Clear or Coated?

drummingman

Gold Member
Heads that is. Meaning specifically on toms and bass drum. What is your reason for using either clear or coated heads on these drums?

I've never used coated heads on my toms or bass, but i've been thinking about doing so. I have an all maple kit and wonder what coated heads would sound like on it.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
Never liked the clears- they seem to sound too boingy- lots of attack but no where near as warm sounding.

I have tried many heads and seem to go back to coated emps over ambassadors.

Kick is emad but I am starting to think that I might be premature in that. Some threads around here about coated kick heads and a little towel for dampening that sound promising.

Tuning, to me is something that you learn by doing it and your tastes might change over time (mine are weekly anyway).

What drums, music, sound are you into?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I do tend to get a warmer, more rounded sound whenever I use coated heads. But I go back and forth alot depending on what I buy that particular time. For the most part, nobody else but me notices the difference though. I do like a clear head for my bass drum batter. I put a Dr. Scholl's moleskin patch where the beater hits and that sound works for me. But on toms and snare since I play alot of brushes, I require a coated head. Although I'm intrigued by the Remo Fiberskyn 3 heads and may try those soon since someone gave me a Fiberskyn PowerStroke 3 head for my bass drum that I'm just storing in my garage right now.
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
I'm currently using thick ply heads. (Evans G2) Clear batter, G1 clear reso. But I prefer coated heads 2 to 1 on my drums. I just got a good deal on these from a buddy who didn't need them. I like the warm tone I get from coated G2 batters, and coated G1 resonant heads. The resonants matter, but I can easily tolerate clear resos. as long as I have coated batters.

The clear heads I have on now are tuned pretty high in attempt to simulate the tone given by coated heads. It sounds good - but I'm definately springing for coated heads when I get the chance.
 
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permutation

Guest
I do tend to get a warmer, more rounded sound whenever I use coated heads. But I go back and forth alot depending on what I buy that particular time. For the most part, nobody else but me notices the difference though. I do like a clear head for my bass drum batter. I put a Dr. Scholl's moleskin patch where the beater hits and that sound works for me. But on toms and snare since I play alot of brushes, I require a coated head. Although I'm intrigued by the Remo Fiberskyn 3 heads and may try those soon since someone gave me a Fiberskyn PowerStroke 3 head for my bass drum that I'm just storing in my garage right now.
Dr. Scholl's moleskin where the beater hits. Gosh, I never thought of that. Good tip!
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Dr. Scholl's moleskin where the beater hits. Gosh, I never thought of that. Good tip!
It's an old idea since before I started playing. They last forever and you can make at least four of them from a 2 pack you buy at the drug store. The adhesive works way better than what Evans and Remo do for their beater patches, and they're easy to take off should you want to put on a new one. This is one of those old ideas that remains a good one!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
When I switched from Remo to Evans I also made the jump to coated. I eased in with the frosted EC2s and then eventually just went completely coated with G2s over G1s. The other day I had my hand on a prepack of clear G2s, though... I play them at church and they sound just fine to my ears, so who knows.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
I never thought about using coated heads as resonate heads for my toms and bass drum. What does it sound like if both the batter and resonate heads are coated? Also, what does it sound like if the batter heads are coated and the resonate heads are clear? All on toms and bass drum of course.
 

CBC

Member
It is all point of taste...
Don't take opinions.... Let your self decide..... I ended with emperors....
 

edvia

Senior Member
Here's a simple way of thinking about different types of batter heads. Well, this really only applies to coated or clear single-ply and double-ply heads, but that probably covers about 80-90% of all the heads people usually buy. Here goes:

Clear = Bright
Coated = Warm
Single-ply = Open (i.e. ringy or resonant)
Double-ply = Punchy

Therefore:
A clear single-ply head will be bright and open.
A clear double-ply head will be bright and punchy.
A coated single-ply head will be warm and open.
A coated double-ply head will be warm and punchy.

Having this basic formula down can really help you dial in the sound you prefer, at least among this choice of heads. As for what I use, I found that coated emperors over clear ambassadors sounds great, and I've been using that combination for about 4 or 5 years now.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Another coated on both sides guy. Evans G2 batters over G1 resos. I have the clears that came with the kit. There is more attack to the clears but I still get a good attack with the coated. And the rest of the sound is rounder and to my mind, it carries better in an un-mic'd situation. Less of a wet plasticy sound. The coated resos are just a bit warmer and rounder sounding than the clears. A touch less sustain too. But barely noticeable with otherwise open heads on maple drums.

I've a buddy who thinks that coated heads are a bit more finicky to tune. Maybe that's because of the larger ratio of tone to attack and you notice it more.

What I haven't tried is clear batters over coated resos.

I did have coated G2s over clear G1s on my Safari kit but put Fibreskyns on to make if more of a bop thing. They are drier and less attack than the G2s (which I've set aside in case I want to put them back for some venue) and I think work better at the higher jazz tunings than they do loose. If I had extra G1 coated I might put them on for resos just for appearances. Maybe some Aquarian Vintage, although I think they may be too dead for reso use.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I have a kit that I use coated Ambassadors over coated Ambassadors on the toms and it sounds terrific. It has mahogany/poplar/mahogany shells with a wide re-ring.

It pays to experiment, a lot of times there's that hidden sound that must be found in your kit.

Dennis
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
We drummers deliberate endlessly on issues like this. I use Coated Ambassadors over Clear Ambassadors. Bass drums I use a Coated Powerstoke with whatever resonant, usually a self muffled head as I don't put anything in it unless I'm miking. I haven't gone clear in a long time, but if I do I usually stick to single ply. I've found that coated heads have a nice balance, you might want more attack in SOME situations, but there usually isn't too much or too little of any one element of the tone. I like that element of versatility.
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
Dr. Scholl's moleskin where the beater hits. Gosh, I never thought of that. Good tip!
Yeah, we used to do that in the 1980s before there were purpose-made beater pads. In my experience, the moleskin lasts about a minute and a half.
 

JesusMySavior

Silver Member
Heads that is. Meaning specifically on toms and bass drum. What is your reason for using either clear or coated heads on these drums?

I've never used coated heads on my toms or bass, but i've been thinking about doing so. I have an all maple kit and wonder what coated heads would sound like on it.
Personally I very much prefer clear heads. I got some black suedes which I haven't put on quite yet, but Remo describes them as a happy medium between the two. We'll see about that. Coated heads are good for snare but I'm changing my mind with that a bit too because I don't use brushes and I love the brightness of clear heads. And they sound just that way - clear.

It depends on your kit but for my kit(s) I tend to like clears better. And definitely go clear on the bass batter. Coated might sound boxy to you.
 
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