Product Review: Remo Vintage Emperor Drumheads

I have long been a fan of Remo drumheads and I'm sure they were the first heads I ever bought with my own money and the first I ever played on.  I have certainly tried other brands, some of these I actually like.  But after all these years of playing drums, I still find myself buying the heads that give me a consistent, reliable and pleasing tone.  Remo drumheads fit that bill.

I had previously played Remo coated Ambassador heads and then  the coated Emperor heads until Remo brought back the original Emperor head.  The original is a slightly thicker model made up of 2, 7.5 mil polyester sheets.  I don't really remember the original head as they had phased out the original model and brought in the newer, thinner model.  I was a little skeptical at first but took a chance and I am glad I did!   These heads sound fantastic in just about any setting and on any drum.  I have used these on new drums (Ludwig, Yamaha) and vintage drums as well (Slingerland, Ludwig).  The heads sounded livelier than I expected yet full and warm at the same time. Tuned down low with a little dampening, these heads were thick and heavy  sounding with some growl.  Sound men  are always astounded at the amount of low end I get with my floor toms.  Tuned higher on smaller drums they still retain a certain warmth but with the bouncier more lively feel of an Ambassador.  These heads would work great for the jazz player who like his drums tuned high but with some warm and body.

The snare drum is certainly the most important drum to most drummers so I was amazed at how much I loved this head on my snare.  I've used these heads on metal drums, wood drums, solid wood drums, deep drums and thin drums.  Every one of them sounded better with this head on. 

The descriptive words almost sound contradictory but the heads sounded crisp and sensitive yet fat and warm.  I tend to favor a medium tuning (not to high or low) and the heads really shine here. It doesn't matter if I'm in the studio or playing live, these heads always make me sound better.  On top of all of this, the heads are extremely durable. I will literally go for months without changing heads because they still sound so good.  I have even bought new heads figuring it had to be time to change out the old ones only to find that the old ones still sounded great.  I'm no heavy metal drummer but I hit fairly hard and am generally hard on my gear so I have been very impressed by these heads durability.

I have not tried the clear versions of the Vintage Emperor but I'm sure they sound just as good but with a little more attack.

I highly recommend these heads to any drummer playing any music and I think you will agree, these are excellent drum heads for any style.

Leave a comment