Topic: The right head for brushes

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1.The right head for brushes Copy to clipboard
Posted by: iambobm
Posted on: Nov 27, 2005 8:44 AM

What is the perfect remo head for jazz/brushes?

2.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: iambobm] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: pwc
Posted on: Nov 27, 2005 8:59 AM

Of all the heads, Fiberskyn is the best for brushes in my experience.
But not all snare drums suit those and in this order of preference I can suggest ...

Fiberskyn FA3 - very durable
Renaissance - very nice but maybe a little soft for some brush models
Coated Ambassadors - very nice but the caoting will wear quicker

3.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: pwc] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: iambobm
Posted on: Nov 27, 2005 9:11 AM

way cool, Peter Cool. Tell my why some snare drums would not be compatible? Is it a matter of material composition (wood snare vs. metal snare, etc.)?

4.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: iambobm] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: ChaosDrummer
Posted on: Nov 27, 2005 10:13 AM

Well it does depending on all the sound you want. Usually jazz snares use a nice wooden snare about 6x14(give or take a inch with the depth). Right now I don't know any jazz players that use metal snares but i m sure you can get a decent sound out of it also. It will all depend on tuning. For both metal and wooden snares I would use a Fiberskyn FA3. They should help you achieve the sound your lookin for.

5.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: iambobm] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: pwc
Posted on: Nov 27, 2005 10:53 AM

In my experience on my 12" snares (that's the only size I use with my small jazz kit), the thin shelled Birch snare does not open up very much with Fiberskyn but on my stave shell, they work well and project well. But if you want to buy just one rather experiment with them all, I would have no hesitation in suggesting the Fiberskyn FA3 as the one to buy. It is less "open" than the Rennaisance but if you use conventional 14" snares you may not notice that.

6.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: iambobm] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: PoorButGood
Posted on: Nov 27, 2005 2:34 PM

yeah ever since watching Jeff Hamilton play the Fyberskin3 and Peter raving about it A LOT (which is cool) I think i'm gonna need to put my ambassador on the side and have the local store order me a FA3 snare head.

I do like the Ambo a whole bunch but I think I'm gonna give the fa3 a shot.

Now my question: is the FA3 versatile for other music styles other than jazz?

7.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: pwc] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: iceo
Posted on: Nov 27, 2005 6:43 PM

pwc wrote:
Of all the heads, Fiberskyn is the best for brushes in my experience.
But not all snare drums suit those and in this order of preference I can suggest ...

Fiberskyn FA3 - very durable
Renaissance - very nice but maybe a little soft for some brush models
Coated Ambassadors - very nice but the caoting will wear quicker

nailed it on the head.(cant remember your nick peter.what name did we decide on for you? Big Smile ).

8.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: iambobm] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: paul
Posted on: Nov 28, 2005 11:29 AM

I like Aquarian Satin Coated heads for my snares, and occasionally the Modern Vintage model. On both heads the coating lasts much better than Ambassadors's, and they have a more lively sound to my ears than Fiberskyns.

I also have a 6.5x14 bronze Legend snare that works very well with brushes. I used it for a long time with my jazz group to good effect.

9.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: iambobm] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: paul
Posted on: Nov 29, 2005 11:19 AM

Sometimes having a big pile of lightly used heads comes in handy.

I got out a Fiberskyn 3FA that I took off a Radio King I got on ebay and put it on a 5.5x14 Gretsch snare with diecast hoops. After tuning I played the drum for about 10 minutes, mostly with brushes. So far, so good.

Next, I took that head off while the sound was still fresh in my mind and reinstalled the Aquarian American Vintage head that is normally in it, tuned it up, and played. Here's what I found:

At similar tunings both heads sound very much the same when played with either sticks or brushes, with a couple of differences. When playing rimshots the AmVint rings just a little bit more, and has more high overtones than the Fiberskyn. Also, and this was surprising to me, brush swipes on the Aquarian were noticeably more audible and pronounced. This gave it a more pleasing sound to my ear. Both heads are very new, having little or no real playing time on them, so it may be that after a few outings the Aquarian will smooth out and lose some of that advantage. On the other hand, calfskin heads were fairly smooth, so the Fiberskyn may in fact be closer to that "authentic" sound.

The AmVint has a heavier coating than Aquarian's standard single ply head, so the Satin Coated has even more ring than either of these two heads. Its coating is more durable than Remo or Evans heads, but probably not as much as the Fiberskyn's.

In short, the Fiberskyn was drier with a less pronounced "ssssh" sound and less ring with sticks. The Aquarian is more open, with more of a "ssssh" to it.

10.Re:The right head for brushes [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: pwc
Posted on: Nov 29, 2005 11:29 AM

Your right again, Paul, and that is getting annoying ... Big Smile (not really)

Fiberskyns are not - as I think I mentioned very early - so "open" as some heads and need a good quality brush with good tips, I find. But the durablity and overall sound of them combine to cancel out the extra sweep brightness benefits even in my acoustic gigs. On your miced gigs or in a big band situation, those benefits would probably be marginal. But I trust your ears and am certainly not arguing with you.

If the truth be told, the very best head I ever had for brushes was a Terry Bozzio single-ply by Attack but that was a one-time trial stock locally and is not an option for me anymore nor for the thread poster who specifically asked about Remo heads.....

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