Ahead S Hoops. WOW!


Senior Member
I'm going to try to make this NOT sound like a commercial but...I just replaced my 2.3mm Gibraltar triple flange hoops with Ahead S hoops on my 1968 Pearl Super Deluxe kit. Wow, what a difference! I had been fiddling with the tuning on the 12 and 13" mounted toms because they weren't quite right. They sounded OK and vintage and all but just not what I wanted. I played around with different heads and finally landed back with Remo Ambassadors top and bottom. Different heads didn't make them sing like I know they can. Playing around near the edges of the drums they were always a little dead and the resonance never was right no matter what I did. The bearing edges are fine by the way. I had Precision Drum recut them last year. The S hoops really opened up these drums, like night and day. My 16" floor tom always sounded fine with the Gibraltar hoops but it sounds even better now....low, meaty and FULL! In addition I get the bonus of having the inward flange protect my 50+ year old bearing edges. What a great product. Highly recommended.
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Platinum Member
I got one for a snare just to try it out and I loved it so much I've added them to all of my toms as well.

They really seem to strike the perfect balance with the good qualities of a triple flange hoop and the good qualities of a die cast hoop. They're super rigid, so they allow very precise tuning but they aren't as heavy and don't have as much mass as a die cast so they don't kill all of the high frequencies.


Silver Member
Lennytoons and WW,
Are you using them on the top and bottom of your toms, or only on the top? I've wondered about the S Hoops since they came out years ago.
Educate me! (I'm too lazy to research myself). Kidding! I will look into them again, but I still want to know what you guys did.


Senior Member
I put them on top and bottom. I did an A/B test with the triple flange reso hoop left on and there was a distinct difference when I put both S hoops on. Volume and tone increased. I didn't know if I'd like the look of the hoops as I played them but I do. The striking surface of the head is a bit smaller but not enough to bother me. I was shocked at how good they made these old drums sound. Interestingly Pearl made the Super Deluxe with similar hoops way back in the day. Some but not all of the Super Deluxe kits had the Slingerland style hoops.


Senior Member
Your post has only added to my curiosity, I've gotta try them! I just don't have a need for hoops at the moment.

With all the rave reviews, I wonder why S-Hoops aren't more popular. Maybe it's a lack of marketing, lack of consumer acceptance, or that Ahead can't compete with larger companies.

Does anyone know when S-Hoops were first introduced? I assume that Ahead owns the patent, and it could be expiring soon? Then hopefully we'll see more companies make them.


Junior Member
I changed the NOB batter hoop with an S-Hoop on my early-60s 5x14 Pioneer snare and loved the results. It tunes and plays like a Jazz Festival now. My theory is the stiffer hoop compensates for the 6 lugs.

Got an 8 lug version to try on my early-60s 5x14 Slingerland 8-lug student snare with stick choppers, made no difference. Very surprised since it made a world of difference on the Ludwig Pioneer.

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I've been using the S-hoop on my snare tops for years. I got my first one from the guy who designed them year and year ago. Never did anything with it for the longest time, then one day I decided to give it a go. Ever since then I've been replacing almost all my snare batter hoops with the S-hoops.