What bass drum batter head should I get?

Jazzhead

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I play mostly jazz, funk and maybe soft rock but nothing heavy. My bass drum is 22” thin and light and I don’t have bass drum batter heads laying around to try out and they are not cheap either to buy multiple and try them out. I wanted to know what is a good versatile 22” bass drum batter head I can stick to? Is coated or clear ambassador your go-to? I see lots of people using coated Powerstroke3 (the older model with blueish stripes). I like to have that controlled but boomy sound of 22” bass. i think Steve Gadd also uses powerstroke3 on his 22” bass.
 

Jazzhead

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Coated PS3 but depends (not the napkin) what's on the front
I have 2 options in the front, I got the original smooth white Premier head which is very old of course and I have another coated ambassador with a port hole. I like the look of ebony ambassador reso head but not sure how that will make my bass drum sound.
Does it matter if it is the older PS3 with blue stripes or the newer model? Is there a difference?
 

TPC

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Do you mic the drum for gigs? If so, the ported reso head has advantages. If not, I would go with the unported head, whatever it might be.

I also like the coated PS3 for the batter. A coated Emperor is also great and can be muffled a bit if too boomy.
 

jaymandude

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As much as I prefer coated heads top and bottom, for bass drums I actually like clear Powerstrokes, and even better tho harder to find, smooth white..
 

Seb77

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I like a clear PS3 for its slightly brighter attack at higher volume, that snap.Coated has a bit more midrange. I would add a small pillow or a felt strip; on its own the PS3 can have some lingering tones if tuned a bit higher. That's what I would do have some boom, tighten it a bit more than you think. For boom I would also def. use the complete reso head; ported front only if you're mic'ed.
 

Johnny K

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Tough call. My main kit that I play all the time and gig with has a coated P3 on it. My practice kit with mesh heads has an Aquarian Superkick II on it. The practice kit at the band jam/practice house has an Evans clear batter head. The one that doenst have the muffle ring on it. I have beater patches on all of them.

I love the sound of the Aquarian Superkick II. I want to try it on my Gretsch with the P3 just to see how it sounds.
 
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stuart s

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PS3 here too, tried many and this one was the best for my 22x18 CM. Only this one gave me a controlled boom with nothing else inside, no holes and a stock reso.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I used to like the coated PS3 but I've become a huge fan of the Aquarian Super kicks on pretty much all my basses now (16/18/20/22). I don't like Aq. heads otherwise, but I really dig the punch. If you want some vintage boom, loosen your reso head (usually mine are Remo Fiberskyns)......
 

Jazzhead

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Looks like PS3 batter head is the way to go, I gotta decide coated, clear or smooth. Which one should I go with?
 

dirtysicks

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Coated or clear? If clear how different is it from remo controlled sound head?
This head is pretty much a Clear PS3 with the black dot patch added. The black dot gives deeper low tones and a nice attack. I really like them.
 

Seb77

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Looks like PS3 batter head is the way to go, I gotta decide coated, clear or smooth. Which one should I go with?
I once read the clear PS3 is the most popular, and I guess for a reason. Even players using coated Ambassadors on toms often use clear on bass. To my ear clear PS3 has a more eq'd boom/click sound. Coated has a more "woody" midrange presence, less highs in the attack.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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Clear or coated PS3 with a Fiberskyn reso works perfectly on several of my 22-24" BDs. Ported or not. Muffling or not.
It seems to be a winning combo for tons of modern & classic pop/rock players and is usually my first choice for amplified scenarios.

To my ear, the Evans EQ3, Remo PS3 and Aquarian Force-1 all exhibit a fairly similar tonality and it happens to be a sound I like. Controlled but toneful.

For instance, my 14x18" bop kick has an Aquarian clear Force-1 which sounds absolutely ideal in conjunction with the stock 1-ply Tama resonant and no muffling or port.

For classic small group jazz I recommend coated Ambassadors on both sides and a moleskin patch if needed. It worked beautifully for the essential jazz records of the day and is still the truest tonal combo for classic jazz and bebop .
 

Seb77

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For classic small group jazz I recommend coated Ambassadors on both sides and a moleskin patch if needed.
I just recently discovered the moleskin patch as only muffling for (post-) bop. That's the sound for me! (smooth white front head, stays clean).

Which makes me think:
@OP: if versatile to you means being able to get different sounds and you like old-school jazz sounds as well, I would go with an Ambassador, not a PS3. A large drum like 22" might benefit from a felt strip, maybe in addition to the moleskin patch. For a drier sound similar to a PS3, you can always muffle the Amby from inside or outside (towel with two spring clamps is what I use sometimes).
 

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