Best Sounding Snare Drum Head For Jazz Style

double bass man

Junior Member
What do you find to be the best make of snare drum head--sticks and brushes--small combo--for the following jazz styles:
New Orleans / Mainstream Jazz styles. As you know a lot of different makes / types of head out there.

Newbe question.

Many thanks.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Remo Coated Ambassador is excellent but the coating doesn't last as long as the Aquarian texture coated or modern vintage.

I also like the Remo Skyntone a lot as well as the Fiberskyn FD
 

moxman

Silver Member
For me it's always Evans G1 coated batter - and hazy 300 reso side. Works great for many genres. Check Youtube for examples.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I like a coated G1 and dependent on snare a hazy 200 or hazy 300.

If you can get the Ludwig medium coated from anywhere they're amazing!
 

trickg

Silver Member
If I was going to set up a jazz kit, I'd probably use vintage coated Ambassadors, or maybe fyberskins.
 
I just switched all my drumheads to Evans Calftones - except for the snare. I am loving the warm, yet responsive sound of these heads so far. For me, they sound perfect on my 60's MIJ kit and does jazz really well. They also seem to be holding up quite well, although honestly, I'm pretty easy on them.

I'm not sure if I will put them on my snare yet though, as I really like the Evans coated G1 on it. Anybody using the Calftone on the snare?
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I bought a Calftone for my snare as soon as they were available. Mine de-laminated the first time I played it.

With both Calftone and Fiberskyn I don't like the stiff quality the laminated heads have. It isn't all that natural and doesn't feel like calfskin. I really love the tone, the consistency, and the durability of Aquarian's Modern Vintage heads.
 
I bought a Calftone for my snare as soon as they were available. Mine de-laminated the first time I played it.

With both Calftone and Fiberskyn I don't like the stiff quality the laminated heads have. It isn't all that natural and doesn't feel like calfskin. I really love the tone, the consistency, and the durability of Aquarian's Modern Vintage heads.
I hear you.

I think Evans fixed that delamination problem now. I mean, that couldn't have gone on without a fix for to long before people stopped buying them and demanding refunds. You can't sell something you know is defective for long.

While you are correct that they don't feel like natural skins, I love the way they feel when I put the sticks to them and the sound is everything I could ask for, warm and chubby, yet pleasantly resonant and alive. I do hear good things about the Aquarian Modern Vintage heads though and I can't blame you for going that route after the Calftone problem you had.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Stick and brushes-It's hard to beat a coated 10 mil head-Remo or Evans-for snare batter head, then a Evans 300 hazy or a Remo diplomat reso. I use Vintage Ambassadors on my toms.
 

Advinghelli

Active member
I just switched all my drumheads to Evans Calftones - except for the snare. I am loving the warm, yet responsive sound of these heads so far. For me, they sound perfect on my 60's MIJ kit and does jazz really well. They also seem to be holding up quite well, although honestly, I'm pretty easy on them.

I'm not sure if I will put them on my snare yet though, as I really like the Evans coated G1 on it. Anybody using the Calftone on the snare?
I have calftones on everything except for snare reso(hazy 300). I love the toms. The bass drum has emad and eq4 and it's too dead. The snare booms too much, I want a crisp crack. I'm gonna retune the bass and snare. Possibly try to remove the emad ring(it currently has no foam, just the bracket) and switch the snare batter to a genera dry.
 

Griener

Member
There's nothing wrong with a Remo Ambassador.
A Remo Skyntone gets you more towards a calf skin head.
I tried all the options for fake calf drum heads and liked the skyntone the most.
But I recently switched to real calf (Litik drum heads with their Easy tuck metal hoops) and for me there is no going back.
it sounds so much more like I always dreamt of what a drum should sound like.
Plus they're easily biodegradable (has anyone any idea how to recycle plastic drum heads?).
But if you take good care with them they even last much longer than plastic heads because they don't wear of.
I just bought a set of 1945 Slingerland Radio Kings with the original drum heads and those heads still sound great.
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IMG_6307.jpg
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Good advice on the single-ply coated type. But if you’re brave, try a real calf head made by Earthtone, those are amazing. Of course if you’re even braver, have a real calf head tucked onto a hoop and installed on your snare. Earthtone is cool because they mount it for you and all you do is put it on like a regular head. To see the process of real calf skin soaked and tucked into a hoop is educational.

Of course you suffer all the old school things that plagued actual calf (which is why Remo Belli made his first million back in the early 60s), but to hear brushes on calf is almost a religious experience. For me, anyway 😉
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
any aquarian texture coated is the go to head for me :) the coating lasts WAY longer than remo or evans, and its more "marbled" so brush work is more defined :) ive even used twin ply heads for jazz (specifically the aquarian super 2 coated) and it sounded great! :)
 

Griener

Member
OK, now I have to try the skyntones.

Michael, what sizes are those RKs?
Todd, the Skyntones are nice and really the best calf substitute, but ever since I put real calf on those Slingerlands, everything else sounds like plastic.
Those Radio Kings are 20", 13" & 16" with an "Artist" snare (same shell, but a simple (working!) strainer. It sounds amazing.
Brooks Tegler, the Slingerland guru estimated they were built in 1945, right after they could use metal again.
That 20" bass drum is amazing, I didn't even know they built such small drums back then.
You have to play it next time.when you're here.
 

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