What are the best snare heads for an 80's hard rock tone?

I have a Evans Coated snare head, and a clear ambassador snare side head, My snare sounds basically like trash. I've tried my best to tune it, and I think maybe the snare head is worn out? I'd like to know what the best hard rock tones for snares you can get
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
Remo Emperors, CS dots... regular ambassador heads worked too. It's probably more about the drum and tuning, though.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Eighties rock tone? Are you referring to a lower, looser, fatter sound? If so, I'd go with a double-ply batter, maybe a Remo Coated Emperor, and probably an Ambassador on the snare side.

My snare sound is the opposite: tight and crisp. I use a Coated Ambassador batter.

Tuning is a huge factor, more so than head choice.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
What is your snare drum ? It may have a lot to do with the shell too.
The typical sound I have in mind : a deep metal (steel, but preferably brass) snare, a tuned low batter head with a O ring to tame the ring, or an Evans Genera / Remo P3.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I didn't play drums back then but, I remember most of the guys using clear CS or beat to hell Coated Ambasadors with tape.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It's probably more about the drum and tuning, though.
Yep - lots of aspects to the sound a snare makes: shell material, size, edge type, hoops, lugs, wires, how and where the drummer hits, and the weight of the sticks. And of course head type, tuning, and damping play an important part. All of that works best if the shell is in round, has intergrity (no loose wrap or separated plies,) the edges are in good condition. Add to that the EQ and compression that drums get on recordings and in concert, which you won't get on an acoustic gig. Even if you get your snare sounding really nice, room acoustics further affect the sound and it can sound quite different in a different space.

Given all of that, it's gong to be extremely difficult to make your snare sound the way you've heard it on a recording.

How hard do you play and what specific sound do you like? There are plenty of head choices that would help get you closer to that and are suited to your personal style, but be aware that heads alone won't completely govern the sound your snare makes.

Bermuda
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I have a Evans Coated snare head, and a clear ambassador snare side head, My snare sounds basically like trash. I've tried my best to tune it, and I think maybe the snare head is worn out? I'd like to know what the best hard rock tones for snares you can get
Since you mention your heads might be old (shot) ..... that's the first place to start. New heads.
Coated single to two ply head batter .... clear single ply head reso.

Probably look at some snare drum tuning video's "how to make your snare killer" type things. Since you don't mention what brand/type snare you have ..... ??????

Perhaps look up (on video) that particular snare (or similar type) .....

Deeper snares were common, in the 80's. I was playing a Ludwig 14x10 Stainless marching snare (with Super Sensitive), as my "go to" snare.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Please everyone listen to Bermuda!! Just stop right now. Stop! If you think you need to add something Stop!! Re read what he posted. If you still have a question Stop!! Re read his post. He's got it figured out. Much thanks to Bermuda.
 
I hit really hard, I notice there is dents right in the middle of the snare drum, which is usually where I hit every time. I use a lot of force when hitting the drum and that usually brings out a lot of tone, What im trying to say is, Im gonna get a new snare head, so I was wondering what I should get. I have a pearl export snare (The one that comes with the kit)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I hit really hard, I notice there is dents right in the middle of the snare drum
Maybe the heaviest-duty snare head is the Aquarian Hi-Energy, it really takes a beating and doesn't sound too bad for its thickness - two plies plus a dot. Definitely not a jazz or orchestral head! I toured with one in the '90s and got 53 shows out of it before it finally choked.

Bermuda
 
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