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Guide to Drumheads: Single-ply, Double-Ply, Coated or Clear?

Gone are the days when drummers depended on authentic animal hide for their drum skins. Nowadays, drumheads are commonly made of mylar plastic, providing cost efficiency, better durability, and improved tuning stability. Given the array of modern drumheads on the market, understanding their pivotal role in defining drum sound is crucial. This article will shed some light on the fundamental characteristics of the most popular options.

Millenium Admiral Clear Drumheads

Single-Ply Heads: Great Allrounders 

Single-ply heads, such as those in our Admiral line, are the most commonly used drumheads. Made from a single layer of mylar, they suit various musical styles. Due to their low mass, single-plys produce an open sound with distinct overtones, making them perfect for snare drums and ideal for resonant toms and natural kick sounds.

Single-ply heads typically range from 7 to 12 mils in thickness, with one mil equal to one thousandth of an inch. Our Admiral line drumheads are 10 mils (0,25mm) thick, aligning with industry standards. 

Single-plys are also the top choice for resonant heads. However, it’s worth noting that there are special variants designed for snares, which are significantly thinner. For example, our Admiral Snare Resonant Head is only 3 mils thick, ensuring precise responsiveness for snare wires.

Millenium Eminence Drumheads

Double-Ply Heads: For Heavier Styles 

For those seeking a fuller sound with pronounced attack, shorter sustain, and controlled overtones, double-ply heads are the go-to option. Their increased mass and the friction between the two layers contribute to heightened dampening, making them ideal for louder and heavier musical styles. If you are going for a fat kick sound, a dry snare and punchy toms, double-ply heads are your best choice. 

The double-ply heads from our Eminence line combine two layers of mylar with a thickness of 7.4 mil (0.188 mm) each – slightly thicker than standard options, resulting in a more robust sound. Additionally, double-plys inherently offer superior durability compared to their single-ply counterparts.

Coated or Clear?

Coated and clear variations are standard across drumheads, including our Admiral and Eminence lines of single-ply and double-ply heads. Clear heads provide a snappier, brighter tone, while coated heads add more warmth to the sound. It’s worth noting that snare drums usually feature coated heads, partly because they allow brush playing techniques.

Millenium Drumheads Admiral Coated and Clear Variations

Additional Dampening

Certain drumheads offer extra dampening features, such as a dot at the center or a dampening ring around the edge. As an alternative to such special cases, drumheads can be dampened manually. Sometimes a small piece of tape will be enough. Accessories like our Millenium Sound Control Rings or Gel Damper Pads will help in fine-tuning your sound.

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Grab the Eminence family here!

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