Author Topic: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!  (Read 25983 times)

Offline maltesefalcon

Hey All,

I’ve had my Alesis DM10 for over a week now and I love it. The only thing missing was a mesh head upgrade.

I’m new to edrums so I thought this post would be helpful to acoustic converts / newbie edrummers like myself.

It took me 2 hours in total to do the conversion and tweak the settings on my DM10 module - four 8” toms, 8” bass drum and 10” snare drum with a couple of tea breaks in between  ;)

Thanks to…
I checked out Hellfire’s mesh head conversion with soldering and also the 682Drums cone conversion. I also read tons of articles on dmdrummer.com – so thanks to Hellfire, 682Drums’ cone conversion video tutorial and Trondster’s superb visual rendition of Hellfire’s conversion and others who have gone down a similar route.  :)

My needs were:
1. I definitely do not want to, or need to solder
2. I want it to be as pain free as possible
3. I want to get the best response from my mesh heads

In order to meet my needs I had to mix things up slightly…

I used Hellfire’s mesh head conversion without the soldering bit and a touch of 682Drums conversion process.

I bought my mesh heads from www.682Drums.com – amazing customer service and prompt delivery. Ordered on Saturday night and they arrived in the UK on Wednesday morning – superb!

What you’ll need:
1. Drum key
2. Scissors
3. “Fab Foam” x5 sheets (if you’re in the UK get the foam from Hobby Craft – cheap @79p per sheet – link to Hobby Craft foam page)
   a. There have been some posts saying that you don’t need extra foam, you just have to rearrange the “sandwich” (as Hellfire calls it). I think you do – it just adds that extra height and tightness / compactness
4. Pen / marker
5. CD

Out of the box the DM10 has 3 layers
1. Trigger plate with a rubber plate stuck to it
2. Dark grey foam (has a hole in it)
3. White foam



The 14 steps I followed:
1.   Remove the rim using your drum key. Treat edrums the same as you would your acoustic set – unwind and wind diagonally.



2.   Remove the mylar head & remove the drum shell (carefully) – I found it easier to remove the drum shell at the start and add it on half way through when arranging the sandwich.



3.   Use scissors to cut through the grey foam under the trigger plate. Be careful not to cut the wires! Remove the grey foam.



4.   Remove the white foam – cut a small piece off from the back of the white foam to remove it from the pad. This is what you’re left with:



5.   Cut out a piece of “Fab Craft” (UK) foam (use the shell as a guide) and add it to the bottom of the “sandwich” – you will need to cut a slit in this new piece of foam in order to pass the wires through.




6.   Add the drum shell back on – makes it easier to stack the sandwich with the shell on.



7.   Cut out a hole in the white foam, the same size as the trigger plate. As Hellfire suggests, use a CD to trace the shape and cut.



 
8.   Add the white donut foam to the sandwich (on top of the craft foam and below the trigger plate)



9.   Add the trigger plate on top of the white donut foam and make sure the trigger plate sits neatly on top of the hole



10.   Add the (cut) grey foam on top of the trigger plate. You’ll notice that there’s a “nice” hole in the middle of the grey foam that will need to be filled. I’d recommend using the left-over white foam from the donut you created earlier to fill in this hole – leaves a nice effect / target on your pads – possibly not as nice as Trondsters ;)



11.   Once all the foam layers are added on, you should have around 0.5cm or a little more foam showing above the drum shell



12.   Place your new mesh head on (as I mentioned earlier, I got mine from 682drums.com – great service, delivery and price to the UK)
 
13.   Add the rim & tighten…now this is where you might think “I’m done, the hard bit is over!!” My opinion is that this is the biggest pain-in-the-ass step there is in the whole process - getting your tension rods back in.



14.   Tweak your settings on the DM10 module for sensitivity, threshold and all that jazz – mine didn’t really need that much tweaking since I had spent the whole week playing with the settings.

PS. Since my kick pedal is all felt and a little bit old, slow and crap I simply glued on a piece of rubber onto the felt so it doesn’t damage the mesh – a new double kick pedal is on order  :)

PSS. There are no videos on the SOUND difference between mylar and mesh heads on this post – there are plenty around on dmdrummer and youtube. Basically mesh heads are a lot quieter (especially on the bass drum) and if you’ve come from an acoustic set, they feel a lot more realistic and can take a bit more of a beating.

Happy drumming to you all. If you have any questions or advice, please give me a shout in the comments below.
Alesis DM10 Studio 2011. Addictive Drums & Superior Drummer VST. Mesh head conversion (check it out here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3683.0)

Offline humpty27

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 09:16:35 AM »
hi mate.. just wanna ask, if we do this conversion, is there any effect such as when we strike the snare, the sound would be so loud unlike the mylar head (stock head)?

Offline maltesefalcon

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 09:30:21 AM »
Hey! once you convert to the mesh heads and you reorganize the foam layers the snare is very quiet - the difference is amazing and the response is very close to an acoustic snare.

Also, when converting the snare you might need to trim the rubber plate that is stuck to the trigger plate in order for it to fit lower down the "sandwich".

I've had the conversion for nearly two weeks now and i'm loving the kit - makes a huge difference from the mylar heads.

Alesis DM10 Studio 2011. Addictive Drums & Superior Drummer VST. Mesh head conversion (check it out here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3683.0)

Offline exoow

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 06:38:42 AM »
Hey,

thanks for this amazing tutorial.

I have a question though... I'd like to do a conversion as well.
This guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwZoeHyV4DE) does nothing but switch the grey foam with the trigger plate. And it seems to work well.

But unlike your tutorial, he doesn't seem to cut a hole in the white layer.
Do you deem this necessary?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 07:10:06 AM by exoow »

Offline Trondster

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 07:18:03 AM »
The point of cutting the white foam is to let the plastic vibration plate vibrate more freely - try not cutting the hole and see if it works. Then - try cutting out the hole and see if there's a difference - you can always put the cut out foam back in.

See Hellfire's thread for the original recipe, or my signature for another illustrated conversion.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 07:20:14 AM by Trondster »
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline maltesefalcon

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 07:26:24 AM »
Hey exoow, thanks for your comment & glad you liked this tutorial for "newbies who don't want to solder".

As Trondster says you could try both methods - with or without the hole in the white foam, however i would recommend you cut the hole in the white foam...it's very straight forward & it gives you an extra piece of foam to use on the top of your sandwich once you reorganise the foam.

As trondster mentions check out Hellfire's method which my tutorial is based on (minus the soldering bit). Also check out trondster's visual tutorial of Hellfire's method - trondter has some geeky/cool :) foam fills for the top of his sandwich.
Alesis DM10 Studio 2011. Addictive Drums & Superior Drummer VST. Mesh head conversion (check it out here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3683.0)

Offline exoow

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 08:04:58 AM »
Nice, thanks. You're right, I can put the cut-out part back in if need be.

Also, why do you add another 2-3 mm layer at the bottom?
Is it because the mesh head sits higher than the original head?

My 682drum mesh heads are ordered, really curious if I can make this work.

Offline maltesefalcon

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 09:43:21 AM »
Nice, thanks. You're right, I can put the cut-out part back in if need be.

Also, why do you add another 2-3 mm layer at the bottom?
Is it because the mesh head sits higher than the original head?

My 682drum mesh heads are ordered, really curious if I can make this work.

i followed hellfire's advice and to be honest with you I could have added a 4mm layer at the bottom. I like my heads pretty tight though. If you've ordered 682drum mesh heads i'd recommend you add that extra layer. i'm very happy with 682's mesh heads - great quality.
Alesis DM10 Studio 2011. Addictive Drums & Superior Drummer VST. Mesh head conversion (check it out here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3683.0)

Offline Trondster

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 04:14:54 PM »
The foam at the bottom is to make the foam sandwich press tight against the drum head for better responsiveness - highly recommended.
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline exoow

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2013, 05:16:52 AM »
Great! I'll let you guys know how it went. :)

Offline exoow

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 09:51:31 AM »
Voila, I did the conversion following this guide, for the 8" and 10" pads.
Only difference: I used thicker but very soft foam at the bottom.

The result is very satisfactory, especially the noise levels.
(I didn't fix the oversensitive rimshot triggers yet, but I'm sure that'll work out fine.)

So thanks again MalteseFalcon (and the others)... Excellent guide.
Now I'm waiting for Adam Hall foam to do Gerdy's 12" pad conversion. :)

Offline maltesefalcon

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 02:53:48 AM »
Thanks exoow, glad you found the guide helpful. :)
Alesis DM10 Studio 2011. Addictive Drums & Superior Drummer VST. Mesh head conversion (check it out here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3683.0)

Offline Stevo

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 11:36:30 AM »
Hi Everyone, I have just recently bought a DM5 Pro kit and decided to do the mesh head conversion perfectly described here and also Hellfire's video.

My questions are, I am using 1mm sheets for the bottom layer, two or three sheets raise it up to the correct height, do they need to be glued together or will they be fine layered? They aren't going to shift anywhere due to a snug fit in the shell so I think they'll probably be okay, I just want a second opinion.

I have a plan to try and I wondered what you thought of it.

Instead of putting the top foam back I was wondering about using a thick ring of eva foam directly contacting the trigger plate with the skin, this would also give a more natural rebound due to the hole in the middle and a stronger, more direct contact to the trigger.

Anyone tried something like that, and if so, did it work?

Offline Trondster

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 11:42:14 AM »
The sheets are fine layered - you don't need to glue them.
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Stevo

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 03:29:44 PM »
Thanks, Trondster. I thought they would be okay as is.

Forget the other thing, I tried it with the real head and it makes it way too sensitive. I have to try these things though.  ;D

Offline Rocket2112

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2013, 02:52:24 PM »
So, I ordered some heads from 682Drums. I revisited this topic to do the no soldering method and printed out the thread for instruction. I notice that there are links to photos in the printout, yet no photos are here. This would greatly help if they were available. Any chance of fixing this?
I did the 682Drums no soldering upgrade. See my photos here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3683.msg31354#msg31354

Offline Trondster

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2013, 04:15:35 PM »
The images are no longer available - they have been deleted, the server is no longer working or similar. If you refresh the page they will be gone in your browser too - your browser has probably cached the images.
Try PM'ing the OP.
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Rocket2112

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2013, 08:05:18 PM »
OK, here is my photo addition of the upgrade I did in about an hour with minimal instruction. I took these with my cheap phone after I upgraded one drum.
Step 1: The received package (after on drum install)


Step 2: Remove rim and Mylar head




Step 3: Remove shell which holds the internals like foam and piezo.



Step 4: Cut the gray foam. No need to cut the white foam.






Step 5: Flip and place piezo. (Note, on one drum I had to cut a small slit to prevent the wires from stretching too far).
 

This didn't need the slit.


Step 6: Remove double stick tape cover on cartons (as 682Drums calls them), and stick to the piezo plate.





Step 7: Apply a double stick tape tab directly on the piezo. Remove the protective layer to expose opposite sticky side and place cone on the tape. (Note, my cones were flat topped)






Pay no attention to cone color difference. I have a shitty phone.




Step8: Re-assemble drum. Shell first, then mesh head, then rim. Tighten down.





All done.


I hope you enjoyed this short presentation.

 ;)
I did the 682Drums no soldering upgrade. See my photos here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3683.msg31354#msg31354

Offline Neilfatmonkey

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2013, 09:03:44 AM »
Hi there,

I'm brand new to the forum. I'll try not to sound too noobish with my questions and I'm very sorry if they've been asked before. I did search, but couldn't find the exact answer I was looking for.

I'm upgrading from a DM6 to a DM10 studio newer model and would like to perform a mesh head conversion.

My question is: why can I not just put mesh heads straight onto the kit? Drumtec.de do a conversion where you apply a sort of thin foam layer, then a mesh head and that is it. Could I not just put a mesh head straight on? Why turn around the piezo and place a cone on it? Surely if the Piezo picks up the hits on the Mylar head as standard it would pick up hits from a mesh head without ant modification wouldn't it?

Please help me understand as I'm completely new to this and just want to get it right.

Thank you so much for your time.

Neil
DM10X, Big Dog Pro Double Bass Pedal, Roc n Soc Throne.

Offline Corvidae

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2013, 10:42:39 AM »
Hi there,

I'm brand new to the forum. I'll try not to sound too noobish with my questions and I'm very sorry if they've been asked before. I did search, but couldn't find the exact answer I was looking for.

I'm upgrading from a DM6 to a DM10 studio newer model and would like to perform a mesh head conversion.

My question is: why can I not just put mesh heads straight onto the kit? Drumtec.de do a conversion where you apply a sort of thin foam layer, then a mesh head and that is it. Could I not just put a mesh head straight on? Why turn around the piezo and place a cone on it? Surely if the Piezo picks up the hits on the Mylar head as standard it would pick up hits from a mesh head without ant modification wouldn't it?

Please help me understand as I'm completely new to this and just want to get it right.

Thank you so much for your time.

Neil

No worries about being new. Welcome aboard!

You can just take the stock mylar head off and put the mesh one on and it'll still work fine. The only catch is that the only thing you'll really get from it is a bit less noise from hitting the drum head itself. You won't get the other improvements like better response, sensitivity, etc. There will also be a bit of a problem as the mesh head will flex more and hit the (thin metal) reflection plate the piezo is attached to. I assume this is why Drumtec is sending some thin foam to put between the two. I don't know what kind of foam it is, though, and if it'll hold up to heavy playing (even the craft foam in HF's method can wear down over time).

That said, I can't think of a reason you couldn't go from the Drumtec method to one of the others, as the heads should be the same. You'd just take it off and mess with the internals of the pad (which are _really_ simple, just a few layers of different foam and a plate with a piezo sensors). If you're leery of jumping in off the diving board, dip a toe in first. :)

One last thing: If you're getting a DM10 kit with a warranty, you might want to consider the Drumtec modification only until the warranty runs out, as any of the others (with reordering the foam, etc.) will definitely void it. I got my kit used with a warranty, but only really cared about it on the module and hacked the crap out of my pads almost immediately. There's not really a lot that can go wrong with the pads, short of the piezo dying (which is a very easy fix, if you can solder or know someone else who can).
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 10:53:17 AM by Corvidae »

Offline Neilfatmonkey

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2013, 11:13:25 AM »
Thanks for the speedy reply. That makes a lot of sense to me. Drum-tec's foam seems to be more for sound dampening, so it may be quite a sturdy, thick foam.  It's very expensive for what it is though so it thought that I might "dip a to in" and perhaps just but the heads first, with some dense foam and see how that works out. However I see that a lot of people have done the 682 conversion with generally favourable results, so if my cheap solution doesn't work I can just get some foam cones and flip the piezo as above.

Thanks very much for the fast reply, it's much appreciated.

Neil
DM10X, Big Dog Pro Double Bass Pedal, Roc n Soc Throne.

Offline Neilfatmonkey

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2013, 11:16:33 AM »
Thanks for the speedy reply. That makes a lot of sense to me. Drum-tec's foam seems to be more for sound dampening, so it may be quite a sturdy, thick foam.  It's very expensive for what it is though so it thought that I might "dip a toe in" and perhaps just buy the heads first, with some dense foam and see how that works out. However I see that a lot of people have done the 682 conversion with generally favourable results, so if my cheap solution doesn't work I can just get some foam cones and flip the piezo as above.

Thanks very much for the fast reply, it's much appreciated.

Neil
DM10X, Big Dog Pro Double Bass Pedal, Roc n Soc Throne.

Offline Corvidae

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2013, 11:52:06 AM »
The more I think about it, the less I like the thought of a thin piece of foam being all that stands between the head and the reflection plate. Do you have a link to the set you're looking at buying? Something like craft foam will just get torn apart by drum hits, while sturdier foams may just get dents in them.

For the record, I did the Hellfire conversion and just bought the heads (Billy Blast IIs, the 3-ply ones) and works great for me. I didn't bother with the cones, etc. because looking at all the empty space inside the shell bothered me. :P ;)

Just a thought as to

Offline Neilfatmonkey

Re: DM10 mesh head conversion (Hellfire & 682Drums) – NO soldering!
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2013, 10:43:11 AM »
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t25rqi1YuGg

This shows the drum-tec conversion. It looks like pretty sturdy foam, maybe even rubber.

http://www.drum-tec.de/drumtec-meshkit-2013-upgrade-fuer-alesis-dm10-studio-p-2032.html
DM10X, Big Dog Pro Double Bass Pedal, Roc n Soc Throne.

Thanks Rocket2112
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2013, 10:50:11 PM »
That pic slideshow was exactly what I was looking for. How do you feel about the bass drum conversion? I've noticed that seems to be a sticking point for some people...I'm kinda thinking about 3 options.

1) 682 conversion, hope it works.
2) Roland KD-80 or KD-85. Just buy a mesh head one...
3) Krigg Trigga...it looks like it's triggered by the foot pedal coming down instead of the beater. Apparently very quiet, but you have to get used to it.

Any thoughts? Insight? :D