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Old 07-08-2009, 08:59 PM
Cymbalrider's Avatar
Cymbalrider Cymbalrider is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,612
Default Snare Head Reviews

Well, I've got three new heads for my snare drums (3). The first is a 60s or 70s Slingerland chrome over brass snare that had an Evans G1 Coated on there for several months. I put a Fiberskyn Ambassador on there and have gigged a couple times with it. Fiberskyns continue to amaze me for giving a nice warm sound even to a brass snare. The drum is still plenty resonant which is nice for rimshots but the center is fairly focused. This head works great for brushes too, although a heavier brush is better to project the sound. The second is a Black Suede Emperor head (I had ordered an Ambassador but since they are the same price, and still a nice head I wasn't going to go through the trouble of shipping it back for an Ambassador) that replaced an Aquarian Texture Coated head that split despite being new (no dents or anything). The Black Suede head went on my 70s Ludwig Acrolite snare and sounds quite nice. I am disappointed at the texture though as I thought it would be like Renaissance heads which work great for brushes. The Black Suede texture resembles a worn Ambassador coating, it's there but not enough to make a sound. So despite the matte finish, Black Suede heads are not for brush playing, but would make decent tom or bass heads as they have the attack of a coated head without the worries of coating that sheds. The third head is a Coated CS head for my Mapex Pro M snare that also replaced a Evans G1 Coated. The coated CS is a fantastic head that plays very much like a regular Ambassador with a hint more focus the center, and excellent durability. I got the reverse dot, so it doesn't interfere with brushes. Overall, I can recommend the Fiberskyn and Coated CS to people who want great feeling snare heads that have a focused center sound but still have resonance on the edges for soft playing or loud rimshots. Black Suedes are best for those who don't care about brushes and don't mind having a black drumhead.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:22 AM
grooveweapon's Avatar
grooveweapon grooveweapon is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northwest
Posts: 171
Default Re: Snare Head Reviews

Big thumbs up for the Black Suede Emperor X on the snare. I think it sounds great, looks great and seems really durable...although only a long period of time will tell that story.

I was really surprised with the Black Suede on my snare because based on other reviews I had heard, I thought it would give a really dry sound in combination with my snare which happens to already be very dry. I have it on my 7 x 13 Pork Pie little squealer and it allows just the right amount of that ring sound to come through with the "crack" and there is it doesn't cut away the warmth of the drum itself. Unlike normal coated heads, you don't have to worry about that clear circle showing up in the middle of the head after a month because the color pigment is impregnated into the head. It sounds very good in the middle to higher tuning ranges, whereas other heads seemed to make the drum sound "thin" when you really crank it up.

It might not be everyone's cup of tea but it is certainly worth a try if you like the look of a black head (awesome looking with a black snare and black hardware).
Sabian cymbals, Tama drums, Gibraltar hardware, Evans Heads, Pearl pedals, Pro Mark Sticks.
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