Monday, September 21, 2020

Attack Drumheads

As I mentioned when the global pandemic first started, I spent the extra time while not working to re-evaluate aspects of my sound. One thing I wanted to look at was my selection of drumheads. I have used both Evans and Remo in the past (as well as the great things Canadian company Bovid was doing with animal skins, although i soon realized they were too expensive and also not quite versatile enough for my needs). I did, however, want to give Attack heads a go. I almost started endorsing them in 2007, then the economic downturn hit, and we never really regained the momentum we had earlier. Attack is now under new ownership and, with the incentive of some very reasonable pricing from Canadian Attack rep Tim Harquail, it was time for me to check it out!
Because economics are still a factor, I wasn't able to outfit all my drums but hope to do so once I'm working more again. I did change all the top heads on the Yamaha drums I've been playing since high school.  This kit is generally my workhorse. It consists of 12" & 16" toms, a 20" bass drum, and is usually paired with a 6" deep Tama Artstar snare. I also changed both heads on a 5" '59 Leedy drum I recently had some work done on.
The heads I decided on were the the Royal 1 series, and comparable to Ambassadors in weight. Wow! On the snare and toms they articulated very well, with a nice combination of brightness and warmth. They really sing, and I can't wait to get them on all the bottom heads too! I opted for new batter and front heads for the bass drum. I have always struggled getting the bass drum sound I want, which is halfway between wide open and a thump that doesn't have a discernible tone. For a long time on my 20" drum I used a combo of thicker batter heads and a plain coated head with 2 felt strips between the skin and the shell of the front of the bass drum. It worked but they were a serious drag to deal with! With Attack, I tried a combo of a no overtone coated and clear head. The placement of the clear head on the batter and the coated on the front worked great, with not too much ring but lots of warmth and tone, and NO MORE FELT STRIPS! Hallelujah!!!!
Finally, the combo of the of coated Royal 1 and the clear super thin snare bottom head brought life to the Leedy drum that I didn't realize it had. It helps the drum retain it's vintage qualities while still delivering enough high-end to cut nicely. The coating seems to last quite well too!
I feel I should reiterate that I bought all the heads I tried, and whether I work with Attack in an official capacity or not, I think they'll be Attack heads on all my drums for a long time from now! :) 

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