Thursday, March 7, 2013

Which Drums Make The Best Sound? | Drum Heads Play A Part Too

Drum heads
I'm still playing my poplar Sonor Force 2000 drums.  These are the drums from Germany, not the newer Chinese drums that Sonor makes now. At the time that I bought them, they sounded great.  I knew little about woods at the time, and had a limited budget.  Poplar isn't the hardest of woods, but with the right drum heads, they sound great.  It took me a long time to figure out just which heads would work for those drums.  I'm still trying to figure out what heads work best on a much more expensive set of Yamaha Maple Custom drums that I purchased about ten years ago.  Is there such a thing as the perfect wood or perfect drum head to go with that wood?

For the Sonor drums, I'm using the Remo smooth white heads.  These heads (and that wood,) seem to produce a great sound for rock drumming.  The tones are somewhat muted by the 10-mil thickness of the head, but the notes cut through, and the attack is still pretty sharp.  For an attack that is somewhat less sharp, I will sometimes use the coated Ambassador heads.  That is especially the case when I'm playing the maple drums.  As the Sonor drums have been taking a beating for nearly 20 years, their bearing edges are in need of adjusting.  For now, the smooth heads seem to help in that regard.  If I ever get the bearing edges redone, I'll consider switching to a head that isn't as thick.  For a long time, I played the Remo Pinstripe heads on the Sonor kit.  Those heads lasted longer, and that was a good thing for a struggling musician.  Their double ply Mylar construction will reduce the decay, but the overall sound makes your drums sound "fat."

Evans Hydraulic Drum Heads 

For a short while, I tried my luck with Evans Hydraulic heads.  They looked cool, but the muffled decay was just not what I wanted for a sound as I left the world of punk rock, and moved into rock.  If you want a punchy sound, go with the Evans Hydraulic heads.  Don't expect very much sustain on those drums.  I realize that it costs a bit of money in order to experiment with different skins.  What you might want to do is head on over to your local music store, and see what skins are on which types of drums.  If you can test drive the skins, all the better.

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