Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head
My 14 x 6.5 Black Beauty with tubes seems to be a finicky drum as far as heads go. I've had the darned-est time getting this thing to speak. I am very partial to the coated 2 ply head on my snares. Long story short....the head it likes best is a pre 2010 coated emp that's been beaten down. Then the drum sounds amazing. Up till now, I've tried brand new coated G2's and brand new coated emps and right out of the box, on this drum, they really detracted. Noticeably detracted. Not good. It was the coating. It sounded too thick. I've sanded heads down, but it wasn't the same. They just need to be played for a few months it seems. (Can anyone relate to this?)
So I decided to try Aquarian's coated Response 2 and the Aquarian coated Super 2 heads on my finicky BB. Response 2 heads are the Aquarian equivalent to coated emps and G2's. Construction is 2 free floating 7 mil plies of mylar.
The Super 2's construction is 2 ply as well, a 7 mil ply and a 5 mil ply. That makes it 2 mils thinner than the Response 2, and 2 mils thicker than an ambassador or a g1. It does a nice tap test too, a little papery, but substantial. Both heads have Aquarian's texture coating.
First I tried the Response 2. If the coated G2's and the coated emps were pretty similar in deadening effect, the Response 2 was MUCH better right out of the box. It allowed the drum to speak much clearer than the other two. Generally I thought it was a great improvement. But it still didn't sound as clear as my old beaten down emperor. So it was good, but not great. So far, it was the best head by a sizeable margin. Now I am sure that all the coated heads I mentioned so far will all sound awesome and great in a few months time after they've been broken in and beaten down. But right out of the box, I have been kind of disappointed since 2010. I don't know if changes happened or if it is just my own perception. Doesn't matter. Most new coated heads sound way dead to me now. Aquarian's I like the best right out of the box.
So OK I had a problem with the Super 2. The first Super 2 head to arrive sounded worse (deader) than the Response 2. I couldn't play it for even a few minutes and I had to chuck it. Turned out it was defective. The plies had separated to the point where the bottom ply had a tubular arch going on from one side to the other. I called Aquarian, and after I described my issue, the woman transferred me right to Roy Burns. Ya gotta love that.
Anyway, Roy and I talked for about 3 minutes, and he said that "it's hard to get quality mylar". He explained that drum head film is but a small percentage of the mylar pie. But he volunteered to send a new head on my word alone, and I told him what a great reputation he has in the drumming community. I mentioned DrrummerWorld in the conversation too.
So, the other day the head came and now it's time to evaluate it. I liked this head the most. Right out of the box, it allowed the drum to speak clearly. I think this head is a winner. I think it would appeal to the ambassador crowd because it is still a pretty sensitive head, but it has more balls, more low end, than a coated ambassador. I think it would appeal to the emperor crowd because I didn't feel I was giving up anything because it still had 2 nice sized plies. I did gain more snare response and clarity. That said, it's still not as good as my old coated emp lol. It was fairly close though. But out of the box, I could definitely live with the Super 2's easily. I think this head will sound terrific after it's been broken in. Right now, it is looking like it might be my new favorite snare head. Maybe. The coating seems very durable and sounds great. But I have to gig it still.
I went back to the old coated emp on the BB, because that's what sounds best on it. Next I will try the Super 2 on my maple snare tomorrow night at a gig. The maple snare is not as finicky and I think I expect to really like it on that drum.
IMO, Aquarian's texture coating seems to be the most durable and best sounding coating out of the Big 3. I expect good brush response for much longer than Remo or Evans standard coatings
The Super 2 is the most expensive snare head I ever saw at over 20 bucks US. Whatever. Love has no price. If I were Evans and Remo, I would develop my own version of this head because a 7 mil ply and a 5 mil ply....sounds like a winner to me. It sits right in between the 2 most popular snare heads of all time. And it sounds lively, right out of the box. That was my big problem, dead new heads. Hopefully, tomorrow I will love it.
The best way to do art, is to dispense with good and bad...and just get on with it.
Last edited by larryace; 09-07-2013 at 05:01 AM.