Drum Heads Galore and my Opinions on them.

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
I’m obsessive.
Let’s start there. And over the last year I’ve became even more obsessed with Drums and drum Gear during this time. I’ve spent roughly 20K on various gear over the last year. I’ve slowed down for now. I have my dream kit.

But on my way there, I bought a small army worth of various drumheads. And Feel I’ve gotten some pretty strong opinions on what I like and what I don’t like after spending a lot of time switching heads and testing out new sounds.

I used to Think I had to have uniformity of head brands across all of my Drums but after using all 3 major brands, I find all 3 have their place in my Setup. I will break down my thoughts on Kick, Toms, & Snare.

Let’s start with the Kick:
Favorite Batter head: Aquarian Super 10
-For the longest time I stopped considering Aquarian. It had become a 2 horse race for me. But a few months ago I decided to buy an Aquarian Kick head. And I didn’t regret it. It hasn’t left my bass drum since I installed it. Previous Months I was switching between Powerstroke 3, EMAD2, EQ3 and EQ4. Nothing gets me that bassy But also pronounced thump like an Aquarian Kick head does.

Flat out I think Aquarian Makes the best Kick Drum heads and I don’t think its even close.

Favorite Kick Reso Head: Toss up Between Evans EQ3 coated, Remo Feltone coated and Aquarian Regulator
-I’m less picky about the Reso side. I use a Kick Port, So I just need the head to be strong enough to support that. But Currently it has the Regulator on and My kick has sounded better than it ever has.

Toms:
Favorite Batter Tom heads: Evans EC2S & Remo Vintage Ambassdor
-
If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have said that the Evans EC2S sound the best on my Ludwig Classic Oak Kit. But I had such a good experience from the Remo Vintage Ambassdor on my Snare that I had to try them on my toms. If I wanted a deep sound from my Toms then its the EC2S BUT I think the Vintage Ambassadors are the most versatile Tom heads in my arsenal. I have Coated and clear G2’s. UV1’s, Uv2’s, Emperors, Evans Calftone and yet, I think the Vintage 2 ply construction of the VA is the best sounding and most versatile heads I can put on my kit.

Favorite Reso Tom heads: Evans Genera Resonant
-
I think the Evans Genera Resonant will always be my go to for my Tom bottoms. They just work for me. Ive tried G1’s and Ambassadors


Snare:
Favorite Snare Batter head: Overall its the Remo Vintage Ambassdor again. I bought one for my Supraphonic and went back the next day and bought 4 more for my other Ludwig Snares. They all Sounded amazing with the VA. I like them because they are double ply but aren’t overly muffled or heavy and they Let each drums true sound sing. Some heads are so thick and dampened they sound the same no matter what you throw them on.

That said I still think Evans has never made a bad Drum head and I really like the Reverse PowerDot. I have virtually every Evans Snare batter head and none are bad. I just don’t think any shine for me like the VA does.

But recently Ive been getting into Aquarian Drumheads and I know one things for certain: The Aquarian Studio X will be a mainstay on my Ludwig 110th Anniversary Exotic Avodire Maple Snare. I could never find the right sound from that snare, to the point I almost wanted to sell it. But I threw a Studio X on it with a Hazy Ambassdor on bottom and it Sounds amazing. The Aquarian Modern Vintage 2 and Modern Deep vintage 2 also sound really great.




I Kinda of wrote off Aquarian for some reason. I just think they are terrible marketers., But they make fantastic products. I thought I was Evans for life and yet, after trying dozens and dozens of different heads, I’ve found that each brad has things it excels at.



Anyway I was bored, so I decided to write this pointless post.
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basset52

Senior Member
i don't think your post is pointless - it made for an interesting read IMV. Like you, I have tried quite a few drum heads over the last 6 months. I have the Evans Genera Resonant on all my toms now as well, having tried G1's , Ambassadors. I have a set of the Evans EC2S on the batters of one of my Ludwig kits and really like the low end that comes from those, however I tried Evans G12 as batters on my Ludwig Classic Maple toms and are quite impressed with those as well. I have had Vintage Ambassadors on my wood snares for a while now and I bought a 16" to try on a floor tom but I got "bad " one and it put me off , that's when I went for the G12's. Might have to revisit those for my toms in the future. I would be keen to try Aquarium heads but my local drum shop doesn't stock much of them. It's been said on here before that the only way to find heads that you like for your own individual circumstances is to try as many as possible, like you've done.
 

fobz

Member
Interesting post. I've used EMAD2's for years because it's what I'm used to, but I've played a couple of those Aquarian kick heads and they are incredible - I think I might switch next time I need new heads...

I guess with toms and snare it really depends on the kit and what sound you're looking for - I've tried EC2's on a couple of kits but they didn't do it for me. I discovered Evans g12 and g14 heads a year or so ago, and I love the fat tone along with the incredible resonance. I can always add damping to control the ring, but they sound great on my kits.

Snare heads totally depend on what sound I want - Remo CS reverse dot works well on most of my snares, or Evans ST dry if I want a drier sound.
The Aquarian Studio X is a beast, doesn't suit my snares at the moment, though I'd be tempted to try it on my Pearl Mahogany Classic...
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Thanks for posting. I used Remo for years and on a whim (15 years ago) tried Evans and was blown away at the difference in sound. I’d figured Mylar® was Mylar®, but that was a false assumption. I’ve also tried various Aquarians on my snare and liked them, but until recently, kept coming back to Evans Coated G1. On two of my snares I’m now using Evans Genera (batter) because the dampening ring (Without vent holes) gives me a dry pop that fits with the music I play.

It‘ll be a few years until my stash of Evans heads depletes and I may give Aquarian a try on my bass drum.

But there are two things that bother me:
No data on that TV screen. Looks like the pandemic is over. Let’s party!
The shelf holding your PS4 is not large enough for the PS5. Adjustments will be needed.
 

iCe

Senior Member
Very recognizable. Over the 2 decades that I've been drumming (makes it sound like long time, doesn't it haha) i have used a bunch of different heads and brands. Used Aquarian in the early days, but had some bad experiences with them and never used those again. For the remainder of the 15 years or so i was going back and forth between Remo and Evans. Clear heads, coated heads, muffling, no muffling etc...

Recently i settled on Remo again since the Evans all around just didn't sound right. With Remo heads it's spot on.

The only head I'm certain that will never change and is my head of choice, is the Remo coated CS on snare with Ambassador snare side. Just the perfect head IMO on the snare.

On toms going back and forth, but now rocking Pinstripes over Ambassadors. Great sound! Although i love the sound of coated heads, i've settled on clear heads since they project more and have more attack. It all depends on the kit though, in my Vision kit clear Ambassadors tops and bottom is the perfect combination.

Bassdrum undecided. Used coated EMAD for a couple of years (also the clear), but again it lacked the attack i was looking for. Now i have clear Pinstripes on the bass drums and that is spot on. Nice low slap with loads of attack. Batter head never changed, still the stock reso heads. But if i'm going to replace them it's either a clear Ambassador or i want a (gold) Starfire head. Really like the idea of see through bass drum reso head, looks very nice. The Starfire is great, because you can actually see when you play the drum because it wobbles en distorts the reflection.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
How about the feel ? I kind of prefer the Remo feel; more supple let say, but I don't like their durability or coating.
On the other hand, Aquarian coating is the best but the feel is stiffer.
I stick with evans, which is a good compromise with great durability.
I too, was impressed by vintage ambassador, great feel and great sound on my maple snare, warm as ever.
Aquarian texture coated and Force 1 were also a nice find, the Aquarian texture wored well on the toms and the force 1 wasn't as stiff as the superkick.

I have had the opportunity to test many heads. And always go back to basic Evans G1 / PowerCenter / EQ4. I should really try out UV1 / 2
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I've been using Aquarian more than anything else for quite a few years now and I'm very happy with their heads.

I'm using either a Modern Vintage Superkick 2 or a clear Superkick 2 on my bass drum, and even though I have a Colortone P3 on the front right now I love the Regulator head paired with the Superkick.

My current experiment is having graduated thickness batter heads on my toms, so I'm using Super 2 on the smaller toms (7+5-mil), Response 2 on the larger rack toms and first floor tom (7+7-mil), and a Force 10 on the last floor tom (10+10-mil) and I'm really liking what I'm hearing so far. The thinner two-ply lets the smaller toms speak a lot more clearly without sounding choked or clunky, and having two different thicknesses on the two floor toms allows me to get both a clearer pitch distinction between the two, but the thicker head also controls the funky overtones you often get when you've tuned pretty low.
 
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