Coated vs. Clear Heads

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Hey there,

I’m sure this topic has been discussed/argued over many times and I’ve seen some old posts but I’d like to hear some more recent opinions.

I play a 6 piece Tama Silverstar all birch kit and I’m looking to replace my Tom heads (2 rack and 2 floor).

My skill level is I guess what you would call high beginner level. I like all genres of music but favor progressive rock and all genres of metal.

With the latter in mind, is it a no brainer to go with clear heads for a more attack sound? I just ordered Evans coated 2 ply G2’s for all of the batter heads but I’ve never played on coated heads for toms and I’ve read recently that 2 ply coated heads sound pretty dull, particularly for my favored type of music. Should I just replace the order with 2 ply CLEAR G2’s instead? My resonant heads are clear G1’s and they are in good shape (no reason to replace)

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I have a Gretsch Catalina Club that's all mahogany shells. The heads that work best on that wood (in my ears) are the Evans hydraulics (the 2-ply batter with the oil in between).
Some would put those on their kit & it'll sound like cardboard boxes. Mine resonated into tomorrow and I loved it!

Some love the Remo CS black dots as they give their kit that fat, 70's tubby sound that might work for your music genre.

Over the many moons I've been playing I've probably tried every head out there on my same kit. Over this time, I found what sounded good to me & stuck with it.
But it took time & experimentation to get to that point.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
My opinion is you'll be fine either way. If you can afford it I would recommend ordering a variety of different batter heads in one size (for one of your toms) and experiment. Once you spend time tuning the different heads you should know your preference and then you could submit the rest of your head order.

On my last set I started with a clean slate and no preconceived notions. I ordered a number of heads for the 14" floor tom and 22" bass drum and played around with them. Honestly, any of them would have worked fine, but I was surprised at the head combinations that rose to the top of my list. Snare drums I'll select the head that sounds best for the particular application.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Hey there,

I’m sure this topic has been discussed/argued over many times and I’ve seen some old posts but I’d like to hear some more recent opinions.

I play a 6 piece Tama Silverstar all birch kit and I’m looking to replace my Tom heads (2 rack and 2 floor).

My skill level is I guess what you would call high beginner level. I like all genres of music but favor progressive rock and all genres of metal.

With the latter in mind, is it a no brainer to go with clear heads for a more attack sound? I just ordered Evans coated 2 ply G2’s for all of the batter heads but I’ve never played on coated heads for toms and I’ve read recently that 2 ply coated heads sound pretty dull, particularly for my favored type of music. Should I just replace the order with 2 ply CLEAR G2’s instead? My resonant heads are clear G1’s and they are in good shape (no reason to replace)

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks
I run the coated G2s on my Premier kit which is birch/eucalyptus/birch and they sound phenomenal. The reso is the ECreso, just for reference.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I have G2 coated on the toms of my Pork Pie USA drums right now, and I don't like them; however, they work well in our close rehearsal space. If I was gigging with these, it would be single-ply Remo Ambassador all the way.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Coated heads mute high-frequency overtones, this reveals more of the drum's true tone in the lower frequencies. Less stick attack, too. Clear heads have a more "open" sound.

After your G2 heads, if you're tired of 2-ply, try the single-ply G14 (14 mil) or G12 (12 mil) heads.

So many choices. Such little time.
 

MrBeats503

Member
I recently switched from the evans onyx heads (they’re black coated) to clear EC2 and I regret it. I put some dents in the heads after just a couple times playing. I also play heavy rock/metal. The sound of the onyx heads is very dark. They project well and are very durable. I wanted a sound that was less dark, but these EC2s won’t last a quarter of the time the onyx’s did. I remember liking the clear G2s back when I used them, it’s possible that I didn’t have to hit as hard back then. I think my next buy will be the Evans G14s or the UV2s (both coated).
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I use nothing but coated batter heads, even on my bass drum. I like their warmth and built-in overtone control. I also love their classic look.

"Attack" means different things to different drummers. In reference to heads, it's more of a marketing device. Through tuning and/or muffling, you can get attack from any head, depending, of course, on your definition of the term.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
I thought I might need coated heads on my toms and kick in the future. But no.

So in this case I am more than fine with the warmth of the 2 ply/1 ply clear combo on my maple/mahogany kit.

But it can do magic to kits that don't have that build-in warmth and then they can really expand your sound pallette.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I recently switched from the evans onyx heads (they’re black coated) to clear EC2 and I regret it. I put some dents in the heads after just a couple times playing. I also play heavy rock/metal. The sound of the onyx heads is very dark. They project well and are very durable. I wanted a sound that was less dark, but these EC2s won’t last a quarter of the time the onyx’s did. I remember liking the clear G2s back when I used them, it’s possible that I didn’t have to hit as hard back then. I think my next buy will be the Evans G14s or the UV2s (both coated).
I played clear G1 over clear Genera Reso (10 mil) on my bubinga toms for over a decade. Nice, open tone with plenty of attack. I went to clear EC2 and I give it 4/5 stars. 2-ply never seemed to be a good use of the physics of a percussive membrane. Now I'm trying coated G14 and the higher harmonics are very muted compared to anything I've used since my old Sonor kit (c.1994–2004). After I record a few things I wanna try collectively raising the pitch on all the toms to see how things sound. Will I get the feel of a basketball or...?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I prefer clear on the toms. For me, the toms sound a bit softer (not volume) with a coated head. Same with the kick. Coated all day and then some for the snare however.
 

gish

Senior Member
I recently switched from the evans onyx heads (they’re black coated) to clear EC2 and I regret it. I put some dents in the heads after just a couple times playing. I also play heavy rock/metal. The sound of the onyx heads is very dark. They project well and are very durable. I wanted a sound that was less dark, but these EC2s won’t last a quarter of the time the onyx’s did. I remember liking the clear G2s back when I used them, it’s possible that I didn’t have to hit as hard back then. I think my next buy will be the Evans G14s or the UV2s (both coated).
Denting a double ply head after a couple times playing? Very odd. Unless you’re tuning JAW, maybe using ball tipped sticks, and absolutely slamming the drums, that should not be happening.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
Denting a double ply head after a couple times playing? Very odd. Unless you’re tuning JAW, maybe using ball tipped sticks, and absolutely slamming the drums, that should not be happening.


Or his toms are just too angled.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
I have literally have almost every head that Evans, Remo or Aquarian makes for my toms and snares.

And I do that because I switch them frequently because it’s all about what I’m playing or if I want to switch up the vibe so makes me a little more creative.

Evans EC2 will always be my go to head for heavier music though.


But as I get old I can see to find a genre that coated Remo Emperors or coated G2’s won’t well in. Ec2 are limited in their range.


I just like the warmth I get from a coated head. That said Danny Carey plays clear G2’s
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Man..ive been wrestling with this issue for quite awhile. I'm reading these replies with intense focus. Love the comments..im deep into this issue and it's exciting for me to read everyone's thoughts.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Generally I like coated heads-an ambassador or a vintage ambassador (that is two ply one 7.5 mil and the other 3 mil ) instead of two 7 mil like Emperors. I like the clear emperors or clear G2 on my Sonor Safari. But I just took off the Vintage Ambassadors off my Pearl Decade and put clear Emperors and I don't like them-really disappointed. I like pinstripes but for the Decades I'm going to try the Controlled sound black dot. I've tried about every type head of Remo, Evans, and Aquarian but not a black dot. I did buy an Evans EC reverse dot for a lil 12 in snare and man that was a bad idea-that is one thick drum head. I'm not sure I'll like the black dot but it can be worse than clear emperors.
 

Kuromaku

Well-known member
When I was playing my kit as a four piece, "coffeehouse" style kit, I had Evans coated heads on the toms - more muted, warmer tones. Since I've geared up my kit to a seven piece Larnell Lewis/Cobus Potgieter style rig, I switched to clear G2s. Much more attack and resonance. The high toms sing and the low toms grumble.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
Personally I would try the G2s. I love my G1s on my toms but I don't hit these drum very hard. With more energy and for a progressive type of of rock music.. G2 coated seems like a logical choice for me.

Anyway, be prepared to buy heads for nothing, It happened to me too.. but once you find something you like, you won't think too much about the mistakes.
 
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