound good with a coated Ambassador it’s a drum not worth having.
My new Gretsch USA Bronze snare had coated ambassadors from the factory and it sounded wrong. Same complaint from most people that buy them. I switched the heads and now it sounds like it's supposed to. And it's definitely a drum that's worth having! I personally would never gauge a drums worth with an $18 piece of plastic!
 
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CherryClassic

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thanks, nice article, too bad it doesn't describe why its called a 'weatherking'. Just trivia.
I suspect durability, or maybe ability to play outside and get wet (unlike calf)?
I don't know for sure but I started playing REMO about the same year they started selling them. You suspect right, in junior high school as a beginner, my bandleader changed to REMO because everything they promised was correct. No re-tuning before and after every use, they last longer and due to the fact we marched in all types of weather I can understand why they were called Weather King. They would change every time the weather changed. Can you imagine how hard it must have been as a band leader to be responsible for eight or ten drums and a bunch of kids forgetting to de-tune the heads after each session? LOL

I've been using REMO ever since and just like the sound of Coated Ambassador heads.


sherm
 

Tornado

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I don't know for sure but I started playing REMO about the same year they started selling them. You suspect right, in junior high school as a beginner, my bandleader changed to REMO because everything they promised was correct. No re-tuning before and after every use, they last longer and due to the fact we marched in all types of weather I can understand why they were called Weather King. They would change every time the weather changed. Can you imagine how hard it must have been as a band leader to be responsible for eight or ten drums and a bunch of kids forgetting to de-tune the heads after each session? LOL

I've been using REMO ever since and just like the sound of Coated Ambassador heads.


sherm
What year was this? Did you really march with calf skin heads? Did you know Abe Lincoln?
 

Old Drummer

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To repeat what others have said, I think the popularity of Remo Coated Ambassadors is mostly a consequence of tradition. Like Coca-Cola and Kleenex, Remo Coated Ambassadors were just there with market share first. And also like Coca-Cola and Kleenex, Remo Coated Ambassadors have remained a consistent quality product (although I've read that the Ambassadors faltered for a year or two).

Helping Remo Coated Ambassadors remain in a dominant position is frankly its bewildering number of competitors. When I was shopping for a snare drum head, I watched a YouTube video in which some 60+ snare drum heads were compared. Believe it or not, I had slight preferences for some over the others. But there were way too many to discriminate meaningfully among them (and it was another guy's snare on top of it). Confronted with so many options, a normal person just says "I'll take a Coke," "Give me a Kleenex," or "How about a Remo Ambassador?"

Add that most drummers only buy new heads every few months or years. Unless they have money to burn and enjoy changing heads, they have to keep it simple. Remo Coated Ambassadors are simple.

In my case, the last time I bought I intended to buy Remo Coated Ambassadors, but the shop didn't have a full set in all the sizes I needed so I ended up with a mix of coated Aquarian and Evans. My decision making was a bit more complex (and boring) than this, but the upshot is that I don't think it made much of a difference. I think I like the Aquarian heads a little less than Remo and the Evans heads a little more, but it's such a close call that it's unimportant.

Of course, there's a younger generation that grew up with something other than Remo Coated Ambassadors as the norm. My bet is that their bias isn't always in favor of Remo and Remo probably doesn't have the market share it once had. But the fact that nearly everyone plays a coated snare head probably still helps Remo Coated Ambassadors. Departures from Remo have seemingly mostly been for toms and bass drums. Even drummers with a strong preference for other heads in general probably gravitate toward Remo Coated Ambassadors for the snare they way they buy Cokes and Kleenex.
 

CherryClassic

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What year was this? Did you really march with calf skin heads? Did you know Abe Lincoln?
LOL My friends say I'm older than dirt. My brother did he graduated from High School in '49. It was 1957 when I started learning drums. My band director (we only had one) changed all the heads to plastic and told us he was trying something new and if he didn't like them he would change back to calf skin. I never played on a calf skin drum head it was always Weather King made by REMO. I do remember breaking a drum head on a marching drum and I believe it had two layers so I don't know if they all were the same but the snare side heads were single ply. In those days for marching we only had snare drums and bass drums. By the time I graduated, some of the schools were getting tenor drums.

sherm
 

Soulfinger

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Ambassadors seem to bring out all frequencies and have a certain “twang” and life that other heads don’t have. (...) They have such a great tonal range I have never found in any other head.
Exactly my experience. Tried other makes and models but no longer bother with them - Ambassador is where it´s at for me.
 

halldorl

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My new Gretsch USA Bronze snare had coated ambassadors from the factory and it sounded wrong. Same complaint from most people that buy them. I switched the heads and now it sounds like it's supposed to. And it's definitely a drum that's worth having! I personally would never gauge a drums worth with an $18 piece of plastic!
Always an exception :) Is it the cast 5mm Phosphor Bronze or the thinner 1mm shell? What do you run on that drum?
 
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MrYikes

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I absolutely HATE the remo logo on their heads. It's like buying a diamond ring for your wife and seeing Zale printed on it. I don't buy heads often, but the huge logo takes the joy out of the purchase. I am sure that my next heads will come from China.
 

halldorl

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I absolutely HATE the remo logo on their heads. It's like buying a diamond ring for your wife and seeing Zale printed on it. I don't buy heads often, but the huge logo takes the joy out of the purchase. I am sure that my next heads will come from China.
+1 on the logo. The good thing is they are easily removable on clear heads. They are removable with laquer thinner on coated Ambs but it’s more time consuming.
 

MrYikes

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I cover the logo with white duct tape, though the white tape makes the new head look dirty and changes the sound. Of course, remo doesn't care about any of that, they just want the free advertising not customer loyalty.
 

Skeet6

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Coated ambassadors are still the “reference “ sound for me, but I can’t stand the break in amount of time. I switched to Evans a few years back, and they sound perfect right out of the box.
Same sentiment here, only in a slightly different direction. I went to Aquarian - same thing. putting them on, right away they sound perfect to me and stay in tune. I think it is in the design/quality of the hoop and glue.

That said, the coated ambassador is still the reference, probably always will be, I still like them.

Mike B
 

fun2drum

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Ambassador heads don't sound their best right out of the box, but like a pair of Sperry Topsiders they become wonderful as they age. I think this is also true with the emperor heads. I actually like the shallower collar of my Ludwig heads for snare batter, but Ambassadors are still wonderful - especially for my toms. The Remo coated heads have different stages of breaking in, and some may have difficulty dealing with that. First they stretch over a few days and you have to adjust tuning little by little during that period. Stage two is stick marking. The coating is affected by continuous impacts, and the effect is a warmer and richer sound as it goes. This is where it starts feeling and sounding better to me than the ones that sound great out of the box. Stage three is loss of little bits of coating starting from the middle. This is where the true magic happens, and it becomes like that favorite pair of shoes that you've come to love over time. That stage is the longest stage, and though it may not be a favorite for brushers on snare batters, it's great for a rock or blues snare and all toms. To me, the warmth and richness at that stage compared to other heads is like half and half compared to 2% milk.
 

Treviso1

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I have come full circle on many occasions, always returning to my favorite combination of Ambassador top (clear or coated) and Ambassador bottom (clear)...nothing sounds better or more natural to my ears.
 

shiek_yerbouti

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A lot of the feel and the sound has to do with the film. Remo has the right film IMO.
 

lrod1707

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Always an exception :) Is it the cast 5mm Phosphor Bronze or the thinner 1mm shell? What do you run on that drum?
It's the 1mm. I use Aquarian texture coated over classic clear snare side. That's the combo I use on my snares with the exception of Ludwig's. On those I use Weather Master's. By the way, I know what you quoted, you were just using it as a saying. I know what it's like when you really like something!:)
 

musiqman

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I do love the older (pre 2000) more for some reason

I have a 60’s/70’s battered Amb that still works flawless even with all the coating missing on some spots.
 

fitzsy

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To me they just look, feel, and sound right. I also stretch them really well before playing them.
 

ThomFloor

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I cover the logo with white duct tape, though the white tape makes the new head look dirty and changes the sound. Of course, remo doesn't care about any of that, they just want the free advertising not customer loyalty.
Remo does not have to worry about customer loyalty, as attested by the many comments in this thread. They are still the industry standard....and they have the secret mylar film.
I actually prefer their high-mojo logo, over the boring gas station style Evans one. Some wizard in advertising at Evans said "lets put our name in block letters inside an oval, ya that's cool".
I can get behind Aquarian.
 
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