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View Full Version : remo vs. evans: "head to head" comparison


daredrummer
01-02-2011, 12:18 AM
So I recently purchased both some remo and evans heads (for snare and toms), and compared them, to see which I liked better.

First off I'll start with the snare.

I have a 14 by 5 Pearl Forum Snare. I know it's not a great snare, but it's what I have. The resonant head is just what comes with the kit. I chose a remo coated powerstroke 3 and an evans genera dry.

Remo: Coated Powerstroke 3, 14"

So this is a 10 mil one ply head. It has a thin ring on the bottom to prevent overtones. My first observation with this head was that it was very sensitive, at almost any tuning. The lightest touch still gave a clear sound, that wasn't blurred by the snare wires. This head has a very wide range, as it sound good at most tunings. Tuned low, it's nothing special, but still sounds good. High frequency overtones were still audible, but an e-ring quickly solved the problem, giving the head a warm and dry sound.
Tuned medium, this head sounded great. Hit hard, it was definetley loud and bright enough for rock and metal. An E-ring was still needed to get rid of all the overtones, but with guitars and speakers, it's probably not needed.If you hit it softer (still tuned medium), it was warm enough for lighter playing styles, but still very audible. This is great if you have to change music styles quickly. You can get two totally different sounds from the same tuning.
Tuned high and med/high is where this head really shined IMO. An E-ring was now not needed at all, because you couldn't hear the overtones over the bright and loud sound. This allowed the drum to really open up, giving a louder and fuller sound. The sound was very bright and open, perfect for hard rock and metal. It gave a nice defined hit every time, and can easily cut through amps and guitars.
This head also sounded great turned off, and had a great rim click, making it good for latin styles as well.
I'm not sure of the durability of this head yet, but as soon as I know something I'll post it. Stick marks did appear on the drum very quickly, just after a few minutes of heavy hitting.

Pros
- Great defined stick sound, at all tunings
- Very versatile, especially tuned medium
- Nice warm sound tuned low, but loud and bright tuned high
- No e-ring needed tuned high
- Great for almost any style

Cons
- E-ring needed at low and medium tunings
- Stick marks visible after a few minutes of hard hitting

Evans: Coated Genera Dry
This is also a 10 mil 1 ply head, and it too has a thin underlay ring. However is also has dry vents, to help eliminate high overtones.
This head was also sensitive, however not quite as much as the remo. It too had a wide range, but some tunings didn't really work for this head.
Tuned low, this head still needed the e-ring, just because you could distinguish the high overtones from the lower pitched sounds. I liked the lower tuning on this head better than the remo. It gave a nice quick response, and produced plenty of bounce, so it was great for fast tempo jazz.
Tuned low and med/low was my favorite tuning for this head. At this point, the e-ring was not needed because you couldn't hear the overtones at all. Tuned medium, you couldn't really get a warm sound like you could with the remo, but you could still get a great bright sound. At medium tuning, it still probably didn't have the cutting power for metal, but it could easily be used in rock and hard rock situations. At med/low tuning, this head gave a classic warm but loud sound, that can be found in drumming from drummers like Bonham and Watts.
Tuned high was this head's weak point. It had a nice defined and bright sound, but it almost sounded like an electric drum kit snare sound, rather than an acoustic. The snare wires sort of "took over", and didn't allow the head to resonate freely. This created a "boxed in" kind of sound, which didn't sound very good IMO.
Another weak point of this head was the sound turned off, and the rim click. Neither of these were as good as the remo, making this head not so great for latin styles.
I'm not sure of the durability of this head yet, but as soon as I know something I'll post it. After more than an hour of heavy hitting, barely any stick marks were visible, which was a lot better than the remo.

Pros
- More controlled high overtones than the remo
- Good at medium and low tunings
- Somewhat versatile
- Balanced attack
- Not many stick marks at all

Cons
- Not as versatile as remo
- Hard to use for metal and latin
- Bad at high tunings

Now onto the toms. For Remo I did Clear Powerstroke 4's and for Evans, Clear EC2's. This was also on the pearl forum kit.

Remo: Clear Powerstroke 4's (12", 13", and 16")

This is a two ply (10 mil each) head, with a underside ring to minimize overtones. The resonant heads were tuned medium at all times.
My favorite tuning for these heads were med/low on the rack toms, and medium on the floor tom. These heads really have a lot of power, at any tuning, and they project a lot. At low tuning, the rack toms gave a crisp dry sound, but still with a very musical tonality. Breaking out fills on these toms was a blast, as they sounded great in many different uses from buzz rolls to powerful flams to added cymbal or bass drum accents. I can't really see these heads being used for jazz, as they didn't really "sing" or resonate enough that you would expect from a jazz head. But these are perfect for rock, metal, and even funk. The classic dry sound and quick decay gives them the classic sound that you hear in super fast metal fills or funky accent patterns. Tuned medium or high, I found that the heads still sounded good, but nothing special, as similar sounds could probably be achieved with standard emperors.
The floor tom also sounded great. Tuned low, it gave off a dark low rumble, that's great for ending a fill (It has a similar sound to Mike Wengren's of Disturbed floor tom). However if you only have one floor tom, I would recommend tuning it higher, because the tonality different between the rack and floor toms doesn't really flow. Like I said, medium tuning was my favorite on this. It was low enough for a heavy intro buildup such as Enter Sandman from Metallica, but also high enough to use with the rack toms without the pitch difference being too radical. I didn't really like this head tuned high, it sounded more like a big rack tom than a floor tom. However this is on my poplar drum set, and a deeper sound might be achieved with a maple or mahogany set.

Pros
- Sounded great at low and med/low tunings (sometimes at medium)
- Perfect for rock and metal, and funk
- Classic dry quick decay sound
- No muffling needed
- Project and cut

Cons
- Not so good at high tunings
- Doesn't work for jazz, fusion, or similar styles
- Doesn't sing as much as other heads might (however some drummers prefer this)

Evans: Clear EC2's (same sizes)

These are two ply (7 mil each) heads, also with an underside ring (like the remo). This head is designed to control overtones instead of eliminating them.

Well, I didn't really like these as much as the remo's. I guess they just weren't my style.
Tuned high, these heads sounded very similar to the remo's so I'm not gonna get into that.
Tuned low and medium, these heads didn't have that classic dry sound that the remo's had. The sustain was about the same, however these heads were more open and "wet". Many drummers do prefer this, but I still like the dry sound. A better dry sound can be achieved with e-rings, however if you're looking for a muffle free but still dry head, you might want to go with the remo's. At these tunings, the heads sounded pretty basic. Almost like an emperor only a little deeper and a little shorter sustain. However, this is once again on my poplar set, and a more unique sound could possibly be achieved on a more high quality wood.

Pros
- Sang more than the remo's
- Better for jazzier styles
- Open sound (if you like this) but still short sustain

Cons
- Worse for heavier styles
- Not a classic dry sound (If you like this)
- E-ring needed to achieve a dry sound
- More "standard" than the remo's (at least on my kit)

With the toms, a lot of it is preference. If you like a loud and dry sound, than the remo's might be more for you. If you prefer and open and wet sound, then you'll probably like the evans. I can't say that one is better than the other, because it's really just what sound you like best.

So I hope that gave you a better idea of which heads to pick, of you're considering any of these. Of course, drums sound different to everybody, and this is just my input on how they sound. If you really want to decide for yourself, than listening to them yourself would be the best option. But if you thought this review gave you a good idea of which one(s) you wanted, than just buying whichever looks like it would work better would work too. I'm probably gonna be using the remo's, just because I like the sound better, but the evans sound great too.

(I'll also try to get some sound samples if I can.)
If you have any further questions about these heads, feel free to pm me.

IDDrummer
01-02-2011, 12:52 AM
Thanks for the comparison. It's nice to have a side-by-side on the same drum.

I don't know that I would consider stick marks a sign of durability, though. I don't care so much about the cosmetics. To me a head lasts as long as it still has the sound I want. Sometimes a head can look pretty horrible and still sound good! lol

Thanks again for taking the time to write that up.

classicstar
01-02-2011, 01:01 AM
Cool review.
Looking forward to the tom and bass head comparisons

harryconway
01-02-2011, 01:44 AM
Looking forward to the tom and bass head comparisons
Not if it's the Evans HD head. Evans markets the Genera HD and HD Dry as a snare head. Sizes made ... 12, 13, 14. That's it.
You wanna put that head on a 16 or 18 inch floor tom ... or a 26" kick drum .... you are "outta luck". That's where the Remo Powerstroke3 runs away with the ball.

daredrummer
01-02-2011, 04:24 AM
Not if it's the Evans HD head. Evans markets the Genera HD and HD Dry as a snare head. Sizes made ... 12, 13, 14. That's it.
You wanna put that head on a 16 or 18 inch floor tom ... or a 26" kick drum .... you are "outta luck". That's where the Remo Powerstroke3 runs away with the ball.
Well I'm not comparing the same heads on the toms. For toms I chose powerstroke 4's and EC2's, so I could get a feel for their 2 ply heads as well.

Sorry I didn't specify.

daredrummer
01-06-2011, 04:36 AM
Hey folks, I finished the tom head review. Sorry for the delay, it took longer than I expected.
Also apologize for no bass drum head review, I recently purchased a superkick and so I didn't purchase evans or remo ones.

Hope you enjoy the reviews! If you have any further questions feel free to pm me.

EvansSpecialist
01-06-2011, 04:21 PM
@Daredrummer,

Thanks for taking the time to put together a comparison like this. I couldn't help but notice that you're doing a bit of an apples vs. oranges comparison though. The comments you head on the heads reveal that you were looking for something out of the heads that isn't part of the prescribed sound. For example, the EC2's aren't supposed to have a "dry" sound. You can get closer to this by altering the tuning relationship between the batter and reso heads though. The EC2's are intended to have controlled overtones, enhanced low-end and more pronounced attack (and they do).

When doing comparisons, I would strongly suggest comparing similar models in order to gain a better understanding of what's offered. As an example, comparing an ambassador to a Hydraulic wouldn't really tell you anything (except that the heads have different qualities due to their vastly different design characteristics). Comparing ambassador to G1 would be a much more realistic match.

Just a suggestion. Again, thanks for taking the time to do this. If you have any questions about the heads or their characteristics, certainly hit me up.

daredrummer
01-07-2011, 12:01 AM
@Daredrummer,

Thanks for taking the time to put together a comparison like this. I couldn't help but notice that you're doing a bit of an apples vs. oranges comparison though. The comments you head on the heads reveal that you were looking for something out of the heads that isn't part of the prescribed sound. For example, the EC2's aren't supposed to have a "dry" sound. You can get closer to this by altering the tuning relationship between the batter and reso heads though. The EC2's are intended to have controlled overtones, enhanced low-end and more pronounced attack (and they do).

When doing comparisons, I would strongly suggest comparing similar models in order to gain a better understanding of what's offered. As an example, comparing an ambassador to a Hydraulic wouldn't really tell you anything (except that the heads have different qualities due to their vastly different design characteristics). Comparing ambassador to G1 would be a much more realistic match.

Just a suggestion. Again, thanks for taking the time to do this. If you have any questions about the heads or their characteristics, certainly hit me up.
Yes I do definetley agree. But the EC2's are the most similar heads from evans to the remo powerstroke 4's. Lots of this review (most actually) was just expressing my opinion on them. I know tons of drummers who would prefer that less dry sound (produced by the EC2), however, if you're going for a dry sound (which I am), the Remo Powerstroke 4's are better.

I hope I didn't imply that the remo's were better than the evans, because you're right, they're two different sounds. I tried to compare both of them while putting my input in there as well, but I'll read over it again and see if there's anything I can change.
Thanks for the heads up :)

soham2rescue
01-14-2011, 03:56 PM
thx for reply.. because i am planing just now for a tom head change.

actually i use tama swingstars
so its not much a hi end drumkit

i am looking for a sound which would be bright but at the same time.. lowest overtones.. and short duration.. such that the two tom notes donot interfare with bass drum or other sounds or even each other.. for instance like.. while playing a tom-bass drum triplet (TTB TTB)

also i dont want to use any O-rings or moongel stuff.. and i am going to us the same factory tama resonant head.

so which one would you guys suggest...

EC2 or powerstroke 4?

or anything else for the same matter?

daredrummer
01-18-2011, 08:15 AM
thx for reply.. because i am planing just now for a tom head change.

actually i use tama swingstars
so its not much a hi end drumkit

i am looking for a sound which would be bright but at the same time.. lowest overtones.. and short duration.. such that the two tom notes donot interfare with bass drum or other sounds or even each other.. for instance like.. while playing a tom-bass drum triplet (TTB TTB)

also i dont want to use any O-rings or moongel stuff.. and i am going to us the same factory tama resonant head.

so which one would you guys suggest...

EC2 or powerstroke 4?

or anything else for the same matter?
Well the EC2's are a bit brighter. Might wanna try a med/high tuning On the batter head and med/low on the reso to achieve the sound youre looking for.

EvansSpecialist
01-18-2011, 03:59 PM
Well the EC2's are a bit brighter. Might wanna try a med/high tuning On the batter head and med/low on the reso to achieve the sound youre looking for.

They can be tuned low as well- one of the kits we have up in the studio is tuned low and sounds great.

Ainulindale
01-20-2011, 03:20 AM
its funny, i like the EC2's because theyre not dry, like you said, its all about the sound you are after

and Harry made a good point, why doesnt Evans offer the genera dry in more sizes?

interesting post...

daredrummer
01-20-2011, 05:20 AM
its funny, i like the EC2's because theyre not dry, like you said, its all about the sound you are after

and Harry made a good point, why doesnt Evans offer the genera dry in more sizes?

interesting post...
Yes i think genera tom heads would be a big sucess.

Also, I might try evans onyx tom heads, to get a dryer sound.