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 Super-2 Clear.
Aquarian Super-2 Clear Drumhead Test
Aquarian Super-2 Clear is a series of see-through, double ply drumheads. The distributor has sent us a set of skins in the following sizes: 10″, 12″, 14″ plus and additional 14″ Aquarian Texture Coated to put on the snare, which comes with the pack.
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:
- 10″ tom – high tuning, pitch D# (batter head – 292 Hz, resonant head – 245 Hz )
- 12″ tom – high tuning, pitch C (batter head – 245 Hz, resonant head – 206 Hz)
- 14″ tom – high tuning, pitch G# (batter head – 195 Hz, resonant head – 164 Hz)
- 14″ snare – high tuning, pitch A (batter head – 319 Hz, resonant head – 398 Hz)
- 10″ tom – medium tuning, pitch C (batter head – 245 Hz, resonant head – 206 Hz)
- 12″ tom – medium tuning, pitch A (batter head – 206 Hz, resonant head – 173 Hz)
- 14″ tom – medium tuning, pitch F (batter head – 164 Hz, resonant head – 138 Hz)
- 14″ snare – medium tuning, pitch G (batter head – 266 Hz, resonant head – 398 Hz)
- 10″ tom – low tuning, pitch A (batter head – 206 Hz, resonant head – 173 Hz)
- 12″ tom – low tuning, pitch F# (batter head – 173 Hz, resonant head – 146 Hz)
- 14″ tom – low tuning, pitch D (batter head – 138 Hz, resonant head – 116 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: Super-2
- Plies: 2
- Thickness: 12 mil (7 mil + 5 mil)
- Colour: Clear
- Character: depth, lots of bottom end, precise attack
- Safe-T-Lock hoop
- Sound Curve collar
- Application: Toms
- Size: 6″ through 18″.
3. The sound
Aquarian Super-2 Clear is a thinner version of a 2-ply head (one of the plies is thinner than the other), which makes it very universal, as it can be treated both as a slightly thicker single ply skin, as well as a thinner double ply (which it is in fact). In the first case, it will easily be applied in such genres as pop, jazz, latino, fusion, or classic rock, while with the other option (and proper tuning) applied, the head can successfully be used in rock, blues, indie, etc. The Super-2 Clear has a very warm sound and significant projection, regardless of how high the tuning is. Since it should be described as more dark-sounding than not, some may feel it lacks the highest overtones when tuned high. Let’s not forget it is not a single ply, though. The lower the tuning, the more “muscle” and attack it gets (although the latter is not scarce in higher tuning either).
The Aquarian Super-2 series features some of the new technologies patented by the manufacturer. The Safe-T-Lock hoop prevents the head from slipping on bearing edges and the Sound Curve collar design provides easy and comfortable tuning, which Aquarian refer to as “Responsive Tuning”, which means the skin is supposed to react to the slightest turn of the drum key. The latter feature is no empty boost. A peace of good work, this head…
Distributor in Poland: http://www.musicinfo.pl/
Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put Aquarian Super-2 Clear heads to the ultimate test. Let the ears of www.beatit.tv viewers decide!Share