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Unpack and start playing - is that realistic? In most cases not really, usually you'll start by tuning your instrument, maybe muffling down the overtones, tune again, maybe even put on a new batter head etc. Those 'soft skills' are characteristics which you yourself can determine and influence the sound quality of your drum. One of the most important tips we can give you for getting great sound on your surdo, is the combination of heads. Means, that ideally you achieve the best sound quality on your drum by chosing the right head combination. It is no secret that a thicker batter head combined with a thinner resonance head helps avoiding overtones and provides fuller bass tones and overall a more balanced sound.

Thick batter head - thinner resonance head

The physics behind this is actually really easy:
A thin head vibrates stronger and is therefore better for transporting sound. It enforces the frequencies which are produced on the batter head. So the thinner head naturally takes over the part of the resonance head.
A thicker head does not vibrate so easily, it is mainly there to carry the force of the beat and turn it into sound. Its rebound and attack characteristics are very important! You might have guessed - this is the part of the batter head.
Most producers put thin nylon heads on both sides of new instruments. So, to get a really good sound you have to buy an extra batter head on top. Izzo surdos already come with the combination of thicker batter head and thinner resonance head. By the way - this is an exclusive service for Kalango!
So that you know which is which and on which one to play, the heads are marked:

P3 / super grossa (see photo) - these are the thicker batter heads
P2 / grossa (see photo) - these are the thinner resonance heads

If your surdo is equipped with a P2/P3 head combination, make sure to play on thicker P3 / super grossa head, or it will sound very strange. If your resonance head is thicker than your batter head, it can't vibrate and won't produce good sound. Your surdo will then sound more like an old bucket ;) Those of you who play surdos with nylon heads, most probably will be able to get a whole bunch a better sound out of your instrument with this knowledge. Izzo, of course, is a professional in this field and makes it easy for your simply by using the best combination of heads. In this case, unpack & play is actually realistic!

If you have already bought a P2 head as a replacement batter head:
Of course you can play on a P2 batter head, but keep in mind that for good sound results, the resonance head should also be a P2 head (same thickness). If you feel that your head combination produces too many overtones, you can tape the head. In Samba Reggae it is quite usual to use a long, thin piece of soft foam and stick it to the shell in the inside so it touches the head on its edge and muffles down disturbing frequences.

You still have questions? Contact us!
Your Kalango Team