Snare head(s) suggestions PLEASE !

Daisy

Senior Member
I have an OCD maple snare 13 x 7. I got it some years ago from the USA: at the time it was on offer from a number of USA drum shops/sites (possibly because of the odd size?) at $99 and even with the postage to UK it was damn cheap. I LOVE it, but need to change out the stock head(s) now I think.

I bought this snare to replace the one that came with the kit, so I have never actually re-skinned a snare before. I have NO IDEA about snare heads.

Any suggestions very gratefully received. I play rock covers mainly.

Many thanks in advance.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The standard go to snare head is a coated 10 mil single ply. You can play pretty much anything with that head.
There are numerous variations to try from there.
There are thicker single ply heads that come in 12 mil, 14 mil, and 16 mil thickness.
There are double ply heads.
If you are a hard hitter then a double ply or a thick single ply head with reinforcement in the center is an option.
If you want less ring then there are single and double ply heads with built in ring control.
If you want a brighter tone then a head without coating is an option to explore.
You have to think about a direction that you want to take and try different heads to see what you like.
Its not unusual for a drummer to own numerous heads and switch them out for different sounds.

By the way, deep 13" snare drums are fairly common.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
What kind of sound are you looking for? If you're not sure I'd recommend trying a Remo ambassador. It's a great all around head. For a bit more meaty sound, but at a loss of some sensitivity I'd recommend a Remo Emperor.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
Thank you both. That's very helpful.

I'm not a hard hitter and not having any other criteria that I can specify I'm going to go for a Remo Ambassador.

But one more question if I may - is there any difference between an Ambassador snare head and a tom head? I've searched for " 13" Ambassador snare head" and all I get is "drum head". I always thought snare heads were different from tom heads?

(I feel like such an idiot asking this!)
 

Salt7900

Member
Not generally. You can get amb. in a number of subtypes, though. For snare work, most go with coated, although the vintage isn't bad either. The clear (generally) doesn't get put on a snare... doesn't mean you can't, but its just not the typical move. But it may be a sound you love. You can't really ever go wrong with an Amb, it's the workhorse of heads, but there's also a few variations on it, if you want to try something else out. I've really been enjoying the controlled sound X. If the drum is ringy, a coated powerstroke will do a lot. If its REALLY ringy, the evans Genera Dry is great...

If you're looking for just a general, can't go wrong, go with the coated Amb... The others are just heads that I've been using, mostly on "problem" drums...
 

Dodeska

Senior Member
Thank you both. That's very helpful.

I'm not a hard hitter and not having any other criteria that I can specify I'm going to go for a Remo Ambassador.

But one more question if I may - is there any difference between an Ambassador snare head and a tom head? I've searched for " 13" Ambassador snare head" and all I get is "drum head". I always thought snare heads were different from tom heads?

(I feel like such an idiot asking this!)
The 13" Coated Ambassador head will do for snare or tom batters. You will need a 13" Snare-side Ambassador (usually "hazy") head for the reso though.
The difference is the standard Ambassadors are 10mil thickness, while the snare-side are only 3mil.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Asking questions does not make you, "an idiot"
The person who doesn't ask questions is the idiot.
This site is here to help people learn and not belittle them.
Drumheads can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many types.
Most of us have tried numerous heads on our drums over a period of many years.
 

sage32

Senior Member
I don't feel like the ambassadors are the best general snare head, especially for someone who mainly plays rock. Ambassador's are on the light end of the spectrum and are quite sensitive with lots of sustain. I feel like they are best suited for drummers looking for a more sensitive, expressive feel in non-back-beat focused music and things like jazz and brushwork.

In back-beat focused music such as rock and pop I would go for something a little more durable. To me the ideal starting point would be coated X14 as they give you the bright balanced sustain of a single ply head, yet are more focused and durable than Ambassadors, good for rock.

With the X14 as the starting point, coated Emperors would be the next step up if you want a more focused sound with less sustain and more durability. Emperors are the most popular and the standard when it comes to rock and pop drummers.

The Controlled Sound and Controlled Sound X are also good alternatives as they have those center dots that add focus and durability and help control the overtones. Personally I like these snare heads the best from Remo.

But if you want something a bit lighter and more sensitive go with the coated Ambassador X. The Ambassador X is 20% thicker than the regular Ambassadors and that's the lightest I would go for snare heads as a rock drummer.

For bottom head you can't go wrong with an Ambassador hazy.
 
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sage32

Senior Member
And with all the Remo recommendations, I feel I need to speak up for Evans! After playing both brands, I've been overall more satisfied with Evans. I'm not a jazz drummer and I don't go for the vintage sound, otherwise I would probably favor Remo. But for my playing style, mainly modern rock and pop, I've been way more impressed with Evans.

I think you'll be impressed with the Evans website. Instead of searching through each individual drum head, they have all the heads listed on a continuum from dark to bright so you can zero in to what sound you're going for. Each drum head also has a nice little chart with 4 categories: Attack, Sustain, Tone, and Durability. There are also sound bites for each head showing what it sounds like to hit each head soft, hard, and rim shots (I didn't see a listening feature on Remo).

My favorite Evans snare head is the Power Center Reverse Dot (Evans version of Controlled Sound X) but I've also used the HD, ST, and ST Dry and all of them sounded great!

Here's the snare head chart:

http://www.evansdrumheads.com/EvDrumsetSnareBatter.Page?ActiveId=3589
 

porter

Platinum Member
The standard go to snare head is a coated 10 mil single ply. You can play pretty much anything with that head.
There are numerous variations to try from there.
There are thicker single ply heads that come in 12 mil, 14 mil, and 16 mil thickness.
There are double ply heads.
If you are a hard hitter then a double ply or a thick single ply head with reinforcement in the center is an option.
If you want less ring then there are single and double ply heads with built in ring control.
If you want a brighter tone then a head without coating is an option to explore.
You have to think about a direction that you want to take and try different heads to see what you like.
Its not unusual for a drummer to own numerous heads and switch them out for different sounds.

By the way, deep 13" snare drums are fairly common.
Fantastic post.

I would recommend starting with a 12 or 14mil single ply head. The reverse dot types (Remo controlled sound, Evans power center reverse dot, Aquarian texture coated w/ dot) are similar in character but I think the dot in the center makes more trouble than it's really worth (namely, making the zingy, gross high overtones about the edge of the snare head more noticeable). My personal favorite snare heads on my brass snare yet are all Evans: the Coated G14 at medium to high tunings, the Coated G2 at super low to medium tunings, and the Black Chrome at medium to high tunings.
 

Defender

Silver Member
And with all the Remo recommendations, I feel I need to speak up for Evans! After playing both brands, I've been overall more satisfied with Evans. I'm not a jazz drummer and I don't go for the vintage sound, otherwise I would probably favor Remo. But for my playing style, mainly modern rock and pop, I've been way more impressed with Evans.

I think you'll be impressed with the Evans website. Instead of searching through each individual drum head, they have all the heads listed on a continuum from dark to bright so you can zero in to what sound you're going for. Each drum head also has a nice little chart with 4 categories: Attack, Sustain, Tone, and Durability. There are also sound bites for each head showing what it sounds like to hit each head soft, hard, and rim shots (I didn't see a listening feature on Remo).

My favorite Evans snare head is the Power Center Reverse Dot (Evans version of Controlled Sound X) but I've also used the HD, ST, and ST Dry and all of them sounded great!

Here's the snare head chart:

http://www.evansdrumheads.com/EvDrumsetSnareBatter.Page?ActiveId=3589
That's good info for someone looking for a drumhead, Sage.. I'd also recommend you tubing some stuff.. There is a super good video by Drumeo where Jared puts all the heads that Evans offers on the same snare drum and plays them all exactly the same. It gives you a great reference point to hear the difference in sound and pick the best choice for the sound that YOU are looking for.

Good luck with your hunt, Defender
 
I have tried many, and the Aquarian hi-energy is by far my favorite snare head. Great tone, controls ring a bit, and the stick response is just amazing
 
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