gear

New Gear 2009: Drumheads

By DRUM! Staff Originally published in DRUM! Magazine's 2009 Trade Show New Products Report

The DRUM! crew hit the 2009 NAMM trade show with a full complement of photographers, video gear and extra freelance writers designed to help us cover every single new product our readers might see in the coming year. At the end of it all, we had amassed specs and info on more than 450 products. Here's our Drum Heads report. Look for related stories on drum sets, hand drums, sticks, hardware, accessories, electronics...well, you get the idea.

Ahead

Available in both black and white, Ahead’s pre-ported bass drum resonant heads feature a 5" hole reinforced with grommet (no more Mylar cuts — yay!). There are six hole configurations available in Ebony Remo head/chrome ring or Smooth White Remo/black ring ($31.25–$73.55).

Aquarian

Although they came out last November, the Aquarian Hi-Velocity heads’ official debut was at Winter NAMM 2009. The Hi-Velocity features two plies of 7mil film, reverse Power-Thin dot, and Z-100 texture coating. 14" head ($31.07), 13" head ($30.08).

DrumART

DrumART offers colorful solutions for anyone wanting to make a statement with their bass drumheads. The MetalHEADS line features mirror chromes, diamond plates, sparkles, holographics, and other trippy finishes ($74.95). HybridHEADS combine the custom designs of the company’s standard heads with the materials of MetalHEADS for a whole new look ($119.95). DecoHEADS are a new line of pre-designed heads that are purchased direct ($74.95, add $30 more to include your band’s name). The company is now addressing shells themselves with WrapART, custom drum shell wraps with the same digital printing technology and/or advanced materials as CustomKICKERS and MetalHEADS in stock or custom designs ($29.95–$39.95). Includes choice of Aquarian drumhead.

Remo

Except for the line snaking around the booth for the Derek Roddy and Paul Bostaph autograph session, Remo’s surprises were small but significant. Most intriguing was the Black Suede snare-side head of 4mil thickness in 13" and 14" sizes, a novel idea for any reso head, snare or otherwise.

Another unconventional batter head, the new Skyntone has an opaque calfskin look that the company says evokes a slightly subdued gut-snare sound. Available in 13" and 14" sizes.

On the hand drum front, Remo is now offering four new sizes of the Skyndeep dumbek head to fit the native drums of Egypt and Turkey. It took some unusual trickery to make it work, with the new models launching in the unusual sizes of 8", 8.625", 8.75", and 9". We also dug the fish skin appearance.

Quad players have greater selection now with Remo’s Crimplock Black Suede marching tenor heads in even sizes from 6" to 14", and are reinforced with two plies of specially treated 7mil film. The Black Suede Powermax marching bass drumheads combine Remo’s wicked jet-black Ebony film with a free-floating internal muffling ring. Available in even sizes from 14" to 32".

Evans

This year, Evans chose to refine rather than reinvent. The black Onyx series has been beefed up to two plies of 7.5mil film with a micro-clear coating offering a matte black appearance. Available in sizes 6"–20" ($28-$60). There is also an Onyx series front bass drumhead using EQ3 Reso construction. This 7.5mil single-ply head features an internal control ring, a 5" offset microphone port, and is available in even sizes from 18"–26".

The GMAD, a hybrid of EMAD damping system and G Plus thickness, has bulked up to 12mil film in even sizes from 18"–24" ($79-$94). It’s low-end power and single-ply bounce all in one.

EC1 line tweaks include an added Reverse Dot head in 13" ($38) and 14" ($39) sizes.

The all-new Corps Clear Tenor line sports a 2-ply design with a 6.5mil top ply and 10mil bottom ply, a thickness increase beyond the standard 14–15mil to withstand the most technical tattoo.

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