Are non-USA Remo heads as bad as people make them out to be?

yammyfan

Senior Member
I've often wondered about this. I'm not a fan of single ply heads as batters in general and replace them right away regardless, but what exactly is it about the Asian made heads that makes them less desirable?

I don't mind using stock heads on the resonant side on practice kits. My gigging kits still get Remo USA heads all around. Better safe than sorry.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I've often wondered about this. I'm not a fan of single ply heads as batters in general and replace them right away regardless, but what exactly is it about the Asian made heads that makes them less desirable?
There's quite a difference between the Asian made and US made heads. Breakdown here ...... https://www.drumchat.com/showthread.php/32704-Review-Remo-UT-(Taiwan)-Drum-Heads

The UT heads do what they need to. In a store, a customer wants to beat on a kit ...... they let someone do that. At certain price points, a manufacture simply can't afford to supply top tier drum heads on a drum set. And so many drummers will switch out those heads anyways ..... what's the point?

I read somewhere, that UT stood for "utility" ..... but it seems "Utterly Terrible" and "Utter Trash" has pretty much eclipsed that :ROFLMAO:
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
There's quite a difference between the Asian made and US made heads. Breakdown here ...... https://www.drumchat.com/showthread.php/32704-Review-Remo-UT-(Taiwan)-Drum-Heads

The UT heads do what they need to. In a store, a customer wants to beat on a kit ...... they let someone do that. At certain price points, a manufacture simply can't afford to supply top tier drum heads on a drum set. And so many drummers will switch out those heads anyways ..... what's the point?

I read somewhere, that UT stood for "utility" ..... but it seems "Utterly Terrible" and "Utter Trash" has pretty much eclipsed that :ROFLMAO:
That was a fascinating read. Thanks for posting the link.

I'm a little bit concerned about the Gretsch brand resonant heads on my Renowns, now. I recently replaced the USA Emperor batters with new ones but left the resonant heads as-is. Time to change them too, methinks.
 

C.M. Jones

Drum Authority
The heads that kits and snares ship with are rarely my heads of choice. I end up installing my own heads regardless of whether the factory heads are UT or Remo USA. For instance, I like coated batters and coated resos on my toms and bass, but no kit I've ever purchased has shipped with that combo. I'm forced to make modifications no matter what.

There's a belief in circulation that a drum is substandard in some way if it ships with a UT head. That's outrageous. I've had great shells that have shipped with UT heads. A head is just a temporary appointment.

This drum-smelling business (@larryace) is bordering on heresy. Maybe we really do need a drum-scent glossary. Standardization would promote cogent discussion.
 
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yammyfan

Senior Member
There's a belief in circulation that a drum is substandard in some way if it ships with a UT head. That's outrageous. I've had great shells that have shipped with UT heads. A head is just a temporary appointment.
The DW Design Series is a great example of this.

Superb shells that are essentially Performance Series drums with slightly smaller (some say better looking) lugs. Even the graduated hoops are the same on the two kits. The Designs come with Asian heads to keep costs down. That is literally the only compromise DW seems to have made.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
There's quite a difference between the Asian made and US made heads. Breakdown here ...... https://www.drumchat.com/showthread.php/32704-Review-Remo-UT-(Taiwan)-Drum-Heads

The UT heads do what they need to. In a store, a customer wants to beat on a kit ...... they let someone do that. At certain price points, a manufacture simply can't afford to supply top tier drum heads on a drum set. And so many drummers will switch out those heads anyways ..... what's the point?

I read somewhere, that UT stood for "utility" ..... but it seems "Utterly Terrible" and "Utter Trash" has pretty much eclipsed that :ROFLMAO:
Great post. I like Utterly Terrible. The link was cool. Open channel vs closed channel. Heavier weight. Crap seams.

The utility thing makes sense.

More like futility :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

UT heads are the equivalent of builders grade light fixtures. You buy a brand new expensive house and it has el cheapo light fixtures.

It's impossible to predict anyone's taste so they put up the cheapest thing they can because they know you will change them to your style.

Same thing.
 
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rebonn

Senior Member
I’ve received various UT Ambassador heads on new kits and I use USA Ambassadors on my kits so I’ve been able to see the difference on multiple occasions. I’ve heard reps from the company say the only difference are the collars, however that’s not what I’ve found. The UT heads dent A LOT easier and sound thinner and plasticy. I guess they’re supposed to be the same material but perhaps the materials used are from different sources and vendors than the USA heads.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
My practice kit came with UT heads. I've been using them for two years. In my experience they hold up well. They sound like lots of recordings from the 1960's. I plan to replace them but they are OK, so there is no rush.
 

Yamaha Rider

Silver Member
The heads that kits and snares ship with are rarely my heads of choice. I end up installing my own heads regardless of whether the factory heads are UT or Remo USA. For instance, I like coated batters and coated resos on my toms and bass, but no kit I've ever purchased has shipped with that combo. I'm forced to make modifications no matter what.

There's a belief in circulation that a drum is substandard in some way if it ships with a UT head. That's outrageous. I've had great shells that have shipped with UT heads. A head is just a temporary appointment.

This drum-smelling business (@larryace) is bordering on heresy. Maybe we really do need a drum-scent glossary. Standardization would promote cogent discussion.
Ahem. You started this I believe...
He who smelt it, dealt it.
 

ToneT

Drum Expert
I remember those horrible, awful, god-forsaken REMO SOUNDMASTER heads when I was a kid. Hit the head and the "coating" would come right off.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I'm a little bit concerned about the Gretsch brand resonant heads on my Renowns, now. I recently replaced the USA Emperor batters with new ones but left the resonant heads as-is. Time to change them too, methinks.
Depending on how long you've had the kit ...... yes.

It's simply amazing that some people never change the reso head. I recently had a '79 Yamaha 9000 16x16 ..... and it still had the factory reso on it. More recently, my 85 Slingerland 18x16 ....... same thing ..... the factory reso still on it.

I'll "maybe" have a kit 6 months, before I swap all the heads out. Usually batters first, then reso's.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Depending on how long you've had the kit ...... yes.

It's simply amazing that some people never change the reso head. I recently had a '79 Yamaha 9000 16x16 ..... and it still had the factory reso on it. More recently, my 85 Slingerland 18x16 ....... same thing ..... the factory reso still on it.

I'll "maybe" have a kit 6 months, before I swap all the heads out. Usually batters first, then reso's.
I've had the Gretsch kit for 14 months. They're due, but not overdue. I replaced the batters at around the one year mark.

Like you, I've bought my fair share of kits that had factory heads still installed. You can tell when they've been on there for a long time due to all the dirt and dust that's trapped between the hoop and the collar.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
I have the UT heads on my Gretsch Catalina Birch kit. I dislike them. At the beginning of last year, I had intended on putting new heads on my DW kit and using the used Evans G2s from that kit on the Gretsch kit. BUT, Covid last year cancelling gigs + supply chain delays on new heads put that off. I'm still going to do the swap, but will most likely do it at the end of this year.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
Like you, I've bought my fair share of kits that had factory heads still installed. You can tell when they've been on there for a long time due to all the dirt and dust that's trapped between the hoop and the collar.
I'd think after the first decade of the drums life ..... might be time to replace:ROFLMAO: That Yamaha reso was 42 years old:unsure: And oh yeah, the "stuff" that was there:ROFLMAO:
 

iCe

Senior Member
Those heads came on my Pearl Vision VBA kit. The bassdrum head was pretty nice though, but the coated snare head and the Pinstripe like tom heads were 'meh'. Thinking of it, i think i still have most of those Pinstripes heads in our attic somewhere. Since i use the 'real' Pinstripes now i'm curious to see/hear the difference.
 
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