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  #1  
Old 09-06-2013, 10:38 PM
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Default 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.

Thank you.
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Last edited by larryace; 09-07-2013 at 05:01 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2013, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

Hi Larry,

Have you thought about trying a Vintage Ambassador? 7.5mil + 3mil?

Nice review of the ones you tried though, thanks.

XD
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2013, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

No I haven't tried the vintage ambassador. I am very partial to a thicker 2 ply head on my snare and 10.5 mils doesn't seem like enough for me. But I would try it, sure.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

I've got an Aquarian (mumbles - something-or-rather) on my snare and it's a really excellent head. They make a very high-quality product. They're a little tricky to get in the UK but worth it.

I have used the Remo Vintage A heads in the past on my snare and my old Musashi. I loved those heads, they were absolutely fantastic. Took just enough of the high-overtone ringing out but left behind a solid tone that was easy to tune.
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2013, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

I love Aquarian heads, and I agree that the coating is the best I've seen on any brand.

Have you tried the Hi Velocity snare head? It's a 2-ply (7 mil each) head with a reverse dot. I don't normally go for 2-ply heads on metal snares but I have a steel snare that I couldn't get what I wanted from and the Hi Velocity really worked well.
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2013, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

No I have not tried the high velocity either. I like thick 2 ply heads, but nothing more than that. Very 3 little bears and all. Judging how much I like the Super 2's I think it might sound too thick.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

Ambassador-X is also right up your ally for a test drive. I use one on my BB when I am playing Rock or Country.
To thick for Jazz though.
I used Super 2 in the past. They are OK but a little dull for my tastes. That is why I went to the thick single ply on both my toms and snare for harder hitting gigs.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2013, 12:32 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

The Super 2's and the Response 2....they do sound unique compared to Evans and Remo. It must be the differences in the coatings. But I really have to beat the new coating down a bit before the true sound will come out. At least that's the way it seems to be with new emps or G2's, so I'm assuming the same for the Aquarians.
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2013, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

Interesting findings Larry. I like Aquarian's coating too. It's way more durable than the Remo coating. I can't get used to a 2 ply head on snares though, at least not on wood snares. Even a reverse dot single ply is an issue for me. I like coated G1's. For me, they allow the subtle differences in snares to show through. I don't need any dampening.

Funny, I'm kinda the reverse on toms. There's very few circumstances where I prefer a single ply. A pure acoustic gig, I'm kinda liking the papery openness, but not if I have to lay into them a bit. In every other application, I'll take a 2 ply, but a simple one like G2's. I don't like anything with edge dampening stuff going on.

Then I'm the reverse again for bass drums. I'm back to single ply love.

What a strange boy I am.
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2013, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

I find that single ply tom heads just plain sound more open on my recordings. I base everything on how it sounds out front first. The 2 ply heads on toms sound good to me on stage, but even unmuffled, they seem to make the drum more sluggish sounding on the recordings. Even 10 mil heads sound a little thick to me on the recordings. But then a single ply 7 mil head like a diplomat sounds way too thin on toms. So until they make a 9 mil, a 10 mil it is. I like the papery sounding attack on toms, no coating for me. Nice adjective, papery. And a single ply snare head sounds too thin to me. So we are opposites like that.

Everyone is different in what they go for. The important thing is that you know what it is you like and how to get what you want.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

Try the coated Remo CS with Clear Dot underneath on your snares. Trust me. Magic.

For more beef, get the Black Dot underneath (but I prefer the Clear).
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:47 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

Everybody is telling me to try this and that, and I probably won't because I don't like the dots. I need a uniform thickness all over. I'm just reviewing a head, not asking for suggestions.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

Well, since you're asking for suggestions, let me tell you about... kidding. ;)

I'm actually really intrigued to hear about the coated Super 2 on the snare. I've heard good things about using the clear ones for toms but I've never heard of anyone trying the coated ones on a snare before. It makes sense using one slightly thinner ply would be a good middle ground for the feel of a two-ply but being slightly more open like a one-ply.

One of the things that has been a minor stumbling block to getting deeper into Aquarian is I just don't know all of the different models and the entire line just doesn't seem as intuitive to figure out as either Remo or Evans. I don't actually think it's actually much different, but man, I just know both Remo and Evans' product lines so well now after using them for so long.

I love hearing about people's hands-on experiences because *just* knowing the specs isn't always a good indication of how it will perform in real life.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Ambassador-X is also right up your ally for a test drive.
+1 That will be my next head for this X7 snare with a piece of Moongel, I think it's going to sound great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Everybody is telling me to try this and that, and I probably won't because I don't like the dots. I need a uniform thickness all over. I'm just reviewing a head, not asking for suggestions.
Well you have to expect that some will try and give opinions on other heads that are close to what you're after. Nothing personal boss, that's what a forum is for. :)
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

You may like it because Aquarian has a darker sounding mylar to it. That darker sound sometimes equates to more audible midrange tones. Your Black Beauty probably soaks those up and speaks them out to you! Glad you found a head you like, nothing wrong with the Super 2, got them on my YD kit.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

Glad that this seems to working for you. The new Aquarian film is a bit brighter yet they still have plenty of low end as needed with Kick and Toms. I go back and forth btwn Response 2 and Super 2 coated both with excellent results on a Sonor 8x14 FerroSteel snare , both heads sounded amazing. Aquarian makes great stuff - plus their coating lasts better for me than any other head on the market.

Last edited by Rhino66; 09-09-2013 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

So I used the Super 2 for a full night at a gig on Saturday night.

Like all new heads I've tried in the last 3 years, the Super 2, to my ear, sounds like it needs the coating to be beat down for a few months before the real tone of the head will come out. It still seems a little deadened by the coating. My favorite head continues to be the beat down coated emperor or G2. So in all fairness, I can't really tell if I like the Super 2 yet because it's not broken in. The question is do I want to have a less than awesome snare sound for the first few months while I wait for the coating on this head to compress. My initial reaction is no, just put the old coated emp back on. There's nothing wrong with it, I'm completely happy with the emp. I just wanted to try the Super 2. because the 7 mil and 5 mil ply intrigued me. I think it might sound really good after it's broken in. I just don't want to sacrifice tone in the meantime. So a bit of a dilemma. To the Super 2's credit, the tone wasn't so bad that I wanted it off right away. If it really bothered me, there's no way I could have played it all night. I just knew that the drum had more to give with my coated emp on it. So what to do. I'm leaving it on for my next gig, a really low volume gig with a blues band where I tune low and sloshy. It will work fine for that, and get me more "beat down" time on the head. So maybe if I get this head to a point where it is broken in, I will come back to this thread and give a real review.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

In my experience, Aquarians do take a little while before their true beauty will shine through. I was kinda ho-hum about the Texture Coated reverse dot that I put on my Pork Pie Big Black, but now that it has been worn-in a couple months, it has to be one of the best sounding heads I've ever had the pleasure to drum on. That, and the coating is holding together well and hasn't even shown any sign of wearing out yet. I tried a plain Texture Coated head on the ACE snare drum I gave to my nephew and it sounded good as well.I like the coated Evans G1 PCRD on my Acrolite, but the amazing sound coming from this Aquarian head is winning me over. I still can't decide which head I like better because that G1 sounds good right out of the box. I'm torn. It may come down to which coating is more resilient. Remo heads fall flat in that department.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
In my experience, Aquarians do take a little while before their true beauty will shine through. I was kinda ho-hum about the Texture Coated reverse dot that I put on my Pork Pie Big Black, but now that it has been worn-in a couple months, it has to be one of the best sounding heads I've ever had the pleasure to drum on. That, and the coating is holding together well and hasn't even shown any sign of wearing out yet. I tried a plain Texture Coated head on the ACE snare drum I gave to my nephew and it sounded good as well.I like the coated Evans G1 PCRD on my Acrolite, but the amazing sound coming from this Aquarian head is winning me over. I still can't decide which head I like better because that G1 sounds good right out of the box. I'm torn. It may come down to which coating is more resilient. Remo heads fall flat in that department.
I'm curious to hear an update on this.

I just put some Evans G1's on one of my kits and after only one gig and a handful of practices the heads look pretty dirty. I really don't mind that part actually--it doesn't seem to affect the sound so far. But it does make me wonder about the longevity of the heads versus the Aquarians I normally use.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

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Originally Posted by brady View Post
I'm curious to hear an update on this.

I just put some Evans G1's on one of my kits and after only one gig and a handful of practices the heads look pretty dirty. I really don't mind that part actually--it doesn't seem to affect the sound so far. But it does make me wonder about the longevity of the heads versus the Aquarians I normally use.
Ok, I have the G1 pcrd on the Acrolite so I will switch out snare drums next practice and play the Acrolite for a few practices and update in this thread. I'm curious myself.

edit: Actually this is Larry's thread, so I'll start another one or post again on the Level 360 thread.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Ok, I have the G1 pcrd on the Acrolite so I will switch out snare drums next practice and play the Acrolite for a few practices and update in this thread. I'm curious myself.

edit: Actually this is Larry's thread, so I'll start another one or post again on the Level 360 thread.
Oh yeah... Sorry about that Larry. :-)


Sounds good. Looking forward to it.
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  #22  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Initial review of Aquarian's Super 2 coated head

I put some coated Super 2's on my toms (13" rt and 18" ft) a couple of weeks ago and love them. They make my old Luddies sing! I had bought them to use for gigs only, but they sound too good not to play.
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