Evans Onyx Heads

mike d

Silver Member
So disappointed. I had/have G2s on my 10", 12", and 16" Tama B/Bs and have been experimenting with heads. It came with G2 clears, but there was a little to much sustain, so I switched to EC2 coated, and I liked them, except even though they was a little less sustain than the G2 clears, the tone they produced did not seem as centered, as in, more overtones. I bought a set of G2 coated, and they seemed to be perfect, but I've played them a lot, I like to experiment, and I was interested in trying something new.

I had read good things about the Onyx, and that they were close to the G2's but 7.5 mil ply instead of 7 mil, so I bought a set and threw them on my drums. Well, my 10" sounded like a tuned cardboard box and the rest of the drums had very little attack, and no resonance. They are probably great for a heavy hitter with big sticks looking for a good central tone and no resonance, but I use 7A Oak sticks and like the drums to do some of the work. :) I tried them for two days, took them off and put the G2 coated's back on and I LOVE THE G2's!

So... I've read people posting that the Onyx are black G2s, or close to the G2's and they are not. I have a set of Onyx heads in 10, 12, and 16 used for two days that I will sell cheap! PM me, and I'll pick up the shipping.
 

dzarren

Senior Member
The Onxy series heads are EXTREMELY dry.

I've never heard anything like it, and i hope I never do ever again, at least from my drums.

I'm sure it is a sound that is sought after by some, but the sound is not for me.

In my experience, all i heard was attack, and some slight resonance from the head, and nothing from the shell. No low end, just some slappy, papery, mess of overtones.

Remo's black suede emeperors are similar, but offer a bit more resonance.

I talked to both remo and evans about this, and i was told by both that the texturing process applied to the top ply really dries out the head, and increases the attack.
 

Salt7900

Member
I've had the same experience.

I had Black Suede Emps on for a while, which I liked. Didn't love, but liked. Someone recommended the Onyx... It's like hitting cardboard.

Pinstripes, here I come...
 

Ron_M

Senior Member
Funny, what (very) little experience I've had with these was positive. I put together a keller maple kit for a friend (6-ply, w/45s), and he put some onyx heads on them w/ thin resos, tuned them up on the high side. Sounded nice, clear fundamental, warm and resonant w/adequate sustain. Mind you, my preference is Ambassadors all around, bass included, but I think the Onyx worked well on his kit, given his preferences.
 

Yoshinya

Senior Member
I actually really like the Onyx as a snare batter on a Black Beauty-style brass snare drum (Ludwig Black Magic, Pork Pie Big Black, PDP Ace, Pearl Sensitone Brass, etc.). It reminds me of an ST snare batter (both are 2 plies of 7.5mil film, but the films are different), but with a darker response and slightly softer feel.

I used to really like them on toms for recording, until I realized that it really limited what the engineer could get out of my toms on my Tama Starclassic Maple kit. I've never tried them on my Tama Starclassic Bubingas, but I'd imagine they'd work well for certain styles.

I will say, I've only ever disliked one of the Evans EMAD bass drum heads, and it was the EMAD Onyx. I thought it was going be a darker version of the Coated EMAD (since both are coated 10mil heads), but it felt squishy in the weirdest way because the film itself is softer than the normal mylar they use for all the other EMADs. I gave it to another drummer who plays mostly rootsy rock stuff, and he absolutely loved it. *shrug*
 

EvansSpecialist

Silver Member
I talked to both remo and evans about this, and i was told by both that the texturing process applied to the top ply really dries out the head, and increases the attack.
The process for Onyx heads is quite different from the Suede series. Onyx features our frost coating on top of a black film. This warms up the sound a bit but it's the film combination that creates what you describe as a "dry" sound.

Remember, pairing resos with the batters matters just as much as what batters you're using. Not all batter heads play the same with all resos (and certainly not at the same tuning).

Funny, what (very) little experience I've had with these was positive. I put together a keller maple kit for a friend (6-ply, w/45s), and he put some onyx heads on them w/ thin resos, tuned them up on the high side. Sounded nice, clear fundamental, warm and resonant w/adequate sustain. Mind you, my preference is Ambassadors all around, bass included, but I think the Onyx worked well on his kit, given his preferences.
Perfect example of where these heads worked well based on preference. This is all subjective.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
The process for Onyx heads is quite different from the Suede series. Onyx features our frost coating on top of a black film. This warms up the sound a bit but it's the film combination that creates what you describe as a "dry" sound.

Remember, pairing resos with the batters matters just as much as what batters you're using. Not all batter heads play the same with all resos (and certainly not at the same tuning).


Perfect example of where these heads worked well based on preference. This is all subjective.
The thin reso giveth back what the Onyx taketh away? Makes sense.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Winegums

Silver Member
I just switched out my EC2 for G2 on my floor toms and they came back to life! I can report the same tonal differences as the OP between the two. I will stick with G2 in the future.

As for Onyx heads, I love them on my gigging kit as they're tough as nails and the attack of the heads really goes well with the G1 resos I have on the birch shells.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I didn't like the Onyx heads as they sound very dry/dead.

Tune em up high and you have a chance at making them sound great. If you tune low its going to make it much worse.

similar to guitar players that tune down needing different strings. those onyx skins were not made for extremely low, deep tunings.
 

Winegums

Silver Member
I didn't like the Onyx heads as they sound very dry/dead.

Tune em up high and you have a chance at making them sound great. If you tune low its going to make it much worse.

similar to guitar players that tune down needing different strings. those onyx skins were not made for extremely low, deep tunings.
That's interesting since I have them tuned nice and low on my Pearl Vision VBX and they sound great.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
That's interesting since I have them tuned nice and low on my Pearl Vision VBX and they sound great.

Could have been my kit perhaps, or maybe I just don't like my toms to sound that dead.


I just found it took me more time and effort with those heads ... I'd rather use some moongel to get a dampened sound because I can always remove it if i don't want it.
 
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