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  #1  
Old 07-21-2016, 01:47 PM
Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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Default head on shell question

I'm having a hard time tuning what appears to be a very nice Dayton Rogers 12x8 rack tom. The hoops and shell are in round, not bent, not warped. The bearing edges are true, flat, and consistent. My heads are brand new. For some reason though I'm having a hard time tuning the sucker.

I did notice when I put the new head on the batter side (Remo coated Emp) it was very snug. Usually I put the head on a drum and there's enough clearance to spin it on the shell, but not this one. I had to almost snap it in place. Could that possibly be what's giving me fits?

If so, has anyone else experienced this? Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:43 PM
vyacheslav vyacheslav is offline
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Default Re: head on shell question

That's your problem exactly. The head should spin freely on the shell AND within the hoop to get a good, resonant sound.

I am a big Remo guy myself, but I think that others have said on the forum that Aquarian heads fit a little looser. You can also try the Aquarian American Vintage series that are made larger to fit the oversize shells from pre-1950 or so, but sometimes those can be tricky to fit into a modern hoop because they are made larger. As stated above, the head must also freely move within the hoop or you're going to run into the same problem.

If those choices don't appeal to you, there is another option. It's very tedious and time consuming, but it works, and like the tag line from the old "Operation" board game......"It takes a very steady hand".

In the past I have cut the wrap off (with a sharp box or utility knife) where the head fits on, in order to make the head fit looser (the head doesn't have to fit over the wrap. Even though drum wrap is thin, it certainly makes a difference). Trace around where the head comes down onto the shell with a pencil. Cut along that pencil line. It takes great patience and a very steady and slow cut (make sure you try not to cut into any of the wood by using the shallowest blade setting you can). It does work, but it takes a lot of work.

With the head off, measure your shell again, just to make sure it is in round. Measure it straight across the shell, then again 90 degrees from where your first measurement was (the two measurements will form a "plus" sign on the shell). If the measurement is within 1/16" or smaller, then the shell is good. 1/8" or more, and it's out of round and you're never going to get a good sound out of it, or any type of head to fit well.

Most modern drums are about 1/8" of an inch or so smaller than their stated size. For example, a 12" drum should really be about 11 7/8" for a good head fit. Even if your drum is in round, if it measures more than 11 7/8" in diameter, you're going to have tight fitting heads, which means you'll have to try one of the options above.

Good Luck!

V
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Last edited by vyacheslav; 07-21-2016 at 02:48 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2016, 03:54 PM
Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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Default Re: head on shell question

Thanks, V. I'll try some different brands before I start chopping. I saw the promo video for the Evans level 360 and it looks like they address this issue.
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:55 PM
geckobeats geckobeats is offline
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Default Re: head on shell question

I've had some Aquarian Vintage heads on my RB Gretsch kit for a long time. They do fit well but are a bit thwacky to me. They may be worth a look but I believe all the manufacturers including Remo make wider fitting "retro vintage" heads these days.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:59 PM
eamesuser eamesuser is offline
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Default Re: head on shell question

It seems like you have tried to cover all the bases,but let me ask you this,assuming you have a resonant head on the drum,have you tried fitting the reso head to the batter side?The emp to the reso side?If the reso side is ok and the emp binds or the reso head fits and spins on the batter side you know it is a bad head,I use mostly Remos on most of my kits,including my Rogers and they work fine,but I have gotten bad heads,from all the makers I have tried including ones where the hoop of the head was out of round and or
the diameter was to small.

Generally with Rogers you don't get an out of round drum,and Rogers shells were slightly undersized,with snare shells being more so.
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