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Reviewed by 8 customers
Displaying reviews 1-8
While these heads are not as fantastic as calf heads, they are of high quality and truly give a vintage sound to your drums. The price of these makes the value proposition high.My first kit in the early 60s had calf heads, so some of the comments about them splitting or folks going through them too often is probably more due to people expecting them to have the same stability as modern plastic heads. Not so. Expect to have to tune them a few times during a gig, especially if the temperature changes. During high humidity conditions (summer) expect the same. Your efforts will be rewarded by having a great sounding hit that will recreate a vintage sound and vibe. Oh, be aware that sticks will not rebound in the same manner that they do off of plastic heads, so you will need to adjust your sticking accordingly.
If I could afford it, I'd have earthtones on every drum I own because they feel and sound incredible. They have a relaxing effect on my playing, even in the most brittle sounding rooms, my bass drum has a deep tone, not that plastic flappy sound, and the snare sound deeper and less abrasive, making soloing much more relaxing. Only downside is that they are inconsistent, one 14" head I own has lasted 3 years, the other broke on the first gig I used it on.
If you play with brushes you have got to try these heads. The snare head "feels" so incredible, and the pianist I play with commented on the improvement in the snare sound. I put an Earthtone on my bass drum resonant side (Emad batter with no muffling). It produced a nice ultra warm sound with just the right amount of sustain. I am sold.
If you play traditional, bebob, West Coast Cool, hard bebop try these heads. You will get sounds not possible with "plastic" heads and these heads are easy to keep in tune. For brush work, there is no other product to match it that I know of. The only down side is, the 10, 12 and 14 inch are too tight to fit over my Pearl MMX Masters toms. They do fit nicely over my 1955 vintage set of Slingerland drums, however.Also, the "snare side head" is not responsive enough because they are too thick.
Definitely an improvement over regular heads. more resonant, fuller sound.
I recently ordered a snare from my drum comapany and requested an earthtone batter head. I let the head seat for two days(as recommended by the company). After seating it, I tuned it and played on it a bit(5 minutes of light playing). The sound was quiet, but very nice and warm...plus the response was great. It had this strange sensation of being buttery and sensitive simultaneously. I was recording a few days later and trying out some different snares for a song and set the snare with the Earthtone head on the stand. I hit it once and it ripped straight down the middle. Based off of this one experience I would deter drummers of any style who use sticks to avoid these as batter heads. The cost is simply too much. I could see these functioning wonderfully as resonant heads(I've used calfskin for that purpose to great results). There's a possibility that this particular head was a fluke, but when you're paying a lot of money for something it's a silly thing to chance. I hope this helps out.
I like the tone of these heads, but durability is a real issue. I've had heads for a little more than 4 weeks and have already had to replace three heads. The don't seem to hold well, and their cost will prevent me from purchasing any more.
I had to respond to the reviewer who had a bad experience with an Earthtrone head and presumed that spoke of the quality with all their heads.I bought a "14 batter a few years ago out of curiosity and I've been banging pretty hard on it since and it's still going strong!Not only that, I've moved it between few different snares (which I'd never do with a plastic head) and it sounded terrific on every one of them.If any head fails that abruptly you should contact the company and if they're like any drum company I've ever dealt with, they'll go out of their way to make things right.I agree with the sensation of playing an Earthtone head, it really feels much more organic, it's a great feeling. I felt like I was playing the drum, not just hitting the head.I would highly recommend checking out these heads they really are a cool item.