What heads for birch drums?

Pearl, Tama, Yamaha, DW, Ludwig, Premier, Mapex etc.

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Post Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:14 am

Dale wrote:
It's all a matter of opinion and taste. Personally, I am not interested in DW at all. I actually think they are the most overated drums of the past 30 years. I will say their public relations and advertising departments are great. The advertising and the hype they generate is incredible.

As for heads for birch drums? If warmth is required, I'd recomend coated emperors with ambassador reso's.

There's a strange thing that happens with success, some people are always skeptical and some just plain choose to dislike it.

I've got no problem with Pearl, heck I was always a Pearl guy from the start, Peter Criss played them so they were the first kit I always wanted to have. I got my Pearl Pro Series DLX Birch Kit, I got a second one later. Up until their latest change to their cymbal arms I have always thought that they have had the best hardware also (except pedals, though the Eliminator is very good). I always thought I would want a Pearl Maple kit also. Until I played DW's. I know it's a personal preference but in my experience the DW kits have always had just a fundamentally lower, deeper tone to them. So noticeable that in my opinion the even Pacific Maple drums sound better than the Pearl Masters, Tama Artstars and Gretch, at least better than the kits I had a chance to play. Just my story and my opinion.

The only other drums I have heard that compare are Pork Pie drums.

By the way, one of the ways I got my Birch drums to sound so good (noticed by bandmates and sound engineers, one of whom worked with Jeff Porcaro. Mind, I am only saying the drum sound, I would never think that my playing sounded as good as Porcaro RIP) was I'm lucky enough to live close to the guy who runs Pork Pie and I had him re-cut the bearing edges to my whole kit to the round-over cut (that DW also uses). It made a huge difference in the sound and they tune easier. Check out the Pork Pie drums website for info on getting your drums done. It's worth it.

Sorry for the novel.
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Post Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:30 pm

that's just one of the great things about drumming - everybody perceives sounds differently thus likes different drums :)
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Post Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:47 pm

Qbs wrote:I'm using a 12x9 Premier Artist Birch tom. Currently it has Evans G1 coated on top and Evans Resonant on the bottom side. The problem is that I find the sound too bright for my liking - I suppose that birch drums should sound bright but I really miss that warm punch and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on heads which would help to make the sound darker. I'm thinking Evans EC2?

I have a Sonor birch kit and the first thing I did was buy pinstripes for all the toms straight away. It sounds amazing.
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:29 am

Remo Fiberskyn really warms up your drums.. I use them for jazz stuff
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:31 am

ganeshgiri wrote:I've used EC2s on my birch kits, and they sound amazing! Think a pinstripe with more tone and sustain, it's really focused with a nice low fundamental. Bear in mind, I tune low... I have also loved using coated G2's, they are really my favorite, but they reflect the lights too much to use all the time live. Also there are now coated EC2's which are the BOMB. You will totally dig these, I promise...

true dat. i have ec3 coated on my birtch kit right now and they R warmer than i expected. i still prefer my pinstrip ebony. and for the kick either the aquarian superkick II or evans emad II. haven't had a chance to try out the remo powersonic.
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:51 am

EC2s all the way my friend.. got them on my yamaha and they sound awesome!!!!
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:02 pm

I found something cool to share...

I play on a 1987 Yamaha recording Custom (yes, Birch shells), and have used Remo Heads for years!

Recently, I began using the Aquarian Studio-X (coated) heads. These babies are bitchin! Lots of tone, and waaaaay durable).

They sound great on records too!

I was using a coated ambassador on the snare, but also just tried the Aquarian High Energy snare head!

Holy crap, this head kicks ass! I haven't had a snare sound come out so good on a recording, and we're not even near mixing!

I had a friend come down to assist engineering (John Ewing, a true master - he just enegineered the last Slayer record). We mic'd the snare from top and bottom w/SM57's. So there wasn't a lot of mysetery, just straight up sound.

The toms were mic'd with 421's, about 1.5 inches from the head. Man they sound HUGE!.

I did use a Remo Powerstroke on the kick. Cool, but I am going right back to the Aquarian Super Kick a.s.a.p. I only changed to the Remo because I had a new one in the head pile, just sitting there...

At2500 on the kick (condenser+dynamic mic).

We used some 4050's for overheads, but they were super dark. So we went back to using a matched pair of cheap AT 2020's. They did pretty good, but what I wouldn't do for some 414's...

we even put a B56 on the hi hat...

After this session, I am sold. For me, it's Aquarian all the way. Remo is great, but these new aquarian products surpass what I've been able to get with any other head.

I fully recommend them to all of you.
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:17 pm

Ive been using pinstrips on the batters, and ebony ebassdors on the other side.

Good luck
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:33 pm

Wow, I'm shocked no one has mentioned this resonant head yet: Evans Hazy 300. People tend to ignore the resonant head on a snare and focus on the top head. The Hazy 300 is the most versatile snare resonant head I've come across. It's tuning capability and range is amazing. I have this one on my reference snare (14-ply maple + 6-ply birch) and it works well. Another resonant head of not (slightly thicker than the 300) is the Aquarian classic clears. Works well too. For the top head based on what you said I'd use a 2-ply. Maybe a Studio-X coated with a power dot? Or the genera head (not the G1) with the ring?
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:07 pm

I use Coated G2's over Resonant Glass, it's pretty warm and deep if you tune low so if you want a warmer sound go with a G1 on the reso or even a coated G1.
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:59 pm

Remo ambasador clear are my drumheads of choice. I'd say go with those. They have a nice bright, full tone. No matter if they're on maple, birch, mahogany or whatever else.

There isn't really a head that will work better on a particular type of wood. Most of what you hear is produced by the heads themselves, so there shouldnt be much of a change between say, a maple drum and birch drum. So if you hear a head that sounds nice on a maple, it will most likely sound nice on a birch as well.
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:00 pm

I had the same exact kit that you have, the Premier Artist Birch! Wnderful drums. I used both the G2 clear and coated heads. For my style I like the clears better. I like the penetrating attack of the clear rather than the coated. Also, the coating wears off, and the heads have to be changed. I can play the clears awhile longer than the coated.