The best drum heads in the world today

2nd Jul 2010 | 14:24

The best drum heads in the world today
The best drum heads in the world today
For bass, snare and toms - single and twin-ply - resonant to specialist

This is a constantly updated gallery of the best drum heads on the planet - for bass drums, snares and toms. Whether you require single or twin-ply, resonant, specialist or retro-style, there's a drum head here to suit every player.

Our picks are collated from Rhythm Magazine’s gruelling review process, buyers’ guides and MusicRadar’s own best-of-the-best drum round-ups: the best drum gear for pros and the best kit for players on a budget.

So scroll through the categories below and, where available, click-through to read the full review for an in-depth breakdown of each head.

First up: Best bass drum head: Aquarian Super-kick-1

The best drum heads in the world today
Best bass drum head: Aquarian Super-kick-1
£44

MusicRadar’s verdict:

One of Aquarian’s most popular heads and a bit of a secret weapon if you like a fat, deep, wet, resonant ‘blat’. The Super-Kick-1 batter is a single ply with a ‘floating’ perimeter muffler - a 1.5" band of thin white felt held loosely against the inner surface by a white card ring. For an all-rounder dabbling in rock, New Orleans funk, country and pop, they’re heaven.

FULL REVIEW: Aquarian Super-Kick and Regulator bass drum heads

BUY: Aquarian Super-kick-1 currently available from Thomann and PMT Online; Aquarian Regulator bass drum head currently available from Thomann and PMT Online

If you like Aquarian Super-kick-1 heads, you’ll also like:

Evans EMAD-1 Clear (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Remo Powerstroke 3 (currently available from Andertons, Thomann and PMT Online)

Remo Powersonic (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Next: Best snare batter, single ply head: Remo Ambassador Coated

The best drum heads in the world today
Best snare batter, single ply head: Remo Ambassador Coated
£17

MusicRadar’s verdict:

The Ambassador is the industry standard snare batter head for live playing and recording. The Coated Weatherking Ambassador is virtually unchanged since its appearance back in 1957 - to quote the cliché, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Formed from a single 10 mil film of Mylar, the Coated Ambassador’s sound is bright, clean and lively.

BUY: Remo Ambassador Coated currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online

If you like Remo Ambassador Coated heads, you’ll also like:

Aquarian Texture Coated (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Evans Genera HD Dry (currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online)

Evans J1 (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Remo Diplomat Coated (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Next: Best snare batter, twin ply head: Remo Emperor Coated

The best drum heads in the world today
Best snare batter, twin ply head: Remo Emperor Coated
£17

MusicRadar’s verdict:

If your Ambassadors are wearing out quickly or are a bit too bright the answer may be a change to Emperors. Two layers of 7 mil Mylar add significantly to the durability while darkening and warming the tone. Emperors are still open and resonant, though, and are good all-rounders for the firm hitter.

BUY: Remo Emporer Coated currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online

If you like Remo Emperor Coated heads, you’ll also like:

Evans ST Dry Coated (currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online)

Remo Emperor X (currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online)

Aquarian Hi-Energy (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Next: Best tom batter, single ply head: Evans G-Plus Coated

The best drum heads in the world today
Best tom batter, single ply head: Evans G-Plus Coated
£17

MusicRadar’s verdict:

These heads are a revelation in design – a real cut above the rest. Offering the combination of a warm, open sound without the nuisance of excessive ringing sustain, ease of tuning and durability, the G Plus is ideal for gigs. These aren’t mere heads, they’re instruments in their own right. Give these a try, you might become a convert, as we have.

stars

FULL REVIEW: Evans G-Plus Coated drum heads

BUY: Evans G-Plus Coated currently available from Thomann and PMT Online

If you like Evans G-Plus Coated heads, you’ll also like:

Remo Ambassador Clear (currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online)

Aquarian Classic Clear (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Next: Best tom batter, twin ply head: Evans G2 Coated

The best drum heads in the world today
Best tom batter, twin ply head: Evans G2 Coated
£18

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Always a popular choice for those needing harder wearing heads, these are beautifully made with a distinctive, slightly squared, preformed collar. The Genera G2 is the equivalent of Remo’s Emperor, with two plies of 7 mil Mylar producing an extremely hard-wearing head that is loud, consistent, more dense and focused than a single ply and has slightly shorter sustain.

BUY: Evans G2 Coated currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online

If you like Evans G2 Coated heads, you’ll also like:

Remo Pinstripe Clear (currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online)

Aquarian Super 2 (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Remo CS Reverse Dot (currently available from PMT Online)

Evans Edge Control EC2 (currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online)

Next: Best resonant head: Remo Ambassador

The best drum heads in the world today
Best resonant head: Remo Ambassador
£17

MusicRadar's verdict:

Once more the Ambassador - a favourite with drummers worldwide as a resonant head on their toms and bass drums - scores. There’s a full range of clear, coated and smooth white versions to choose from. The Ambassador Hazy is a harder-wearing 3 mil snare side alternative to the Diplomat Hazy.

BUY: Remo Ambassador currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online

If you like Remo Ambassador heads, you’ll also like:

Remo Diplomat (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Evans Clear G1 (currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online)

Evans Genera Hazy 300 (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Aquarian Hi-Performance (currently available from Thomann)

Next: Best retro-style head: Remo Fiberskyn-3

The best drum heads in the world today
Best retro-style head: Remo Fiberskyn-3
£24

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Laminated Mylar and polyspun fibres produce a playing surface that, with its slightly ragged texture, looks like a real animal skin. There’s a dry warmth and softer stick response, deeper and tubbier, combined with a focused dark sound. They tune very easily over quite a broad range and don’t need any damping.

BUY: Remo Fiberskyn-3 currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online

If you like Remo Fiberskyn-3 heads, you’ll also like:

Aquarian American Vintage (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Aquarian Modern Vintage (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Remo Vintage A Heads (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Evans Strata 700/1000 Gauge (currently available from Thomann)

Remo Renaissance (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Next: Best specialist head: Remo Suede

The best drum heads in the world today
Best specialist head: Remo Suede
£14

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Suede heads have a textured surface on both the top and bottom, which is etched into the head. Since this isn’t a coating, it won’t wear off with time. The resulting sound retains the clarity and sustain of a clear head but also has some of the warmth of a coated product. Suedes are available in Diplomat, Ambassador, Emperor and Powerstroke 3 models.

BUY: Remo Suede currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online

If you like Remo Suede heads, you’ll also like:

Aquarian Jack DeJohnette (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Evans Hydraulic (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Pearl Muffle (currently available from PMT Online)

Aquarian New Orleans (currently available from PMT Online)


Liked this? Now read: The best drum kits in the world today

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