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Fave batter head for snare drums

Drdrumdude3009

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Probably has been covered to death, but some recent developments have made me take pause for new faves.

1) Aquarian black coated reverse dot:
This was a surprise. Bought these on special at DFD. Black coating looks tough. The sound tells a great story. Have this head on an acrylic drum and a mystery meat drum.

2) Evans Genera Dry: This guy controls ring without sounding muffled. Perfect combo for me. This is currently on my Slingerland that has jettisoned my copper snare.

3) Remo Ambassador coated: Still the gold standard for certain drums. I couldn’t imagine playing my Gretsch Marquee (modded to be more Gretsch-ish) with anything else. Many drums favor this head.

These are my top three.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Remo coated CS with the white dot .
I will use the black dot version in a pinch but I prefer the sound and appearance of the white dot version .

Aquarian Texture coated with the power dot underneath is another one that I like a lot .
 

VintageUSA

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For the snare batter I like the Aquarian coated white dot heads; I also prefer the Aquarians for both bass batter and reso.
For toms I still use Remo coated Emps.
 

mzd

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I’m definitely a single ply coated guy.
Remo Ambassador on my Saturn snare, which I use for lower volume gigs and jazz.
Evans UV1 on my Sensitone Brass that I use for louder volume gigs. The Evans coating is more durable than Remo.
 

Tornado

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Coated Ambassador is my default, but I'm really digging the Evans UV1 that I got with a snare drum. Was a fresh brand new head so I left it on, and I like the way the coating feels. Seems to have more controlled overtones than an Ambassador without any muffling. That might be my new favorite
 

doubleroll

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I have two go-to’s and one for my LM402 exclusively:
1. Evans Power Center Reverse Dot Coated
2. Remo Powerstroke 77 Coated
3. Remo Vintage Emperor Coated - LM402
 
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lossforgain

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My go-to middle of the road head is the Aquarian Texture Coated single ply. I also like the coated Response 2 when I want the fat 2-ply sound. But certain drums really come alive with a different head.
Pearl bronze Sensitone = Evans HD dry
Summit solid Curly Maple = Aquarian Modern Vintage medium coated
...and I always like Ludwig coated heads on Ludwig metal snares.
 

SpinaDude

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So many...where do I begin?

I currently have 10 snared ranging widely in dimensions and materials. And for me, each one calls for a different head to arrive at what I'm looking for when I hear an optimal sound in my head.

For the 5.5x14 Ronald Bruner, Jr. steel and walnut -- Evens Hydraulic. It is a loud, cutting articulate monster with snap and pop, while the ring of the steel is contained just enough. Amazing feel on this, beautiful rebound and the stick lays into the head well. This is currently my favorite drum.

I also have one of these heads on my Pearl Aluminum Free Floater 8x14. It sounds incredible on there too, but I think I want a little more of the aluminum tone to show through. I'm still tweaking this one and may switch it out for a different head in the end. Maybe an Evans coated power center.
EDIT: I just stopped working to take a key to that Pearl drum. Took all of 90 seconds to increase the tension by less than half a key turn per rod. I got that aluminum tone back. Sounds great -- fat and beefy, strong and popping.

I've used and loved Evans Coated G1's (bubinga stave 7x14, Tama Bold Spotted Gum 6.5x15, Pearl Piccolo Steel 3x13), Power Center Reverse Dot Coated (Mapex Black Panther Sledgehammer 6.5x14), and Frosted EC Batter (Tama Vintage Hickory 5x14).

The Frosted EC Batter (which has been discontinued) is a really thick head and can bring any snare drum to life. Lively, beefy and responsive, Huuuuuge snare sound. But you do lose a lot of the wood or metal tone with it. I've tried it on most of my snares, but currently only have it on one. The drums sound great with it, but they don't necessarily sound very different. Still, it's a lot of fun to play on.

HD Dry, I have one of these on my Starphonic copper. But I cut out about 2/3rds of the inner muffling ring. Kills some of the ring, but restores the copper tone (heh, it is summer after all) while keeping it fat and punchy.

And did I mention the Aquarian stock head on my INDe 6.5x14 aluminum? Whoa. I tried a few other heads on that drum, and they were good. But it cracks, rings and sings with that Aquarian! And at all tunings. I can't imagine anything else on that shell. Beautiful drum which does exactly what I want it to do. Can't say enough good things about Josh and the work he's doing up there.

So, can I pick a favorite snare head? No.

Least favorite so far...Evans Onyx. It must be me and the sound profile I prefer, but I have yet to try that on a single drum and been happy with it. I think it's just not the snare head for me.
 
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5stroke

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Probably Vintage Ambassador overall. The Ambassador is a go-to but sounds thin on some of my snares, while the Emperor's deeper sound works on some but too thuddy on others. The VA is right in the middle.
Also, re-discovering/experimenting with dampening: gels, stick-ons, and lay-ons (like BFSD products) are as important as the batter to get "that sound" you're looking for at the moment.
 

varatrodder

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Depending on the drum, I have a few that are my standards. It really depends on what the snare drum responds to best. I always use a Ludwig snare side head.

Remo Renaissance Ambassador
Remo Vintage Ambassador
Remo Coated Ambassador
Evans Strata 1000

I've been experimenting with Aquarian recently, but I'm not 100% sold on them.
 


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