Dumb question re: black drumheads

stevil

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Hi all,
At the risk of sounding like a dummy, I'm looking for help separating marketing hype from tonal qualities of Remo Black Suede/Evans Onyx drum heads. These seem to get marketed to metal drummers looking for louder/more aggressive/durable heads, and that pretty much describes what I'm after. However, I could give to flips about what color my drum heads are, and when I read the specs on these heads they seem largely identical to their white/clear counterparts. So, does the hue or pigment have any affect whatsoever on sound, or are they just marketing black drum heads to metal dudes because all of our t-shirts are also black?

Extra credit question: I'm also curious about colortone and the multi-colored hydraulic heads on the market. On those heads I'm pretty sure the color is supposed to be neutral, ie not affect, the sound, but I'd appreciate confirmation or correction.

Thanks for your help,
Wearing a Black T-Shirt In Portland
 

Pimp-a-diddle

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I'd like to find some heads like the old Remo "starfire". They were reflective in silver and gold. If anyone knows anything, hit me up.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I tried a Remo Black Suede batter on my 13" Mapex Black Panther Maple snare and love it, so far.
Seemed similar in tone to a coated amb to me, maybe a tad less lively but still open-toned. Didn't chip or leave black stick marks on anything. I'll probably buy more eventually.
 

stevil

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I'd like to find some heads like the old Remo "starfire". They were reflective in silver and gold. If anyone knows anything, hit me up.
Remo is selling those again! Chrome and Gold. I'm considering a gold for my bass drum reso head when my new kit arrives. I've got to see whether it'll clash.
 

jtpaistegeist

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I have tried about all of the current black head offerings. I found the Evans Onyx to be okay, but quite muted and thuddy.. Same with the Remo Emps. Now, the best ones I have tried by FAR are the Aquarian Response II Black Coated heads. They are much more lively, warm and have better sustain than the Evans/Remo counterparts. They are a bit more $$, but definitely worth it IMO.

I have these in a kit I use for fusion, and my larger rock/metal/prog kits and they are GREAT! They last and last as well.
 

Ptrick

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Similar experience. Evans too dead. Remo’s are ok. Best have been Aquarian. Single ply the Jack Dejohnette heads are awesome, a little thicker coating mutes some of the single ply twang. Double ply, response 2 black coated.
 

polycrescendo

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I've completely switched to Remo Black Suede heads top and bottom on my kit with the exception of my snare side heads (Hazy). 2 ply batters/single ply resos on all toms. I do this purely for sound reasons. They sound like a blend of coated and pinstripe heads. For my style of playing they are warm, boomy and almost "tribal" sounding for a lack of better words. The heads are quite durable and seem to season well after a while if they don't get abused. Having the single ply resos seems to cut out most ringy overtones but you do have to strike a little harder to get the toms to project, so maybe that's why more metal and hard rock players might be seen with them. Plus they look pretty mean. :evil2:
I think they also sell White Suede heads but I've never seen them.

P.s. Try the Remo Black X on that Savage Custom bronze if you want to take heads off at your show. Or for an outdoor festival type of gig. You'd hear it for miles.
 

davezedlee

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I played on a set with black pinstripes at a rehearsal place and they sounded and felt like yogurt lids; much "deader" than clear pinstripes
 

MillerMav

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The only input I can provide is that the Remo black suede is much different the Evans/Aquarian black heads because the Remo stuff isn't a coating. It's a black Mylar that's been etched (at least that's what I can gather feeling all of them) so it's going to stay black and definitely has a different sound. The Evans/Aquarian heads its a black coating on a normal head similar to white coating. I've used the Remo emperor and Aquarian Jack heads and they are both good for what they do but if I had to pick I would probably do the Remo.
 

Tmcfour

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Hahaha, I'm guilty of the black t-shirts. I never thought Remo ebony head sounded too different. If anything I thought they had a little more of a brittle sound, if that makes any sense. I hated that the color picked up on my sticks and then got all over my cymbals. I switched back to coated ambs on my toms years ago and this has been a winner for me. I recently tried an Amb X on my 16" floor tom and that opened up pretty nicely. I like my Metal Black but not my batter heads.
 

mcjaco

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We used the black Remo Pinstripes on our quads way back in the 90s for marching band. I though they sound the same as normal pinstripes. We did end up having to go back to the clear pinstripes, because the black ones tended to change tuning quite quickly when out in the sun.
 

DannyPattersonMusic

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I've used the black pinstripes and they are a tad darker than normal clear pinstripes. I think the same goes with the suede/onyx heads as well.

I do use the Remo Blue ColorTone emperor heads on my toms and the PS3 on the kick. They sound identical to the regular clear versions so no real change there.
 

DanRH

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Not sure about the Evans Onyx heads BUT I’m a huge fan of Remo Suede series, both black and whites. For me, white suedes and Evans UV1’s are all I use on all my kits.
 


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