Drum heads for my new PDP kit

Gene B

Junior Member
Hello fellow drummers,
After a long absence from drumming, I got back in last year with a PDP MainStage kit---after a year of getting up to speed I am "upgrading" to a PDP Concept Maple kit. Expect delivering in the next 2 weeks.
It sounds like most drummers choose to replace any stock heads immediately on new kits.
So I'm open to ideas that would enhance my new kit:
22x18 kick--toms-10-12-16--Zildjian K's and Sabian Xs

Mostly playing Classic Rock from 70's--80's ++
Current kit has Evans G-2's and stock on the reso's
Emad on Kick--Evans HD dry on snare

I'm open to hear what others have had success with---thanks in advance


Senior Member
For maple drums in a "rock" tuning, I'm a big proponent of coated 2-ply heads over clear single-ply heads. I'm a Remo guy, so that means coated Emperors over clear Ambassadors, but G2s over G1s will produce similar results. That said, I'm currently experimenting with coated Ambassadors on top, and so far I'm liking the result, which offers a slightly more open sound. But I'm still trying to decide if I want to fully make the switch or not.

As for tuning, I like to tune my batters to a medium/medium-low tension (with equal tension all the way around), and with the resos about a third higher in pitch. But that's just a very rough guide. You'll have to play around with every tom to find its sweet spot.

For the kick, I don't really like a "thud" sound, I go for more of a muffled "boom" with touch of resonance and decay. So I like a coated PS3 on the batter with nothing inside the drum and a small port on the reso at 5 o'clock. If necessary, I'll add a felt strip to the batter. It's a little tricker to get the tuning right with this setup, but when you do, it has a huge presence to it. I usually tune both heads a little tighter than you'd think would sound good, but that's when it sounds GREAT.

But if you like the EMAD sound, there's nothing wrong with that. It's just not my cup of tea.


Silver Member
Remo Coated (or clear) Emperors over in my case, Evans clear G1's Emperors just seem so suited to Maple shells :) I use this combo to play hardcore Punk :)


Platinum Member
I have a Concept Maple and Concept Birch kit. I would recommend either clear 2 ply batter heads (Evans G2 or Remo Emperor) or thicker coated 1 ply batters (Evans G12 or Remos equivalent). I like Evans Genera Reso heads better than standard G1s for resonant heads. Remo may have an equivalent to them.

For the bass batter, Evans clear or coated Emad. Just the regular Emad, not the Gmad, the Emad 2 or Emad Heavyweight. Just Emad. Keep the stock reso for now.
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Silver Member
Depends of the sound your seeking ?
Do you prefer mat sounds ? Warm ? Cutting ? ...
won't you put your former heads on the new kit ?

The standard way would be the double ply G2/emp/Super 2 on the toms powerstroke or EQ on the bass and G1/Ambassador / Classic on the snare.
Personnally I like clear single ply on toms and Reverse dot on snare, EQ4 on bass- and I play 70/80's tunes. Maple drums with re-rings.
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Gene B

Junior Member
interesting ideas---I may use same heads I have on the old kit and see how they sound--then experiment from there.


Silver Member
interesting ideas---I may use same heads I have on the old kit and see how they sound--then experiment from there.

Except maybe for the HD dry, I deeply dislike this skin : it kills the sound of the snare. G1 or reverse dot would be the way to go.


Gold Member
On my Mapex Meridian Maple kit, I prefer 2-ply coated (G2s or Emperors) over clear 1-ply for the larger toms, and a 1-ply coated (G1 or Ambassador) over 1-ply clear on the 10" tom. My 10" chokes with a 2-ply head on the batter.

On my Ludwig Signets, I have an Aquarian Modern Vintage II on the 14" floor batter and a MV1 on the 12" rack. Both are over G1 clears. I totally adore that combo on that kit.

I prefer EMAD on my kick drums. I've an EMAD2 clear on the Mapex 22" kick and a coated EMAD on the Ludwig 20" kick. Edited to add: I have Evans EQ Clear patches on the beater impact point of both kicks.

Both resonant heads are ported. The Mapex has the stock reso with a 6" port at 5 o'clock, and the Ludwig has a ported, coated white EQ3 on the front (I didn't want to burn a port into the stock reso).

Not a fan of the HD Dry or dots on my snares. I've a UV1 on my go-to snare - a 6.5x14" BoB - and love it. It's really open, and I can slap some gaffer tape on it if I need it. The coating is holding up really well, too.
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Gene B, I'm in the same Boat you are.... Only 4 years later. I'm 69 YO, retired , playing drums now after a 50 Year Hiatus. Just purchased a pdp Concept Maple 6 piece Kit (Used on Guitar Center), it's in Great condition, except for a Broken Bass drum Hoop and the pdp Reso Drum head. Either the Guitar Center in Kansas dropped the bass drum and they just Bubble wrapped it or UPS dropped it. I did not see a Shipping Box dent, so I'm thinking the former. GC is making good in that they ordered a new Gibraltar Hoop and Remo drum Head without charge. So, this pdp kit replaced my cheapo Gammon Starter set, received as a Xmas gift in 2018. I play strictly for enjoyment , playing along to My Music (CCR, Petty, Clapton, Beatles, Stones, Mellencamp, Zombies, etc., etc.,,,, of course, No Bonham, Moon, Baker). I fooled and tweaked those Gammon Toms for almost 2 years: Remo , Evans G1s G2s, Ammabasadors, Attack ToneRidge (too thick), and now finally EC2s Clear Batters with G1s Reso heads . Got them to sound pretty good, much better than the stock sounds. But having stumbled n the used pdp kit on line, I sprung for it. Never heard the pdps Live - due to COVID, but studied the reviews on line. And for Xmas 2020, my son got me the 8 X10 rack tom pdp Concept Maple where I got a Cymbal tom Clamp to attach to one of the cymbal stands. Due to the sound of that drum with its stock Remo heads, - I went for the used kit as an upgrade. The Floor Toms are amazing. Now I'm faced with the same dilemma as you: Which Batter and Reso heads should I use to obtain that nice Warm Punchy Tom sound I seek without excessive ringing. Oh yeah, The snare with the kit is Ok. I purchased a DW Design series Nickel over Brass 14 X 6.5 Snare used on Reverb last year ... No comparison.