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  #11  
Old 12-27-2021, 08:32 AM
leedybdp leedybdp is offline
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Default Re: I'll break the ice: Rob Cook's Rogers book

The "floating" concept, as I understand it, is plain and simple. The head rests on the bearing edge of the drum. The heads can be easily rotated around the drum edges until the drummer is satisfied with where the logo or other markings on the head are located. The drum's hoops pull the heads taut against the bearing edges without the heads being forced over drum's edges. The floating concept means to me that the drum heads rest on the bearing edges-- they are not forced over the edges.
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Last edited by leedybdp; 12-27-2021 at 11:03 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2021, 10:47 AM
Marty Black Marty Black is offline
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Default Re: I'll break the ice: Rob Cook's Rogers book

OK thanks Leedy, that's simple enough. Certainly not a revelation in my mind. All well-built drums should incorporate the "floating head" principle by the fact that they are well built: the shells are properly sized, in the round, and have good bearing edges...Rogers made their drums 1/8" narrower so that - in the case of a slightly imperfect shell, the metal ring of the head wouldn't bind on the shell. A clever way to hedge your bet.

Regards, MB
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2021, 10:56 AM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Default Re: I'll break the ice: Rob Cook's Rogers book

Quote:
Originally Posted by leedybdp View Post
The "floating" concept, as I understand it, is plain and simple. The head rests on the bearing edge of the drum. The heads can be easily rotated around the drum edges until the drummer is satisfied with where the log or other markings on the head are located. The drum's hoops pull the heads taut against the bearing edges without the heads being forced over drum's edges. The floating concept means to me that the drum heads rest on the bearing edges-- they are not forced over the edges.
Excellent explanation!!

-Mark
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2021, 04:16 PM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: I'll break the ice: Rob Cook's Rogers book

Hello...Devil's Advocate, here!

Well...and then there's the fact that some vintage Gretsch drums had shells that were slightly larger than they "should" be, that made it hard to push the drumhead on....and yet those drums still sounded great, too.

My old Deluxe Classic Ludwig kit had slightly large shells and the flesh hoop of the drumhead was butted tightly against the shell....still sounded good.

My old Sherwood snare drum has calfskins both top and bottom and the wooden flesh hoops are also butted tightly against the shell....It sounds like you would expect a calfskin headed drum to sound regardless of the tight fit.

I mean, it certainly does make sense that a slightly undersized shell would diminish any friction between the head's flesh hoop and the shell, but in reality, I don't hear any kind of blatant difference between slightly undersized or slightly oversized shells. In my mind, it seems like the the built-in collars of synthetic drumheads, should match the curve of the bearing edge profile as closely as possible. Otherwise, what is the point of a drumhead having a curved collar? A floating shell and a sharp bearing edge would almost completely make a drumhead with a curved collar pointless.

Most calfskin heads conform perfectly to the bearing edge profile...and I think thats why most vintage drums had curved bearing edges -the curve prevented the calfskin from tearing. Synthetic heads don't conform as easily as calfskins, so the inclusion of the collar on a synthetic head seems less necessary. Nevertheless, most all synthetic heads have the curved collars.

I do recall seeing some type of drumheads that don't have collars and are basically flat. I've never really looked into them or anything, but my guess would be that they work better with sharp bearing edged drums and undersized shells....?

I, personally, cannot tell the difference among most vintage drums (OTHER than Gretsch), "floating" heads or not. And what makes Gretsch drums sound so different? I don't know...maybe it's just the Gestalt of the "right" combination of all elements that give them a distinctive sound. It's definitely NOT because of floating drumheads!

The thing I liked about Rogers drums is that they at least always seemed to want to apply research and experiment with new and different things more than the other companies. There was always something new to look forward to from Rogers.
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Last edited by O-Lugs; 12-27-2021 at 04:18 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2021, 04:37 PM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: I'll break the ice: Rob Cook's Rogers book

One other thought that occurred to me that I want to share is in regards to "the business" that apparently became the demise of Rogers....

In the old days, I think the "fight" was mainly between Ludwig and Slingerland. Those were the two BIG companies that always had the big endorsers and clout. And while Bud and Bill were out shaking hands and hobnobbing, the Rogers guys were in the design room, trying new things. The way things played out was that Ludwig's and Slingerland's business game was better than Rogers -didn't matter whose drums were better.

And also, for all the design innovations that Rogers is responsible for, the drummers, themselves began to disable any sonic advancements in (for example) shell design...because they were taking the bottom heads off of the drums, putting tape all over the heads, cutting holes in the heads....and so on. All that time innovating was kinda wasted. But all of us drummers inevitably benefitted from their innovative ideas.
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2021, 05:41 PM
Marty Black Marty Black is offline
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Default Re: I'll break the ice: Rob Cook's Rogers book

Great insights, O-Lugs! Taking the reso heads off drums in the '70s, which inevitably damaged the bearing edges, and applying duct tape to batter heads, I cringe when I think of it. Back then, I didn't even know what a bearing edge was!

Nowadays with myriad different types of drum-heads available, I think the sonic differences in wood type, shell size, number of plies, perfection (or not) in construction, tom suspension mounts, etc have been blurred a bit. At least for part-time hobby drummers in cover bands with varying degrees of hearing loss! And the audience will never notice any of this stuff that we obsess over.

But it's all so interesting!

Thanks, MB

Last edited by Marty Black; 12-27-2021 at 05:48 PM. Reason: add a couple words
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2021, 11:02 PM
kdg kdg is offline
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Default Re: I'll break the ice: Rob Cook's Rogers book

I'd like to add that Leedy seems to have come up with the "Floating head" moniker with their Multi-model drum line when they moved away from band hoops with claws. The point was to keep the flesh hoop away from the shell by sloping off like a timpani collar.
-From the 1933 catalog:
With the band hoop of single flange hoop:
"Head turns sharp angle passing over edge of shell on old style drums, Jams the head and prevents even tension"....... to the double-flange hoop where the "Floating edge slopes away from edge of shell eliminating all head and flesh hoop binding, This assures even head tension".

This was during the era of Calf skin, which would conform to the hoop and shell after applied damp and allowed to dry in place.
Once plastic heads arrived with built in collars, the triple-flange hoop was the industry standard.
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1964-67 Rogers Blue Glass Glitter 12/14/16/20
early Oaklawn Camco Blue Moire 12/14/20
1926 Super Ludwig 5x14
1960-ish Ludwig COB 5x14 Super Sensitive
1960-ish Ludwig COB 6.5x14 Super Sensitive
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