Interesting dating method., not unlike the stickers placed on windshields after oil changes. I always remove those though. They're visual pollutants.I put the date with Sharpie on the bottom heads. I'll go 2 years tops with snare side heads. Tom resos I leave on a pretty long time, a few years
Ambassadors are the only resos I've ever used. For years and years and years, I always played Coated Ambassadors over Coated Ambassadors. Now I have Coated Pinstripes over Clear Ambassadors on my toms and bass and a Coated Ambassador over a clear one on my snare. I've never really thought about deviating from Ambassador resos. Anything else would be too thick or too thin.As long as I've been playing you'd think I could give you half a dozen explanations but every....single....time I change reso's I just get clear ambs. I'm so set in my ways I bore myself.
I've found the same about stock/factory reso's. Even higher end kits that come with decent batters usually have garbage reso's lol. Good rule of thumb- if it's got no logo of any kind it's definitely garbage, if it's only got the drum company logo and nothing else it's serviceable but definitely worth upgrading (especially for snare side heads).To help DDan about his reso, it would be useful to know what reso he has on his drum at the moment. What I have found is that stock batter skins on mid-level kit are not very good, but the reso heads are sometimes even worse, really thin, really cheap, changing both (top and bottom) is a expensive but will really help.
Otherwise, clear ambassador or clear G1, don't need more fuss or bling.