Looking For That Specific Rock Sound
So, you’re jamming out and looking for the best snare drum head for rock? I’ve been there and can tell you the choices are plenty!
Your Choices For A New Head Are Many!
The best snare drum head for rock are the following 8 based on ratings, reviews, and personal experience:
- Remo Ambassador Coated
- Evans G2 Coated
- Remo Emperor Coated
- Aquarian Triple Threat
- Evans EC Reverse Dot
- Aquarian Texture Coated
- Remo Controlled Sound Black Dot
- Remo Pinstripe Coated
Which One Is Right?
Rock is a style of music where new heads are inevitable and your best choice can be varying. Let’s get into which snare head fits your needs.
The Best Snare Drum Head For Rock Explained!
1. Remo Ambassador Coated
Remo makes some of the best drum heads out of all the different brands out there in my opinion.
They’ve been around since 1957 and pioneered the use of Mylar (synthetic polyester film) for drumheads. Doubly ply heads and clear heads were a couple more innovations under Remo’s belt.
This head is considered an industry standard and are made from a single layer of 10-mil Mylar that’s been treated so the attack is warmer, which really pairs nicely with its open resonance and full sound perfectly.
The tone is bright and there is incredible sustain which is perfect for all musical styles, especially rock music!
Drummers have said this head gives them the sound they love and it lasts forever. They have also said it’s a versatile head, with a wide open sounds and it gives you a blank canvas to work with in terms of crafting your own specific sound.
Some complaints drummers have are of the coating coming off easier than it used to back in the day.
Also, some drummers who are heavy hitters are complaining about dents in their heads. They are referring to using this head for their toms.
I’ve never had that issue with these. I have personally been playing with the Remo Coated Ambassador as my snare batter head since I started drumming over 20 years ago.
Also, some of the best snare drums I’ve played (that weren’t mine), had this snare head.
I’ve switched between different lines within Remo and even outside of Remo, but I always come back to this one.
It just has enough of what I need and the sound is pliable as other drummers have mentioned. Too many overtones?
Throw some muffling on there and you’re good! Check out my post about tons of different dampening devices to help decide. Rock drummers, this is the best snare drum head for rock in my opinion, and totally recommended!
- Versatile head with resonance and warm attack
- Bright tone that’s perfect for rock
- Blank canvas to craft the specific sound you want
- Coating coming off easier these days
2. Evans G2 Coated
Evans is always a great option for your drum kit as well. Evans has been around since Remo’s start (a year before I believe) and are also coined as pioneering the synthetic drum head.
The Evans G2 coated drumhead is a two-ply head with 7 mil film each. It really gives a great blend of depth, sustain, and attack, all while being durable and consistent!
This 2-ply head is another great option for various styles of music, with the low ring and full frequency being said to imitate the famous Bonham tone.
Often marketed for use as tom heads, you can expect the same warmth and focus using these on your snare.
Drummers have said this head has epic punch and crack. It is also durable and has great response.
There have been complaints of lack of attack with this head and also a lack of bounce when playing it.
I have played the Evans G2 coated in the past and have always enjoyed the overtone control and that ‘fat’ sound that is natural with this one. This is definitely one of the best drumheads you could get.
- Epic punch and crack!
- Great response and durable
- Potential lack of bounce issue
3. Remo Emperor Coated
The Remo Emperor is another coated head that has been one of the popular choices for drummers for decades.
This high-quality snare drum head is made with two free-floating plies of 7-mil Mylar and it gives it a solid body, bright attack and lasting durability.
If you want a head that will last and still keep a great sound, this is it. It’s brightness and balanced sustain make it perfect for rock music, as well as many other styles of drumming.
Out of all Remo’s synthetic drumheads, this one is the most durable. Drummers have said this head gives your snare a true articulate sound with ghost notes being enhanced.
It also has a warm tone with punchiness. Some complaints have been about some unwanted overtones as well as an unpleasant overall tone from their snare drum.
I have used the Emperor several times on my snare drum over the years and can say I’ve never had any issues with the sound!
It’s always been a reliable head, with a punchy attack that has fit perfect with hard rock/metal songs that I’ve played and recorded over the years.
I still use them as my tom heads and I’d highly recommend them in your set-up. John Bonham even used these heads, so he definitely knew what was up as far as the best sound for rock!
- Warm tone with punchiness
- Excellent brightness and balanced sustain
- Potential unwanted overtones
4. Aquarian Triple Threat
Of course I have to mention Aquarian is a list of the best snare drum head for rock. Whether you like a dry full snare tone or are a heavy hitter, this multi-ply head is for you.
The Triple Thread is made up of three plies of Aquarian Nu-Brite film for an ultimate response that feels like what you’d get from single ply heads.
It kills just enough overtones to make it perfect for rock and metal players who want a tone similar to how triggers sound.
Perfect for close-miking, it has the right amount of attack and a dynamic range that will sit nicely in a mix with little to EQ out.
Drummers have said this head has a fat loud sound and is extremely durable. It also cuts through the mix and is powerful. A complaint I’ve heard is of the snare head separating from the shell rim.
I’ve used some of Aquarian’s products, including their texture coated single-ply heads as my batter and some of their other clear drum heads (snare side head and tom) as my resonant head.
I have always loved how friendly they are to the mix. They’ve always given me that beefy sound as well. I believe these are some of the best heads you can get.
- Built for close-miking and sits well in the mix
- Great dynamic range and attack
- Potential for snare head to separate from the snare shell rim
5. Evans EC Reverse Dot
We’re bringing it back to another Evans head and the first thing you’ll notice is the cool looking dampening rings/circle within the head.
This head delivers a more controlled sound with great resonance and sensitivity at every tuning and dynamic range.
You can rest assured knowing it will suit rock music just fine. It features a double ply with a 7mil film externally and a 10mil film internally and Evans Edge control technology.
This will help eliminate muddy midrange frequencies, while not touching those deep lows and crisp highs that are vital.
It also helps accentuate the attack! Drummers have said this head gives a great crack to their snare and that it enhances the tonal beefy-ness! It is also has a deep punchy sound.
Some complaints have been that it kills too much of the natural snare’s tone, gives off a different sound, and that the center dot can tear and get in the way while playing.
I’ve played one of these on different kits over the years and liked how durable it was. It also fit the music just right, but this may not be a head you use for a lot of music styles. For rock, it works fine.
- Great crack and tonal beefy-ness!
- Deep punchy sound
- Potential for center dot to tear and get in the way
6. Aquarian Texture Coated
I have to bring this one into the mix because I mentioned it earlier. This is a single-ply coated head including Aquarian’s 10-mil NuBrite film. It’s fast, full, very responsive, and great for every shell on your drum set.
It is bright and cracks like a whip, so very fitting for rock music! It features a sound curve collar that allows the bearing edges of your shell to rest in the head’s ‘sweet spot’.
The Safe-T-Loc hoop on these heads also resists slipping and detuning, so you can smash it for long periods of time.
Drummers have said this head has great warmth and an excellent tuning range. It always has just enough bite and is sensitive and open.
Some complains have been about the lack of durability and the coating flying off after playing for a few weeks.
I’ve played with these both for top and bottom head configurations (clear for bottom heads) and always liked the punchy sound I could get.
This could honestly be the best snare drum head for rock too! I’ve used a few different sizes for my toms as well and really liked that thundering tom sound.
- Bright and cracks like a whip
- Great warmth and tuning range
- Potential for coating to fly off
7. Remo Controlled Sound Black Dot
Remo is a reoccurring theme both in this post and with the thousands of drummers who have used them and continue to.
The Remo Controlled Sound Black Dot clear head is no exception. This head was launched in 1968 and it delivers a midrange tone, with sensitivity and just enough sustain that will give your drums that punch you need for rock.
It is basically a single-ply Ambassador-weight head with a 5-mil black dot in the center.
The dot gives great durability and sweet tonal focus. Drummers like Jason Bonham, Mike Portnoy, and Steve Smith love this head.
Drummers have talked about the bright attack this head gives and how it has a nice round tone, all while cutting through the mix when you need to.
Some complaints have been about the lack of durability on Octabons and the lack of overtones.
I’ve played on this head before and have also heard it live at shows. I think it gives a nice crack and seems to hold up alright. There is a reason this is one of the most popular snare drum heads.
- Bright attack
- Nice round tone
- Potential lack fo overtones on smaller drums
8. Remo Pinstripe Coated
Remo Pinstripes are another great choice for your snare drum head. If you are looking for that fat sound that rock requires, look no further.
This coated head features 2-plies of Mylar with a pinstripe circle on the outer edge, which gives your drum a warmer sound by dampening those annoying high-frequency overtones.
You also get moderate response and attack characteristics due to the natural low-pitch of the head, so another win for rock music.
Drummers have said they enjoy the warm, fat tone this head offers and also the perfect resonance.
A complaint I’ve heard of is it sounding clunky and ringy after tuning up. I’ve used Remo Pinstripes for years (both coated and clear), although I don’t anymore.
I always liked how little I had to dampen my drum and the snap I could get from my snare. No complaints on my end, but it is still a solid snare drum head for rock!
- Fat, warm sound
- Moderate attack and response
- Potential for ringy, clunky sound if not tuned properly
Most of the time drummers may complain of a head sounding awful because they didn’t tune right. Thankfully, we no longer use animal skin as drumheads, so we can tune our drums easier and keep them in tune with newer synthetic head technology.
The Best Snare Drum Head For Rock Is Many..
So, the best snare drum head for rock is so easy to get with all these great choices. There are so many more too. You really just have to find out what works for you and the type of rock music you play.
You may find that your ears change over time. You will start to like different sounds and it really never stops if you keep exploring. Keep digging into the lovely world of drums and music.
What Is Your Favorite? Let Me Know!
What is your favorite snare drum head? Have you found you gravitate towards one brand more than another? I’d love to hear your thoughts, let me know in the comments below!
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Until next time, stay attuned!