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Crown Position?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:59 pm
by 440ranch
I'm wondering why on some drums, (Traditional?) the crown hoop sits high on the drum, almost flush with the head, while on others, the hoop sits lower showing more skin over the bearing edge?

Is it style or function?

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:40 pm
by RitmoBoricua
All depends on how high or low the head is tucked or mounted
in relation to the crown. Lots of players prefer the crown to seat
high on the drum since with time natural heads will come down a bit.
Then again you do not want the crown seating to high that when you
play you hurt your fingers with the crown and to me a drum with the
crown seating like 1" take or give below the head looks a lot better
than one seating real low. So it serves both functionality and aesthetics.
I hope this helps.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:47 pm
by 440ranch
Yes, thanks...

I just looked to me like traditional Rumba style drums or like SOS, or Matt Smith etc. have the crown seated much higher, while others, Gios, Moperc, etc. seat them lower. Did I read somewhere where that part of the head that goes over the bearing edge is called the "shoulder'?

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:51 am
by rhythmrhyme
Hey 440Ranch,

One variable about traditional crowns is how tight they're built to match the diameter of the drum. I've had moperc and currently have several SOS drums, the mopercs crowns tend to be a bit wider and protrude more from the drum. My SOS crowns are super tight and close in. I find I'm able to play comfortably with the SOS crowns set a bit higher than I can on the mopercs, they need to be pulled down a bit further for me or I find I occasionally catch my thumbs on them.

Just my 2 cents.

Rhyme that rhythm :D


Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:57 am
by Thebreeze
On another note... If you have a traditional rim on a drum that is sitting High, maybe just below the playing surface, and you take it off and put on a Comfor Curve rim, you will notice a great difference where the Comfort Curve Rim will be about 1/2 inch lower than the Traditional Rim was. Another 2 cents for what it's worth.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:52 pm
by 440ranch
Thanks for all your advice, here is why I am asking.

Last year I tucked new skins on my drums, (first time) they turned out all right, but what determined where I put the crown
was- I kept dropping it down the drum until I could get the lugs to hook into the loop on the crown.

I really didn't know any better, and I think that the LP Hand Selected that I put on was too thick for my little Valje Quinto.
All that waterlogged thick skin around the flesh hoop, and I really had a hard time getting the crown to seat down over it all untill I dropped it down low enough to get at least one lug to hook up into the loop, then I used the mechanics to seat the crown down so that the loops went over the skin and flesh hoop, but then the hoop was where it was going to be, and I couldn't make anymore adjustment.

It didn't turn out too bad all things considered.

But now, I just ordered 2 new skins from Manito (great guy to do business with) 1. Is supposed to "scream" 2. Is supposed to be a little mellower. They are both a little thinner, hopefully they will be easier to tuck for me. He also made 2 stainless flesh hoops for me, so my plan is to mount them both.

So, I don't want to screw it all up by not getting the crown in the best position.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:58 pm
by RitmoBoricua
Is better when you have another person to help you tuck congas heads specially
thick hide. Thick hide full of water can be very troublesome to tuck specially
if only one person if doing the job not the easiest of things.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:25 pm
by bongosnotbombs
The best position is determined by YOU and what YOU are comfortable with, with your personal technique. The rims should be low enough so you don't hit them constantly when playing.

Do you have a drum where you like the position of the crown? Then try and get the crown down to that level. Remember after you get the head on there you can lower it by tightening the lugs while still wet. Do that gently, little by little. Also remember the rim will drop when you tune it after it dries. Of course you have to drop the rim down to the level to get the lug on. A characteristic of Valjes is the rim needs to go lower than other drums because of the way the Valje lugs have that hook. I have 5 Valje congas and 3 Valje bongos, so I know what I'm talking about. So don't worry about it.

I've reheaded skins perfectly where the skin stays the same color all around, and I've supposedly "messed up" a little and the skin got a little white around the edges. Supposedly "stress" causes the white. I never noticed any difference in sound or longevity of the skin. I think it's a purely cosmetic issue and I don't stress if it happens.

Ultimately, there is no by the numbers method to describe to you. Every skin, drummer and drum is different. I've changed about 50 skins now on all sorts of bongos and congas. You just have to do it and not worry too much about it. There are all kinds of techniques written down here in congaplace, like the string method, the extra long lug method, the mixing bowl method and the wire method.

You never actually know what a skin is going to sound like until it's on your drum and you tune her up.

I wrote an article about conga skins here a while back you might find interesting ... rumba.html

Okay, good luck.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:22 pm
by 440ranch
Thank you very much, I appreciate the advice.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:22 pm
by pcastag
Another trick I learned fro an old cuban guy about tucking heads, once you have the head set and cut turn the drum over and set it upside down on a piece of plastic ( I use a trash bag) and let it sit over night or for 24 hours, this allows the part of the skin where it's doubled over by the flesh hoop to dry a bit before you continue to dry the playing surface. The doubled over part will usually dry much slower, this way the whole head is dry at the same time, make sure to keep the lugs at least finger tight as well during the drying process.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:16 am
by 440ranch
Ok, One done. I think it's ok.

Now I turned it upside down on plastic as pcastag advised, and just waiting for it to dry.
Man, that was A LOT easier than the skin I tucked last time.

Compared to this, the old one was so thick, it was like mounting a Michellen tire on there.

Here's some pics.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:01 am
by bongosnotbombs
Excellent job, That is one very striking looking skin.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:10 am
by RitmoBoricua
Good Job. The head that Mario mounted on my Isla quinto kind of look like that one you just mounted.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:11 am
by 440ranch
Brown Steer. Can't wait to hear what it sounds like.
Then I'll mount the white cow, should be interesting.
The white cow has a really nice texture to it, should have a nice hand feel.

I appreciate all the help.

Re: Crown Position?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:19 am
by pcastag
Nice job! I've had a couple brown steer heads, should have a nice warm sound on that drum! Rememebr when it's drying to check the lugs finger tight. Once the part around the counter hoop is dry yu can flip it over, let the rest dry and voila!