Replacing Timpani Heads - How to figure the correct size head for your timpani
Choosing the correct size timpani head can be somewhat confusing. Unlike purchasing regular drum heads (ie. A 13" head for a 13" drum), timpani heads are different.
The heads on timpani extend beyond the edge of the bowl necessitating a larger head than the drum size. Knowing the exact size of your drum is vital when choosing timpani heads. You can first check the Evans Timpani Head Chart or the Remo Timpani Head Chart to find your make and model of timpani.
If you do not see your drum listed, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow. The first and most accurate way of determining head size is to remove the existing head and measure the OUTSIDE DIAMETER of the head. This means to measure from one side of the metal ring (flesh hoop) to the other. This is THE most accurate way of choosing the proper head size.
Other than that, there are generally two types of drums to observe.
The first is commonly referred to as a Regular Collar drum. These drums were made before 1978 and look as though there is little space between the edge of the bowl (bearing edge) and the rim (counter hoop). When ordering heads for these drums, a good rule of thumb is to order the head 1" larger than the bowl size (ie. A 26" drum will use a 27" head). One exception is the older 23" drum. With this drum you might need a 24 1/4" head.
With drums made after 1978 most makes and models are more standardized. These drums are usually labeled "Extended Collar." When you look at these drums, there is a larger space between the bearing edge and the counter hoop. Generally you can order these heads 2" larger than the bowl size (ie. A 23" drum will use a 25" head). A few exceptions to this rule are the high end drums such as Adams Philharmonic, Walter Lights and the Yamaha 9000 Series.
If you still have questions regarding timpani head sizing, please call one of our sales representatives. This will enable us to provide you with the best service while avoiding unwanted shipping and restocking fees.