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Thread: Evans hydraulic drum heads

  1. #1

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    Default Evans hydraulic drum heads

    I thought I would never come back to these heads since I tried them out in the late '80's and found them too "thuddy" and I certainly didn't think to ever put them on a DW Collector's kit since I was so satisfied with the factory DW/Remo coated/clear stock heads but wow I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the deep tone that came from the standard maple shells. I have to admit, in my opinion, I found the timbre on my DW kit to be on the thin side, (nothing special). The kit I own was made in 2007 and the "standard" shells were the only ones available at that time before the marketing hype John Good created of HVLT (Horizontal Outside + Vertical Low Timbre), VLT (Vertical Low Timbre), X (veneers were cut at a 45-degree angle and cross-laminated in an X pattern), and VLX (Vertical Low Timbre/Diagonal grain) shell technologies.

    I thought perhaps I missed out by having just the "standard" shells but the Evans hydraulic drum heads proved to me that I can still get some deep tones out them without having to shell out (pardon the pun) major bucks for the newer shell configurations. I don't like to dampen anything. I like my toms to "ring" out and I like my kick to have overtones that don't get stifled so I avoid stuffing them with pillows. But the current venue where the Collector's are set is a small room and I have to play with a light touch so I took a chance and swapped the rack toms with the blue hydraulic heads and low and behold, I can finally hear the shells instead of the overtones of just the heads. I was so impressed with the hydraulic heads, I ordered a complete set in blue for the Pearl Exports I use at home; 10", 12", 13", 14", 16" (2x) 22". Anybody out there using hydraulics? What are your thoughts? Thanks!!



    Shell sizes: 8x10" 9x12" 12x14" 18x22"


  2. #2

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    Default Re: Evans hydraulic drum heads

    Rich...............
    I played those batter Hydraulics for years (toms only) on my USA Customs..............loved them..............and they last forever.
    I played the stock "Permatone" heads for a short time before going with the Evans -- big improvement.

    I am currently enjoying tinkering with the options from Aquarian.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  3. #3

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    I used to use a hydraulic batter on my 16"FT to kick drum conversion. Worked pretty well, but I replaced it with a 16" EMAD when they became available. I keep it around for a backup.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Evans hydraulic drum heads

    Used the blue hydraulics a lot in the mid 80's. That "thuddy" sound was the in sound in commercial country at the time. Believe or not, I still have them around so if I wanted that sound again I could put them on. Mostly I'm a coated Ambo guy.

    all the best...

  5. #5

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    Played 'em, hated 'em, don't ever want 'em again.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
    The Almighty Speed King pedal, Speed Cobra, Sonor Single

    http://www.screaminmelinas.com

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Evans hydraulic drum heads

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Rich...............
    I played those batter Hydraulics for years (toms only) on my USA Customs..............loved them..............and they last forever.
    I played the stock "Permatone" heads for a short time before going with the Evans -- big improvement.

    I am currently enjoying tinkering with the options from Aquarian.
    Thanks for you thoughts Ricky! I'm experimenting with the Aquarian Super2 coated batters over Aquarian classic clear resos for the '66 Ludwig kit and I'm really digging the sound. The Super2 heads tame down a lot of the overtones without resorting to any dampening and the Classic clear resos give the toms a nice ring. I thought about swapping out the heads on the Gretsch USA kit to something different but I'm digging the Remo clear Emps over Clear Ambass reso heads.

    3_zpsq0bsqqdw.jpg

    3EF4F963-599E-4AF3-9AB0-E380AAAD3B63_zps3iap5yea.jpg



    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    I used to use a hydraulic batter on my 16"FT to kick drum conversion. Worked pretty well, but I replaced it with a 16" EMAD when they became available. I keep it around for a backup.
    I'm using the EMAD as the batter on the DW kit with the blue hydraulic heads on the toms. I ordered two 22" hydraulic heads and I'm going to use them on the Pearl Exports I play at home. Right now I got the Remo PS3 batter heads with non-ported reso heads and there's still too much ring and the kick drums sound like a marching band bass drum.

    39681FBF-1A64-4F8C-B267-8E8910D446DF_zpsphadbhve.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Used the blue hydraulics a lot in the mid 80's. That "thuddy" sound was the in sound in commercial country at the time. Believe or not, I still have them around so if I wanted that sound again I could put them on. Mostly I'm a coated Ambo guy.

    all the best...
    Thanks kay-gee. I like the Remo coated ambass heads too especially on the Ludwig BB snare drum.

    birdseye6_20_16_zpsu2xwecbc.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    Played 'em, hated 'em, don't ever want 'em again.
    That's what I thought too back in the '80's. Maybe I'm just getting old but the hydraulics have come back into the fold once again.

  7. #7

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    I've never tried them, but I do love to try new things. I wonder how they'd sound on my Silverstar Birch kit. Might be worth giving them a go on my next head replacement.

    Tex

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Evans hydraulic drum heads

    I used them on an old Tama Rockstar kit and really enjoyed them. They have nice tone if they're tuned up a bit. A lot of people try so hard to get a deep tone they get them too loose and just get the toneless thud we hear people complaining about.

  9. #9

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    I think they'd be a good match for the old Export "power toms"....and the style of music you're playing. Also, you mic your drums, so what you hear from the throne is what you get. I noticed on audience view recordings of our band, clear 2ply heads seem to project the best and still have a full tone. I actually prefer the sound of coated Ambassadors, but in a live, unmic'd setting, they just don't seem to have the cut and full body tone of clear Emperors or G2's...or even Pinstripes.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  10. #10

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    I did a gig where the backline kit had a set of the clear ones . It was a Gretsch Catalina Maple kit . Sadly it sounded like cardboard boxes with reverb.
    A friend of mine put a set on his Pearl Masters Maple . He called me up and insisted I go hear them at his gig . They lost that crispness and attack that I loved from his kit . He's a heavy hitter and they mic everything and have their own sound man . I just don't like them . He bought a set for me , 10,12,13,16 to put on my Ludwigs but....they sit in their boxes . I already have the sound I want from my Ludwigs . I keep taking them back to him but he insists that I keep them , he's thinking someday I will mount them on the kit and like them . Sorry Arti...
    But that's just my opinion . And your situation and needs are different than mine . You like them so ...yea . Keep rocking !

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    I've never tried them, but I do love to try new things. I wonder how they'd sound on my Silverstar Birch kit. Might be worth giving them a go on my next head replacement.

    Tex
    Randy, I just got done swapping out the Pinstripe batters to the blue hydraulics on the Pearl birch kit and the "jury" is still out. The attack that we typically get playing birch vs, maple is gone and I'm going through different tuning ranges in order to get that attack back but it could be a futile effort. The tighter I tune the hydraulics heads, the less I hear the shell. When I loosened them up, the opposite occurred and the toms sounded thuddy. The DW Collector's are 100% maple, the Pearl kit has luan outer plies and one ply of birch for the inner ply. It could be the fundamental limitations of the material itself but I'm struggling to make the Pearl luan/birch shells sound "good" which is so subjected.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-man View Post
    I used them on an old Tama Rockstar kit and really enjoyed them. They have nice tone if they're tuned up a bit. A lot of people try so hard to get a deep tone they get them too loose and just get the toneless thud we hear people complaining about.
    I'll try tuning the Pearl kit a bit higher than I had them when the Pinstripes were on and see what happens...Thanks G-man!

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    I think they'd be a good match for the old Export "power toms"....and the style of music you're playing. Also, you mic your drums, so what you hear from the throne is what you get. I noticed on audience view recordings of our band, clear 2ply heads seem to project the best and still have a full tone. I actually prefer the sound of coated Ambassadors, but in a live, unmic'd setting, they just don't seem to have the cut and full body tone of clear Emperors or G2's...or even Pinstripes.
    Thanks for the input Brian. The hydraulic heads came in on Monday and I did a swap on all of the batters but I've yet to achieve any success on getting any decent sound out of the heads on the Pearl Exports. Fortunately for me, all of the hydraulic heads were deeply discounted from the online retailer so I'm not going to be out too much $$ if I decide I ditch these heads.

    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    I did a gig where the backline kit had a set of the clear ones . It was a Gretsch Catalina Maple kit . Sadly it sounded like cardboard boxes with reverb.
    A friend of mine put a set on his Pearl Masters Maple . He called me up and insisted I go hear them at his gig . They lost that crispness and attack that I loved from his kit . He's a heavy hitter and they mic everything and have their own sound man . I just don't like them . He bought a set for me , 10,12,13,16 to put on my Ludwigs but....they sit in their boxes . I already have the sound I want from my Ludwigs . I keep taking them back to him but he insists that I keep them , he's thinking someday I will mount them on the kit and like them . Sorry Arti...
    But that's just my opinion . And your situation and needs are different than mine . You like them so ...yea . Keep rocking !
    Thanks Rudy!
    Last edited by late8; 03-16-2017 at 12:59 PM.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Evans hydraulic drum heads

    I'm playing these currently for the 1st time. I love how they sound on the toms and they really do last forever. The guy at the store said he even used them on his snare so I decided to give it a try. It sounded terrible, like shushing someone with cotton balls in your mouth. But I'd definitely recommend them for your toms!

  13. #13

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    No tone; dead thud? These are your heads.

    Acoustic & Electronic:
    Tama Superstar Hyper-Drive (Birch)
    Premier Artist Maple (with Birch Snare) - yellow/fusion.
    Ludwig Acrolite (1976)
    Roland TD-1KV

    Paiste Signature:
    10" Splash
    14" Dark Crisp Hi-Hats
    14" Sound Edge Hi-Hats
    16", 17", 18", 20" Full Crash

    Paiste Formula 602:
    22" Formula 602 Modern Essentials Ride

    Paiste 2oo2:
    22" Ride

    Paiste Sound Formula:
    20" Full Ride (Frankenstein)

    Paiste Twenty:
    16" China


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    I'm playing these currently for the 1st time. I love how they sound on the toms and they really do last forever. The guy at the store said he even used them on his snare so I decided to give it a try. It sounded terrible, like shushing someone with cotton balls in your mouth. But I'd definitely recommend them for your toms!
    Thanks Ramona! I really like how the hydraulics sound with the DW maple shells. DW does a great job of marketing their products and hand out endorsements like no other company and it's worked to their advantage so I'm convinced that it's the heads and tuning that plays the leading role as far as making drums sound good. I'm going to try the hydraulics on the kick batter for my double bass set up. 16x22" kicks with non-ported resos. I've never tried these heads on a kick drum so I'm kind of excited to try them. Thanks for the heads up as far as putting them on the snare drum. If you had not mentioned it, I probably would of tried it too! Thanks for saving me the trouble and $.
    Quote Originally Posted by EyePea View Post
    No tone; dead thud? These are your heads.
    Not quite ready to throw the hydraulics under the "no tone dead thud" category. I had many compliments on how the DW kit sounded with these new heads. In fact, other musicians on stage immediately noticed the difference in the drums and I had people in the audience come up to tell me they can FINALLY hear the other instruments on stage. I could also be the fact that the drummer I replaced only had a few years playing and he had to teach himself how to play. As a result, they had a drummer with very little dynamic control and played really LOUD in the room.

    Here's how small the room is and the hydraulics on the toms sound awesome in this setting.


  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I thought about swapping out the heads on the Gretsch USA kit to something different but I'm digging the Remo clear Emps over Clear Ambass reso heads.
    The classic combination that always works; I saw an interview with Portnoy recently and he said he loves this combo on his maple Starclassics.
    I played the same for years and it always sounded great.

    When I was going through the period when I was destroying bass batter heads, I tried an Aquarian SKII..................and really liked it -- sound and durability.
    I had broken through four of the Remo PS series.
    So, the Aquarian got my attention and I started trying snare and tom heads too.
    Right now on my USA kit I'm playing clear Super 2 batters on the toms and the coated high velocity on the snare (Black Magic).
    The bass batter is now the SK10.
    In the next few weeks, it is time to replace all the tom heads and I'll be putting Classic Clears on as reso heads.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    The classic combination that always works; I saw an interview with Portnoy recently and he said he loves this combo on his maple Starclassics.
    I played the same for years and it always sounded great.

    When I was going through the period when I was destroying bass batter heads, I tried an Aquarian SKII..................and really liked it -- sound and durability.
    I had broken through four of the Remo PS series.
    So, the Aquarian got my attention and I started trying snare and tom heads too.
    Right now on my USA kit I'm playing clear Super 2 batters on the toms and the coated high velocity on the snare (Black Magic).
    The bass batter is now the SK10.
    In the next few weeks, it is time to replace all the tom heads and I'll be putting Classic Clears on as reso heads.
    I called and cancelled my order for the 22" hydraulics since they were still on back order status as of today. I replaced the order with (2x) 22" Aquarian clear SK2 batters. I've had good results with these heads too.

  17. #17

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    For bass batter heads, either of those will be great.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    For bass batter heads, either of those will be great.
    Well, guess what? The online retailer messed up the order and instead of getting the clear SK2 batter heads, the invoice show's coated SK3... I called and the order has shipped. So I guess I'll try the coated SK3 heads. Can't go wrong with Aquarian bass drum batter heads.

    I finally got the hydraulic heads tuned to my liking. I found that medium tension on both batter and reso heads give these drums a nice deep tone. I'm very happy with the results but it took a couple of hours of walking away and letting my ears "settle" down before walking back to the kit to continue the tuning process. The reso heads are still Remo clear Ambass but I may go Evans clear G1. The Ambass reso heads have been on for over a year so I have an excuse to swap them out.


  19. #19

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    Looking at a set with two bass drums and the blue hydraulics definitely takes me back to my big Ludwig kit (many moons ago).

    Be sure to provide a review on those coated SK heads.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  20. #20

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    I've noticed that tuning can be like making a pot of home-made chili;
    You tweak, sample, tweak, sample, tweak......and pretty soon you lose the ability to discern subtle differences. Then you have to walk away, cleanse your palette and take a fresh sample.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    I've noticed that tuning can be like making a pot of home-made chili;
    You tweak, sample, tweak, sample, tweak......and pretty soon you lose the ability to discern subtle differences. Then you have to walk away, cleanse your palette and take a fresh sample.
    In the 70's, all the Zickos kits came that way either clear or blue. They were made for Zickos by Evans though they had the Zickos logo.
    Drumming is the best psychiatry.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Looking at a set with two bass drums and the blue hydraulics definitely takes me back to my big Ludwig kit (many moons ago).

    Be sure to provide a review on those coated SK heads.
    Will do! I called the customer service rep. and stated my disappointment in the mix up but hey...the coated 1ply heads may work out.

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    I've noticed that tuning can be like making a pot of home-made chili;
    You tweak, sample, tweak, sample, tweak......and pretty soon you lose the ability to discern subtle differences. Then you have to walk away, cleanse your palette and take a fresh sample.
    Exactly! Sometimes, I have to take the actual drum I'm tuning and walk into another room to tune it up. Sometimes walking into a different environment really helps.

  23. #23

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    When I change heads on my toms, I will take them (one at a time) to the couch and watch TV while I do all the work needed...............at the end of the process (batters and resos), I tweak until I think I have found the best note that the drum has.............hit them softly, and hit them firmly..............making sure.
    When I get all the toms done (13, 15, 18), I completely ignore the intervals that will now exist between them...............the results are always good.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  24. #24

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    Default Re: Evans hydraulic drum heads

    Those were the first heads I used. Easy to "tune" for a beginner with cheap drums. Win-win. I don't think I'd ever go back to them, just not enough sustain for me. I like coated Evans G2 or G1 heads.

    I did put one on a snare once and crank it tight. Sounded kinda cool.

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Evans hydraulic drum heads

    Check out this video below (with some terrific drumming); to all that think the Hydraulics are for the heavy hitters, not necessarily.
    Depending on your shell selection and your tuning methods, you can get some delicate tones just like other heads (and still benefit from the durability).
    I could swear I see Gadd using the blue heads here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3btjXdHak4
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


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