Thursday, February 18, 2010

More on Calfskin Heads

Rob Cook has a new book, Rebeats Calfskin Head Book/DVD, which is a 24-page booklet that is jammed with historical information from Rogers, Leedy, Ludwig, Amrawco and others. The DVD (included) shows how to lay up a flesh hoop for custom-sized drums as well as head-tucking demonstrations by Rob Cook and the late Scotty Doucette of Jacks Drum Shop in Boston. This book is a welcome addition for folks like myself who have a growing interest in using calf drum heads (see some of my previous posts). Rob also sells Calfskin heads of various levels of quality on his web site

The best source of calf heads, though, is Stern Tanning, which is the gold standard in calf heads. Rob also authored Absolute Authenticity: When Only Cowhide Counts for Drum! Magazine that I recommend reading if you have any interest in natural heads.

A less expensive choice for natural heads (albeit goat skin) is Earthtone. Yes, they are goatskin heads instead of calf, but they are a compromise between cost and tone. I have little experience with Earthtone heads, so proceed at your own risk. There are many happy customers, but the diehard calfskin folks claim that there is a world of difference between the two.

In the close, but no cigar category, there is always Remo's Fiberskyn. I prefer the Fiberskyn 3 Diplomat Thin Weight Drum Heads, but there are others who prefer the Remo FiberSkyn 3 Medium Batter Head weight. I pair mine with Remo Renaissance Ambassador Tom Batter heads for resonant side heads (yes, I know the product description calls them batter heads, but they do go very well with the Fiberskyns. Another head that I like is the Remo Skyntone Drumhead, 14 inch, which comes in only 13" and 14" (although I have heard a rumor that Remo will shortly be releasing this model in all popular sizes.) Do be aware that these heads are thin and may not lead long lives if you are a heavy hitter. For brushes, shuffles and press rolls, however, they are excellent.

1 comment:

Cobrun Sells said...

Earthtone is calf now.