Mylar heads aging


Gold Member
What happens to Mylar heads as they age. It is counter intuitive to me but It seems like they start to get sharper attack. Is this due to thinning and work hardening?


Silver Member
They stretch gradually, thus requiring more tension from the hoop to maintain a certain pitch. I don't know if, or to which degree they actually become thinner, but the stretching of the head obviously reduces the mass that can be set into motion. If the reduction of mass is of any significance, I don't know either, seems more plausible that the structure of the material is the main factor in the head's becoming less resonant. And oh, you are right, they get a sharper attack, less resonance and less tonal sustain in this process.

drumming sort of person

They stretch and get "pitted", resulting in uneven tension. They also accumulate dirt and residue from sticks, diminishing vibrational sensitivity.


Silver Member
Not to nitpick but I think the term should not be 'age' but 'wear down during use' or 'weather'.

I've seen this question posed for heads not installed on a drum, tuned up and being used. In other words what's the shelf life of a mylar head while not being used?

Not sure there is any hard and fast evidence but I would suspect that after a certain amount of time the plastic does change in regards to sound and durability but...

If you think about it, it would be great if there was no change over time because you could stock up on heads at today's price and then use them after prices have gone up (1 year? 2 years?, 10 years?)

Maybe there's an engineer/scientist that could answer this question.

Just thinkin'...



Silver Member
I have a 15 year old pre-pie Ambassador on a 63 Powertone, that maintains tune, plays well, and has no problem giving me what I want.
When it breaks I will fix it.