Over the years I’ve run the marathon between coated and clear drumheads. I’ve gone from Pinstripes – to Fiberskins – Emperors to Ambassadors. This of course has been in response to the type of music I was playing at the time.
Lately I’m using a coated REMO Emperor on my snare drum and clear REMO Ambassadors on my toms. I don’t use any kind of muffling other than a small Drumtac on the snare and my drums have a “big band’” booming sound to them.
According the REMO website: The Ambassador® Clear drumhead features an open, bright and resonant sounds with plenty of attack. Constructed with 1-ply 10-mil Clear film, Ambassador® Clear drumheads are used as batter heads and are the industry standard Tom resonant drumheads. (Available in sizes 6″ – 40″.)
The Emperor® Coated drumheads features warm, open tones with increased durability and projection. Constructed with 2-plies of 7-mil coated film, Emperor® Coated drumheads provide a soft feel and subtle attack for studio and live applications. (Available in sizes 6″- 40″.)
I also like the durability of these heads. I’m not what you would consider to be a heavy-handed player but I do have my moments and these heads stand up to any abuse that I dish out. I have yet to break a head. They don’t pit either.
I’ve used other brands such as Evans and the REMO heads seem easier to tune. I was able to change out my entire set in a short amount of time and tune it fairly quickly. (I haven’t used any muffling with these particular heads so I can’t comment on that.)
If you are interested in getting a big sound with durability I highly recommend the clear REMO Ambassador (top left) and the coated REMO Emperor (top right).