Your experiences with jazz-like drumheads

kmdrums

New Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Hello there!

I would like to ask you about your experiences with drumheads you have used for jazz/ swing.

My kit: Yamaha Stage Custom (1999)
Shell: Mahagony, Falcata, Birch
-Snare: 14*5"
-Bass: 20*16"
-Toms: 10*9" | 12*10" | 14*12"

I currently have a Remo Fiberskyn on my snare (batter), with the stock heads on the snare side.
My toms have Coated Ambassadors on the batter, and stock heads for the resos.
Finally, the bass drum has a Coated Powerstroke 3, with an ebony bass head (with a factory-made hole in it) for the reso.
I'm definetly going to replace the resos to a Hazy Snare Side, Coated Ambassadors and a Fiberskyn bass head.

I'm really into jazz, swing and I simply really like anything with high tuning! :D

My Fiberskyn got bubbles in the first two months (at least that's when I noticed) so I don't really trust those anymore.
I only used the coated ambs on my toms, so I really dont know any other sounds that would be good for jazz, but I'm thinking about getting the Remo Skyntones.
I also thought about getting the Vintage Ambs for my snare, but since it is 2-ply, I'm really unsure about that.
I have also heard about Stern Tanning, Earthtone and Bovid heads but I'm skeptical about them working together with the rest of the drums.

What do you think? What are your recommendations?
Thank you for responding in advance.
Have a great day and keep on playing!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JDA

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,342
Reaction score
957
Location
Germany
I would stick with the coated Ambassadors on toms. if you like playing brushes, the Skyntone might be keep its texture longer than an Ambassador. On bass drum, I personally like a smooth white batter becuase it doesn't eat felt beaters and stays clean. Using an unmuffled bass drum batter head might be the biggest change, maybe use a felt strip with it.
 

hardbat

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
1,160
Reaction score
482
Location
Sacramento CA, USA
I gave up on fiberskyn, other than on reso side because it looks cool. My preferences now are Aquarian Vintage (thin) and Remo diplomat Renaissance. If you hit hard, then ambassador or medium. For the bass drum batter, believe it or not I use a pinstripe with a fluffy beater.
 

Swissward Flamtacles

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
47
Reaction score
45
Nothing wrong with Ambassadors. Unless they're completely dead, I'd keep them.
The bubbles on Fiberskyns is a common issue but it's not a big one unless the top of the head comes off and you get brushes stuck in the holes all the time.
Some guys used felt stripes across the head or a patch of moleskin where the beater strikes the head to muffle the bass drum a little bit.
 

jsp210

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
187
Reaction score
216
Location
Western NC
I have 1999 Maple Customs in 20, 12, 14 and get great higher tuning results using Aquarian Modern Vintage mediums on the batter sides with Aquarian Hi-Frequency clear resonant heads all around. The bass drum has a Modern Vintage Medium that has the internal felt strip and one without. No muffling or porting otherwise. Sounds and feels wonderful. Many years of searching and this combo is perfect for me.
 

NobleCooleyNut

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
669
Reaction score
770
I had issues with the Fiberskyn FA ( Ambassador ) with bubbling but nowhere near as bad as the issues I had with the Evans Calftone heads .
The Fiberskyn FD ( diplomats ) are great heads and in a year of playing I have seen no bubbling issues . They sound and feel a lot better to play than either of the Fiberskyn FA or Calftones .

I used the Aquarian Modern Vintage medium model for a long time and they are great too . The more they get played in the better they get . For the snare batter I usually sand the top head down a bit as the brush sweeps are not as smooth without this sanding .

I also have an Earthtone calfskin head and it needed a lot of sanding to get it smooth enough for brush work . Sounds and plays great . Calfskin sounds and feels so good but playing in Canada the weather extremes play havoc with these heads .
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,140
Reaction score
5,890
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Fiberskyns on my Gretsch Round Badge are---wait for--- 22 years old---look new..
(on toms and bass not snare)
different strokes..
 
Last edited:

JimmySticks

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
615
Reaction score
578
Location
Queens NY
I use the Evans Calftones and I really do like them.

I've heard of the delamination problems, but I haven't had that problem myself. Maybe Evans got it figured out by now. For jazz though, your not hitting real hard, so it's not likely to ever become an issue. Anyway, very warm sound, nice to look at and a nice feel under the sticks as well.
 

kmdrums

New Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Have you tried combos like coated Ambs on both sides or coated Ambs over coated Diplomats?
I only tried it on my friend's kit (both coated ambassadors, that's how he bought it). He has a Magnum, which is in a quite bad shape, and he uses it to play rock. After messing around with it, it had quite a punchy sound. I'm also listening to a lot of drummers with the setups you said above, and I like the characteristics of 'em.
 

jsp210

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
187
Reaction score
216
Location
Western NC
I use the Evans Calftones and I really do like them.

I've heard of the delamination problems, but I haven't had that problem myself. Maybe Evans got it figured out by now. For jazz though, your not hitting real hard, so it's not likely to ever become an issue. Anyway, very warm sound, nice to look at and a nice feel under the sticks as well.
I recently put these on my 1976 Ludwig 3-ply kit both top and bottom and really like these as well. Great sound and feel.
 

nolibos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
54
Reaction score
67
Darn it, I didn't get the memo. I have been playing jazz for twenty plus years and never knew there was a "Jazz Drum head". I just use the plastic ones.
 

RogersLudwig

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
2,068
Reaction score
539
Location
Fort Stinkindesert, NM
I use the same heads for all of the music i play. on my Ludwig CMs it is Weathermaster heavy coated and for my Gretsch RB it is the medium coated Aquarian American Vintage
 

JimmySticks

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
615
Reaction score
578
Location
Queens NY
I recently put these on my 1976 Ludwig 3-ply kit both top and bottom and really like these as well. Great sound and feel.
I didn't put them on the res side because so was afraid the sound might be to soft and warm, so I went with Evans EC clear res heads. I might try it sometime though.
 

tkillian

DFO Master
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
3,020
Reaction score
1,512
I know this is TOTALLY over the top but I went crazy this summer


I have the following FULL SETS of heads at home (or some 12s and 14....and/or 16 and 18s)


REMO
Coated Ambassadors FULL SET 1/14/16/18
Classic Fiberskyn Diplomat FULL SET 12/14/16
Skyntone Ambassador FULL SET 12/14/16
Renaissance Ambassador FULL SET 12/14/18 bass drum
Suede Ambassador FULL SET
Clear Ambassador 12/14s for bottoms

EVANS
Calftone 56 FULL SET
J1 Etched FULL SET
G1 Coated FULL SET
G1 Clear 12/14s

AQUARIAN
Modern Vintage Has a full set and gigged for a long time on them
Texture Coated (14 only)


I have GIGGED many gigs and a few recordings on everything but the Calftones and the Texture Coated.

I am pretty much a straight jazz drummer

So after all this experimenting here is my conclusion

I will play coated ambassadors top and bottom until I die and my goal is to keep the heads I have on my drums on there forever unless they break.

Just my two cents.

Now. A LOT depends on the DRUMS. Maple, Mahogany, Birch etc..

I am talking about my Slingerlands but bottom line is the coated ambassadors sound great on everything.

On Gretsch Round Badge and USA Custom pretty much any of the heads sound great its all a matter of what you are looking for.


I could go into details but the coated ambassadors are the most open and singing and non rubbery sounding on my Slingerlands.

The calfskin style heads were too DEAD sounding.

THe skyntones a little THIN sounding

I could go on..
 

tkillian

DFO Master
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
3,020
Reaction score
1,512
Im going to make a video on my 12" tom of every head.

Ill do it on my Slingerland and my all Birch Premier.

It won't be for awhile but maybe will be fun/revealing
 

dustjacket

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
1,872
Reaction score
640
I know this is TOTALLY over the top but I went crazy this summer


I have the following FULL SETS of heads at home (or some 12s and 14....and/or 16 and 18s)


REMO
Coated Ambassadors FULL SET 1/14/16/18
Classic Fiberskyn Diplomat FULL SET 12/14/16
Skyntone Ambassador FULL SET 12/14/16
Renaissance Ambassador FULL SET 12/14/18 bass drum
Suede Ambassador FULL SET
Clear Ambassador 12/14s for bottoms

EVANS
Calftone 56 FULL SET
J1 Etched FULL SET
G1 Coated FULL SET
G1 Clear 12/14s

AQUARIAN
Modern Vintage Has a full set and gigged for a long time on them
Texture Coated (14 only)


I have GIGGED many gigs and a few recordings on everything but the Calftones and the Texture Coated.

I am pretty much a straight jazz drummer

So after all this experimenting here is my conclusion

I will play coated ambassadors top and bottom until I die and my goal is to keep the heads I have on my drums on there forever unless they break.

Just my two cents.

Now. A LOT depends on the DRUMS. Maple, Mahogany, Birch etc..

I am talking about my Slingerlands but bottom line is the coated ambassadors sound great on everything.

On Gretsch Round Badge and USA Custom pretty much any of the heads sound great its all a matter of what you are looking for.


I could go into details but the coated ambassadors are the most open and singing and non rubbery sounding on my Slingerlands.

The calfskin style heads were too DEAD sounding.

THe skyntones a little THIN sounding

I could go on..
Coated Ambassador for reso?
 

mikeylicious78

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
179
Reaction score
51
Location
Japan
I like Aquarian's MV thin on metal snares. I've also used an Evans calftone on snares with great results.
 

Latest posts



Top