Even the best of drummers will not be able to play the fattest of grooves, the best rhythms, or the craziest fills without skins on his or her magnificent drums. Cliché? Sure, but also an indisputable truth (as clichés always are), which does not require too much cerebration.
Choosing a brand and a specific model is a much bigger problem, though. Obviously, products made by the two biggest drumhead companies are widely available and known to everybody. However, last year’s price revolution has effectively dampened many drummers’ buying enthusiasm (at least in our region of the world). On top of that, more and more drum stores offer skins from the English company called Code, and the Chinese making a leap at western markets is bound to happen rather sooner than later. Plus, there’s Aquarian – the third drumhead manufacturer from the global Big Three (right next to Remo and Evans). Thus, it was only a matter of time before www.beatit.tv started testing the sonic qualities of drumheads from all manufacturers.
The first parcel of this kind has been sent to us by the Music Info company, which is the official Polish Aquarian distributor. This means we inaugurate our series of drumhead tests with that very brand. The next model to be presented is the Aquarian Response 2 Texture Coated.
Aquarian Response 2 Texture Coated Drumhead Test
Aquarian Response 2 Texture Coated is a series of white, double ply heads. The distributor has sent us a set of skins in the following sizes: 12″, 13″, 16″ plus a 14″ Aquarian Texture Coated to be used on a snare. As we didn’t have a 13-inch tom at our disposal, the test features the 12″ and 16″ heads.
1. The test
The drum kit we put the heads on was a MES Midas Studio (birch/maple shells), a Natal Arcadia Steel 14″x8″ snare, as well as Aquarian Classic Clears as resonance skins. The toms and the snare drum were tuned with the help of the Tune Bot device, and in the following fashion:
- 12″ tom – high tuning, pitch F (batter head – 328 Hz, resonant head – 275 Hz )
- 16″ tom 16″ – high tuning, pitch F (batter head – 164 Hz, resonant head – 138 Hz)
- 14″ snare – high tuning, pitch A (batter head – 319 Hz, resonant head – 398 Hz)
- 12″ tom – medium tuning, pitch D (batter head – 275 Hz, resonant head – 232 Hz)
- 16″ tom 16″ – medium tuning, pitch D (batter head – 138 Hz, resonant head – 116 Hz)
- 14″ snare – medium tuning, pitch G (batter head – 266 Hz, resonant head – 398 Hz)
- 12″ tom – low tuning, pitch B (batter head – 232 Hz, resonant head – 195 Hz)
- 16″ tom 16″ – low tuning, pitch B (resonant head – 116 Hz, resonant head – 97 Hz)
- 14″ snare – low tuning, pitch E (batter head – 229 Hz, resonant head – 343 Hz).
The microphones used to perform the test:
- Overheads: Proel DMH3 (2 pcs)
- ROLAND R-26 recording device mics (4 pcs)
2. Basic specification of the Aquarian drumheads tested by us:
- Series: Response 2 Texture Coated
- Plies: 2
- Thickness: 14 mil (7 mil + 7 mil)
- Colour: White
- Character: Full, deep, great attack
- Aquarian’s Vacuum Process™ technology
- Application: Toms
- Size: 6″ through 26″.
3. The sound
Aquarian Response 2 Texture Coated is a classic, rather thick, double ply, coated head with a full sound, strong attack and a lot of “muscle”. Every rocker and metal head ought to be satisfied by it. One should remember that this skin requires a dose of strong hitting due to its thickness. In other words, in order to get the most out of its tonal capacity, it needs to be “punished” just a bit. That does not mean it’s impossible to do some gentle “sound-painting” on it, especially when tuned higher. It will respond in a lively manner. It’s just that we liked it in low tuning a little bit more, which is merely a matter of preference. No matter which tuning, the skin has quite a great deal of stick definition, which makes it sound good when playing fast rhythmic figures and fills, although this requires precision from the drummer.
The producer advertises its white texture coating as very durable. However, we were unable to verify that within a few minutes of playing. The patented Aquarian’s Vacuum Process™ technology has been utilized in the manufacturing proces of Aquarian Response 2 heads. This is to eliminate air bubbles
and wrinkles between the two plies. Obviously, we didn’t see such defects in a product of this class from such a renowned company. The Aquarian Response 2 Texture Coated is a great drum head, especially for the hard-hitting drummer, not necessarily playing heavy music, though.
Distributor in Poland: http://www.musicinfo.pl/
- Very well crafted
- Strong attack in all tunings
Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put Aquarian Response 2 Texture Coated heads to the most important test of all, i. e. the www.beatit.tv viewers’ test! Let your ears decide!Share