New super-durable, easy-to-tune heads
Words: John Griffin Images: Thru-A-Lupe Photographic
Unleashed at the Winter NAMM Show, these heavyweight kick and snare head batters are billed as the most durable Evans drum heads yet. I couldn’t wait to get started with my array of kick drums and snares lined up and raring to go.
For review we had 13” and 14” Heavyweight snare batters and 18”, 20” 22” and 24” Heavyweight Externally Mounted Adjustable Dampening (EMAD) kick drum batters. All but the 24” featured the new Evans Level 360 Technology (more on this later). All heads consisted of two 10 mm-plies of film, with the addition of a 3mm centered reverse dot on the snare heads. That’s a whopping 20 and 23mm ply respectively – pretty darn thick!
Beginning with the snares, I fitted the 13” to a 6” deep wood drum and the 14” to a 5” deep metal drum. Firstly, I noticed how the heads sat perfectly flat against the bearing edges with absolute 100 per cent contact. This is a result of the Level 360 Technology I referred to earlier – according to Evans this ensures a better fit, easier tuning, and a wider tonal range. The 13” sounded really good in no time. Cranked right up, the drum is responsive, lively, and warm sounding. However, I did not find that the case with the 14”, which took quite a while to get a desired sound out of the drum. Tuned up, the drum became easily choked and tuned too low, it lost the sensitivity a snare should have. Eventually I managed to find a happy medium I was pleased with.
Moving on to the EMAD kick drum heads. The EMAD technology has been around for some time, featuring an outer sleeve in which you insert one of two foam-dampening rings of differing widths, depending on your preference. On first inspection, all the heads were well engineered and noticeably dead to the touch, as you would expect from 20mm of ply.
I put each drum to the test with ported and un-ported front heads. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised on how well they performed under both combinations, especially the 24”. The 18” gave less pleasing results, though this was probably was to be expected on a drum that’s more suited to jazz at higher tensions. The 22” and 20” stepped up to the mark admirably. Being so thick, I was concerned there would be no feel or much projection out front, but I got a really deep bottom end punch with plenty of attack from all but the 18”.
I found that tuning each drum one key turn above the wrinkles produced the optimum tensioning. The beater had a solid, responsive feel when striking the head. There was no need for any additional internal dampening for live playing, though in the studio this may be different, with a little experimenting required.
Evans has come up with a fantastic addition to their range of kick drum and snare heads here, incorporating the new Level 360 Technology, which is brilliant.
Being heavyweight, they may not appeal to everyone’s tastes but I would recommend checking them out. One thing is for sure – they are going to be durable, which should be a bonus for the hard hitters.
Evans EMAD Heavyweight Heads
Kick drum heads from 18”-26” – £45-£57
Snare drum heads from 12”-14” – £18.49-£20
D’Addario UK Ltd
0191 300 3000