As we know, today’s market overflows with various bass drum head offerings. As a result, confusing beginners as they try to find the best drum head for them. In addition, the different designs and construction of drum heads dictate the sound a bass drum makes.
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Moreover, all drum heads feature different materials, providing a different sound quality every time. Therefore, a drummer must find an excellent bass drum head according to their genre, playstyle, and preference. As a result, we crafted an informative buyer’s guide with a list of 7 incredible bass drum heads for all skill levels!
Things to Consider when Buying Bass Drum Heads— A Buyer’s Guide
Perhaps your old bass drum head has already worn out, or maybe it’s time for you to upgrade your entry-level head, then you’ll have to look for the best drum heads in the market. In addition, changing drum heads is an inevitable part of a drummer’s life, even when you play electronic drum pads. However, buyers must look for specific factors before buying a drum head. This ensures drummers that the product they are buying satisfies their drumming needs.
Here are some of the things you should look for when buying a bass drum head:
Drum Head Ply
Drummers usually hear the word “ply” when buying a bass drum head; however, it is more than just a word. The ply of a drum head affects the overall timbre of the sound it produces.
Currently, there are two types of drum head ply in the market:
1-Ply Drum Head
A 1-ply bass drum head produces a lighter sound through its thin singular film sheet. Because of its lower sound level, the dynamics of a 1-ply drum head pop. Furthermore, allowing more of its color and tone characteristics to be heard.
- Excellent for blues and jazz drumming.
- Produces a light and accentuated sound.
- More dynamics compared to 2-ply drum heads.
- Not suitable to accompany high gain instruments.
2-Ply Drum Head
On the other hand, a 2-ply drum head features two layers of film, allowing it to have a louder sound. Moreover, a double film bass drum head packs more punch and durability at the same time. As a result, this specific type of bass drum head can handle the beater power heavy music requires.
- Perfect for hard rock and heavy metal drumming.
- Produces a louder sound compared to 1-ply drum heads.
- Offers a more durable build for heavy-hitters.
- Fewer sound dynamics because of its louder sound output.
The sound quality of a drum head will boil down on its materials, dampening, coating, and beater material.
Firstly, the material of a bass drum head will affect a bass drum’s overall sound quality. Usually, most bass drum heads utilize Mylar or other synthetic materials as it is more reliable than animal skin.
Secondly, the dampening of a drum head determines the sustain and attack of a bass drum. Typically, dampenings such as inlay rings and felt strips reduce the overtones of a drum, resulting in an instantaneous response.
Thirdly, the coating of a drum head also affects the overall overtones you can hear from your bass drum. A clear coated
Lastly, your beater material will matter on the final sound your bass drum produces, unless you use your kick pedal for electronic drums. For instance, a soft beater will provide a lighter sound. Conversely, a hard beater material will produce a louder sound.
Excellent Heads for Bass Drums
Evans EMAD System Pack, 22”
Type: 1-ply Bass Drum Head and Resonant Head Bundle
The Evans EMAD System Pack features an externally mounted adjustable damping system, enabling users to customize their drum head’s sound. In addition, the EMAD’s removable foam damping rings allow users to adjust the attack of their bass drum according to their preference.
The first half of the bundle is the 22” EMAD Batter Bass. This bass drum head features a 1-ply 10mil film, offering a balance between power, attack, and low-end. On the other hand, the REMAD Resonant Bass incorporates a 4” offset microphone port on its 1-ply 10mil film.
Furthermore, the Evans EMAD System Pack features Level 360 Technology, enabling the drum head to have a wider tonal possibility. Moreover, this feature also makes the drum head easier to tune, making it studio-ready.
- EMAD Batter Bass
- REMAD Resonant Bass
- Level 360 Technology
- Removable Foam Damping Rings
- 10mil single-ply film
- Allows users to adjust the attack of their bass drum.
- Easy to tune because of its Level 360 technology.
- Produces a clear and resonant sound.
- Features a durable construction despite its 1-ply design.
- Higher price point in comparison with other Evans drum heads.
Remo Silentstroke Bass Drumhead, 22″
Type: 1-ply Bass Drum Head
If you are looking for a practice bass drum head, the Remo Silentstroke is the one for you! Featuring a mesh drumhead, the Remo Silentstroke reduces a bass drum’s volume without compromising its overall tone. In addition, this bass drum head provides a natural response similar to a regular acoustic drum head.
Furthermore, Remo specifically designed the Silentstroke for the bedroom musician who practices a lot. As a result, Remo came up with a design that effectively lowers the decibel levels of an acoustic bass drum.
Moreover, Remo offers the Silentstroke among different sizes ranging from 6” up to 24”. Therefore, making the Silentstroke excellent for both acoustic and electronic drums.
- Mesh Drum Head
- 6” up to 24” Silentstroke Heads
- Low volume drumheads
- 70% Volume Decrease
- Electronic and Acoustic Drums Compatible Head
- Specifically made for bedroom drummers.
- Ideal for small spaces such as apartments, bedrooms, and dormitories.
- Features durable materials despite its thin construction.
- Effectively decreases a bass drum’s output without affecting overall tone.
- Not ideal with felt bass drum beaters.
Remo Coated Powerstroke P3 22”
Type: 1-ply Bass Drum Head
The Remo Powerstroke P3 features a punchy response through its coated surface. As a result, the Powerstroke P3 boosts the low-end of your drum playing. In addition, the Remo Powerstroke deepens the bass response of your bass drum without muddying the overall color of its tone.
Furthermore, the Remo Powerstroke P3 utilizes a Mylar impact patch that provides a responsive attack. Additionally, this impact patch effectively resists damage from wood and plastic beater hits. Meanwhile, a thin outer-edge underlay helps the Powerstroke P3 damp overtones to preserve the tone’s purity.
The Remo Coated Powerstroke P3 22” is a world-renowned bass drum head. Utilized by amateurs and professionals in rock, R&B, and funk, you can never go wrong with the Remo Powerstroke P3!
- 22” in size
- Coated drum head
- Thin 3-mil underlay
- Mylar impact patch
- 10mil thickness
- Ideal for rock, R&B, and funk.
- Provides a responsive subtle attack on the bass drum.
- Excellent balance between tone control and response.
- Trusted by amateurs and professionals.
- Not recommended for drummers who play heavy music.
Evans Calftone Bass Drum Head, 22″
Type: 1-ply Bass Drum Head
The Evans Calftone Bass Drum Head modernizes the traditional calfskin, bringing classic tones to modern-day drummers. In addition, the Evans Calftone features the tone of traditional calfskin through reliable synthetic calfskin. As a result, drummers can have a vintage look and sound with the superior consistency and sound production of synthetic materials.
Moreover, the Evans Calftone features Level 360 technology, allowing the head to have an unparalleled tuning range and fit. Evans utilized excellent material combination; as a result, the Calftone produces a rich and warm tone.
Furthermore, the Evans Calftone works both as a batter drum head and a resonant head. Consequently, allowing players to utilize the versatility the Evans Calftone provides!
- 12-mil Mylar Base with Unique Materials
- 18” up to 26” sizes
- Level 360 Technology collar design
- Vintage look and feel
- Warm, full, and rich tone
- Accurately replicates the tone of traditional calfskin using synthetic materials.
- Suitable for both rock and jazz.
- More reliable than traditional calfskin.
- Features incredible tuning stability and overall tone.
- The 1-ply construction of the Calftone may not cut inside a loud setting.
Evans EMAD2 Clear Bass Drum Head, 22”
Type: 2-ply Bass Drum head
A step up from the EMAD System Pack, the Evans EMAD2 features a drum head that provides a punchy and powerful sound. In addition, the EMAD2 incorporates a 2-ply combination of an outer 7-mil and inner 10-mil ply. As a result, the EMAD2 produces a louder sound and unparalleled attack compared to its predecessor.
Furthermore, the 2-ply EMAD2 provides better durability than the 1-ply EMAD System Pack. Moreover, Evans’ Level 360 Technology collar helps the EMAD2 to boast a wider tonal range and better tuning stability.
In conclusion, this makes the EMAD2 an excellent choice for any type of music genre. Therefore, if you are a versatile drummer or a session musician, the Evans EMAD2 is perfect for you!
- 7-mil outer and 10-mil inner ply
- EVANS Level 360 Collar
- External Adjustable Damping System
- Clear Bass Drum Head
- 18” up to 26” in size
- Provides a more durable build than the original EMAD bass drum head.
- Balanced punch and power.
- The 2-ply construction of the EMAD2 provides better durability than a 1-ply bass drum head.
- Extremely versatile for all music genres and drumming playstyle.
- Comparatively more expensive than other Evans bass drum heads in our list.
Aquarian Drumheads Coated SuperKick III Drum Head
Brand: Aquarian Drumheads
Type: 1-ply Bass Drum Head
If you are looking for the ultimate single-ply bass drum head, the Aquarian Drumheads has one excellent offering for you! The Aquarian Drumheads Coated SuperKick III features bang-for-the-buck specifications to justify its price point.
Firstly, the Coated Super-Kick III features a single-ply coated film combined with a power dot center and internal damping ring. As a result, the Coated SuperKick III eliminates excessive overtones and enhances the bass drum’s impact zone. Thus, the final output of the bass drum features a studio-ready tone for both light and heavy-footed players.
Secondly, the SuperKick III comes with a built-in floating felt muffle ring for a full low-end sound. Lastly, the included power-dot improves the overall durability of the drum head, making it reliable for a long time.
- Coated Drum Head
- 10-mil single-ply construction
- Floating Felt Muffle Ring
- Safe-T-Loc Hoop
- Durable despite its single-ply construction.
- Provides a defined tone perfect for recording and mixing.
- Offers a wrinkle-free tension under any tuning.
- Eliminates excessive overtones for a clear bass drum tone.
- Most expensive bass drum head on our list.
Evans EMAD Heavyweight Clear Bass Drum Head
Type: 2-ply Bass Drum Head
The Evans EMAD Heavyweight is perfect for hard-hitting drummers looking for a pure tone of destruction. Featuring identical 10-mil ply coated films, the Evans EMAD Heavyweight highlights the dynamics of your playing. No matter how hard or soft you hit, the EMAD Heavyweight rewards it with a clear tone.
Moreover, Evans utilizes an externally mounted adjustable damping system, providing users with a fully customizable drum head. In addition, this drum head is extremely versatile for all drumming styles and music genres.
Lastly, the two interchangeable damping rings of the Evans EMAD Heavyweight allow players to control their overtones. As a result, users benefit from the attack the EMAD Heavyweight Clear Bass Drum Head provides.
- 2-ply 10-mil films
- Externally Mounted Adjustable Damping System (EMAD)
- Interchangeable Damping Rings
- Clear drum head
- 18” to 26” in size
- Extremely versatile drum head for all music genres.
- Highlights the dynamics of its user’s playing.
- Fully customizable attack and focus.
- Highly adjustable for all types of bass drum tones.
- Comparable in performance with the EMAD2 despite being a bit more expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions about Drum Heads for Bass Drums
Q: When should I replace my bass drum head?
As we know, bass drum heads are prone to wear and tear depending on the frequency of use. Since not all drummers play the same genre and have the same playstyle, the durability of drum heads varies. As a general rule of thumb, professional drummers advise players to change their drum heads at least once a year.
Q: What is the front bass drum head called?
The bass drum head that the beater hits is called the batter head. On the other hand, the resonant head is the bass drum head that doesn’t touch the beater. Therefore, this drum head resonates vibrations within the bass drum, allowing the bass drum to have better sustain.
Q: Are Remo drum heads good?
Yes, Remo is one of the best companies when it comes to drum heads. Some of the best Remo bass drum heads are the Remo Silentstroke and Remo Coated Powerstroke. In addition, these drum heads provide a full and warm sound in comparison to regular bass drum heads. Thus, this makes Remo drum heads one of the best in bass drum head manufacturing.
Q: Why do you cut a hole in bass drum?
A bass drum hole provides drummers and sound engineers an option where to place their microphones during recording sessions. In addition, a bass drum hole projects the tone of the bass drum better, allowing for a clearer and dynamic microphone capture. Therefore, these holes are imperative when recording a bass drum using microphones.
Q: How long does a bass drum head last?
Your bass drum head’s lifespan depends on whether you are a recording musician or a beginner practicing in your bedroom. For instance, a recording musician will change their drum head before recording their music. On the other hand, if you are a casual or beginner drummer, you should be good until your bass drum starts to wear out. Typically, a bass drum head can last for a minimum of 6 months.
With over 30 years of experience, drumming has been a huge part of Joe’s life. He has experienced every stage of drumming imaginable – from playing in my parents’ garage, to playing local venues and to doing national tours.
Today, Joe tutor kids on how to play drums and shares all the things he has learned about drumming to all of BasicDrummer readers. He also reviews the best drums and gadgets not only for kids but also for beginners as well.