Originally Posted by evolving_machine
At this point in my experiment, I do not see why more drummer are not using calf-skin.
The key problem with calf is what spawned the plastic head industry in the first place: calf's reaction to temperature and humidity. Drums often wouldn't hold their tuning, and imagine the problems a tympani player encountered! Grappling with heaters & water trays inside drums got old, fast.
But calf and plastic lived comfortably side-by-side for more than a dozen years. As rock drummers became more aggressive, calf's durability problems gave an edge to Mylar, and eventually, calf became an expensive commodity.
So that's the triple-threat against calf for the vast majority of drummers - higher price, lack of durability, and tuning inconsistency. While no Mylar head sounds exactly like calf, companies have come suitably close for most drummers who want that sound.
Growing up and learning to play in the '60s, I transitioned from calf to plastic, and never looked back.