Bass Drum Heads are the single most important feature of all bass drums. It is important to check out the features of these drum heads before choosing the one you would like to buy. Some of the features that a good bass drum head should have are durability, damping options, reasonable cost & muffling options among others.
For your convenience, we have listed down the nine best bass drum heads that will give you the best deal.
- 1. Evans EMAD2 Bass Drum Head
- 2. Evans REMAD Resonant Bass Drum Head
- 3. Aquarian SKII22 Bass Drum Head
- 4. Evans BD22EMADHW Bass Drum Head
- 5. Evans EQ3 Resonant Bass Drum Head
- 6. Evans EMAD Coated White Bass Drum Head
- 7. Remo Powersonic Clear Bass Drumhead
- 8. Evans EMAD Onyx Bass Drum Head
- 9. Evans Hydraulic Blue Bass Drum Head
Evans EMAD2 comes with a damping system that is externally mounted and is adjustable. This feature is unique to Evans and is not found in any other drum heads from different manufacturers. This feature of EMAD is the main reason why you need to buy this product. It eliminates the damping problems, drummers usually face by giving them the freedom to choose their own sound tones. This is done by two removable foam damping rings.
You should definitely go for this drum-head if you are willing to spend a few extra bucks to get a stellar product. The reason being, its mounted adjustable damping system in the exterior part or EMAD. This feature will give you many bass tones to experiment but will also keep it durable for a long time. It is definitely a great deal for both beginners and professional musicians.
- An EMAD feature which allows flexibility in sound tones.
- The inclusion of collar shape that gives you a wide tonal range.
- Availability of a hassle free tuning option.
- Durability as it is made of two plies (6.5mil and 10mil).
- You will have to spend a little more on this drum head as compared to others.
Evans REMAD Resonant is yet another bestselling drum from Evan’s EMAD line. The main feature here is ofcourse, an adjustable damping system mounted externally with 2 differently sized foam rings. What makes it different from its counterparts in the same line is its sleek design and that it consists of a single ply black film of about 7.5mil.
The presence of a microphone port, an externally mounted damping adjustable system and a sleek design makes it perfect for aspiring musicians. It is also a little bit on the cheaper side as compared to other Evan drumheads. Another benefit is that it uses a 360-revolutionary technology ensuring a good fit and an availability of a wide tonal range. Also, it will be perfect for studio use.
- An inclusion of a microphone port of about four inches.
- An EMAD feature which gives it a wide tonal range.
- A sleek design with the inclusion of a craven collar for better fit.
- It won’t last longer if used extensively.
- Is not suitable for professional players.
As the name suggests, Aquarian Drumheads SKII22 Super-Kick II has the advantage of being highly durable from wear and tear due to its double plies (both of 7mil each). It is manufactured by one of the leading names and that ensures its quality.
You need to go for this if you want a good drumhead with a reasonable cost. Its durability is another plus factor that makes this drum head attractive. Another advantage is that no extra muffling due to a built in floating muffle ring is required and therefore professional drummers will love this drum-head!
- It is perfect for professional drum players.
- Its increased durability due to two plies.
- No extra muffling required.
- It does not come with a wide tonal range.
- Not suitable for too much experimentation.
Yet another amazing product from Evan, BD22EMADHW EMAD Twenty-Two Inch Heavyweight Clear comes with two plies of 10 inch each to ensure improved durability and sound quality. It is similar to other drumheads in EMAD line in many ways: a damping system that is adjustable and mounted externally, two differently sized foam rings, an availability of a wide tonal range, easy tuning and versatility to experiment with different sound tones.
You should go for this if you want a highly durable product that will last you quite some years without significant wear and tear. The one thing that sets it apart from other drum-heads in the same line is its high durability.
- Two differently sized foam rings to give a wide tonal range.
- An inclusion of level 360o technology from EVANS.
- Increased Durability as compared to other drum heads.
- Expensive as compared to other drum heads.
Experience the brilliance of resonance through Evans EQ3 Resonant Black. An addition of a microphone port is the best part about this drum head as this feature makes it perfect for studio use. You can buy this drum head in both black and white colors.
This drumhead is perfect for beginners and is more suited for a studio use. The mic port is the main advantage this drumhead has over others. It is a single ply film of 7 inch and therefore durability might be an issue but other than that, this drumhead does not cut any corners. It keeps its focus on giving you the right pitch and a wide range of tones.
- An inclusion of a 5-inch microphone port.
- Perfect for studio use.
- Cheaper as compared to other drum heads.
- Will not last long if used continuously.
- Not suitable for live plays.
Evans EMAD Coated White Bass Drum Head falls under Evan’s highly popular EMAD line. The only difference in this drum head from others in the same line is the presence of a coating over the single 10-inch ply. This coating ensures a better sound tone and allows the player to focus better.
Drummers who need deeper tones should go for this product. The presence of two differently sized foam rings and a muffling system further makes it an attractive product. You might have to shell a couple of extra bucks for almost all drums in Evans line but believe me it is worth it!
- Improved sound quality due to the coating layer.
- A damping system that is externally mounted and is also adjustable gives you more versatility.
- Not much scope for tonal exploitation.
- Sustain is low.
Remo Powersonic Clear Bass Drumhead has a slap on overtone control pad on its exterior. The two damping rings (3 and 4 inch) are placed internally. This drum head has two piles of 7 millimeter each and this is not only responsible for an increased sound quality but also for improved durability.
A built-in muffling system is the key feature of this drum head. If you are having any problem with muffling, then this product is perfect for you. On the top of that, the sound quality is great too because of two internal foaming rings.
- An external snap on damping system.
- It will solve all your muffling problems and you won’t need any extra muffling system.
- Increased sound quality due to two internally mounted subsonic rings for damping.
- The built-in muffling might stifle the sound too much at times.
- More continuous tuning required than other drumheads.
Evans EMAD Onyx is a drumhead from Evans’s much famous EMAD line. The main feature is ofcourse an externally mounted damping system which gives the user a more versatile sound range. This one comes in onyx and has a very sleek design.
With Evans EMAD Onyx Bass Drum Head, you can attack and focus in a much better way than before. This single ply of 10 mil also has a very sleek design and is aesthetically pleasing. Now experiment a wide range of tonal ranges with this stunning drumhead.
- Improved attack and focus due to an external damping system.
- It can be used for all music genres.
- A sleek design.
- Continuous use not preferred as it may decrease durability.
Evans Hydraulic Blue Bass Drum Head is a one of its kind drumhead present in market right now. It has a double layer ply and these layers are held together with a very thin layer of oil in between. This feature helps in prolonging the life of this drumhead and also eliminates any unwanted overtones that might affect the sound quality.
This drum head is perfect for beginners or anyone who is just learning for various reasons. Firstly, it is very durable and therefore will last longer. Secondly, it has a very easy tuning function that makes it perfect for beginners. Finally, it reduces any unwanted overtones to help you practice better. So if you are novice, you need to buy this drumhead!
- Improved resonance and a nice tight sound tone.
- Maximum durability ensured.
- Easy tuning.
- You will need to put some force if you need your desired tonal range.
These are the three brands that people generally prefer:
Evans is a name every drummer will be familiar with. They are undoubtedly the world’s leading drumheads manufacturers. Their trademark is a level 360 technology that ensures better coverage, extended durability, greater tonal range and a steeped collar system that ensures a better fit. Drumheads from Evan’s EMAD line is highly popular.
Remo is one of the oldest drumhead manufacturers and were the first one to use Mylar as a drumhead material. Mylar is now used in wide majority in almost all drumheads. They also supply drumheads for a majority of drum companies like Yamaha. Look out for their Powerstroke drumhead series.
Aquarian drums are perfect for drummers who are just beginning their journey. Their Bass Drumheads come in four lines—Regulator, Ported Bass, Super Kick, Impact Series and Full Force Series.
Many manufacturers offer different features on drumheads and the most important ones that you need to look out for are:
The thickness of the drumhead affects many things—durability, sound tones, attack and focus. Single ply is suited for light play and have brighter sound tones. They are ideal for lighter music genres that don’t require too much attack and focus. Double plied are perfect for heavy music genres and give a large booming tone. They also last longer than single ply.
- Damping System
A damping system on the top head produces a more controlled sound. It is better if your drumhead has a damping system as it gives you more freedom to explore and experiment with different sound tones.
- Coated and Clear
Many drumheads come with a coating to give a deeper or dampened sound tone. They have shorter tone sustainability and have a translucent appearance. Clear drumheads have a clear appearance and give a brighter, longer sustained tone than coated. They have more overtones than the former.
- In Built Muffling System
Drumheads with an in built muffling system eliminate any unwanted overtones to give you a more controlled sound.
The first step is to get an idea of the current pitch and to do that you need to hit the drum continuously with each tuning. Start with the smallest tom which is the closest to your desired pitch. It is better to start with the resonant head (bottom head) when you are trying to get the top and bottom in sync. Tuning is done experimentally and you need to keep hitting the drum to as you tune.
Drumheads initially were made of animal skins but were soon replaced by polymers in the 1950’s. The development of Mylar revolutionized the drumhead industry and this polymer is still used in majority of drumheads. Another polymer that is used is Kevlar, which gives a tight sound tone and therefore is generally preferred for marching bands.
Drumheads can be classified in many ways but they are commonly classified as follows:
- Single Ply
As the name suggests, these drumheads are made of a single ply and are generally available in 7, 10 and 12 inches. They are not meant for heavy playing styles and are more suited for music genres like light jazz. One good example is Evans EMAD Onyx Bass Drum Head.
- Double Ply
They are made of double plies and these plies are generally of the same thickness (in most cases 7 mil each). However, manufacturers are offering double plies in different inches for a more distinct tone. They are the best for heavy playing as users can attack more easily. Examples are Aquarian Drumheads SKII22 Super-Kick II and Evans Hydraulic Blue Bass Drum Head.
A coating is applied to drumheads to produce a damping effect. Without a coating, tones will be less more pronounced. A coating gives you more deeper tones and helps you produce a more controlled sound. Evans EMAD Coated White Bass Drum is an example.
Pre-Muffled drum heads come with an in built muffling system. They are perfect for avoiding unwanted overtones. Examples are Evans Hydraulic Blue Bass Drum Head and Aquarian Drumheads SKII22 Super-Kick II Double Ply.
The batter head is also called the top head and is the part where you actually hit your drumstick. On the other hand, resonant head or the bottom head is the part that gives a sound when you hit the top head.
While fixing your drumhead to your drum, take care to put the batter head on the top and the resonant head should come in the bottom. One way to ensure this is to make sure the logo is on the top of the drum and is in an upright position. In case, the logo is missing, look for the mounting system.
A drumhead’s durability depends on a lot of things and there is no set time period for its longevity. The general opinion is that you need to change your drumhead when the tones start getting flat. If you play more often then you need to replace your drumheads more frequently than others.
The other thing to note is the physical appearance of your drumhead. If you start seeing any dents, or when the coating begins to wear off, then you should be replacing your drumheads with a newer one.
- Batter head
Batter head or the top head is where you hit your drumstick. They can be coated, clear, single ply or double ply.
- Resonant head
Resonant head is not meant to be hit and is also called the bottom head. When you hit the batter head, resonant head is the one which produces resonance.
- Bearing Edge
The drumhead sits on the bearing edge of the drum.
Ply can be single or double. This is basically the layer of the drumhead and is make of either Kevlar or Mylar.
Lugs are the place where tension bolts are screwed. They are present on the outer drum shell and bolted from inside.
- Tuning Rods
These are also called tension bolts and help in holding the drumhead on the shell. Tuning is done by manipulating tuning rods.
- Memory Lock
This is a bolt that helps you fix a specific position of your drum. They are most commonly on cymbal stands.
To narrow down your choices, there are three drumheads that fare favorably over the rest. These are Evans EMAD2 Clear Bass, Aquarian Drumheads SKII22 and Evans Heads BD22EMADHW.
The first one has an externally mounted damping system which gives more scope for tonal experimentation. It has a double ply which further improves sound quality and improves durability. The only con we could find was it is a little expensive than rest but is still a good deal because of its many cost benefits.
The second one has an in built muffling system and comes with two plies. It has good durability and is perfect for professionals who use drums excessively.
Finally, the last one also has an externally mounted damping system and therefore gives you a wide tonal range. It has a more deeper tone due to double plies and also has increased durability.