Re: Evans new Level 360 drum heads
Hey guys! Actually typing this from about 30,000ft. up right now, flying home to New York after the NAMM show. Wish I could have joined the conversation earlier, but NAMM has kept me quite busy! Please forgive that the rest of this post is something that I also posted on another forum, but I wanted to have this information available here as well.
I'd like to clear up some misconceptions about the new Evans Level 360 collar design. Consider this an unofficial FAQ of Level 360 for the time being. I'd be happy to answer more questions as they come up.
Is this a new series of drumheads?
Nope, this is a new design that we're applying to all of our heads going forward.
Which models are affected?
All 6-20" film-based drumheads- batters, resos, snare heads, snare sides, marching tenors, etc. Next up will be bass heads...
Will this cost more?
Nope. We have literally spent the last five years and hundreds of thousands of dollars redesigning our collar shape in order to create the most forgiving, easy to use, best sound line of drumheads available. But it won't cost you a penny more.
Why did Evans/D'Addario bother doing this?
Simply because we want to offer a better user experience with our drumheads. Drummers (or even non-drummers for that matter) should not need to struggle with tuning in order to achieve an acceptable tone. We want our heads to fit all drums the way that heads should have always should have fit. As a result, the heads tune far easier, have greater tuning range, and work better on all ranges of drums, from vintage to modern, low-end to high-end, pristine to out-of-round or damaged.
Sounds like a whole lot of marketing BS- my heads have always fit just fine.
Having personally been involved with the development of this collar and demonstrated it literally 300+ times over the past 4 days at NAMM, I can tell you that it is very real and quite tangible. The issue is that we've never had anything else to compare to. There was never an alternative to the way that heads fit. As a result, we've been taught a series of tricks to get our drums in tune. Have you ever seated a drumhead- over-tensioned it, crushed the collar, done the CPR-move on the center of the head in order to get a new drumhead ready to tune up? That's because the drumhead wasn't actually fitting perfectly on your drum.
Okay, but if my heads don't fit, how are they on my drums right now?
When we say that they don't fit, we're referring to the fact that they don't sit as we believe heads should. They require the techniques mentioned above, in combination with cross-lug tuning, pitch/tension balancing from lug to lug, and more in order to tune up. All of these tricks are meant to compensate for a lack of perfect fit.
I understand the skepticism around this. As soon as you get hands-on with the concept, it becomes clear. Throughout the course of NAMM this past week, I had many a skeptic come up and ask me about Level 360. I can say with great confidence that everyone walked away having seen/felt/heard the difference and believed that this is something truly revolutionary for drumheads, and drumming in general.
I will happily answer any questions about Level 360; be it the design concept, the effects, what the R&D process was like, how we made the change, etc. It has really been a privilege for me to be involved with this project over the years and we're all very excited to finally be rolling it out now.
Ben O'Brien Smith
Percussion Product Specialist
Evans | ProMark | PureSound