Best Drum Heads

Best Drum Heads

Choosing the best drum head for your kit is no easy task. There are a lot of options to choose from, and with little to no knowledge of what the differences are, you can end up investing a lot of money into a product that adds nothing to your sound. There are three big names you should watch out for when looking for high quality drum heads: Evans, Remo and Aquarian.

Remo Powerstroke 3

Properties

The Powerstroke 3 is made of a single 10 mil ply and is available in quite a wide size range from 16’’ to 26’’. The head has a thin outer-edge underlay and comes with a Remo Falam Slam impact patch which in addition to improving the lifetime of the Powerstroke 3, provides a more focused attack.

Sound

With a well-defined tone and a punchy sound, the Powerstroke 3 is deemed a great choice for rock, funk and metal. The thin outer-edge underlay focuses the sound and purifies the bass tone by reducing the high overtones. Meanwhile, the adhesive impact patch increases attack speed.

Tuning tips

Since the Powerstroke 3 produces a lot of midrange, high tuning would be better for them than low tuning. But, keep in mind that high tuning would mean a midrange punch rather than a deep, heavy boom

Pros

  • Thin underlay that filters the bass tone.
  • Falam Slam patch makes the sound punchier and protects the drum head.
  • Deep low-ends, well-defined mids and focused attack.
  • Versatile drum head that can be used for almost any music style.

Cons

  • Not as durable as other drum heads.

Aquarian SKII Drumheads

Properties

The Super Kick II consists of two 7 mil plies made of Nu-brite. It is available in sizes from 16’’ to 28’’. The drum head is fitted with a Super Kick muffling ring and Aquarian’s patented technology, the ‘’Floating Muffling System’’; composed of a narrow acoustic felt muffling ring that moves with the vibrations from every stroke.

Sound

The Floating Muffling System results in a dampened sound and a strong bass punch while toning down the high overtones. With the Super Kick II, you can guarantee one of the deepest low-end beats, hence it being a very appropriate choice in case you are going to be playing hard rock, heavy metal, metalcore and other genres that heavily depend on bass.

Tuning tips

It doesn’t require much tightening to get it to a satisfying sound. Your best bet is to tighten it just above what you consider loose.

Pros

  • The Floating Muffling System
  • High strength and durability

Cons

  • Some would consider the sound too muffled, but that is a matter of taste, so it is subject to change.
  • Despite the drum head being worth the money paid for it, it is quite expensive.

Evans EQ2

Properties

It is a highly durable drum head made of 2 plies; an inner 10 mil ply and an outer 6.5 mil ply. It also comes with an internal overtone control ring and an EQ muffle ring which can be removed if you need to. Lastly, it has dry vents that provide a mic friendly sound.

Sound

The EQ2 produces a very unique sound that is known for its highly defined attack, fairly warm tone and focused sustain due to the overtone control ring that eliminates high frequencies and clears the floor for a punchy bass. It is recommended for powerful genres that require a lot of hard kicks and heavy footwork.

Tuning tips

If you find the sound too deep, try tuning it a bit tighter but not too tight. You want to be able to slightly rest the pedal onto the drum.

Pros

  • Highly durable because of the total thickness of the two plies
  • Rapid, focused attack
  • Removable EQ muffle ring
  • Dry vents
  • Microphone friendly

Cons

  • It will probably need some extra muffling

Remo PowerSonic Clear Bass Drumhead

Properties

The PowerSonic consists of two 7 mil Mylar plies. It is fitted with a dual dampening system made of two ¾” foam rings that can be found on the inside of the head. The head also comes with a Falam impact pad which absorbs some of the force off of the blow which relieves the drum head and prolongs its lifetime. The drum head is available in the standard size range from 18’’ to 24’’.

Sound

The drum head produces a punchy controlled sound with a fast attack. Moreover, the dampening system really does its job in eliminating high overtones causing notes to appear lower and warmer. These traits make the PowerSonic perfect for a heavy and powerful performance; rock, hard rock and heavy metal.

Tuning tips

If you are going to be playing any of the lighter genres, it would be better to tighten up the drum. However, if you’re rocking out, a fairly loose tuning offers a decent low-end boom.

Pros

  • Microphone-friendly.
  • Falam impact pad offers extra protection.
  • Extremely easy to tune.

Cons

  • The pillow may cause the sound to feel a bit too muffled.

Remo Ambassador Coated

Properties

It is a single 10 mil ply head available in 13’’ and 14’’ only. It is highly durable and sensitive, so it won’t require a heavy beating.

Sound

The Ambassador head provides a bright sound suitable for relaxed genres like jazz and blues. The coating also provides a gentle response and takes off some of the edge from the sound. It goes well with pop which is where people usually start off, and continues to deliver an amazing sound as they move onto more complex genres.

Tuning tips

Tuning the batter head to a medium or medium high then going down from there until you get to the pitch, attack and tension you want is a good technique.

Pros

  • High pitch and soft response
  • Highly durable
  • High quality in contrast with the price
  • Versatile tonal range

Cons

  • The clear drum head isn’t as durable, so the coat is a necessity

Evans Coated with Reverse Dot

Properties

The EC snare head comes with a 3 mil reverse dot and a transparent, luminous coating that gives the snare a classy look. The drum head is made of 2 plies; a top 7 mil ply and a bottom 10 mil ply that offer high endurance especially in the center where the reversed dot adds an extra 3 mil, making the total thickness a full 20 mil.

Sound

The reversed dot positioned in the center concentrates the sound and eliminates excess overtones and some mid-range frequencies without producing a flat single-dimensioned sound. While striking around the edges produces a sound rich in overtones. It can be said that the sound comes out almost pre-equalized. The snare head is recommended for rock and metal due to muffling and durability offered by the dot, among other reasons.

Tuning tips

High tuning would result in a beautiful popping sound. In which case you won’t have to worry about the tension because the thickness really elevates durability and endurance.

Pros

  • Increased durability and focused sound with a low pitch and a sharp attack because of the reversed dot.
  • The dot is on the inside which preserves the look of the drum head
  • Large thickness

Cons

  • Because of the thickness, down tuning can cause the snare to sound a bit dead.

Remo Emperor X Coated

Properties

It is considered the most durable Mylar head in the world. Made of two 10 mil plies and a 5 mil reverse black dot along with a coating, no wonder it has that high of an endurance. The Emperor X is available in a wide range of sizes from 10’’ to14’’.

Sound

The thickness results in a low sustain and minimized high overtones which consequently means a lower pitch. Moreover, the coating dampens the sound and gives it a warmer feel while the dot focuses the sound and eliminates overtones. Due to its durability and the sound produced, the Emperor X snare head is best utilized for genres that require hard hitting.

Tuning tips

High tuning for this drum head is always the way to go as the low to mid range tends to sound a bit dull.

Pros

  • Thickness and durability.
  • Wide range of sizes.
  • Warm sound with a focused attack and minimal high overtones.

Cons

  • The coating tends to wear off the center after a while.
  • The sound still makes you feel that there is more to it.

Remo Pinstripe Clear Tom Pack

Properties

The tompack is available in three size combinations; the first two consist of a 10’’, a 12’’ and either a 14’’ or a 16’’ while the third one is a 12’’, a 13’’ and a 16’’. All made of two 7 mil plies fitted with an overtone diminisher between them.

Sound

It is perfect for pop, R&B and rock because of the controlled overtones and the rapid attack combined with a low pitch.

Tuning tips

If you want a warm sound, medium tuning would get you there.

Pros

  • Professional look
  • Versatility due to a wide tonal range

Cons

  • Not easy to tune

Evans G1 Coated

Properties

It’s a single 10 mil ply drum head that is available in a size range from 10’’ to 16’’. It is highly sensitive. Because this model is coated, it provides a warm, muffled tone that produces a more violent sound.

Sound

The coated drum heads produce a deep sound with defined attack, yet a short sustain. The sound from the coated drum heads should work for most genres. But in case you are going to be mostly playing softer genres, the clear ones would be better because of their brighter tone.

Tuning tips

A low tuning works very well with the drum head; it offers a chance for the shell’s influence on the sound to come out.

Pros

  • Versatile tonal range
  • Sensitive
  • Easily tuned

Cons

  • It isn’t highly durable due which is why we would recommend buying the Evans G2 instead.

Remo Emperor Coated

Properties

The Emperor is composed of two 7 mil plies and a coating that increases durability and sound distribution. Other than the standard tom sizes, it is available in sizes that fit the entire drum kit, from 6’’ to 40’’.

Sound

It produces a lighter tone than other mentioned drum heads and has a subtle yet brighter attack, which makes it suitable for church and lighter genres like soft rock, jazz or blues.

Tuning tips

Tune the tom to resonant pitch, then work your way up and down from there until you reach your sweet spot.

Pros

  • It is the most durable in its series.
  • It sounds brighter than most multi-ply Remo drum heads.

Cons

  • The sound isn’t focused like other Remo drum heads.

Evans Hydraulic Glass

Properties

It is composed of two plies with a thin layer of oil in between which offers consistency as well as durability.

Sound

The oil eliminates excess overtones and decreases sustain while focusing on the lower overtones. It produces a sound similar to that of 70’s rock bands. It is mostly suitable for Jazz and soft rock.

Tuning tips

A tight tuning works best; however, if you are aiming for a 70s Keith Moon sounding tom, loosen it up a bit.

Pros

  • Easy to tune
  • The oil controls the sound, eliminating any annoying ring.

Cons

  • They aren’t resonant enough to be used during a live performance.

Coatings and Dampers

As you may have noticed, changing the sound of a drumhead mostly depends on the weight. Adding more weight i.e. using a coat, results in a warmer and deeper sound. Another technique is to put materials on top of or between the plies to muffle the sound or dampen the overtones. It all comes down to vibrations.

With this being said, it is always a good idea to just buy one drum head so you can try it and get the feel of how your drum set would sound like instead of risking a lot of money on a sound that you won’t necessary like.