The Importance of Good Batter Heads VS Resonant Heads?


Junior Member
So I'm looking into taking the plunge into buying my first (second? I've bought a Mapex and played before but that was years ago, sold it). Given my budget, I'm going to have to buy a kit that is going to need new heads ASAP. My question is, as the topic name implies, what is the importance of good batter heads vs reso heads? My thought process is that you spend your time beating on the batter head, so I'd need to replace those first. I'm new to drumming so I don't have a clue.

I Googled the topic and all I could really find were people talking about needing to replace their heads, without specification as to which, and people wondering if you could use a reso head as a batter head until they had the available funds to replace them.

Thanks guys! Many hours have already been spent reading on this site. :)


Senior Member
Batter heads get the lion's den of credit, because as you said, they do take the beating. A lot of drummers leave reso. heads stock to save on cash, and this does work wonders for the sound of even cheap drums. But reso heads will make a drum sound that much better.

Another bonus is the tuning. Just like getting a new batter head, a reso head will make it much easier to tune your drums. Cheap heads are just put together so beginners can throw them on, tighten them down, and start learning. I don't really think they're intended to be tuned. So if you have a hard time tuning your drums, even after months of practice, changin' that reso head will probably help you a lot.

It's also worth noting that there typically isn't a batter or reso head. The snare drum is the exception, as snare side heads are almost useless as batters, they're far too thin, and normal heads are useless as snare resos, because they're too thick. So if you intend to replace your snare reso, be sure you clarify you want a "snare side head." For toms, there really is no Reso and Batter. You just usually want your reso head to be thinner than your batter.

A good example is the head setup I'm using. I have clear Evans G2 batter heads, and clear G1 reso heads, which is probably a popular combination because they're good drum heads, and not terribly expensive.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Do not cheap out. Bite the bullet and get both batters and resos. I think you already the answer, I'm just stating the obvious.


Junior Member
Ok, thanks for the advice. I would have most likely replaced both anyways, but was wondering which was more important to go ahead and get first until a few more paychecks come in and can upgrade the other. :)


Platinum Member
Good batters are imperative. Good reso's can wait if they have to, but if you're cashed up then why bother? Do it properly from the outset. You will notice a difference, I'll stake my claim on it.


Platinum Member
hmmm...I look and buy used a lot. Not all used drum kits require new heads. In fact some used kits have a set of heads that are in far better shape (and in total worth more) than the kit. If you look used,and the heads are in bad shape, use that as a bargaining tool.


Staff member
There is no vs. , they're both of equal importance. The condition of the batter head is more visually obvious, so a decision on those is pretty easy. Cheap reso heads mean you're pretty much wasting your money replacing the batter heads. If the kit has original manufacture reso heads, it's going to sound better. Reso heads wear just as batter heads wear, only differently. My change out ratio is 2:1.