I’ve been playing drums for 40 years. Remo has been around for my entire career so far. Growing up, Remo has always been my go-to drum head of choice. Still is but in very limited fashion; specifically, Remo’s Powerstroke 3 heads for bass drums. I love the sound these P-strokes provide, deep and punchy and without that over-inflated hollow basketball sound I get from other bass drum heads.
That said, I’ve had to switch from Remo to other brands when it comes to almost everywhere else on the kit. Why? Quality. Durability. Especially coated snare heads. The decision to not use Remo for my snares is the result of real world experience. I gig almost every weekend and most gigs I’m playing 2 sets for a total of about 2.5 hours of total playing. I recently picked up a new snare from Drum Center of Portsmouth (Ludwig Black Beauty) and thought I’d try the Remo Controlled Reverse Dot Coated snare head. The head came highly recommended for it’s sound on this particular drum shell. I gave it a try.
Yes, the Remo Controlled Reverse Dot Coated head tuned up nice and sounded great. Loved it. So naturally I played it at my next gig. Over the course of playing 2 sets for a total of 2.5 hours of playing, here’s what the Remo head looks like:
I was surprised to see the coating not only get marked up that much but literally break off from the head itself. I’m not that hard of a hitter. I don’t play metal or thrash rock. Inn all fairness, I’m not playing jazz with 7A sticks either. I’m playing either 5A or 5B sticks with wood tips. My drum angles are relatively flat, especially the snare. I know how to hit a drum properly. If I didn’t use proper sticking techniques, I probably wouldn’t be able to play after this many years as I would have injured myself a long time ago.
In other words, I know what I’m doing.
I removed the Remo head and decided to try an Evans UV1. As expected, the Evans head tuned up effortlessly and sounded great. Although I’ll admit, any head sounds great on a 14×6.5 Ludwig Black Beauty hammered shell but the Remo and Evans heads both really bring out all the subtle nuances of this great sounding shell.
Here’s the Evans UV2 coated head after not 1 2.5 hour gig but 3 gigs! Yes, 3 gigs totally more than 7 hours of playing mostly rock music.
A picture is worth a thousand words. As you can see, there’s visually no wear to the coating on the Evans head! This image was not Photoshopped in any way. This is how the head looks after being played over the course of 3 different gigs where we played for an average of 2.5 hours each night.
I’m not here to bash Remo or praise Evans. I’m documenting the real world results of playing 2 different drum heads from 2 different manufacturers. I still love Remo and will continue to use their product, but I’m also starting to use Evans more and more across all of my drums.
It’s worth noting an unfortunate but funny typo on Musician’s Friend’s website in the Remo product description for the Controlled Reverse Dot head:
…Since 1968, the Controlled Sound drumheads have been relied upon by countless professional drummers. This single-play snare head is Ambassador-weight. It features…
I’m sure they meant to say single-ply but for this head, “single-play” was an all-too accurate description in my experience.