Q&A With Bob Yerby
By Phil Hood Published April 13, 2010
The Remo Ambassador (clear and coated) has been a mainstay of drummers worldwide for decades. Ambassadors are constructed of a 10 mil mylar film (basically about .01 inches thick) that produces a clear, open, bright sound. As a key part of Remo's business we were interested this past year when they introduced Ambassador-X, a beefier version of the original, and how this new design would work for drummers of different styles. We interviewed Bob Yerby, Remo's VP of Sales and Marketing, last month.
: Bob Yerby
: VP Sales and Marketing
Years with Remo
Playing experience: (Describe your musical background)
I have been Playing Drums for 30 years and currently playing with the Brad Alden Band.
Bob, when did the idea of Ambassador X first come up?
The idea for Ambassador X was established in July of 2009.
Do ideas like this come from players, from the manufacturing team? What was the genesis?
New product ideas come from our Drumhead Marketing Committee, artist feedback and perceptible change in consumer taste. We also do a lot of testing internally before getting artists involved. Once we have a frequency that is viable for the market, we then select artists for performance feedback.
What is the development process like for a new drumhead? How many iterations to get it right?
The development process for new drumheads is unique. There are a lot of good drummers working at Remo. We have lots of samples made for internal testing before going to market. All of us have different tuning ranges and playing styles. Everyone in our Drumhead Marketing Committee is a good drummer.
What special properties do you hear in the 12 mm head? What makes it musically special?
The Ambassador X heads are the same film as the industry standard Coated Ambassador, but 20 percent thicker. This produces more stick rebound, attack, volume and durability with enhanced mid range tones. We love to give drummers lots of frequency options. Ambassador X does just that, bridging the gap between Ambassador and Emperor Drumheads.
There are so many variables in a drumhead. Material, thickness, coating, manufacturing techniques. Is one of those more important than the other?
We believe it all starts with the quality of raw materials. Particularly polyester films from Dupont which are the bench mark of films manufactured anywhere in the world. Other processes such as collar construction with our ASP or Active Seating Profile, and our new Duracoat coating technologies are equally important.
It also should last longer than a plain Ambassador. What is the good and bad of that?
For the consumer market, having a single ply head with 20% more durability is positive. For the touring professional and drum techs, this could mean playing 3 or 4 shows before having to change a set of heads.
What kind of player should consider adding Ambassador X to his/her arsenal?
Ambassador X heads were designed for all styles of music. We believe that the Ambassador and Emperor customers should check them out. These heads have a great feel, with warm tones and lots of volume.
Anything else that is special about Ambassador X? How do they sound in the studio?
The feedback from artists and sound engineers has been very positive. The demand has been unbelievable. We can’t get them to the consumer and professional markets fast enough.
Anything else you'd like to add?
“Ambassador X heads will give you 20% more of everything you expect from the Greatest Heads in Drumming.”