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Old 06-07-2010, 02:07 PM
mikejungle mikejungle is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 58
Default Bass Drum Head Comparisons

Is there anyone out there that has tried all of the popular drumheads out there? the emads, the sk's, the ps's...etc.?

I realize that there's a thread every other hour about this, so my first request is that, instead of writing a response about what I should get for my drumset, just a general and objective-as-possible comparison between all the drumheads you've tried, followed by a subjective opinion and what style you play.

I did a quite comprehensive search and the closest I got was this post:
It all depends on the music you play too. I've tried alot on the same kick with mixed results.

Evans EQ3 is a good all around head but can be boomy for some people.
Evans Emad sounds good but not durable. (plastic ring came off)
Remo PS3 is my absolute fave but i can't use it do to sounding very muddy when doing fast double bass.
Aquarian SK2 nice lows but no volume whatsoever. Unless you have your own monitor i wouldn't recomend this head. I could'nt here my kick when it was just me playing alone.
Aquarian SK1 (my current head) good volume and punch. I can play fast and hear every note.
Next to try is a PS4 and a Gmad (i heard good things). I also want to try an Aquarian Impact 1 but i would like to hear an instore demo before i decide.

All of this was on a 22x18 birch kick with a ported PS3 reso. I also use a kickport now.
Bottom line the best bass head is the one that suits your playing and your music. We can only give you are own experiances.
So something like that'd be really helpful.

In my case, I'm not playing with a band, so I don't need to cut through the mix. It will mostly be for home practicing (so low volume may actually be preferred) and probably recording for some side projects. I like that low sound with a slight bit of decay, but nothing too resonant.

From what i've read so far in all the threads, I think it will be a toss up between the superkick I, II, and the p3. Can anyone compare the 3? I read the sk descriptions on the aquarian site, but don't quite know what to make of it.

Oh right, this will be for a pearl masters studio (birch) 20"(diameter) x 16".

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Old 06-08-2010, 03:42 PM
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Fishgopop007 Fishgopop007 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 274
Default Re: Bass Drum Head Comparisons

I have to say im using the SK II at the moment, and the only thing i lack is volume from the players side of the kit, i've had other people play it while i've stood out front and it sounds phenomenal, recorded and played gigs with this head and love it :]

Happy hunting! George.
Lets funk this up!
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:24 AM
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witchcraftery witchcraftery is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 177
Default Re: Bass Drum Head Comparisons

I've tried all the EMAD, SK, and PS series heads.

I gotta say, it all sounds fake. I like a bass drum sound, not a plastic/felt muffled sound. I now use a Remo Ambassador bass head - it sounds so fat it is unbelievable. Sound guys hate me though - they don't like a bass drum to resonate.

As Jojo Mayer put it, "The bass drum should be the fattest, most aggressive sound on your kit."
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:23 PM
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drumtechdad drumtechdad is offline
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Location: Anytown, USA
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Default Re: Bass Drum Head Comparisons

Originally Posted by witchcraftery View Post
I've tried all the EMAD, SK, and PS series heads.

I gotta say, it all sounds fake. I like a bass drum sound, not a plastic/felt muffled sound. I now use a Remo Ambassador bass head - it sounds so fat it is unbelievable. Sound guys hate me though - they don't like a bass drum to resonate.

As Jojo Mayer put it, "The bass drum should be the fattest, most aggressive sound on your kit."
The truth is, what head you choose has a lot to do with whether you play out miked or unmiked.

Sound guys generally don't like sustain, as you say; on the other hand, if you play out unmiked you need all the sustain you can get. (The audience doesn't hear the sustain you hear at the kit, they just hear a louder drum.)

So, I have two setups available. I like the sound of PS3s, so the unmiked setup is PS3s front and rear, no port, and nothing in the drum. Tuned for maximum booom--up above JAW for the PS3. For miked playing I substitute a ported PS3 reso and add some muffling--usually an Evans EQ pad on the batter and a small rolled-up towel against the reso.

If the OP is just playing at home, or always plays miked, he can use heavily self-muffled heads such as the SKs, but they're too soft for unmiked playing with loud music. The EMAD is usable for both, the EMAD II too soft for unmiked.

Back when I started out (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) we all used single-plys with felt strips. It's a lovely sound, and the muffling is adjustable according to where you locate the felt strip.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:33 AM
MickeyPiedmont MickeyPiedmont is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 24
Default Re: Bass Drum Head Comparisons

I ran across this thread & noticed I could actually share some experience with the Powerstroke 3 clear & "coated" as both batter & resonant on a bass drum. Recently I ordered a Powerstroke 3 clear for my 22" maple bass drum. Once the shipment arrived, I soon found out that some how I accidentally ordered two Powerstroke 3 heads at the same time. Luckily one of the heads was coated - while the other clear. This gave me some diversity & room for experimenting. First I tried the coated version on the batter. Now I like my bass drum to sound like that traditionally heard in classic rock (a bit open). In my opinion the coated PS3 used as a batter was a little papery sounding. The resonance after the initial hit was right on the money though, (nice solid slam with short open boom). I think it would help if I was using a softer bass drum beater. The bass drum beater I'm using is the same kind of design as the "Pearl B100DB Felt/Plastic Duo... I recently purchased a more classic all purpose beater (Tama 6713 felt), so hopefully that will soften the sound of the attack. After considering the attack of the coated PS3 being used as a batter was close but not exactly what I was after, I switched it out for the clear PS3. This head was even better & I must say almost perfect. It represented that straight rock bass drum sound you would hear within software or keyboard samples named "rock bass drum". It absolutely nailed it! The only problem that remained was the feel of the head & its rebound. If I loosened it enough to make it sound the most natural, the beater wouldn't come back fast enough. If I tightened it enough to to feel right, it would loose the oomph & begin to sustain a bit too much. So I tried putting a felt strip on - and with experimenting decided it worked great in front of the head all the way at the bottom pulled tight. Bingo!!! Then I tried using the coated PS3 as the resonant. This seemed like it would have been a fantastic idea - and maybe it is - but I soon found out that the resonance from the regular "logo resonant head" was more appealing to my ears. Since then I've ordered a coated Ambassador to try as the resonant which I'm still waiting for.
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