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Time to Replace Foam Cones and/or Piezos?

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  • Time to Replace Foam Cones and/or Piezos?

    Hi everyone,

    I recently bought a TD-9 kit from someone on Craigslist, and I think I got a great deal on them. The only issue I've found is that all of the drums play perfectly when I hit the rims, but playing the mesh heads themselves is kind of dicey.

    Specifically, I'm finding that I have to hit them exactly in the middle, with the outer parts of the heads barely registering. Even when I play in the exact middle of mesh, I'm noticing a lot of my sixteenth notes are not registering.

    Now, my question is, could this be something to do with a setting in the module? Or is it more likely the foam/piezos are worn out? If so, how can I test which one it is (foam or Piezo)?

    A cursory internet search brought up the following products, which I'm thinking of buying:

    http://www.fullcompass.com/prod/0507...909478?inviteG

    http://m.ebay.com/itm/Foam-Pyramid-E...%257Ciid%253A2

    http://m.ebay.com/itm/Foam-Cone-Elec...%257Ciid%253A3


    Any feedback would be sincerely appreciated.

  • #2
    what v drum's pads are with the kit pd85 PDX6 ?

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    • #3
      The toms are PD-85 and the snare is a PD-105 (which is also quite dusty inside).

      If there's some sort of DYI solution that involves parts I could buy locally, as oppossed to spending $60 for foam and waiting a week, that'd be even better, but obviously I want to do this as correctly as possible.

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      • #4
        No DIY solution for Roland pads that will work as good as original cushions.
        Not sure you can tune the height of the cones so you will need the originals.
        $60 is a good price for 5 pads IMO - $12 vs $7.5 - just eat these $20ish and don't do experiments.
        Prior purchasing though, I would do a factory reset of the module, ensure the pad type is set correctly from pad settings and connect a cymbal that works on it's own cable to each pad's cable to check if these are not my problem...
        Last edited by pumpal; 02-26-17, 12:56 PM.
        ATV aD5, (Roland TD-15 for sale!)
        TAMA MetroJam2 TRB A2E

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        • #5
          Thanks! So it sounds like the Roland foam I linked to in my original post is the way to go. Fair enough. Based on the problem described, do you think that will most likely fix the issue?

          I also found a pretty wacky solution posted by another user here. They used foam golf balls, of all things, but I understand that may not work in my case.

          http://thedrumexperiment.blogspot.co...ronic.html?m=1

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MichaelB View Post
            Now, my question is, could this be something to do with a setting in the module?
            Absolutely. Have you done a factory reset? Also, when you do a factory reset, the TD-9 has two options -- one for mesh heads, and one for rubber pads. Make sure you pick the correct one. You can check the pad type in the trigger settings after your factory reset to make sure that you picked the correct factory reset option.

            Next up on the list is to make sure that the mesh heads are tight. If they are loose, you will also have bad trigger response and this can also cause the foam cones to wear prematurely.

            Another possible culprit is that the jack is not inserted all the way in. I have had loose/partially inserted trigger jacks in the past and they exhibit the exact same symptoms that you describe. I just push the cable in past the second detent and the problem goes away.

            Or is it more likely the foam/piezos are worn out? If so, how can I test which one it is (foam or Piezo)?
            Piezo's don't wear out. They break or the wires/solder break off and they become very intermittent. The foam can break down over time and you can easily check by taking a head off and checking to see if it is brittle and if the top of the cone is worn below the rim. While worn foam is a possibility, it is the last thing that I would suspect in your situation. I would check on the more common culprits first. Those are the things that I listed above.

            -SD-



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            • #7
              I just did the factory reset, and will test once I put the heads back on (they're currently drying out back, since I decided to give them a wash while I was at it).

              I have no idea how the foam is supposed to look or feel, but it seems ok to me. Here's hoping.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MichaelB View Post
                I have no idea how the foam is supposed to look or feel, but it seems ok to me. Here's hoping.
                Does it look tattered and is it brittle so that it crumbles when you touch it? Also, if you lay a straight edge on the bearing edge and across the drum to use as a visual guide of the head surface, the foam should protrude slightly above the edge.

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                • #9
                  Definitely not tattered or crumbly...quite supple, actually!

                  Not sure I'm totally undertanding the second part of your post, but I ran a flat piece cardboard across, and it was able to glide over without bumping in to the foam.

                  pic attached

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                  • #10
                    This does look quite bitten up and smashed. What SiliconD meant is that normally the top of the cone must be around 1mm higher then the edge of the shell, so that it is in contact with the head. "but I ran a flat piece cardboard across, and it was able to glide over without bumping in to the foam." - that's a problem!

                    In relation to the tennis ball/sanding block/pyramid etc that you are still considering it seems, I will say only, that I have tried quite a bit of different foams and for sure you can put some foam and it will probably trigger better then now, but it won't be quite as good as it would with the original Roland cone. The nuances in the dynamic response is where the big difference is between good and perfect. IMO it does not worth being cheap for that small amount of price difference.

                    P.S> I now saw the first link. I think from Roland direct cones were $11.99. The link I have does not appear to have them at this time, but only a week ago they were avail. I think it worth contacting Roland directly by phone/email. http://shop.rolandus.com/p/cushion-cone-foam-black
                    Last edited by pumpal; 02-26-17, 06:35 PM.
                    ATV aD5, (Roland TD-15 for sale!)
                    TAMA MetroJam2 TRB A2E

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                    • #11
                      Good to know! And just to follow up, I got the heads back on, and I'm still experiencing the issues after factory reset. It looks like the foam is the issue after all...I'll call Roland tomorrow.

                      Thanks for all the help.

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                      • #12
                        The pic of your cone does show serious signs of wear & tear. The edges should be straight; those bulges are a sign of serious compression. This is caused by three variables: 1) Insufficient head tension. 2) Heavy hitting 3) Time. So, don't e afraid to tighten up your heads.

                        In terms of how to replace the cones, I posted this on another thread:
                        http://www.vdrums.com/forum/advanced...feeling-normal

                        Replacing cones IS EASY, but takes some patience. You need to be careful with the piezo it's stuck onto. The best trick is to shave as much of it off the piezo with a razor blade as you can. Don't bear down, and don't pull up on the foam ever. You can damage it the piezo by doing that. Just carefully scrape with a side to side motion of the razor to shave it off. This will probably leave a thin layer of foam and the adhesive on the piezo. Then use mineral spirits (paint thinner) and dab it on the foam and glue residue. Let it sit for about 1 min, then scrape that off with a razor. Repeat the process and finally wipe it clean with a paper towel. Repeat this until all the residue is removed and you'll have a beautifully clean bare surface. It will take you about 5 -10 minutes per foam trigger.

                        Then, just peel the backer off the new one and carefully center it on the piezo and press gently. i use a slight circular motion as I press it on to make sure it's completely stuck all the way around.

                        Again, be careful with the piezo and avoid too much force. Use the razor and solvent and some patience, and you'll be fine. I recently replaced a foam cone on a used PD125, and it now plays like new.

                        Good luck!
                        ATV aDrums & aD5, Pearl Mimic Pro & DIY, Agean R-series Silent Cymbals, Roland Handsonic HPD-20.

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                        • #13
                          That makes sense, considering the guy I bought the drums from was playing them with big, wooden claves like the ones pictured. He probably beat the poor little things senseless.
                          Last edited by MichaelB; 02-27-17, 01:24 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MichaelB View Post
                            ... I ran a flat piece cardboard across, and it was able to glide over without bumping in to the foam.
                            That's not a good sign. The attached picture also confirms that the foam is squashed and not springing back. It doesn't look worn, but the compression-set is pretty bad. Healthy foam should spring back after you remove the head, but that one doesn't look like it is going to recover. Do they all look like that?

                            Btw, kind of curious how your Alesis/Hart Acupads work on your TD-9. The foam on those look worse.

                            -SD-
                            Last edited by SiliconDrummer; 02-27-17, 02:00 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Haven't tried those out yet, but will as soon as I have time

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