What is it about remo coated ambassadors that..

DanRH

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I’ve tried all my different heads and for me, coated Ambies sound best on my Rogers XP8 kit. On my modern kits, I go with UV1’s. Also use UV1’s on my Rogers Holidays.
 

CherryClassic

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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.
Well said. I've also noticed the changing stages as noted. For the last couple years I have been installing my heads without pushing down and cracking the rim of the heads. I just put then on and tune and it will take a while to level out. But I tune my drums prior to every gig anyway so I don't see the problem. My Ambassador's have the nicest tone that I prefer.

sherm
 

Old Drummer

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I’ve tried all my different heads and for me, coated Ambies sound best on my Rogers XP8 kit. On my modern kits, I go with UV1’s. Also use UV1’s on my Rogers Holidays.
+1 on the UV1's. My understanding is that they're just a longer lasting version of the G1's, and unlike you I haven't tried a bunch of different heads, but I like the UV1's I bought.
 

foxy_shazamtastic

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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.
I don’t think that’s true. Remo’s actually sound and feel better to a lot of people, myself included. I didn’t like them when I was younger, looking for that “pre-eq’d” sound. But Remo just sound better in context, kind of like gretsch drums. A little weird by themselves, but perfect in a mix.
 

ThomFloor

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When I listen to this video I hear Remo 'cleaning up'... on average....above the other heads.
I think Aquarian is giving them a run, but many Evans heads sound muted on the spectrum (perhaps some folks are looking for that). Better to have plenty of choice.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Remo Ambassadors are the litmus test for me when getting a new kit . If a kit sounds bad with Remo Ambassadors , chances are it is not a good sounding kit . I had stopped using Remo for a number of years when they had the coating issues ( when the pie logo first appeared ) and the EPA was giving them grief . I started using Remo heads again about three years ago and it is like coming home . The venerable Ambassador , Emperor, Remo CS and PS3 are my go to heads now .
 

foxy_shazamtastic

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This is so true of a lot of things. Makes it difficult to really choose a particular sound.
True! I think the more you experiment the more you start to hone in and hear the factors that tell you what’s probably going to sound best in context.
 

Old Drummer

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I don’t think that’s true. Remo’s actually sound and feel better to a lot of people, myself included. I didn’t like them when I was younger, looking for that “pre-eq’d” sound. But Remo just sound better in context, kind of like gretsch drums. A little weird by themselves, but perfect in a mix.
I don't think there's the disagreement you impute.

You seem to be advancing a fairly sophisticated and experienced opinion of Remo, which I doubt is typical of most buyers of drum heads. Heck, I doubt that 95% of drum buyers have an opinion as sophisticated as yours about Gretsch drums either. I was answering the question of why the Remos are the go-to heads in general, not why some sophisticated drummers still choose them. Of course, it helps Remo that some sophisticated drummers like the heads, but my guess is that sophisticated drummers probably choose them less often than the average buyer. I was answering for the average buyer.
 

MidiFinger

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I have tried them all, Remo (the best), Evans, Aquarian, Even the old Ludwig Silver Dots... My usual go to is the Remo Pin Stripe... but lately, I have moved to the Powerstroke 4's for the extra dull thuddy sound which I love so much. They sound great on my power toms.
 
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Slingwig26

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For me?

Familiarity. Even with "all the warts" (or 'wart'-head coating wear), I *know* what I'm getting and I like it....

However, Sweetwater had a sale and I now find myself surrounded by Evans....lol!
I like Evans G1 better. They tend to fit older USA drums better and I prefer the coating and feel over Remo. However, I like PS3 clear or coated for BD batter head. Just personal preference I guess.
 

Han

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I've found heads from Remo. Evans, and Aquarian that I like. Years ago I think Evans became very popular because their quality control was better than Remo.
I would get heads from Remo that were inconsistent with minor flaws. These days the machining and quality is very consistent from all three companies.
I'm using mostly Aquarian these days.
 

Tom Holder

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I think that Joe Morello, Hal Blaine, Ringo, etc... all of these guys were using Remo Ambassadors, making hit records, and us drummers downstream were trying to emulate the sound of records they heard. Remo being the big kid on the block in terms of aftermarket drum heads... and the Ambassador being the middle weight in their line, it makes sense that this head would be the most popular choice. Back then, if you bought a Remo head, there were only three choices... Diplomat, Ambassador and Emperor. Light, medium and heavy weights. Each head had their obvious place. Orchestral drummers used delicate Diplomats, marching bands, who played outside and needed a heavy hand, used the thick Emperor. That left the Ambassador for everything else. It was a simple and obvious choice back then. Many smaller music stores only carried Remo heads. You had to go to a specialty drum shop to find exotica like Evans. Aquarians were many years away. Russ Kunkle popularized the mellow, dipping tom-tom sound on the amazingly popular 'Tapestry" album by Carol King. That was a big turning point. Drummers figured out that using Evans Hydraulic heads on their tom-toms facilitated getting that "L.A." sound that became very popular in the 70's. Then came Aquarian and suddenly you had many choices besides the venerable Remo Ambassador. Now, many drummers are going for the sound they remember from when they were young, and many are going back to the good ol' Ambassador, because that's the sound they remember. That's what I think, anyway. Just my opinion.
 

bob meyer

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All I can say is, if you want real vintage sound and feel, use calf heads. There is NO substitute. some heads like Aquarian vintage come closer than standard mylar, but it's still the 'aluminum vs wood bat' analogy.
 

DonS

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Good topic. After twenty plus years using Fiberskyn and Skyntone on my Slingerland jazz kit, I switched the Toms over to Ambassadors. I was stunned at how easily they tune, opened up the highs in my rack Tom and overall just bring a smile to my face each time behind the kit since. How they do that???
 

audiochurch

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Some simple reasons:

  1. They last me a long time since I don't bash anymore
  2. Easier to tame this head vs. making other heads loudeer
  3. Sound is great for all styles I play(jazz, polka/german, soul/disco, classic rock, even a hard rock I jammed with during lockdown
  4. Sound great for brushes even when coating appears worn
 

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