Drummers Only has a cracking Remo drum tuning work shop coming on the 18th of February with our good pal and drum tuning guru Jeff Davenport. In light of this I though I’d take your through some of Remo’s head selection and in particular what would work for various things on the snare drum. Cause the snare drum is like our best friend and should be treated well at all times.
This is not someone who represents a country at international events, but rather the thinnest of Remo’s batter head lines. The head is constructed of a single 7.5 mil film – giving you bright open tones, maximum resonance and sustain. For my money, if you’re playing light jazz or ceilidh when you’re not digging in at all, this is the perfect head for you. Metallica tribute act? Not so much.
Ah the Ambassador. Probably the most sought after drum head in the world. So much so in fact that Remo have separate production line just for 14″ Coated Ambassadors.
The head is a 10 mil single ply producing warm, open tones with perfectly controlled sustain. The head can be used for many applications, from Rock, Pop, Funk Jazz, Latin and is perhaps the most sold head in Drummers Only.
This is a similar thickness to the Ambassador however it’s construction is actually two ply. It’s a combination of 7.5 mil and 3 mil Coated films making it 10.5 mil. This still maintains all the sought after goodness of an Ambassador however is more durable and gives you slightly more snare beef.
Around 20% thicker than the Ambassador, the Ambassador X features a 12mil single ply head – this helps to pull out the mid range tones of the drum and is now leaning closer towards 2 play which will give you more durability of slightly higher volume settings.
The Controlled Sound head is akin to the Ambassador in that it’s a single ply 10 mil head, but with the addition of a 5 mil dot underneath the centre of the head. This has a two fold benefit – it’s a single ply on the outside providing to sensitivity and tone, while the centre dot offers enhanced durability and helps control the overtones that are present in some brighter drums. This is a perfect head for guys who are hitting that little bit harder but still want a greater dynamic range from their drums.
The emperor, if you will, of 2 ply heads. Constructed using two 7 mil plies, the Emperor gives you warm, open tones, with increased durability and projection for higher volume settings.
A beefed up Emperor head – featuring 2 x 7.5 mil plies as opposed to 2 x 7 mil plies, you can expect more durability from this head and more mid and low tones coming from your drum. This is effectively a re-issue of the original Emperor that Remo used to make in the 70s to accommodate heavier players.
Ooft. This one is for the hard hitters! Built using 2 plies of 10 mil films PLUS a 5 mil black dot – makes this head basically 2.5 Ambassadors. It’s extremely durable. Don’t expect too much in the way high tones from this head – it’s all mid and bottom and POWER! Taylor Hawkins head of choice and comes on his Signature Gretsch snare.
This is basically an Emperor with an overtone control stripe place between the two plies. The head construction is exactly the same with similar attributes to the sound produced. A big hit in the 80s due to the overtone control, my experience of these heads is that they sound magic on metal shelled snare drums!
A single ply 10 mil head with a 3 mil inlay ring – this is basically a dampened Ambassador. What will that give you? Well it gives you the sensitivity of the Ambassador but eliminates the need for moon gel by due to the inlay controlling overtones. A nice alternative to the Controlled Sound.
Remo also make a version with a Black dot which has a 10 mil edge inlay and a 5 mil Black Dot which really dries out the head but keeps it a single ply. Focussed tone and bags of mid range.
Powerstroke P3 X
A single ply champ – basically a single ply Emperor. 14 mil single ply with a 2 mil inlay ring, controlling both overtones and volume. Somewhere between and Emperor X and a regular Powerstroke. Tuned low = PHAT.
Double ply controlled goodness. The double ply version of the Powerstroke 3. 2 x 7 mil plies with a 3 mil inlay. Extra Phatness when tuned down and more projection that’s its wee brother. Pitched as Remo’s warmest of the two ply family.
So there you have it. The plethora of cracking snare heads available from Remo has never been better. There is a sound that will suit all but please don’t just take our word for it – come in and see Jeff, ask him question, bring your drums for him to tune, the whole nine yards. You won’t regret it.