Originally Posted by rpt50
My son has a Tama Rockstar (Taiwan vintage) steel snare laying around that never gets used. I would like to fix it up to give him a good contrasting sound to the Mapex wood snare he usually uses. What would be a good choice for a batter and resonant heads? Please be specific. I think you drummers have even more variations in drum heads than us guitar players have in strings!
I'll tell you what I ALWAYS use, and it never lets me down.
Remo Hazy Ambassador snare side, and Remo Coated Ambassador batter side. They're both thin heads, but they give a great open sound, with a great crack. It's a steel snare, so you'll probably get more ring out of it than the Mapex, but don't be afraid of that. If you tune it up well, that ring can work to your advantage. It really helps the snare cut through in a live playing situation, as well. If the ring ends up being too much, you can look into two ply batter heads like Emperors, or dampened heads like Pinstripes and Evans' EC2s. I would ALWAYS go coated for snare batter heads, though.
Might I also add that you may want to look into upgrading the snare wires, as well. It can make a HUGE difference. Right now, I am using Puresound Customs, and they sound GREAT.